Landmark gift to McGill’s Faculty of Engineering deepens support for doctoral students and graduate research

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 11:53

A landmark $15-million gift from McGill alumnus Les Vadasz, a founding member of Intel Corporation, and his wife Judy Vadasz, will enhance the prestigious doctoral fellowship program that bears their name in McGill’s Faculty of Engineering, deepening their support for outstanding PhD students who pursue innovative research at McGill.

Their gift also aims to strengthen Montreal as an engineering and technology hub by attracting more top talent to McGill.

Published: 16Jan2019

Men and women remember pain differently

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 11:00

Scientists increasingly believe that one of the driving forces in chronic pain—the number one health problem in both prevalence and burden—appears to be the memory of earlier pain. Research published today in Current Biology suggests that there may be variations, based on sex, in the way that pain is remembered in both mice and humans.

Published: 10Jan2019

Canada’s CHIME telescope detects second repeating fast radio burst

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 12:59

A Canadian-led team of scientists has found the second repeating fast radio burst (FRB) ever recorded. FRBs are short bursts of radio waves coming from far outside our Milky Way galaxy. Scientists believe FRBs emanate from powerful astrophysical phenomena billions of light years away.

Published: 9Jan2019

McGill University helps to inform understanding of cancer risk

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 10:05

McGill University has helped develop a global resource that includes data on thousands of inherited variants in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. The BRCA Exchange was created through the BRCA Challenge, a long-term demonstration project initiated by the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) to enhance sharing of BRCA1/BRCA2 data.

Published: 9Jan2019

A new 'atlas' of genetic influences on osteoporosis

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 10:36

A ground-breaking new study led by researchers from the Lady Davis Institute (LDI) at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH) has succeeded in compiling an atlas of genetic factors associated with estimated bone mineral density (BMD), one of the most clinically relevant factors in diagnosing osteoporosis. The paper, published in Nature Genetics, identifies 518 genome-wide loci, of which 301 are newly discovered, that explain 20% of the genetic variance associated with osteoporosis.

Published: 3Jan2019

Undergraduate student Juan Fernández González makes math discovery

Thu, 12/20/2018 - 11:43

One year ago, the Bulletin AMQ of the Association Mathématique du Québec published the article Le polygone du cercle d’Euler (The Polygon of Euler’s Circle). Written by third-year student Juan Fernández González, it defines and explores a convex polygon that can be associated to any triangle.

Published: 20Dec2018

Suboptimal, inconsistent treatment for anaphylaxis due to unknown cause

Thu, 12/20/2018 - 10:41

A new Canadian study, led by a team at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), is shedding light on anaphylaxis due to an unknown trigger (AUT)—an unpredictable and potentially fatal allergic reaction, about which surprisingly little is known.

Published: 20Dec2018

The importance of ‘edge populations’ to biodiversity

Mon, 12/17/2018 - 14:49

More than two-thirds of Canada’s biodiversity is made up of species that occur within the country’s borders only at the very northern edge of their range. Biologists have long debated how much effort should be dedicated to conserving these “edge populations.” One argument in their favour is that they may be especially well suited to lead northward range shifts for their species as the climate warms.

Published: 17Dec2018

Wound care revolution: Put away your rulers and reach for your phone

Mon, 12/17/2018 - 10:37

Monitoring a wound is critical, especially in diabetic patients, whose lack of sensation due to nerve damage can lead to infection of a lesion and, ultimately, amputation. New research from the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and McGill University shows that the use of a new app, called Swift Skin and Wound™, which accurately measures and charts the progression of skin wounds, could potentially have a significant impact on clinical management and patient outcomes.

Published: 17Dec2018

Tomislav Friščić awarded Steacie Prize for Natural Sciences

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 11:01

Professor Tomislav Friščić is the recipient of the prestigious Steacie Prize for Natural Sciences for his exceptional contributions to Green Chemistry research in Canada. He is the third McGill professor to win the Steacie Prize, and the first ever McGill professor to win it for chemistry. The two previous winners from McGill are Vicky Kaspi, Physics and Astronomy (2006) and Phil Gold, Medicine (1973).

Published: 14Dec2018

Gut hormone increases response to food

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 09:34

Ghrelin promotes conditioning to food-related odours

The holiday season is a hard one for anyone watching their weight. The sights and smells of food are hard to resist. One factor in this hunger response is a hormone found in the stomach that makes us more vulnerable to tasty food smells, encouraging overeating and obesity. New research on the hormone ghrelin was published on Dec. 4, 2018, led by Dr. Alain Dagher’s lab at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University.

Published: 12Dec2018

How does cancer spread?

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 14:01

How does cancer spread? While studying human brain tumour cells, a team of scientists at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) found some answers to this crucial, yet so far unanswered question. They looked at a gene called EGFRvIII, which is present in patients with glioblastoma – a highly aggressive form of brain cancer that spreads quickly and that is difficult to treat.

Published: 10Dec2018

​​​​​​​Predicting the transmission of rare, genetically based diseases

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 15:35

There are only 25 people in the whole of Quebec at the moment who have a rare recessive genetic disease called chronic atrial and intestinal dysrhythmia (CAID). It is a serious disease that affects both heart rate and intestinal movements. A McGill-led research team has been able to trace the gene mutations underlying the disease back to two European founding families who arrived in the province in the 17th century.

Published: 7Dec2018

Another Medical Cold Case Cracked by the MUHC’s ‘Dr. House’

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 12:18

A team from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) led by Dr. Donald Vinh, the RI’s so-called “Dr. House” because of his research into rare diseases, has discovered a new human disease and the gene responsible for it, paving the way for the proper diagnosis of patients globally and the development of new therapies. Their findings are published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Published: 6Dec2018

Are scientists studying the wrong kind of mice?

Tue, 12/04/2018 - 10:45

Mice represent well over half of the non-human subjects of biomedical research, and the vast majority of those mice are inbred. Formed by generation after generation of mating between brothers and sisters, inbred mice are genetically identical to each other, like twins or clones. Inbreeding is well known to reduce health and vigor across species; this biological fact is the reason that incest is a universal taboo.

Published: 4Dec2018

Six McGill researchers named Canada CIFAR AI (CCAI) Chairs

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 09:40

The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) today announced the inaugural cohort of 29 Canada CIFAR AI (CCAI) Chairs, including six from McGill. These top academic researchers—including Doina Precup and Joëlle  Pineau—are named as part of the $125 million Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, and will help maintain Canada’s leadership in artificial intelligence research. The CCAI Chair Program represents an investment of $30 million at nine universities across the country.  

Published: 3Dec2018

Can a smart app encourage HIV-self testing in Canada?

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 15:36

HIV self-testing strategies have been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 2016, as they empower people to find out HIV their status at their convenience. However, home-based testing kits have yet to be approved for sale in Canada.

Published: 30Nov2018

When a city feels good, people take more risks

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 14:03

What makes people take risks? Not stunt women or formula 1 drivers. Just ordinary people like you and me. Research published this week in PLOS ONE suggests that unexpected improvements in everyday life (sunshine after many days of rain or a win by a local sports team) are correlated with a change in a city’s mood and an increased likelihood that it’s citizens will do risky things like gamble.

Social media and city mood

Cities seem to have moods that fluctuate from day to day. Now, thanks to social media, these city moods are also measurable.

Published: 28Nov2018

Digital Democracy Project to examine online disinformation

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 18:48

Source: Max Bell School of Public Policy

Public Policy Forum President & CEO Edward Greenspon and recently appointed Max Bell School of Public Policy professor Taylor Owen announced the launch of a multi-year project to analyze and respond to the increasing amounts of disinformation and hate in the digital public sphere.

Published: 27Nov2018