News releases

The hottest point on a gaseous planet near a distant star isn’t where astrophysicists expected it to be – a discovery that challenges scientists’ understanding of the many planets of this type found in solar systems outside our own.

Unlike our familiar planet Jupiter, so-called hot Jupiters circle astonishingly close to their host star -- so close that it typically takes fewer than three days to complete an orbit.  And one hemisphere of these planets always faces its host star, while the other faces permanently out into the dark.

Classified as: hot Jupiter, Dang, Cowan, exoplanet, CoRoT-2b, hot spot, hotspot, Spitzer, NASA, Nature Astronomy, science and technology
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Published on: 22 Jan 2018
By Meaghan Thurston
 
New labs and equipment through the CFI’s Innovation Fund will help six transformative McGill research projects to collaborate, innovate and train the next generation of scientists for the jobs of tomorrow.
 
Classified as: CFI, funding, Government of Quebec, infrastructure
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Published on: 19 Jan 2018

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.

Classified as: science, Mars, Dept. of Natural Resource Sciences, Canadian Space Agency, Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada, science and technology
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Published on: 19 Jan 2018

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.

Classified as: neutron star, merger, gravitational waves, Chandra X-ray Observatory, astrophysics, astronomy, Haggard, Ruan, Nynka, LIGO, Virgo, science and technology, McGill Space Institute
Published on: 18 Jan 2018

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.

Classified as: McGill University, Brett Thombs, jewish general hospital, Lady Davis Institute, depression, health, mental health
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Published on: 18 Jan 2018

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.

Classified as: Alzheimer’s disease, neuronal loss, Salah El Mestikawy, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Stéphanie Daumas, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, McGill University, faculty of medicine
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Published on: 17 Jan 2018

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.

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Published on: 16 Jan 2018

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.

Classified as: Parkinson's, Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, MNI
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Published on: 11 Jan 2018

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.

Classified as: fast radio burst, astrophysical, magnetized, FRB 121102, Kaspi, Tendulkar, Arecibo, Green Bank, CHIME, telescope
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Published on: 10 Jan 2018

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:

Classified as: Quebec Science, discoveries, 2017, Don Sheppard, Brendan Snarr, Kevin Petrecca, Jean-Paul Soucy, Pedro Rosa-Neto, Serge Gauthier, Alexey Kostikov
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Published on: 4 Jan 2018

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.

Classified as: Lady Davis Institute (LDI), jewish general hospital, Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital, osteoporosis, Andrew Karaplis
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Published on: 21 Dec 2017

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.

Classified as: photosynthesis, algae, Fossils, geology, Bangiomorpha, evolution, chloroplast, eukaryote, Timothy Gibson, Galen Halverson
Published on: 20 Dec 2017

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.

Classified as: Alzheimer's disease, brain, AD, Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (MNI)
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Published on: 19 Dec 2017

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.

Classified as: Hanadi Sleiman, chemistry, scaffolds, DNA, University of Vermont, soft robotics, drug delivery, Texas A&M, bioengineering, dna-imprinted polymer
Published on: 19 Dec 2017

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