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Neutron-star merger yields new puzzle for astrophysicists

The afterglow from the distant neutron-star merger detected last August has continued to brighten – much to the surprise of astrophysicists studying the aftermath of the massive collision that took place about 138 million light years away and sent gravitational waves rippling through the universe.

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Published: 18 Jan 2018

Flawed research methods exaggerate the prevalence of depression

An over-reliance on self-report screening questionnaires, wherein patients essentially define their own condition, in place of diagnostic interviews conducted by a health care professional, has resulted in over-estimation of the prevalence of people with depression in many research studies – often by a factor of two to three times. This is according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal....

Published: 18 Jan 2018

Alzheimer’s disease: neuronal loss very limited

Frequently encountered in the elderly, Alzheimer’s is considered a neurodegenerative disease, which means that it is accompanied by a significant, progressive loss of neurons and their nerve endings, or synapses. A joint French and Canadian study published in Scientific Reports now challenges this view.

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Published: 17 Jan 2018

Being bilingual may help autistic children

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) often have a hard time switching gears from one task to another. But being bilingual may actually make it a bit easier for them to do so, according to a new study which was recently published in Child Development.

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Published: 16 Jan 2018

Progression of Parkinson’s disease follows brain connectivity

A study by a group of researchers including those from The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University has tested the theory that brain degeneration in Parkinson’s disease (PD) originates in subcortical regions and spreads along neural networks to the cerebral cortex....

Published: 11 Jan 2018

A repeating fast radio burst from an extreme environment

New detections of radio waves from a repeating fast radio burst have revealed an astonishingly potent magnetic field in the source’s environment, indicating that it is situated near a massive black hole or within a nebula of unprecedented power.

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Published: 10 Jan 2018

McGill researchers contribute to three of 10 ‘discoveries of year’ selected by Quebec Science for 2017

Québec Science magazine has selected its 10 Discoveries of the Year for 2017, including three involving McGill researchers. The annual list has highlighted top scientific research from across Quebec for the past 25 years, and McGill has been cited more than any other institution during that quarter-century.

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Published: 4 Jan 2018

Clinical trial of novel approach to treating osteoporosis represents “significant breakthrough,” according to clinician-scientist at the Lady Davis Institute

A regimen of a novel bone anabolic medication (which builds bone mass) followed by an antiresorptive agent (which maintains bone mass) has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of fracture among post-menopausal women with severe osteoporosis, according to results of a clinical trial published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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Published: 21 Dec 2017

Origins of photosynthesis in plants dated to 1.25 billion years ago

The world’s oldest algae fossils are a billion years old, according to a new analysis by earth scientists at McGill University. Based on this finding, the researchers also estimate that the basis for photosynthesis in today’s plants was set in place 1.25 billion years ago.

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Published: 20 Dec 2017

A non-invasive method to detect Alzheimer’s disease

New research has drawn a link between changes in the brain’s anatomy and biomarkers that are known to appear at the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), findings that could one day provide a sensitive but non-invasive test for AD before cognitive symptoms appear.

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Published: 19 Dec 2017

Using DNA strands to design new polymer materials

McGill University researchers have chemically imprinted polymer particles with DNA strands – a technique that could lead to new materials for applications ranging from biomedicine to the promising field of “soft robotics.”

In a study published in Nature Chemistry, the researchers describe a method to create asymmetrical polymer particles that bind together in a spatially defined manner, the way that atoms come together to make molecules.

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Published: 19 Dec 2017

Does Chagas disease present a health risk to Canadians?

Believe it or not, a tropical blood parasite native to Latin America could be harmful to Canadians. Infectious diseases like malaria or Zika may have dominated recent headlines but Chagas – the “Kissing Bug” disease – is in the spotlight following the publication of a new case study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ)....

Published: 14 Dec 2017

American cities with large Hispanic populations are less likely to police the police

How individual police forces treat those that they suspect of being illegal immigrants varies greatly from one city to the next in the U.S. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, the police department has a policy that states clearly, “Officers shall not stop, question, detain or arrest any person on the ground that they may be undocumented and deportable foreign nationals.” But this is unusual. Local police departments across the U.S....

Published: 14 Dec 2017

Borrowing a leaf from biology to preserve threatened languages

One of the world’s 7,000 languages vanishes every other week, and half – including scores of indigenous North American languages -- might not survive the 21st century, experts say. To preserve as much linguistic diversity as possible in the face of this threat, McGill University scientists are proposing to borrow a leaf from conservation biology.

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Published: 13 Dec 2017

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