SKEPTICAL INQUIRER: Miracles are pretty rare events. Except on television’s Dr. Oz Show, where they appear with astonishing frequency. Oz of course doesn’t claim to raise the dead or part the Red Sea, but he does raise people’s hopes of parting with their flab. And he’s certainly not shy about flinging the word miracle about. But it seems miracles fade as quickly as they appear.
The year was 1982. "Food for Thought", a new and innovative course conceived by Drs. David Harpp, Joe Schwarcz & Ariel Fenster. Designed to provoke some thought, separate fact from fiction and of course, digest everything there is to know about food. And now, 14,000 students later, you too can take this course. FOR FREE. That's right. McGill presents its very-first MOOC (massive open online course), & the McGill Office for Science and Society (OSS) is up at bat. Are you ready for some Food for Thought?
Information is the key to life. We want to know what to eat, how to protect our environment, what risks to avoid and what to do if illness strikes. But when it comes to acquiring information, it is the best of times and the worst of times. It is the age of wisdom, it is the age of foolishness. Newspapers, television, radio and of course the Internet bombard us with information at an unprecedented rate, but when it comes to scientific issues the quality of the information is variable.
Forbes: Dr. Schwarcz comments on whether natural products can protect us from mosquitos with West Nile Virus
Almost 40,000 people in the United States developed West Nile virus last year and 1,549 died because of it. Compare that to 1999, the first year the disease was seen in North America, when only 62 people were reported infected.
We’re not used to thinking of ourselves as animals. But as Jason Samson sees it, climate is as important in shaping the distribution and movement of humans as it is in other animals. The McGill-trained ecologist and fellow researchers have been using modeling techniques similar to those used to define the ecological niche for plant and animal species to explore the correlation between climate patterns and population growth in the contiguous United States between 1900-2000. And what they discovered was a pronounced population shift away from areas within the U.S. with cool and seasonal climates, towards those areas that are warmer and drier year-round, and they found that this was the case even when it meant moving further away from agricultural lands.
The Bellairs Research Institute will host the »FWDfest research festival from May 23 to 29, 2011, in collaboration with the Folkestone Marine Reserve. Come join us and explore four thematic areas: 1. Robotics, mathematics, and computer science; 2. Land use planning and sustainable agriculture; 3. Climate change, alternative energy, and biodiversity 4. Marine and coastal resource management.
The Emerald Key & Catalyst Awards will be presented by the Office of Sustainability for the first time in 2011 to those who have made a meaningful and enduring contribution to the sustainability movement at McGill University.
Register NOW for the 2011 winter session of WRITING SCIENCE ARTICLES 2 (REDM 710), a 3-credit writing course for graduate students. This course will help you think critically about your data and write logically about your findings. For more information or to register please contact: Prof. Linda Cooper at 514-398-8545.
A molecular switch, triggered by a signal, helps an organism instantly recognise a healthy and potential sex mate. "This mating decision is controlled by a simple chemical switch that converts an incoming pheromone signal into a cellular response," says study author Stephen Michnick, University of Montreal biochemistry professor.
By Allison Flynn Bernhard Lehner is a hydrographer whose work is about to go global. Fusing the fields of hydrology and cartography, he has created a one-of-a-kind map of the world’s rivers that is included as a pull-out in the April 2010 “Fresh Water” Issue of National Geographic, the iconic magazine that’s read in 32 [...]