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Should I Stay or Should I Go? Brain drain versus promoting African development

Since the 1960s, a number of programs have enabled promising students from developing countries to attend institutions of higher education in the global North with the goal of equipping them to contribute more effectively to development in their own countries. But, how do African scholarship recipients today understand their potential contributions to the development of their home societies? Does this differ among students who study in their home countries, in other African countries, or in the global North?

Published: 11 Mar 2015

Honey, I shrunk the ants: how environment controls size

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).  

Published: 11 Mar 2015

Brain development controlled by epigenetic factor

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.

Published: 10 Mar 2015

Most information in drug development is lost

Lots of potentially useful medical information is getting lost. McGill researchers discovered this when they looked into the lack of reporting of information from “stalled drug” trials in cancer, cardiovascular and neurological diseases.

 

Published: 9 Mar 2015

The science of beaks

Published: 6 Mar 2015

Popular antioxidant likely ineffective, study finds

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.

Published: 6 Mar 2015

$1 million for two McGill projects

Two McGill University projects have received grants valued at $500,000 each from the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program.

Published: 2 Mar 2015

Chairs in social pediatrics to be established

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.

Published: 26 Feb 2015

‘Blue-green algae’ proliferating in lakes

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.

Published: 26 Feb 2015

Communicating emotions

Published: 24 Feb 2015

Building tailor-made DNA nanotubes step by step

Researchers at McGill University have developed a new, low-cost method to build DNA nanotubes block by block – a breakthrough that could help pave the way for scaffolds made from DNA strands to be used in applications such as optical and electronic devices or smart drug-delivery systems.

Published: 23 Feb 2015

Epigenetic study tabs genes linked to allergies, asthma

Researchers from Canada, the UK, Sweden and the US have discovered more than 30 genes that strongly affect an antibody involved in allergies and asthma. Some of the genes could provide targets for drugs to treat those conditions, according to the international team’s study, published online in Nature on Feb. 18.

Published: 18 Feb 2015