In 2000, Dr. Karim Nader of McGill's Department of Psychology turned the study of memory on its head when he proved that it is possible to dull excessively painful memories with certain drugs. In an Q&A interview, Dr. Nader is asked to share his insights into memory making and breaking.
Montreal's campuses are going green at an unprecedented pace and scale, and it's clear the drive to change is coming mostly from the students themselves. At McGill, green projects large and small are gaining momentum.
Arthur Kaptainis of the Gazette writes that visually, it's the pits, but aurally, the Multimedia Room at the Schulich School of Music is heaven. "It is the musical recording equivalent of a wind tunnel or particle accelerator," music dean Don McLean says of the facility, or rather its rosy future.
The largest Inuit health survey ever conducted in Canada has begun in southern Hudson Bay, with doctors and other medical staff travelling across Nunavut aboard an Arctic icebreaker to test and interview Inuit about their well-being. The Nunavut Inuit Health Survey, also known as "Qanuippitali?" which translates to "How about us? How are we?" is led by McGill's Centre for Indigenous Peoples' Nutrition and Environment, headed by Prof. Grace Egeland. The $8-million project is part of International Polar Year research, with researchers from universities in Quebec, British Columbia and Manitoba.
Ava-Ann Allman, 25, a doctoral student in psychology at McGill, is one of three young Canadians nominated by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council to attend the annual Lindau Meetings in Germany where, this week, 18 Nobel Prize winners are sharing their wisdom with up and coming scientists and economists from around the world.
The first test-tube baby created from an egg, matured in the laboratory and then frozen has been born in Canada, in a breakthrough offering hope to women with cancer and others unsuited to normal IVF treatment. "We have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to do this and, so far, we have achieved four successful pregnancies, one of which has resulted in a live birth," Hananel Holzer of the McGill Reproductive Centre in Montreal said in a statement. The research was presented to the 23rd annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology on Monday.
In a new study, revealed in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, psychiatrists at McGill and Harvard used an amnesia drug, propanolol, to "dampen" the memories of trauma victims. Prof. Karim Nader of McGill said, "When you remember old memories they can become 'unstored' and then have to be 'restored.' As the memory is getting restored, we gave patients a drug that turns down the emotional part of the memory. It left the conscious part of the memory intact, so they could still remember all the details but without being overwhelmed by the memory." The research suggests memories can be manipulated because they act as if made from glass, existing in a molten state as they are being created, before turning solid. When the memory is recalled, however, it becomes molten again and so can be altered before it once more resets.
International experts who gathered at McGill this week report an extraordinary surge in cases of non-suicidal self-injury by teenagers, apparently seeking release from the emotional distress of a detached world that is moving too fast and demanding too much. "Some people refer to it as the new anorexia," Nancy Heath, a professor in McGill's department of educational psychology, told the Gazette.
The end of this month marks two important changes in British life: July 1 marks the official start of a smoke-free Britain in all public places, while tomorrow will mark the official end of Tony Blair's tenure as prime minister. McGill political scientist Antonia Maioni writes in the Toronto Star that, in both cases, we are witnessing the end of an era. These changes are minor, however, compared with the problems of immigration and cultural integration that Britain faces, which question the very core of what it means to be British.
The Gazette asks McGill professor Saeed Mirza, a civil engineer with expertise in concrete structures, to assess what he considers are some of the more dangerous road structures in Montreal.