Faculty of Science

The transition from being sea creatures to living on land, even if it happened over 300 million years ago, seems to have left its traces on the way we keep our balance today.

“It’s a discovery that is likely to be controversial,” says Kathy Cullen, the senior researcher on a paper on the subject that was published recently in Nature Communications. She has been working on this problem for over a decade with her colleague Maurice Chacron who also teaches in McGill’s Department of Physiology.

Classified as: evolution, Faculty of Science, balance, neurons, Kathleen Cullen, Department of Physiology, maurice chacron
Published on: 11 Nov 2016

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.

Classified as: OSS, Faculty of Science, Office for Science and Society
Published on: 15 Mar 2015

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. 

Classified as: environment, Research, invasive species, Anthony Ricciardi, Faculty of Science, great lakes, McGill News, policies
Published on: 29 Jan 2015

To address these questions, Dr. Fabian Leendertz of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin assembled a large international interdisciplinary team consisting of virologists, veterinarians, ecologists, epidemiologists and an anthropologist. One member was Jan Gogarten, a doctoral student in Biology and Vanier graduate scholar at McGill. 

We spoke with Gogarten about the resulting study, published this week in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine, and his role in it.

Classified as: news, Biology, Research, Faculty of Science, Ebola, fabian leendertz, Jan Gogarten, robert koch institute, vanier scholar
Published on: 30 Dec 2014

McGill University alumnus John O'Keefe was named co-winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in medicine, for his contribution to the discovery of cells that constitute the brain’s ‘inner GPS,’ which makes it possible to orient ourselves in space.

Classified as: neuroscience, faculty of medicine, Faculty of Science, John O'Keefe, Nobel prize
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Published on: 6 Oct 2014

Dr. Robin Rogers, one of the world’s most renowned green chemists, will become Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Green Chemistry and Green Chemicals at McGill University. Rogers comes to Canada from The University of Alabama, where he was Robert Ramsay Chair of Chemistry and director of the Center for Green Manufacturing.

Classified as: Green Chemistry, chemistry, Faculty of Science, Canada Excellence Research Chair, Robin Rogers
Published on: 29 Sep 2014

You’ve seen the stories: There’s Lead in Your Lipstick! Pthalates in Your Shampoo! Parabens in Everything!

 

Our cosmetics are awash in toxic chemicals, or so it seems. Are we in imminent danger? Should we throw them all out and go au naturelle? Or slather away in a fool’s paradise, only to develop cancer – or worse, pass on our toxic habits to our children as birth defects? Why are there toxins in our products at all? And if these toxins are so dangerous, why isn’t anything being done?

 

A Scientific Opinion

Classified as: Joe Schwarcz, OSS, Faculty of Science
Published on: 18 Mar 2014

Dr. Oz has absolutely gone haywire. In pushing the "alkaline" diet he takes a piece of kidney and pours acid on it to show how it disintegrates and infers this is happening in the body. This is insane. The pH of the blood is maintained at about 7.35 no matter what the diet. Oz has lost all perspective and is falling deeper and deeper into the abyss of quackery.

Classified as: Joe Schwarcz, Faculty of Science, Office for Science and Society
Published on: 27 Jan 2014

The wizardry of Dr. Oz

The surgeon and TV celebrity has succeeded in winning fans and influencing public health debates - which troubles some experts.

Mehmet Oz's followers believe he is a trustworthy, serious-minded (and hot) physician.

His equally fervent flock of critics say he is a fad-foisting, ratings-grubbing (and smart) TV celebrity.

In the 10 years since Oprah dubbed him "America's Doctor," the 53-year-old Oz has shown he is comfortable in both roles.

Classified as: Joe Schwarcz, Faculty of Science, Office for Science and Society
Published on: 26 Jan 2014

What is it like to teach a class of more than 20,000 students? I don’t know, but I’m about to find out. Colleagues David Harpp and Ariel Fenster and I have been selected to offer McGill’s first “massive open online course,” known in the trade as a MOOC.

Classified as: Joe Schwarcz, OSS, Faculty of Science, Office for Science and Society, MOOC
Published on: 17 Jan 2014

Many strains of E.coli are necessary for human digestion, but O157:H7 can be deadly.

 

To view the video, click here 

Classified as: Joe Schwarcz, OSS, Faculty of Science, CTV
Published on: 16 Jan 2014



We are pleased to announce that we now have an “App” both for Apple and Android devices so that the McGill Office for Science and Society’s nifty and sometimes quirky science can always be at your fingertips. The Apps are free and can be downloaded here:

 

For Apple devices, download the app at:  https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/office-for-science-society/id779488353?mt=8

  

Classified as: Faculty of Science, Office for Science and Society
Published on: 6 Jan 2014

SKEPTICAL INQUIRER: Miracles are pretty rare events. Except on television’s Dr. Oz Show, where they appear with astonishing frequency. Oz of course doesn’t claim to raise the dead or part the Red Sea, but he does raise people’s hopes of parting with their flab. And he’s certainly not shy about flinging the word miracle about. But it seems miracles fade as quickly as they appear.

Classified as: Joe Schwarcz, Faculty of Science, Office for Science and Society
Published on: 29 Dec 2013

Information is the key to life. We want to know what to eat, how to protect our environment, what risks to avoid and what to do if illness strikes. But when it comes to acquiring information, it is the best of times and the worst of times. It is the age of wisdom, it is the age of foolishness. Newspapers, television, radio and of course the Internet bombard us with information at an unprecedented rate, but when it comes to scientific issues the quality of the information is variable.

Classified as: Faculty of Science, Office for Science and Society, Michael Specter
Published on: 17 Oct 2013