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Until now scientists have believed that the variations in traits such as our height, skin colour, tendency to gain weight or not, intelligence, tendency to develop certain diseases, etc., all of them traits that exist along a continuum, were a result of both genetic and environmental factors. But they didn’t know how exactly these things worked together. By studying ants, McGill researchers have identified a key mechanism by which environmental (or epigenetic) factors influence the expression of all of these traits, (along with many more).
McGill researchers have discovered, for the first time, the importance of a key epigenetic regulator in the development of the hippocampus, a part of the brain associated with learning, memory and neural stem cells. Epigenetic regulators change the way specific genes function without altering their DNA sequence. By working with mutant mice as models, the research team, led by Prof. Xiang-Jiao Yang, of McGill’s Goodman Cancer Center & Department of Medicine, McGill University Health Center, was able to link the importance of a specific epigenetic regulator known as BRPF1 to the healthy development of a region in the hippocampus called the dentate gyrus.
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.
Two McGill University projects have received grants valued at $500,000 each from the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program.
The Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation, McGill University, the Université de Montréal and the Fondation du Dr Julien will establish two chairs in social pediatrics in the community, to be based in the Montreal neighbourhood of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. In a Canadian first, researchers will conduct a long-term study on social pediatrics in the community. This clinical practice has a proven track record, thanks to its founder, Dr. Gilles Julien, who has been practicing social pediatrics in disadvantaged neighbourhoods for nearly 30 years.
Montreal Neurological Institute scientists discover a new mechanism driving spread of cancer
A protein commonly found in human cells could be an important switch that activates cancer cell metastasis, according to a new study by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital - The Neuro at McGill University and the MUHC. The finding focuses attention on a biological mechanism that until now was largely overlooked. The discovery of the protein’s effect significantly expands our understanding of epithelial cancers such as breast and lung cancer.
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.