The danger that icebergs represent to both shipping and to the underwater cables that traverse the ocean floors is very real. It’s tricky for satellites to identify icebergs, and almost impossible to accurately predict the level of risk they present. Drifting clouds can make it difficult to see the movements of sea ice as well as the underwater shape of the icebergs that determines their movement and whether they are a threat. This is why ships moving off Newfoundland’s Grand Banks and the coast of Labrador are asked to report their position and ice observation to Ice St. John’s every six hours.
The results of the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, point to the first known cause of aortic stenosis and to a potential treatment to prevent this disease. “We found that an unusual type of cholesterol called Lipoprotein (a) or Lp(a) – that is not normally screened for in current clinical practice – appears to be a cause of aortic valve disease,” says Dr. George Thanassoulis, one of the co-lead authors of the study, who is also director of preventive and genomic cardiology at the MUHC and an Assistant Professor in Medicine at McGill University. “High levels of this type of cholesterol are predicted primarily by an individual’s genetic make-up with only modest influence from lifestyle or other factors.”
(Commentary from McGill law professor Angela Campbell)
(Commentary by History professor Gil Troy): As Barack Obama drafts his second inaugural speech, he should remember the speeches that made him president. He should ponder the vision of multicultural nationalism in his 2004 Democratic Convention keynote. He should revive the controlled but righteous indignation in his 2008 address on race relations that defused the Reverend Jeremiah Wright controversy. And he should tap into the lyrical patriotism that made his first victory speech soar.
(Michael Becker, a doctoral student at McGill University, was a scientific diver on an expedition to Lake Untersee, Antarctica - this the third of 6 blog posts): There are no helicopters on this end of the continent. For someone as unenthusiastic about walking as I am, this news comes as a definitive blow to my goal of doing as little exercise as possible. But even an ultramarathoner would be chilled by the prospect of an 80-mile journey over treacherous glacial crevasses with several tons of gear.
(Abstract of article by McGill grad Adam Gopnik) …Perhaps the densest concentration of sound scholars in the world can be found in Montreal, at McGill University, where the writer went to school. Albert Bregman, a former professor of the writer’s, spent almost fifty years at McGill studying the psychology of sound, and his masterwork, “Auditory Sense Analysis: The Perceptual Organization of Sound,” remains a basic text in the field.
(Athletics' Jill Barker) As a young psychologist, James Sallis was interested in exploring the motivation behind getting people to exercise. But it wasn’t long before he discovered that existing theories designed to improve exercise adherence were, for the most part, ineffective. Sallis, who is speaking in Montreal this week, is this year’s winner of the Bloomberg Manulife Prize for the Promotion of Active Health.
A new study showing a triple combination of blood pressure drugs and common painkillers can increase the risk of serious kidney problems means doctors will have to be extra vigilant when prescribing this particular concoction of drugs. A team of researchers from the Jewish General Hospital and McGill University found a triple therapy combination of a diuretic with a second antihypertensive drug plus a painkiller was associated with a 30 per cent higher risk of kidney failure - and the risk was 80 per cent higher during the first 30 days of treatment.
Researchers at McGill University and the Austrian Academy of Sciences claim to have discovered the molecular blueprint behind the IFIT protein. This key protein enables our immune system to detect viruses and prevent infection by acting as foot soldiers guarding the body against infection. They recognize foreign viral ribonucleic acid (RNA) produced by the virus and act as defender molecules by potentially latching onto the genome of the virus and preventing it from making copies of itself, blocking infection.
(Op-ed - Robert Leckey teaches family law at McGill): President of Egale Canada This spring will mark 10 years since the Ontario Court of Appeal allowed the first legal same-sex marriages in Canada. For most Canadians, same-sex marriage is a settled issue. The latest census data confirmed the growing diversity of Canadian families. That's why it's puzzling that the federal government has recently spent public money fighting the recognition of gay relationships in Canada.