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Quantifying evolutionary impacts of humans on the biosphere is harder than it seems

Are human disturbances to the environment driving evolutionary changes in animals and plants? A new study conducted by McGill researchers finds that, on average, human disturbances don’t appear to accelerate the process of natural selection. While the finding may seem reassuring, this unexpected pattern could reflect the limited number of species for which data were available.

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Published: 12 Oct 2018

McGill researchers share in largest investment in discovery science in Canadian history

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced more than $558 million in discovery research funding across Canada, including the largest investment in research from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) this year. Through the 2018 Discovery Grants, Scholarships and Fellowships competition, 130 McGill researchers received funding totaling more than $30 million.

 

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Published: 9 Oct 2018

Sibling rivalry: When the fighting crosses the line

Sibling rivalry. Every parent and every sibling understands what this means. Siblings fight. A lot. And sometimes those fights escalate to involve physical, verbal, and psychological aggression. Aggression between siblings is so common that people often believe that these behaviors are part of the normal process of growing up, but recent research shows us that sibling aggression can cross the line and parents need to know when to seek help....

Published: 9 Oct 2018

Identifying pathophysiological cellular changes in ataxia

New work from the Alanna Watt lab identifying pathophysiological cellular changes that may contribute to ataxia of the Charlevoix-Saguenay region, or ARSACS. This work arises from a very fruitful collaboration between labs at McGill including the Brais lab (Neurology and Neurosurgery) and the McKinney lab (Pharmacology and Therapeutics).

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Published: 26 Sep 2018

Parasites: A boon or bane to the host population?

New work from the Gregor Fussmann Lab in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: One of the basic tenets of ecological theory is that connectivity among small populations over a larger landscape (metapopulations) promote species persistence. In this experiment we investigate to what degree and under what conditions this theory holds true when parasites are added to the equation, using lab-based populations of guppies and their ectoparasite Gyrodactylus turnbulli....

Published: 26 Sep 2018

McGill receives $5-million gift from noted Canadian geologist Bob Wares

As an entrepreneurial geologist, Bob Wares, (BSc’79, DSc’12), became a mining rock star when he discovered one of Canada’s largest gold deposits in the Abitibi region of Quebec....

Published: 26 Sep 2018

MSSI Visioning Workshop for Faculty members and Graduate students

The MSSI is excited to announce its first event of the Fall located at the Macdonald Campus.

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Published: 11 Sep 2018

New cities may make millions more vulnerable to climate change

A forthcoming study of over a hundred new cities being built around the world suggests developers and planning authorities are doing very little to make their projects resilient to climate change. On the contrary, a boom in new city projects in coastal areas – including some on reclaimed land in the sea – appears to fly in the face of the danger of rising sea levels and more frequent extreme weather events.

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Published: 10 Sep 2018

Two McGill Women Chemists Awarded!

Aurélie Lacroix (currently PhD student in Dr Hanadi Sleiman lab) and Dr Maryam Habibian (former student from Dr Masad Damha lab and currently postdoc fellow at Stanford in Dr Eric Kool laboratory) were both awarded the Chu Family Foundation Scholarships for Early Career Women in Science.The award by The International Society of Nucleosides, Nucleotides & Nucleic Acids (IS3NA)

Published: 6 Sep 2018

Better plastic recycling with enzymes

McGill University chemistry professors Karine Auclair and Tomislav Friščić are following a promising lead on using enzymes to recycle polyethylene terephthalate (PET), one of the world’s most widely used plastics.

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Published: 4 Sep 2018

Greener alternative to lithium-ion batteries

The runaway popularity of personal electronic devices has led to a huge global demand for compact yet powerful rechargeable batteries. Since hitting the market in the 1990s, lithium-ion technology has taken the lead in meeting this need.

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Published: 27 Aug 2018

Potential huge energy savings through nanocatalysts for nitrogen fixation

A fundamental component of protein, nitrogen is the most common pure element on Earth, making up nearly 80 percent of our atmosphere. Yet despite its abundance, atmospheric nitrogen cannot enter the food chain without first being converted into a form that can be used by plants.

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Published: 20 Aug 2018

Museum has lost a friend: Ann Van Fossen

Ann Van Fossen, the author of the museum publication: Tea and Fossils: a brief history of the Redpath Museum, died last week. Born in 1933 and educated at Swarthmore College (B.A. in Political Science) and University of Iowa (M.A. in History), Ann started her volunteer work at the Museum in 2008....

Published: 13 Aug 2018

Green polymers inspired by biology

McGill University chemistry professor Matthew Harrington is aiming to develop a renewable alternative to petrochemical plastics by mimicking the astonishing chemistry of the velvet worm – a creature that has made a name for itself through its projectile slime.

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Published: 13 Aug 2018

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