A foray into plant biology led one researcher to discover that a natural molecule can repair axons, the thread-like projections that carry electrical signals between cells. Axonal damage is the major culprit underlying disability in conditions such as spinal cord injury and stroke.
Despite ongoing global pollution, researchers Kyle Elliott (Natural Resource Sciences) and John Elliott (Environment Canada) have discovered that levels of mercury in seabirds off the coast of B.C. have remained relatively stable over the past 50 years. Surprisingly, mercury in seabirds is now actually slightly lower.
One of the great mysteries in biology is how the many different cell types that make up our bodies are derived from a single cell and from one DNA sequence, or genome. We have learned a lot from studying the human genome, but have only partially unveiled the processes underlying cell determination. The identity of each cell type is largely defined by an instructive layer of molecular annotations on top of the genome – the epigenome – which acts as a blueprint unique to each cell type and developmental stage.
By Cynthia Lee, McGill Newsroom
Life in the city changes cognition, behavior and physiology of birds to their advantage
Birds living in urban environments are smarter than birds from rural environments.
But, why do city birds have the edge over their country friends? They adapted to their urban environments enabling them to exploit new resources more favorably than their rural counterparts, say a team of all-McGill University researchers.
The popular dietary supplement ubiquinone, also known as Coenzyme Q10, is widely believed to function as an antioxidant, protecting cells against damage from free radicals. But a new study by scientists at McGill University finds that ubiquinone is not a crucial antioxidant -- and that consuming it is unlikely to provide any benefit.
To address these questions, Dr. Fabian Leendertz of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin assembled a large international interdisciplinary team consisting of virologists, veterinarians, ecologists, epidemiologists and an anthropologist. One member was Jan Gogarten, a doctoral student in Biology and Vanier graduate scholar at McGill.
We spoke with Gogarten about the resulting study, published this week in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine, and his role in it.
Learning from others and innovation have undoubtedly helped advance civilization. But these behaviours can carry costs as well as benefits. And a new study by an international team of evolutionary biologists sheds light on how one particular cost – increased exposure to parasites – may affect cultural evolution in non-human primates.
Two renowned McGill University researchers are among the 14 winners of the 2014 Prix du Québec. Professor Michael Meaney, acclaimed for his achievements in the biology of child development, will be awarded the Wilder-Penfield prize. Professor Paul Lasko, a celebrated developmental biologist, will receive the Armand-Frappier award. The Prix du Québec is considered the most prestigious award attributed by the Government of Québec in cultural and scientific fields.
What is the secret to aging more slowly and living longer? Not antioxidants, apparently.
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is pleased to congratulate Dr. Jean-Philippe Lessard, an ecologist and postdoctoral fellow at the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science at McGill University, who has been selected as the April 2013 winner of an Étudiants-chercheurs étoiles award, from the Fonds Nature et Technologies of the Government of Quebec. Dr. Lessard has also been featured in the "Academic Minute" podcast for his work building a new map of the world’s zoogeographic regions.
How do embryos measure time?
A large-scale survey of the process for submitting research papers to scientific journals has revealed a surprising pattern: manuscripts that were turned down by one journal and published in another received significantly more citations than those that were published by the first journal to receive them.