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Quirks & quarks

Dr. Vicki Kaspi, a professor of physics at McGill, explores the irradiating effects of a giant gamma ray burst.

Published: 9 Dec 2008

Mutant worms

C. elegans, has always been a favourite of scientists. One of its fascinating tricks is that if times are tough, it can wait them out by entering a life-extending state called dauer. Dr Richard Roy, a professor of biology at McGill thinks it could have interesting implications for all sorts of issues in humans, including why we don't lose weight when we diet.

Published: 9 Dec 2008

Climate change - unlike the financial meltdown – is a long-haul crisis

In The Gazette, McGill research fellow James D. Ford and Assistant Prof. Lea Berrang-Ford, write (along with U of Guelph's Tristan Pierce): "The climate crisis has not gone away and even as the global economy slows down, emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise fast. So fast that many scientists have identified the next few years as critical if we are to prevent dangerous climate change."

Published: 8 Dec 2008

HM, a memorable amnesiac, dies at 82

On Tuesday evening Henry Gustav Molaison — known worldwide only as HM, to protect his privacy — died of respiratory failure at a nursing home in Windsor Locks, Conn. HM was the famous patient of McGill neuroscientist Brenda Milner. In the 1950s, he had epilepsy surgery and could not form new memories but he could learn new tasks. Her work with him delineated memory formation.

Published: 5 Dec 2008

Black Montrealers earning less than whites: McGill study

They can be just as educated, just as bilingual and in the same high-paying jobs as white people, but black Montrealers still earn substantially less than whites, a new McGill research project shows. "The data demonstrate that blacks have dramatically lower incomes than non-blacks ... at every age and even among university graduates," the study shows.

Published: 15 Nov 2008

New research on Darwin's finches

Some of the latest research on Darwin's finches of the Galapagos Islands shows an unexpected pattern of natural selection that is allowing researchers a rare glimpse into what the early stages of speciation might look like. OEB Darwin fellow Andrew Hendry of McGill has a paper appearing in the current issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society.

Published: 11 Nov 2008

Kyoto Prize awarded to Charles Taylor

Charles Taylor, a philosopher and emeritus professor at McGill University was presented with the Kyoto Prize from the Inamori Foundation on November 10. Taylor, researched the idea of cultural diversity and multiculturalism pointing to a world in which diverse, heterogeneous cultures coexist peacefully through mutual recognition, the foundation said.

Published: 11 Nov 2008

1st voter in N.H. town is McGill engineering student

One of the first voters in the United States to cast a ballot Tuesday in the presidential election was a McGill University engineering student in Montreal who got a lift from his mom to make it to the New Hampshire poll on time.

Published: 4 Nov 2008

The incredible inflexible moveable house

In a story in the Boston Globe on how we could save money, time, and the environment by making homes easy to remodel, and on how architects have been pressing for a new approach to home building, the work of McGill's Avi Friedman is highlighted.

Published: 27 Oct 2008

Pinching display lets you feel the data

(New Scientist): A device that pinches and stretches the skin on the fingertips, rather than prodding and poking it, could revolutionise the way blind people access graphs and maps. (see link for full story)

Published: 25 Oct 2008

Researchers find state of matter that may extend Moore's Law

(New York Times): Researchers at McGill University have discovered a new state of matter that they say could greatly extend Moore's Law. The researchers say they've found a quasi-three-dimensional electron crystal that could enable them to harness quantum physics to make increasingly small computer chips. (see link for full story)

Published: 25 Oct 2008

McGill physicists discover new state of matter

Canadian physicists say they have discovered a previously unknown state of matter that could have a momentous impact on creation of new electronic devices. McGill University researchers say the new state of matter, a quasi-three- dimensional electron crystal, is a material very much like those used in the fabrication of modern transistors.

Published: 23 Oct 2008

Ancient microbes made giant magnets

Scientists have unearthed giant magnetic fossils, the remnants of microbes buried in 55-million-year-old sediment. The growth of these unusual structures during a period of massive global warming provides clues about how climate change might alter the behaviour of organisms. Dirk Schumann of McGill and his colleagues found the fossils in sediment taken from a borehole in Ancora, New Jersey.

Published: 21 Oct 2008

Boning up on dinosaurs

Chantal Montreuil's dream was to work with animals - live ones, that is. But as a fossil technician at McGill University, it's her job to piece together the featured exhibit at this week's Meet the Triceratops event.

Published: 14 Oct 2008

Male pattern baldness pinpointed on DNA

A McGill University researcher has found a mysterious stretch of DNA that can make men lose their hair. The discovery could lead to new ways to prevent male pattern baldness or a quick genetic test to determine if a man is likely to hang on to his hair. But it also may help researchers better understand the human genome.

Published: 13 Oct 2008