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Why aren’t there more lions?

Why aren’t there more lions? That was what puzzled McGill PhD student Ian Hatton, when he started looking at the proportion of predators to prey across dozens of parks in East and Southern Africa.

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Published on : 03 Sep 2015

Choosing to end it all

Not even close to every person who faces challenges or lives with severe depression commits suicide. Some people are more vulnerable than others.

Published on : 27 Aug 2015

Association between low vitamin D and MS

Low levels of vitamin D significantly increase the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study led by Dr. Brent Richards of the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital, and published in PLOS Medicine. This finding, the result of a sophisticated Mendelian randomization analysis, confirms a long-standing hypothesis that low vitamin D is strongly associated with an increased susceptibility to MS. This connection is independent of other factors associated with low vitamin D levels, such as obesity.

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Published on : 25 Aug 2015

Harnessing the butterfly effect

The atmosphere is so unstable that a butterfly flapping its wings can, famously, change the course of weather patterns. The celebrated “butterfly effect” also means that the reliability of weather forecasts drops sharply beyond 10 days.

Published on : 18 Aug 2015

McGill students awarded largest Canadian scholarships

Ontario high school students Alexander Deans and Aditya Mohan have been named McGill University’s most recent recipients of the prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarships.

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Published on : 18 Aug 2015

Gestational diabetes: A diabetes predictor in fathers

In a large study analyzing 20 years of data from Quebec, a team from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) has demonstrated that gestational diabetes signals future diabetes risk not only in mothers, but also in fathers. The study was recently published in Diabetes Care.

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Published on : 13 Aug 2015

Breakthrough in "marriage-broker" protein

Scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital -The Neuro, at McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre, have made a breakthrough in understanding an important protein that appears to act as a kind of cellular “marriage broker.” The protein called Netrin1 brings cells together and maintains their healthy relationships. Netrin1 plays an essential role in the growth of the human organism, directing cell migration and the formation of cell circuits both at the embryo stage and after birth.

Published on : 12 Aug 2015

Pesticides: more toxic than previously thought?

Insecticides that are sprayed in orchards and fields across North America may be more toxic to spiders than scientists previously believed.

Published on : 06 Aug 2015

The personalities of spiders

Even jumping spiders have personalities scientists have discovered. A "shy" individual will not make the same choices as a "bold" individual. This means that some individuals, because of their personality type, will capture more prey than others, and will therefore have a larger effect on local ecosystems.

Published on : 06 Aug 2015

Scientists identify key gene associated with addiction

A new study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry by a team led by Salah El Mestikawy, Ph.D., researcher at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute (CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’île-de-Montréal), professor at McGill University and head of research at CNRS INSERM UPMC in Paris, opens the field to new understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying addiction in humans.

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Published on : 04 Aug 2015

Waiting for pleasure

Researchers at McGill have clearly identified, for the first time, the specific parts of the brain involved in decisions that call for delayed gratification.

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Published on : 04 Aug 2015

Our elegant brain: motor learning in the fast lane

It takes a surprisingly small cluster of brain cells deep within the cerebellum to learn how to serve a tennis ball, or line up a hockey shot.

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Published on : 03 Aug 2015

Study sheds light on the causes of cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common cause of physical disability in children. Every year 140 children are diagnosed with cerebral palsy in Quebec.

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Published on : 03 Aug 2015

McGill gets $91.5 mln in CIHR funding

Researchers from McGill University and its hospital-affiliated research institutes have been awarded $91.5 million in grants in the latest round of funding by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Published on : 28 Jul 2015

Practice doesn’t always make perfect

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? New research on the brain’s capacity to learn suggests there’s more to it than the adage that “practise makes perfect.” A music-training study by scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital -The Neuro, at McGill University and colleagues in Germany found evidence to distinguish the parts of the brain that account for individual talent from the parts that are activated through training.

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Published on : 28 Jul 2015