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Harper government too cosy with U.S.

The Harper government is snuggling up too closely to the United States at the expense of Canada's influence in the rest of the world, former prime minister Joe Clark, professor at the Centre for Developing Areas Studies, told a McGill audience on Wednesday. "Mr. Harper and his colleagues are moving away from the central elements of the foreign policy that has been a strength of Canada under both Progressive Conservative and Liberal governments."

Published: 1 Feb 2007

Breast cancer: McGill finds new path

A team directed by Michel L. Tremblay at the Cancer Centre at McGill has uncovered the role played by a gene associated with the propagation of breast cancer in two of five affected women. Their study, published in the magazine Nature Genetics, shows that halting the activity of this gene in mice predisposed to cancer slowed the growth of — and in some cases, prevented — tumors.

Published: 29 Jan 2007

Quebec's low tuition has failed as a policy

A strongly worded editorial in the Globe and Mail states that "Quebec's policy is a noble failure. The tuition freeze would melt away if ever the warm light of reason were shone on it." McGill principal Heather Munroe-Blum was interviewed for the editorial.

Published: 29 Jan 2007

Size matters, when you're a bird

McGill biology professor Louis Lefebvre and former McGill post-doctoral fellow Daniel Sol conclude that having a large brain relative to body size improves a bird's chances of survival, in a study published in the most recent issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B. "It's the first time that there is an advantage for having a big brain that's been demonstrated," Lefebvre said.

Published: 22 Jan 2007

Antidepressants may raise bone risk

Daily use of certain antidepressants doubles the risk of bone fractures in adults 50 and older, a McGill study suggests. The new research, led by Dr. David Goltzman, a professor of medicine and physiology and director of the McGill Centre for Bone and Periodontal Research, seems to support earlier studies. The antidepressants studied are a class known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, which includes such drugs as Prozac and Paxil.

Published: 22 Jan 2007

McGill calls for end to 12-year tuition freeze

Quebec politicians must rise above partisan interests and agree to end the 12-year freeze on university tuition fees immediately, says McGill University principal Heather Munroe-Blum. The principal presented before the Commission de l'éducation de l'Assemblée nationale du Québec on January 16.

Published: 17 Jan 2007

One of the great success stories of 20th-century medicine

Severe cases of congenital heart disease are on the rise among North American adults, but researchers say that probably means growing numbers of infants born with the condition are surviving into adulthood. "This is a real success story," said Dr. Ariane Marelli, lead author of a new study on the trend and director of the McGill Adult Unit for Congenital Heart Disease Excellence.

Published: 9 Jan 2007

A prisoner of her own body

An inspirational story on Helene Pelletier, a patient at McGill's Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI), who is struggling with Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS). After 18 months with the disease she is resolved to use the time she has left to make a difference. Pelletier has raised money to create a clinical fellowship at the Neuro and is planning a second benefit this year.

Published: 6 Jan 2007

Music of the hemispheres

A rock producer turned McGill professor, Daniel Levitin is delving deep into the workings of the mind to see how a pop song uses emotions to embed itself in your memory. Clive Thompson of the New York Times reports.

Published: 31 Dec 2006

Stop the foot dragging

Peter Hadekel writes in the Gazette that the Charest government needs the resolve to move ahead with the necessary funding for the MUHC and CHUM projects. According to Hadekel, not only does the foot dragging add to the bills, it's encouraging opponents to step forward with claims that the heavily indebted province simply can't afford to finance two superhospitals at the same time. Hadekel points out the economic impact the projects would have on the city's knowledge economy, with two state-of-the-art teaching hospitals. They would allow Montreal to remain in the game of attracting some of the brightest medical minds in the world.

Published: 22 Dec 2006

Two hospitals better than one

André Pratte writes in an editorial in La Presse on the need for construction of the new McGill hospital, contrary to what some groups are advocating. Pratte says that McGill is recognized around the world, attracts tens of millions more in research funds than other Quebec universities, and gives our health system unequalled access to the best international resources of knowledge.

Published: 21 Dec 2006

McGill heart device a Canadian first

Gérard Langevin, 65, has a new contraption installed in his chest cavity -- a mechanical heart that will drive rather than pump the blood through his veins. McGill researchers Dr. Renzo Cecere and Dr. Nadia Giannetti announced Canada's first successful implant of a long-term mechanical heart as an alternative to a transplant.

Published: 13 Dec 2006

Dire warning on North Pole

The ice sheet covering the North Pole and Arctic Ocean could recede and disappear completely in the summer months by 2040 if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate. McGill's Bruno Tremblay worked on the study, to be published in the Dec. 12 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, with lead researcher Marika Holland of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research and Cecilia Bitz of the University of Washington.

Published: 12 Dec 2006

Bruce Trigger: Archaeologist, anthropologist, 1937-2006

McGill professor Bruce Trigger was one of Canada's great, yet uncelebrated, minds, writes Sandra Martin. Uninterested in self-promotion, he refused to rearrange history in order to make it agree with his theories.

Published: 9 Dec 2006

New research star seeks to forge partnerships

Vassilios Papadopoulos has been named director of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. He believes the MUHC research institute, one of the country's largest, must forge strong links with industrial partners and government funding agencies if scientific ideas are to bear fruit, finding their way to patients as vaccines, medicines and diagnostic tools. Papadopoulos was lured to McGill from Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC, where he spent 18 years, most recently as associate vice-president and director of biomedical graduate research.

Published: 23 Nov 2006