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Another step forward for green chemistry

A tiny bit of silver, combined with water and air, can convert aldehydes into acids efficiently -- instead of the classical methods using stoichiometric amounts of expensive or toxic metal oxidants, according to a new study by McGill University researchers.

Published on : 27 Mar 2015

Bash brothers of chemistry discover unusual material

The research group of Prof. Tomislav Friščić in McGill’s Department of Chemistry has made a name for itself in the little-known, but growing field of “mechanochemistry,” in which chemical transformations are produced by milling, grinding or shearing solid-state ingredients – brute force, in other words, rather than fancy liquid agents. “Your coffee maker grinds things,” and grinding molecules in the lab involves much the same principle, Friščić notes. Using mechanical force also has the significant advantage of avoiding the use of environmentally harmful bulk solvents.

Published on : 23 Mar 2015

The Food Babe Decoded

Vani Hari, who goes by the alias “The Food Babe” has become a real social phenomenon. She blogs, appears on TV and has just come out with a book that quickly made it to the New York Times best seller list. She has lots of followers and lots of critics, including myself. I don’t disagree with her goal of improving people’s eating habits. I just disagree with the methods used. Irrational fear-mongering is not the way to go. "There is just no acceptable level of any chemical to ingest, ever," she says.

Published on : 15 Mar 2015

Acting on climate change: Solutions from scholars

Professor Catherine Potvin, a Canada Research Chair in Climate Change Mitigation and Tropical Forests, has convened colleagues from 30 Canadian universities to join her in a collective initiative called Sustainable Canada Dialogues. The resulting group, that mobilizes over 60 researchers from every province, has built a consensus around a plan of sustainability solutions to help Canada successfully achieve transition to a low-carbon society. Potvin spoke with the McGill Reporter about what government officials and ordinary citizens can do to mitigate climate change.

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Published on : 12 Mar 2015

Popular antioxidant likely ineffective, study finds

The popular dietary supplement ubiquinone, also known as Coenzyme Q10, is widely believed to function as an antioxidant, protecting cells against damage from free radicals. But a new study by scientists at McGill University finds that ubiquinone is not a crucial antioxidant -- and that consuming it is unlikely to provide any benefit.

Published on : 06 Mar 2015

‘Blue-green algae’ proliferating in lakes

The organisms commonly known as blue-green algae have proliferated much more rapidly than other algae in lakes across North America and Europe over the past two centuries – and in many cases the rate of increase has sharply accelerated since the mid-20th century, according to an international team of researchers led by scientists at McGill University.

Published on : 26 Feb 2015

Building tailor-made DNA nanotubes step by step

Researchers at McGill University have developed a new, low-cost method to build DNA nanotubes block by block – a breakthrough that could help pave the way for scaffolds made from DNA strands to be used in applications such as optical and electronic devices or smart drug-delivery systems.

Published on : 23 Feb 2015

Can you judge a man by his fingers?

Maybe you should take a good look at your partner’s fingers before putting a ring on one. Men with short index fingers and long ring fingers are on average nicer towards women, and this unexpected phenomenon stems from the hormones these men have been exposed to in their mother’s womb, according to a new study by researchers at McGill University. The findings might help explain why these men tend to have more children.

Published on : 18 Feb 2015

Mathematica software now free for students too

Mathematica, from Wolfram Research, is a powerful computational software used for mathematical modeling and data visualization.  McGill IT Services has been providing Mathematica to faculty and staff, and in computer labs across the University for the past few years.  Now it is also available to students via the McGill Software site (www.mcgill.ca/software).

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Published on : 09 Feb 2015

Mathematica software now Free for Students

Mathematica, from Wolfram Research, is a powerful computational software used for mathematical modeling and data visualization.  McGill IT Services has been providing Mathematica to Faculty & Staff, and in computer labs across the University for the past few years.  Now it is also available to students via the McGill Software site (www.mcgill.ca/software).

Published on : 09 Feb 2015

Pick a card, any card

Magicians have astonished audiences for centuries by subtly, yet powerfully, influencing their decisions. But there has been little systematic study of the psychological factors that make magic tricks work.

Published on : 09 Feb 2015

Invasive Species in the Great Lakes by 2063

The Great Lakes have been invaded by more non-native species than any other freshwater ecosystem in the world. In spite of increasing efforts to stem the tide of invasion threats, the lakes remain vulnerable, according to scientists from McGill University and colleagues in Canada and the United States. 

Published on : 29 Jan 2015

MS Office 365 ProPlus now available for faculty, staff, and students

McGill faculty and staff members now have FREE access to Office 365 ProPlus on personal devices, including computers (PCs and Macs),  tablets (iPad and Windows), and smartphones (iPhone, Android, and Windows). This includes the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other Office apps. For faculty and staff, this service replaces the Office portion of the Microsoft Work at Home program. Students already (and still!) have free access to Office 365 ProPlus.

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Published on : 23 Jan 2015

Current nutrition labeling is hard to digest

Current government-mandated nutrition labeling is ineffective in improving nutrition, but there is a better system available, according to a study by McGill University researchers published in the December issue of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Published on : 20 Jan 2015