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2013 in Quebec countdown to a reckoning

(Antonia Maioni, Associate professor of political science at McGill University):  Most of North America counts down to New Year's through images from Times Square in New York. For most Quebeckers, however, the holiday tradition is an annual Bye-Bye comedy revue. From Bye-bye Jean Charest to Bonjour Charbonneau commission, 2012 served up plenty of political fodder. The new year in Quebec promises to be just as interesting. Here are five things to watch for.

Published: 10 Jan 2013

Sorry Mr. Sinatra, I have had quite few regrets in 2012

(Desautels' Karl Moore): No regrets, none at all. Over the last couple of years I have read a number of retiring CEOs asked by various newspapers whether they have had any regrets, all that I read said they had no regrets.  My initial reaction was to roll my eyes; I found this a bit much because in my career, I have and have had many regrets.

Read more at Forbes

Published: 10 Jan 2013

Deer antlers could have athletes skating on thin ice

(Joe Schwarcz): It was back in 1961 that I had dinner with the Montreal Canadiens. Well, not exactly with them. But I did eat in the old Texan restaurant across the street from the hallowed Forum, at the same time that my boyhood idols, “Boom Boom” Geoffrion, Jean Béliveau, Dickie Moore, Bill Hicke (my favourite), Jacques Plante and the rest of that legendary team were digging into their pregame meal. And I vividly remember what they were digging into. Steak! That was standard fare for athletes at the time. The more protein, the better the prospects for butt kicking.

Published: 10 Jan 2013

Why does Canada have a maple syrup cartel?

It may seem bizarre that Canada has a maple syrup cartel at all. But think of it this way: Quebec, which produces about 77% of the world’s maple syrup, is the Saudi Arabia of the sweet, sticky stuff, and the FPAQ is its OPEC. The stated goal of the cartel, in this case, is keeping prices relatively stable. The problem with maple syrup is that the natural supply of it varies dramatically from year to year. “It’s highly dependent on the weather,” explains Pascal Theriault, an agricultural economist at the McGill University in Montreal.

Published: 10 Jan 2013

Don' sweat the holiday sugar high - it's a myth

Parents of hyped-up, candy-fuelled kids, brace yourselves: There is no such thing as a sugar high... Hyperactive behaviour is more likely attributable to excitement around the activities that typically come with extra treats – such as holidays and birthdays, says Katherine Gray-Donald, an associate professor of dietetics and nutrition at McGill University, and president of the Canadian Nutrition Society.

Published: 10 Jan 2013

Obama has long work list to tackle when he returns

It's hardly a secret that Barack Obama, like every president no doubt, muses about his ultimate legacy and spot in the presidential pantheon. He approaches his second term confronting tough and shifting challenges that will play big roles in shaping the rest of his presidency and his eventual place in history… "Americans are yearning for leadership," said Gil Troy, a presidential scholar at McGill University.

Published: 10 Jan 2013

Victorian zoological map redrawn

With a new planet-wide analysis of vertebrate life, an international team has used 21st century science to update an iconic 1876 map of Earth’s zoological regions. By incorporating data on 21,037 species of mammals, birds and amphibians, Jean-Philippe Lessard, now at McGill University in Montreal, and his colleagues have revised a zoological map created by Alfred Russel Wallace, an oft-overlooked cofounder of the theory of evolution. Wallace’s map divided Earth’s landmasses into six major regions, each with its own distinctive blend of vertebrates.

Published: 10 Jan 2013

McGill professor up for three Grammy Awards

The Schulich School of Music has talented graduates and talented professors. Richard King is up for his 10, 11 and 12th Grammy Award. Christine Long reports.

Read more at CTV News

Published: 10 Jan 2013

Neuroscience explains why wall street needs more women

(Desautels' Karl Moore): "Hormones can affect traders’ views.  Cambridge’s John Coates believes that the financial crisis was created, to some degree, by people’s body chemistry.  Would having more women on  Wall Street and in the City help?  Let’s listen to John…"

Read more at Forbes

Published: 10 Jan 2013

Our time to lead/ the DNA dilemma

n search of genomic incentives Medical innovation involves a peculiar mix of seemingly contradictory motivations. We need to strike the right balance, says Jonathan Kimmelman.

Published: 10 Jan 2013

Warning issued over attention-deficit drugs

Doctors should think twice about prescribing drugs like Ritalin and Adderall used to treat attention deficit disorder to healthy individuals seeking to boost their brain power, says an article in this weeks edition of the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The authors say prescription stimulants are used by some people for cognitive enhancement in the absence of any medical need.

Published: 10 Jan 2013

TB cattle vaccine takes 'small step forward'

Scientists have announced a small but important step in the development of an effective cattle vaccine to prevent bovine tuberculosis. They have identified a "biomarker" using sophisticated molecular technology that allows them to predict vaccine efficacy. David Williams, chairman of the Badger Trust, which strongly supports vaccination of both cattle and badgers, said: "We welcome this refinement in laboratory technique, part of the progress towards the long-awaited goal of an effective cattle vaccine.

Published: 8 Jan 2013

China the subtle superpower

Tom Velk and Olivia Gong say while China shows all the usual traits of a conventional great power, the West needs to accept that the way it wields its influence is also very different. [Tom Velk is a professor of economics and director of the North American Studies program at McGill University. Olivia Gong is a finance student and research assistant at McGill].

Read more at the South China Morning Post

Published: 26 Nov 2012

Women at business school - Nancy Adler

The artist and professor advises women to look for ways in which being female is an advantage in their industry.

Read more at Financial Times

Published: 26 Nov 2012

Bloodsuckers: The storied medical history of leeches

(Chemistry professor Joe Schwarcz): What did the jockey who never lost a race whisper into the horse's ear? Roses are red violets are blue Horses that lose are made into glue! OK, so it's a groaner. But until the advent of polyvinyl acetate (PVA) and other synthetic glues in the 20th century, the destiny of aging horses was indeed the glue factory. The collagen extracted from their hides, connective tissues and hoofs made for an ideal wood adhesive. Our word "collagen," for the group of proteins found in these tissues, actually derives from the Greek "kolla" for "glue."

Published: 26 Nov 2012