News releases

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
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
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
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)
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

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.

Classified as: McGill University Health Centre, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), health and lifestyle
Published on: 14 Dec 2017

How individual police forces treat those that they suspect of being illegal immigrants varies greatly from one city to the next in the U.S. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, the police department has a policy that states clearly, “Officers shall not stop, question, detain or arrest any person on the ground that they may be undocumented and deportable foreign nationals.” But this is unusual. Local police departments across the U.S. have become increasingly involved in enforcing federal immigration laws since the mid-1990s.

Classified as: Police, US, attitudes towards immigrants, hispanic, american cities, society and culture
Published on: 14 Dec 2017

One of the world’s 7,000 languages vanishes every other week, and half – including scores of indigenous North American languages -- might not survive the 21st century, experts say. To preserve as much linguistic diversity as possible in the face of this threat, McGill University scientists are proposing to borrow a leaf from conservation biology.

Classified as: Languages, threatened, biodiversity, conservation, Biology, preservation, species, Jonathan Davies, Max Farrell, evolutionary tree, language tree, linguistic
Published on: 13 Dec 2017



This 2018 Winter semester, CIRM’s Professor of Practice of the McConnell Foundation, Gorka Espiau, will be teaching a seminar – URBP 542 New Social Innovation Dynamicsat the School of Urban Planning of McGill University.

The one credit seminar will be held January 16th, 18th, 22nd and 23rd 2018, from 6:05 to 8:55 p.m.:


January 16th    Introduction to Social Innovation: Theory and Practice.

Classified as: Gorka Espiau, CIRM, Professor of practice, McConnell Foundation, seminar, winter, 2018, innovation, Social Innovation, social transformation, Teaching, inscription, School of Urban Planning, McGill
Published on: 11 Dec 2017

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has shown that musical training helps people hear speech syllables in loud environments, and has shown how this happens. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers Yi Du and Robert Zatorre monitored brain function as musicians and non-musicians listened to speech fragments and varying background noise levels.

Classified as: music, language, noise, Dr. Robert Zatorre, External, staff, faculty
Published on: 11 Dec 2017

A clinical trial almost ten years in the making has revealed that risky, but powerful, clot busting drugs and medical devices do not improve outcomes for patients experiencing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), nor do they prevent the development of post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) when compared with conventional blood thinning medications. The results of the Acute Venous Thrombosis: Thrombus Removal with Adjunctive Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis (ATTRACT) study are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Published on: 8 Dec 2017

By Jennifer Bracewell

Published on: 7 Dec 2017

For the past ten years, the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University and the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) in Washington, D.C. have come together for the annual Holiday Lottery Campaign, a corporate social responsibility program designed to help lotteries make adults aware of the risks of giving lottery products as holiday gifts to minors.

Classified as: gambling
Published on: 5 Dec 2017