More from McGill In The Headlines


QUARTZ | The scientists searching for alien life aren’t very popular in science

In October 2017, a telescope operated by the University of Hawaii picked up a strange cigar-shaped object (artist rendering below), which had slingshotted past the sun at a more-than-brisk top speed of 196,000 miles per hour. Scientists at the university dubbed it ‘Oumuamua, Hawaiian for scout, and at first labeled it an asteroid, then a comet, but agreed that it came from another solar system.

Published: 16 Jul 2019

NEWSCIENTIST | There aren’t enough space explosions to explain strange radio bursts

Many of the brightest, weirdest phenomena in space come from cataclysmic events like explosions or collisions. But many fast radio bursts (FRBs), one of the most mysterious space signals we’ve seen, must not. That might mean that they are all part of a class of FRB that we previously thought might be rare.

Published: 16 Jul 2019

CBC | What at-home DNA tests can tell about you — and what they can't

At-home DNA testing kits have become a mainstream product for offering a look into a user's genetic heritage and even health pre-dispositions. 

While they can offer insight into one's lineage, the results are often an approximation of genetics combined with results from their database of customers.

Published: 16 Jul 2019

THE NEW YORK TIMES | Even Moderate Air Pollution May Lead to Lung Disease

A new study led by Dany Doiron, a research associate at the McGill University Health Center found that even moderate levels of air pollution can cause lung function impairment that rivals the damage caused by smoking. Researchers studied 303,887 British men and women, with data on lung health gathered by physical examination and air pollution statistics geographically coded to the participants’ home addresses. 

Published: 11 Jul 2019

MONTREAL GAZETTE | The link between alcohol and breast cancer

Some people see alcohol as something that is good for your health, if you consume it in moderate doses. While almost everyone knows alcohol can cause birth defects if you drink while pregnant or will ruin your liver if you drink excessively over many years, people tend to believe that low levels of alcohol consumption are safe, if not beneficial.

Published: 10 Jul 2019

CBC | Bombardier to lay off hundreds of workers at Thunder Bay, Ont., plant

Bombardier plans to cut several hundred jobs at its Thunder Bay, Ont., facility, according to federal and provincial government sources. 

Published: 10 Jul 2019

THE CONVERSATION | To cure brain diseases, neuroscientists must collaborate: That’s why I’m giving my data away

Thomas Durcan, professor at the Montréal Neurological Institute of McGill University is growing stem cells in a dish to develop better treatments for Parkinson’s disease.

Published: 8 Jul 2019

NEWSY | Memories shape brain development⏤ forgetting regulates that process

We get bombarded with endless information, so the brain has to be selective, tossing out a memory unless it's told, "This one's important, keep it!" To be clear, we're not talking about disease or injury or age — just a normally functioning organ that prefers tidiness. "Without forgetting, we would have no memory at all" is the way assistant professor in psychology Oliver Hardt of McGill University puts it. It comes down to clutter.&nbs

Published: 4 Jul 2019

CBC | How Montreal is preparing for the 'scooter-pocalypse'

The sudden appearance of e-scooters in a city is a phenomenon McGill University geography Prof. Grant McKenzie half-jokingly refers to as the "scooter-pocalypse." McKenzie says Montrealers tend to like new technology and green policies, but he suspects the early days of the e-scooter era won't be easy.

Published: 4 Jul 2019

GLOBAL NEWS | Commentary: Why doctors argue ‘carbon pricing’ can ‘cure’ climate change

According to McGill's Christopher Ragan, for doctors across Canada, the evidence at the bedside is increasingly hard to ignore: climate change poses a serious health risk.

Published: 2 Jul 2019

FINANCIAL POST | Cracks in the sidewalk: How will experimental city-building techniques fare in the real world?

Experts are skeptical about how all the experimental city-building techniques will fare in the real world, and they wonder what the consequences will be if one or more of the new technologies doesn’t work as intended. Multiple experts in urbanism across North America who spoke to the Financial Post all essentially said the same thing: They’re curious to see how the Sidewalk Toronto project plays out, but they’d be fighting the idea if it were happening in their backyard, because it gives

Published: 2 Jul 2019

PURPLE MUSEUM | The benefits of boredom

Daniel Levitin, a behavioral neuroscientist at McGill University, said that when people try to pay attention, they tend to pay attention to several different things at once. These interrupted thought processes can have a tangible (and negative) neurological effect on the brain.

Published: 2 Jul 2019

MONTREAL GAZETTE | Hope for people with fibromyalgia from Montreal-based researchers

A Montreal-based research team has shown that the composition of the microbiome, the complex mixture of microorganisms that populate our gastrointestinal tract, is altered in people with fibromyalgia. Their paper was published online this month in the journal Pain and will appear in print.

Published: 26 Jun 2019

WIRED | How a PTSD expert developed a viable cure for heartbreak

Alain Brunet, a psychologist who has studied PTSD for decades, has developed a therapy to heal what he calls “romantic betrayal”.

Published: 26 Jun 2019

NATURE | Build Science in Africa

Africa’s population is projected to nearly quadruple over the next century1. And that is following a staggering increase over just seven decades — from 200 million people in 1950 to 1.25 billion in 20182. 

Published: 26 Jun 2019