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Sweet little liars

Victoria Talwar and her team's research on children and lying was featured on an ABC Nightline segment. Talwar, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education, specializing in developmental psychology, says "It is a natural, normal behavior that children will occasionally tell lies."

Published: 2 Apr 2008

High rate of autism signs found in children born prematurely

About a quarter of babies born very prematurely had signs of autism on an early screening test, a study has found. The research is preliminary since formal autism testing wasn’t done. But the results are provocative, suggesting that tiny preemies may face greater risks of developing autism than previously thought. That suggests autism may be an under-appreciated consequence of medical advances enabling the tiniest of premature babies to survive, said lead author Catherine Limperopoulos, a researcher at McGill University and Children’s Hospital in Boston.

Published: 2 Apr 2008

Redpath mansion mystery revived

Ada Redpath was worth a fortune in 1901 when her body was found next to that of her son. Who killed them? Now you get to play detective thanks to an interactive website that lays out all the evidence. Today, amateur sleuths can try to figure out for themselves just what happened when all the clues surrounding the case will be added to the interactive website Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History. Put together by McGill architecture professors Annmarie Adams and David Theodore, the Redpath homicide page is one of three new crimes featured on the popular website launched in 1997 by the University of Victoria.

Published: 2 Apr 2008

Knowing your stones

McGill geology professor, Robert Martin comments for a Gazette article on different types of building stone and what to look for in identifying types.

Published: 25 Mar 2008

A good time for 'athletic disobedience'

Frédéric Mégret, Canada Research chair in Human Rights and Legal Pluralism in the Faculty of Law at McGill says the ongoing repression of Tibet, and the recent targeting of prominent dissidents by the Chinese government, all require a rethink of what the rest of the world's attitude should be toward the Olympics.

Published: 25 Mar 2008

McGill's new music lab

The jewel at McGill is the new music building, a 7-floor glass and concrete building connected to old Strathcona Hall, kick-started by a $20 million gift from real estate magnate and alumnus Seymour Schulich, inspired when fellow developer and Toronto Symphony director Joe Sorbora told him: "Music is what makes us human." The worlds of neuroscience, law, digital technology, psychology, acoustics and physical fitness are mingling with musical theory and performance, making it a global leader in conservatory research.

Published: 22 Mar 2008

Rock producer turned gonzo academic

Sandy Pearlman was known for producing records by Blue Oyster Cult and The Clash before he became the Schulich Music School's distinguished visiting scholar. But he's a gonzo academic at heart: At the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1966, he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow in the History of Ideas. He completed graduate work at Brandeis and was a New School Fellow in Sociology and Anthropology. He now finds himself in his element at McGill.

Published: 22 Mar 2008

The book that began invasion ecology

Anthony Ricciardi, an associate professor at the Redpath Museum, co-authors a review in Nature of Charles Elton's 50-year-old text "The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants" which founded a field and is now cited more than ever.

Published: 20 Mar 2008

Estrogen and memory

Research by Dr. Barbara Sherwin of the department of psychology at McGill is cited in an article on a connection between estrogen levels and memory loss in older women. Professor Sherwin also comments for the story.

Published: 18 Mar 2008

Dollar Bears

"How can $20 billion in Bear Stearns market value evaporate overnight? Though many are asking this question today, few are noticing the fact that, since 2002, trillions of dollars worth of business and U.S.-government debt value has evaporated. This happened because the Federal Reserve has neglected the dollar." McGill economist Reuven Brenner writes an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal on the US financial crisis.

Published: 18 Mar 2008

Re-thinking our "dollar store" tuition policy

"In a globalized world, where we compete not just with the city or province next door but with institutions, cities and nations on the other side of the planet, we not only face immense challenges, but are offered significant opportunities." Heather Munroe-Blum, principal and vice-chancellor of McGill has an op-ed in the online version of The Gazette, adapted from an address given to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations Monday, March 10.

Published: 17 Mar 2008

Leaky black holes

A new study hints that black holes might not be as good at keeping secrets as researchers have long thought. A pair of physicists, including McGill's Patrick Hayden, has reexamined the time it would take for information to potentially escape from inside a black hole.

Published: 17 Mar 2008

Exchange program on climate change

Five students at Holy Trinity school in St. John's are hoping their environmental projects will land them a place on an Arctic tour as part of an international exchange program about climate change. One student from Holy Trinity will join other youth from schools in Britain, Brazil, Mexico, Germany and Ireland in a Russian research vessel, leaving Reykjavik on Sept. 7 with the 28 final students and spend 13 days cruising around Greenland and Baffin island, and docking in Iqualit. Two Canadian researchers will accompany the students, including Bruno Tremblay, an assistant professor in the department of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at McGill and Christopher Burn, from Carleton. Both scientists specialize in northern environments.

Published: 17 Mar 2008

Disease diagnostics: Third-harmonic generation reveals malarial infection

Canadian researchers have developed a technique that relies on nonlinear optical effects to detect the existence and extent of the malaria parasite in human blood. The advance offers the promise of low-cost, self-contained, field-portable kits to diagnose the disease effectively in regions where it is endemic and qualified technicians are rare. A team led by Paul Wiseman, associate professor of chemistry and physics at McGill University has proposed a far less labour-intensive method to achieve the same result. It relies on the nonlinear optical effect known as third-harmonic generation.

Published: 14 Mar 2008

Language experts disagree

McGill researcher Fred Genesee, one of the country's leading language experts, says the research is indisputable - the earlier a child begins studying French, the more likely it is to sink in. Genesee's advice, and that of other experts in the field, harshly contradicts recommendations in the highly controversial French second-language report released last week in New Brunswick by the Department of Education.

Published: 8 Mar 2008