Researchers demonstrate for the first time the potential of existing technology to directly detect and characterize life on Mars and other planets. The study, published in Frontiers in Microbiology, used miniaturized scientific instruments and new microbiology techniques to identify and examine microorganisms in the Canadian high Arctic — one of the closest analogs to Mars on Earth.
The afterglow from the distant neutron-star merger detected last August has continued to brighten – much to the surprise of astrophysicists studying the aftermath of the massive collision that took place about 138 million light years away and sent gravitational waves rippling through the universe.
An over-reliance on self-report screening questionnaires, wherein patients essentially define their own condition, in place of diagnostic interviews conducted by a health care professional, has resulted in over-estimation of the prevalence of people with depression in many research studies – often by a factor of two to three times. This is according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The study found that over 75% of recent research on depression prevalence has been based exclusively on patient completed questionnaires.
Frequently encountered in the elderly, Alzheimer’s is considered a neurodegenerative disease, which means that it is accompanied by a significant, progressive loss of neurons and their nerve endings, or synapses. A joint French and Canadian study published in Scientific Reports now challenges this view.
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) often have a hard time switching gears from one task to another. But being bilingual may actually make it a bit easier for them to do so, according to a new study which was recently published in Child Development.
A study by a group of researchers including those from The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University has tested the theory that brain degeneration in Parkinson’s disease (PD) originates in subcortical regions and spreads along neural networks to the cerebral cortex. By analyzing data on PD patients and healthy controls collected over one year, the researchers found that brain regions closely connected to subcortical regions showed the most degeneration over the one-year period in PD patients, and that this happens earlier than previously thought.
New detections of radio waves from a repeating fast radio burst have revealed an astonishingly potent magnetic field in the source’s environment, indicating that it is situated near a massive black hole or within a nebula of unprecedented power.
The findings by an international team of astronomers, including Victoria Kaspi and Shriharsh Tendulkar of McGill University, appear in the January 11 edition of Nature and are highlighted on the cover of the journal.
Québec Science magazine has selected its 10 Discoveries of the Year for 2017, including three involving McGill researchers. The annual list has highlighted top scientific research from across Quebec for the past 25 years, and McGill has been cited more than any other institution during that quarter-century.
Here are the selected discoveries involving McGill scientists for the past year:
A regimen of a novel bone anabolic medication (which builds bone mass) followed by an antiresorptive agent (which maintains bone mass) has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of fracture among post-menopausal women with severe osteoporosis, according to results of a clinical trial published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
The world’s oldest algae fossils are a billion years old, according to a new analysis by earth scientists at McGill University. Based on this finding, the researchers also estimate that the basis for photosynthesis in today’s plants was set in place 1.25 billion years ago.
New research has drawn a link between changes in the brain’s anatomy and biomarkers that are known to appear at the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), findings that could one day provide a sensitive but non-invasive test for AD before cognitive symptoms appear.
Scientists have known for some time that one of the first signs of AD is buildup of amyloid-Beta and tau proteins in the brain. They have also known that the hippocampus atrophies and loses volume in some AD patients years before cognitive decline.
McGill University researchers have chemically imprinted polymer particles with DNA strands – a technique that could lead to new materials for applications ranging from biomedicine to the promising field of “soft robotics.”
In a study published in Nature Chemistry, the researchers describe a method to create asymmetrical polymer particles that bind together in a spatially defined manner, the way that atoms come together to make molecules.
Believe it or not, a tropical blood parasite native to Latin America could be harmful to Canadians. Infectious diseases like malaria or Zika may have dominated recent headlines but Chagas – the “Kissing Bug” disease – is in the spotlight following the publication of a new case study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). Tropical and laboratory medicine experts from Winnipeg and Montreal warn natives of specific Central and South American nations and their offspring are at risk of contracting Chagas disease - even after they have moved to Canada.