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Human sounds convey emotions better than words do

It takes just one-tenth of a second for our brains to begin to recognize emotions conveyed by vocalizations, according to researchers from McGill. It doesn’t matter whether the non-verbal sounds are growls of anger, the laughter of happiness or cries of sadness. More importantly, the researchers have also discovered that we pay more attention when an emotion (such as happiness, sadness or anger) is expressed through vocalizations than we do when the same emotion is expressed in speech.

Published on : 18 Jan 2016

A ‘printing press’ for nanoparticles

Gold nanoparticles have unusual optical, electronic and chemical properties, which scientists are seeking to put to use in a range of new technologies, from nanoelectronics to cancer treatments.

Published on : 07 Jan 2016

Droughts hit cereal crops harder since 1980s

Drought and extreme heat events slashed cereal harvests in recent decades by 9% to 10% on average in affected countries – and the impact of these weather disasters was greatest in the developed nations of North America, Europe and Australasia, according to a new study led by researchers from McGill University and the University of British Columbia.

Published on : 06 Jan 2016

$5M for Malaria, Tuberculosis Drug-discovery Research

University of Toronto and McGill University scientists are leading an international partnership to discover new and improved drug treatments for tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases  -- thanks to a contribution from Merck Canada Inc., as well as an additional $5 million supplement to a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The new funding brings the total investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to nearly US $12 million since 2012.

Published on : 17 Dec 2015

Divorce: on the decline in sub-Saharan Africa

With education, employment and income levels all rising for women in sub-Saharan Africa, many observers have speculated that divorce rates would follow suit – as they have in much of the developed world.  But a new study by McGill University researchers finds that divorce rates across 20 African countries over the past 20 years have remained stable or declined.

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Published on : 16 Dec 2015

What is your memory style?

Why is it that some people have richly detailed recollection of past experiences (episodic memory), while others tend to remember just the facts without details (semantic memory)? A research team from the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences has shown for the first time that these different ways of experiencing the past are associated with distinct brain connectivity patterns that may be inherent to the individual and suggest a life-long “memory trait”.   The study was recently published online in the journal Cortex.

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Published on : 15 Dec 2015

Cleaning wounds: saline water trumps soap and water

Now, an international team of researchers led by McMaster University in collaboration with the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre has found that soap and water is actually less effective than just using saline water. The findings, which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, could lead to significant cost savings, particularly in developing countries where open fractures are particularly common.

Published on : 15 Dec 2015

Quebec ecology student scoops trio of BES photo prizes

PhD candidate Kiyoko Gotanda captured the award-winning photos on her Canon 7D Mark II camera while on a research trip to Santa Cruz Island in the Galápagos in January 2015. The Galápagos Islands inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution almost 150 years ago and have since been crucial to evolutionary biology, including to Gotanda’s own research on Darwin’s Galápagos finches. 

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Published on : 14 Dec 2015

There’s More Than Meets the Eye When Making Choices

If you’re pondering whether to buy a Galaxy smartphone or an iPhone this holiday season, a part of the brain called the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (PFC) might ultimately determine your choice. Results of a new study by Avinash Vaidya and Dr. Lesley Fellows, researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro), suggest that this region of the brain plays a critical role in making choices.

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Published on : 14 Dec 2015

H. Arnold Steinberg, Chancellor Emeritus (1933-2015)

Dear members of the McGill community: It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of H. Arnold Steinberg, McGill Chancellor Emeritus. Mr. Steinberg died suddenly this morning in Montreal. He was 82 years old. On behalf of the McGill community, I send my deepest condolences to his wife, Professor emerita Blema Steinberg, their three children, Margot, Donna and Adam, and their families.

Classified as : External, Arnold Steinberg
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Published on : 11 Dec 2015

Inside McGill Inside My Head

« La demande était pas mal corpo au début, » says Alain Farah with a laugh. He is anything but. Farah teaches in the department of French languages and literature at McGill. He’s also the author of a novel called Pourquoi Bologne that came out in French in 2013 and appeared in English in 2015 under the title Ravenscrag. The work tells a fractured, spinning kind of story about a writer called Alain Farah who works at McGill in 1962 and in 2012. In the novel, there are episodes, both in 1962 and 2012, where the character Alain Farah wanders around the McGill campus, clearly in bad shape.

Published on : 11 Dec 2015