The research group of Prof. Tomislav Friščić in McGill’s Department of Chemistry has made a name for itself in the little-known, but growing field of “mechanochemistry,” in which chemical transformations are produced by milling, grinding or shearing solid-state ingredients – brute force, in other words, rather than fancy liquid agents. “Your coffee maker grinds things,” and grinding molecules in the lab involves much the same principle, Friščić notes. Using mechanical force also has the significant advantage of avoiding the use of environmentally harmful bulk solvents.
On February 27, 2015, Canada's three major research funding agencies – the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – announced a new harmonized "Open Access Policy on Publications" that requires research publications supported by public funds to be made openly available for the benefit of the community at large.
Since the 1960s, a number of programs have enabled promising students from developing countries to attend institutions of higher education in the global North with the goal of equipping them to contribute more effectively to development in their own countries. But, how do African scholarship recipients today understand their potential contributions to the development of their home societies? Does this differ among students who study in their home countries, in other African countries, or in the global North?
Until now scientists have believed that the variations in traits such as our height, skin colour, tendency to gain weight or not, intelligence, tendency to develop certain diseases, etc., all of them traits that exist along a continuum, were a result of both genetic and environmental factors. But they didn’t know how exactly these things worked together. By studying ants, McGill researchers have identified a key mechanism by which environmental (or epigenetic) factors influence the expression of all of these traits, (along with many more).