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The secret of empathy

The ability to express empathy -- the capacity to share and feel another’s emotions -- is limited by the stress of being around strangers, according to a new study published today in the journal Current Biology.

Published: 15 Jan 2015

Isotopic memory of atmospheric persistence

Chemical analysis of some of the world’s oldest rocks, by an international team led by McGill University researchers, has provided the earliest record yet of Earth's atmosphere. The results show that the air 4 billion years ago was very similar to that more than a billion years later, when the atmosphere -- though it likely would have been lethal to oxygen-dependent humans -- supported a thriving microbial biosphere that ultimately gave rise to the diversity of life on Earth today.

Published: 14 Jan 2015

Good words: Stigma, Mental Illness and Employment- A short film written by Rob Whitley

Dr. Rob Whitley recently wrote a short and poignant film tracing the story of Elizabeth, a gifted and highly qualified candidate attending a job interview. All appears to be going swimmingly, until the conversation turns towards the subject of mental illness. While this film is a work of fiction, research indicates that it represents a reality played out daily.

The film can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJ5Wx_LhGUc

Published: 12 Jan 2015

Dr. Serge Gauthier appointed to the Order of Canada.

Dr. Serge Gauthier, M.D., FRCPC, an eminent researcher in Alzheimer’s disease, has been appointed to the Order of Canada by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.  To read more, click here.

You can also watch his interview about his research on CTV here.

Published: 8 Jan 2015

Québec Science top 10 discoveries: A molecule in depression

Dr. Gustavo Turecki and Dr. Juan Pablo Lopez from The Douglas Mental Health University Institute speak about the identification of a molecule that predicts treatment response for depressed patients.

To watch, please click here.

Published: 8 Jan 2015

It’s all in a good night’s sleep

Making sure school-aged kids get to sleep at a regular hour is often a struggle for parents. But a study by researchers at McGill University and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute in Montreal suggests it’s well worth the effort: the researchers found that a good night’s sleep is linked to better performance in math and languages – subjects that are powerful predictors of later learning and academic success.

Published: 8 Jan 2015

Social equity in urban transportation planning

During the 20th century, urban transportation planning in North America was mainly concerned with easing traffic congestion, improving safety and saving time for motorists. These days, most cities’ transportation plans evoke a more complex blend of environmental, economic, and social-equity goals – all aimed at promoting “sustainability.” Yet, many fail to include meaningful measurements of social-equity objectives, such as helping disadvantaged neighborhoods access essential services, according to researchers at McGill University.

Published: 7 Jan 2015

Better dam planning strategies

When dams are built they have an impact not only on the flow of water in the river, but also on the people who live downstream and on the surrounding ecosystems. By placing data from close to 6,500 existing large dams on a highly precise map of the world’s rivers, an international team led by McGill University researchers has created a new method to estimate the global impacts of dams on river flow and fragmentation.

Published: 6 Jan 2015

Appointment of Dr. Gustavo Turecki as Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at McGill

It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of Dr. Gustavo Turecki as Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, effective March 1, 2015. Dr. Turecki succeeds Dr. Mimi Israël, who led the department with great distinction since 2007. We take this opportunity to offer our sincere thanks to Dr. Israël for her outstanding leadership throughout her term, and we wish her continued success.

Published: 5 Jan 2015

Tracking down the origins of the Ebola outbreak

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.

Published: 30 Dec 2014

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