Faculty of Science news
McGill University's Freaky Fridays program, a series of science lectures followed by film screenings, is here to demystify science, dispel some of its more pervasive myths, and keep us terrified of an approaching scientific apocalypse. Started in 2006, the now-monthly series is organized by Ingrid Birker, McGill's science outreach co-ordinator.
Sara is a Triceratopsian dinosaur that lived in Eastend, southern Saskatchewan, just over 65 million years ago. She was probably a teenager when she died but if she had lived to adulthood she would have weighed 10 tonnes. Excavated by the McGill vertebrate paleontology field course led by Dr. Hans Larsson, and then reconstructed in the Redpath Museum, Sara's skull measures close to 5 metres.
An opinion piece by Peter G. Brown of McGill and Geoffrey Garver: "Sticking with the economic model that is driving us toward ecological catastrophe will eventually kill us."
Holiday music is inescapable. McGill professor Daniel J. Levitin in the Wall St. Journal explains the ancient drive to listen to familiar songs, the psychological effects of music and why 'Little Drummer Boy' is so annoying.
C. elegans, has always been a favourite of scientists. One of its fascinating tricks is that if times are tough, it can wait them out by entering a life-extending state called dauer. Dr Richard Roy, a professor of biology at McGill thinks it could have interesting implications for all sorts of issues in humans, including why we don't lose weight when we diet.
In The Gazette, McGill research fellow James D. Ford and Assistant Prof. Lea Berrang-Ford, write (along with U of Guelph's Tristan Pierce): "The climate crisis has not gone away and even as the global economy slows down, emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise fast. So fast that many scientists have identified the next few years as critical if we are to prevent dangerous climate change."
On Tuesday evening Henry Gustav Molaison — known worldwide only as HM, to protect his privacy — died of respiratory failure at a nursing home in Windsor Locks, Conn. HM was the famous patient of McGill neuroscientist Brenda Milner. In the 1950s, he had epilepsy surgery and could not form new memories but he could learn new tasks. Her work with him delineated memory formation.
Did you miss attending the Trottier Symposium in person? No problem, check out the webcast! The webcast is now available in both English (original version) and French (simultaneous translation).
Until November 23, 2008, in association with Canal Savoir and Canal U, select Mini-Science 2008 lectures are being telecast in France during the Fête de la science 2008 on the theme of Ciel et Terre (Sky and Earth).