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Let's dance

A new study suggests that the link between music and movement is essentially hardwired into the human brain. McGill researcher Robert Zatorre and grad student Joyce Chen presented their findings at the Society for Neuroscience conference in Atlanta. The new findings might also aid in the treatment of movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis.

Published: 20 Oct 2006

Intellectual property policy

"Canada should develop an intellectual property policy that lowers the cost to those conducting research and creation in Canada, making Canada an attractive location for investment in high technology industries," E. Richard Gold, director of McGill's Centre for Intellectual Property Policy, writes in the October issue of Policy Options.

Published: 19 Oct 2006

The Golden Violin

With great fanfare, Seymour Schulich unveiled the $100,000 gilded fiddle and presented a cheque for $20,000 to student Emmanuel Vukovich, the first recipient of the Golden Violin Award. "Go shock the bank," Schulich said to Vukovich as he handed the 25-year-old violinist the cheque.

Published: 12 Oct 2006

'There's a shortage of space in space'

Ram Jakhu, associate professor of law at McGill, says that the increasing number of satellites orbiting the planet is creating headaches for lawyers.

Published: 9 Oct 2006

Tops in the THES

McGill took top place among Canada's universities in the Times Higher Education Supplement's survey of the world's best universities, ranking 21st, three spots higher than last year. The University of Toronto was 27th, while the University of British Columbia tumbled 12 spots to finish in a tie for 50th.

Published: 9 Oct 2006

The ethics of technology

Professor Margaret Somerville suggests we slow down the pace of technological change to let ethics catch up. This profile of the McGill ethicist runs in advance of her cross-Canada Massey Lectures.

Published: 8 Oct 2006

Medical Simulation Centre

McGill has launched a new medical simulation centre, the first fully integrated system of its kind in Canada. At least 2,000 students a year, as well as hundreds of medical staff, will use the $6-million facility.

Published: 7 Oct 2006

Sperm banks unpopular with patients

McGill researchers say they found sperm banks are unpopular, even with cancer patients facing treatments that might make them infertile. The study, led by MUHC researcher Dr. Peter Chan, highlights the need to improve doctor-patient communication about the benefits of sperm banking and the need for accurate and personalized information about the high risk of infertility associated with treatment for testicular cancer and Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Published: 5 Oct 2006

Anything you can do, I can do...

Using thermal imaging for the first time to measure arousal rates, a new McGill study shows that women become sexually aroused as quickly as men do. The study, by McGill psychology prof and director of the Sex and Couple Therapy Service of the Royal Victoria Hospital, Irv Binik, and grad student Tuuli Kukkonen, shatters the long-held myth that men get excited faster than women.

Published: 3 Oct 2006

ADHD and sleep

Reut Gruber, a child psychologist and sleep researcher at the Douglas Hospital, conducts major studies of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder to see whether improving the quality of their sleep enhances their ability to learn and listen.

Published: 24 Sep 2006

Epigenetic pioneers

For decades, there have been attempts to draw a direct line between genes and/or environmental factors and mental illness with no success. Psychiatrists now realize that there is something else in between. That something may be epigenetic imprinting. The Economist looks at the work of Moshe Szyf and Michael Meaney.

Published: 21 Sep 2006

Evolution accelerated

Giant tortoises, dwarf elephants and little people. All examples of species that became very large or very small when they colonized islands. For years, it was assumed that evolution must speed up to produce such variety so rapidly. Now, Virginie Millien of McGill has found that mammals on islands evolve around three times as fast as their continental counterparts.

Published: 19 Sep 2006

Epigenetic celebrity

A few years ago, researchers like McGill's Moshe Szyf were scoffed at for their ideas. Today Szyf, a professor of pharmacology at McGill, and a few others are mini-celebrities in the increasingly accepted field of epigenetics. The study of epigenetics postulates that there is a "second code" of programming on top of our DNA, a code that -- unlike DNA -- can change during our lifetimes.

Published: 26 Aug 2006

Wired on Levitin

Daniel Levitin, associate professor at McGill and one of the world's leading experts in cognitive music perception, is interviewed by Wired magazine about his new book, "This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession."

Published: 23 Aug 2006

Hormone provides hope for women

Two decades ago, Barbara Sherwin, professor of psychology and obstetrics and gynecology at McGill, conducted testosterone studies on women. Testosterone was demonstrated to clearly boost women's arousal and desire. European authorities have finally approved a testosterone patch for women to deal with libido problems but the Food and Drug Administration has yet to comment on the future of its testosterone patch in the U.S.

Published: 22 Aug 2006