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UK10K genome project examines rare variants, disease

The largest population genome sequencing effort to date is published today in Nature. Based on data collected by the UK10K project, the study was designed to explore the contribution of rare genetic variants to human disease and its impact on risk factors. Rare genetic variants are changes in DNA that are carried only by relatively few people in a population.

Published: 15 Sep 2015

Breakthrough in fight against muscle wasting diseases

It is estimated that half of all cancer patients suffer from a muscle wasting syndrome called cachexia. Cancer cachexia impairs quality of life and response to therapy, which increases morbidity and mortality of cancer patients. Currently, there is no approved treatment for muscle wasting but a new study from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and University of Alberta could be a game changer for patients, improving both quality of life and longevity. The research team discovered a new gene involved in muscle wasting that could be a good target for drug development.

Published: 15 Sep 2015

NASA Telescopes Find Galaxy Cluster with Vibrant Heart

"Usually, the stars at the centers of galaxy clusters are old and dead, essentially fossils," said Tracy Webb of McGill University, Montreal, Canada, lead author of a new paper on the findings accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. "But we think the giant galaxy at the center of this cluster is furiously making new stars after merging with a smaller galaxy."

Published: 10 Sep 2015

Why aren’t there more lions?

Published: 3 Sep 2015

Choosing to end it all

Not even close to every person who faces challenges or lives with severe depression commits suicide. Some people are more vulnerable than others.

Published: 27 Aug 2015

Association between low vitamin D and MS

Low levels of vitamin D significantly increase the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study led by Dr. Brent Richards of the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital, and published in PLOS Medicine. This finding, the result of a sophisticated Mendelian randomization analysis, confirms a long-standing hypothesis that low vitamin D is strongly associated with an increased susceptibility to MS. This connection is independent of other factors associated with low vitamin D levels, such as obesity.

Published: 25 Aug 2015

Harnessing the butterfly effect

The atmosphere is so unstable that a butterfly flapping its wings can, famously, change the course of weather patterns. The celebrated “butterfly effect” also means that the reliability of weather forecasts drops sharply beyond 10 days.

Published: 18 Aug 2015

McGill students awarded largest Canadian scholarships

Ontario high school students Alexander Deans and Aditya Mohan have been named McGill University’s most recent recipients of the prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarships.

Published: 18 Aug 2015

Gestational diabetes: A diabetes predictor in fathers

In a large study analyzing 20 years of data from Quebec, a team from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) has demonstrated that gestational diabetes signals future diabetes risk not only in mothers, but also in fathers. The study was recently published in Diabetes Care.

Published: 13 Aug 2015

Breakthrough in "marriage-broker" protein

Scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital -The Neuro, at McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre, have made a breakthrough in understanding an important protein that appears to act as a kind of cellular “marriage broker.” The protein called Netrin1 brings cells together and maintains their healthy relationships. Netrin1 plays an essential role in the growth of the human organism, directing cell migration and the formation of cell circuits both at the embryo stage and after birth.

Published: 12 Aug 2015

Pesticides: more toxic than previously thought?

Insecticides that are sprayed in orchards and fields across North America may be more toxic to spiders than scientists previously believed.

Published: 6 Aug 2015

The personalities of spiders

Even jumping spiders have personalities scientists have discovered. A "shy" individual will not make the same choices as a "bold" individual. This means that some individuals, because of their personality type, will capture more prey than others, and will therefore have a larger effect on local ecosystems.

Published: 6 Aug 2015

Scientists identify key gene associated with addiction

A new study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry by a team led by Salah El Mestikawy, Ph.D., researcher at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute (CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’île-de-Montréal), professor at McGill University and head of research at CNRS INSERM UPMC in Paris, opens the field to new understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying addiction in humans.

Published: 4 Aug 2015

Waiting for pleasure

Researchers at McGill have clearly identified, for the first time, the specific parts of the brain involved in decisions that call for delayed gratification.

Published: 4 Aug 2015