Department of Biology

Exercise may be key to developing treatments for rare movement disorder

Published: 16Sep2022

Spinal cerebellar ataxia 6 (SCA6) is an inherited neurological condition which has a debilitating impact on motor coordination. Affecting around 1 in 100,000 people, the rarity of SCA6 has seen it...

The tiny bodies of bats allow perfect balance between flight costs and heat dissipation

Published: 21Jul2022

Many mammal species living in cold climates tend to have large bodies and short limbs to reduce heat loss – a general pattern known as Bergmann’s rule. However, bats are the exception to the rule,...

Uncovering the underlying patterns in contemporary evolution

Published: 18Jan2022

Wild populations must continuously adapt to environmental changes or risk extinction. For more than fifty years, scientists have described instances of “rapid evolution” in specific populations as...

Dopamine plays key role in songbird mating

Published: 23Nov2021

In humans, the dopamine system has been tied to rewards and pleasurable sensations. As well as to memory and learning. A recent study from McGill University, published in Current Biology, suggests...

Cell structure previously associated with disease actually improves brain function

Published: 8Jul2021

Researchers at McGill University have shown that a brain cell structure previously thought to be pathological in fact enhances cells’ ability to transmit information and correlates with better...

Experts: International Day for Biological Diversity | May 22

Published: 19May2021

As the global community is called to re-examine our relationship to the natural world, one thing is certain: despite all our technological advances, humans are completely dependent on healthy and...

“Stressed out” corals thriving thanks to mangroves

Published: 18May2021

Tropical coral reefs are the most biodiverse underwater ecosystem, providing a home to more than a quarter of all marine species. No strangers to environmental stressors and the on-going impacts of...

New algorithm reveals birdsong features that may be key for courtship

Published: 22Apr2021

Researchers from McGill University and the University of California, San Francisco have developed a new algorithm capable of identifying features of male zebra finch songs that may underlie the...

When the bloom is off: why do some plants produce small and unattractive flowers?

Published: 3Feb2021

Picture a flower: what do you see? A bright and showy splash of contrasting colours? Well, not all plants produce flowers that are only like that. Some plant species actually produce two types: ...

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