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Science of strikeouts

Even the best baseball hitter eyeing a fastball does not swing at what he sees. The neurons and neural connections that make up our sensory systems are far too slow for this to work. Work by Richard A. Andersen of the California Institute of Technology, his colleagues Grant Mulliken of MIT and Sam Musallam of McGill, offers the first neural evidence that voluntary limb movements are guided by our

Published: 26 Jun 2008

ADHD gene doesn't predict response to drugs

Canadian researchers report that a gene variant that seems to affect the severity of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder did not help them predict which patients are likely to respond to a class of drugs widely used to treat the disorder. The study was conducted by McGill's Ridha Joober, assoc. professor psychiatry & human genetics and team from the Douglas Mental Health University Institute.

Published: 25 Jun 2008

Playing mind games

McGill psychology professor Mark Baldwin's MindHabits Trainer, is subject of a full-page article on the front of the 'Living' section in the Washington Times. MindHabits is a mental well-being computer game that trains the brain to think - automatically, with no meditation or medication needed - positive thoughts.

Published: 25 Jun 2008

Japanese companies rush to get robots into homes

Four of Japan's leading technology companies have joined forces with the goal of getting robots into hundreds of thousands of homes around the world so they can help out with everyday activities. "I think many people would like to have a robot that could help them get up if they fall down, assuming no one else is there," Gregory Dudek, a computer science professor at McGill told CTV News.

Published: 23 Jun 2008

Let's give the past a future

The new $75,000 Cundill prize in History may excite historians, Roger Hall says, but let's hope its greatest reward is in promoting Canadian history to the public.

Published: 21 Jun 2008

Charles Taylor wins Kyoto prize

Charles Taylor, world-renowned McGill philosophy professor has won the Kyoto Prize, one of the world's biggest cash awards. His Kyoto Prize citation extols his construction of a philosophy that "actively pursues the harmonious co-existence of diverse cultures."

Published: 21 Jun 2008

Invasion of the Chinook

Chinook, or king salmon, reached South America some 25 years ago as people tried to farm them there, says Cristián Correa of McGill. Now a broad survey of records and stream visits finds chinook reproducing on their own in at least 10 Andean watersheds that empty into the Pacific and three Atlantic watersheds. The study is reported in the June Biological Invasions.

Published: 20 Jun 2008

Stomach-shrinking surgery cuts cancer risk

Obese patients who undergo stomach surgery to lose weight may reduce their risk of developing some cancers by as much as 80 per cent, according to a study by McGill researchers that provides new evidence eating less could play a critical role in warding off the disease.

Published: 19 Jun 2008

Vitrification may make postponing motherhood easier

Research out of McGill University suggests a new egg-freezing technique, called vitrification, is as safe as conventional in-vitro fertilization treatments and natural conception.

Published: 19 Jun 2008

Adverse effects linked to medicinal marijuana

The use of medical marijuana to relieve pain and other disease symptoms can cause a huge range of adverse effects, say researchers with UBC and McGill. The study published in today's Canadian Medical Association Journal found the risk of suffering serious, adverse effects requiring hospitalization is not elevated in medicinal marijuana users, compared to non-users.

Published: 17 Jun 2008

Advanced egg-freezing technique as safe as IVF, research shows

Women who want to postpone motherhood to establish a career or find the right partner have been given new hope by McGill research that shows the safety of an advanced egg-freezing technique.

Published: 17 Jun 2008

An amphibious assault

Around the world, frogs and toads are falling victim to a loss of habitat, pesticides, pollution and an insidious, quick-acting fungus. And now they are going extinct faster than any other animals since the dinosaurs. McGill University zoologist David Green, one of Canada's foremost authorities on amphibian declines, comments

Published: 16 Jun 2008

Hockey theme's primal appeal

"I think Canadians have actually bonded to the [Hockey Night in Canada] theme song. They've experienced enough of a chemical reaction to it," says McGill neuroscientist Daniel Levitin. "I don't mean to make this sound spooky or mystical, but we know that when people hear music they like, and are familiar with, dopamine is released."

Published: 16 Jun 2008

Ozone compounds the greenhouse effect

A recovery of the depleted ozone layer would accelerate global climate warming, especially polar ice caps, according to an international research team.

Published: 13 Jun 2008

Flushed to freedom

The Star's Peter Calamai reports in his "This week in Science" column that the Canadian and U.S. governments are trying to staunch the flood of aquatic invasive species into the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes by cracking down on ships that pump out ballast water loaded with foreign stowaways. But there's another danger closer to home: private aquarium owners who flush fish down the toilet.

Published: 10 Jun 2008