science

New research by McGill University biologists shows that milder winters have led to physical alterations in two species of mice in southern Quebec in the past 50 years – providing a textbook example of the consequences of climate change for small mammals.

The findings also reveal a stark reversal in the proportions of the two mice populations present in the area, adding to evidence that warming temperatures are driving wildlife north.  

Classified as: climate change, mice, mild winters, mouse, Quebec, Biology, Virginie Millien, Department of Biology, science, faculty, staff, External, biodiversity, Gault Nature Reserve
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Published on: 27 Nov 2017

Can mindfulness training help overweight people shed pounds and keep them off?  McGill University researchers surveyed the growing body of studies investigating that question, and came away encouraged.

Kimberly Carrière, Bärbel Knäuper and Bassam Khoury examined 19 studies conducted over the past decade. Mindfulness interventions in these studies involved either formal meditation, informal mindfulness strategies that focused on eating activity, or some combination of these two approaches.

The researchers found that:

Classified as: Mindfulness, Weight loss, diet, meditation, health, science, faculty, staff, students, External, health and lifestyle
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Published on: 23 Nov 2017

Early flowering, early fruiting: Anecdotal evidence of climate change is popping up as quickly as spring crocuses, but is it coincidence or confirmation that plants’ timing is shifting in response to warming temperatures?

Classified as: climate change, Plants, statistics, Jonathan Davies, Department of Biology, science, faculty, External, staff, students
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Published on: 6 Nov 2017

By Chris Chipello

McGill University researchers have discovered a cellular mechanism that may contribute to the breakdown of communication between neurons in Alzheimer’s disease.

Classified as: Alzheimer's, Alzheimer's disease (AD), Alzheimer’s research, neuron, brain tissue, faculty of medicine, science, medicine, staff, faculty, students, External
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Published on: 13 Oct 2017

By Shawn Hayward

Whether it is dancing or just tapping one foot to the beat, we all experience how auditory signals like music can induce movement. Now new research suggests that motor signals in the brain actually sharpen sound perception, and this effect is increased when we move in rhythm with the sound.

Classified as: auditory response, Sound, Motor signals, Sound perception, MNI, Montreal Neurological Institute & Hospital, science, External, staff, students, faculty
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Published on: 6 Oct 2017

Muscle malfunctions may be as simple as a slight strain after exercise or as serious as heart failure and muscular dystrophy. A new technique developed at McGill now makes it possible to look much more closely at how sarcomeres, the basic building blocks within all skeletal and cardiac muscles, work together. It’s a discovery that should advance research into a wide range of muscle malfunctions.

Talk about finicky work

Classified as: muscle, sarcomeres, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, dilson rassier, science, staff, faculty, Student
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Published on: 23 Aug 2017

Too much fear can be dangerous for species’ survival. In fact, fear alone, even in the absence of a live predator, can lead to species’ extinction if the population size is small enough suggests a recent study from McGill and Guelph universities. To read: “How fear alone can cause animal extinction”

Classified as: Animal extinction, Fear, Animal behaviour, External, staff, faculty, science, food and sustainability
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Published on: 24 Jul 2017

Before they have the wing span to actually permit them to fly, young guillemots (also known as murres) leap hundreds of metres off towering cliffs and flutter down towards the sea, guided by their fathers. Scientists have long wondered why these tiny chicks make this remarkable leap, hoping to avoid the rocks below them, in what seems an unlikely survival strategy for a species.

Classified as: science, Department of Natural Resource Sciences, birds, Kylie Elliot, Survival, guillemot, murre
Published on: 9 Mar 2017

Does the biological clock in cancer cells influence tumour growth? Yes, according to a study conducted by Nicolas Cermakian, a professor in McGill University’s Department of Psychiatry.

Published in the journal BMC Biology, these results show for the first time that directly targeting the biological clock in a cancerous tumour has an impact on its development.

Classified as: science, Cancer, cancer cells, health and lifestyle, Nicolas Cermakian, McGill Department of Psychiatry, biological clock
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Published on: 16 Feb 2017

One of the big mysteries in the scientific world is how the ice sheets of Antarctica formed so rapidly about 34 million years ago, at the boundary between the Eocene and Oligocene epochs.

There are 2 competing theories:

The first explanation is based on global climate change: Scientists have shown that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels declined steadily since the beginning of the Cenozoic Era, 66 million years ago. Once CO2 dropped below a critical threshold, cooler global temperatures allowed the ice sheets of Antarctica to form.

Classified as: science, climate change, oceans, External, Antarctic, antarctica, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Galen Halverson
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Published on: 31 Jan 2017

Despite ongoing global pollution, researchers have discovered that levels of mercury in seabirds off the coast of B.C. have remained relatively stable over the past 50 years. Surprisingly, mercury in seabirds is now actually slightly lower. This might appear to be good news, but unfortunately it is due to a decline in fish stocks near the surface which has forced seabirds to change their diet, and in the process to feed in areas low in bacteria (known as sulfate-reducing bacteria) which act to control the levels of mercury in their bodies.

Classified as: environment, science, Kyle Elliott, Dept. of Natural Resource Sciences, food and sustainability, polution
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Published on: 16 Dec 2016

Researchers have linked a debilitating neurological disease in children to mutations in a gene that regulates neuronal development through control of protein movement within neuronal cells. 

Classified as: staff, science, neurological disease, genes, External, Student, Peter McPherson, Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro)
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Published on: 28 Nov 2016

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