Discovery

All aboard the research rocket
Thanks to a ride on a European Space Agency research rocket, a McGill engineering team was able to study the unique properties of metal powder combustion in the weightlessness of space.
Shedding light on the rules for the final frontier
The rules governing the military use of outer space can be hazy. An international effort led by McGill’s Institute of Air and Space Law is hoping to offer some clarity.
A medical mystery meets its match
By finally diagnosing one patient’s mysterious medical condition, McGill University Health Centre researchers have developed a molecular therapy that could help many others
Bridging the political divide with books
Do Democrats and Republicans have anything in common? According to a recent study co-authored by McGill’s Andrew Piper, the answer might be To Kill A Mockingbird.
A semester of Arctic exploration
The new McGill Arctic Field Studies program offers undergraduates the rare opportunity to pursue research projects in a part of the world that very few have experienced.
A game that goes right for the gut
A new mobile game developed by McGill’s Jérôme Waldispühl is crowdsourcing science research aimed at better understanding the trillions of microbes that live inside your gut.

A Translator for E.T.
In Arrival, a new Hollywood film starring Amy Adams, aliens have landed on Earth and we need to figure out how to talk to them. The filmmakers turned to associate professor of linguistics Jessica Coon to help them answer that question.
Sorting out the issues surrounding the legalization of marijuana
The federal government is getting ready to put forward a new law that legalizes marijuana. It will rely heavily on the advice of a task force that includes McGill professor Mark Ware.
Delving into the psyches of dangerous drivers
Assistant professor of psychiatry Thomas Brown examines why some drivers are reckless behind the wheel and the distinctions between different types of dangerous drivers.
A bold experiment in open science
The Montreal Neurological Institute will soon make all of its research data, including brain scan data and tissue samples, available to other researchers.
Reducing cocaine’s effect on the brain
A type of brain cell plays a key role in reducing the effects of cocaine in the brain, according to a study from scientists at the Research Institute of the MUHC.
Treating trauma on a city-wide scale
Alain Brunet has spent the better part of the past decade perfecting a treatment that could help people with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Bird-brained, but awfully smart
According to research by doctoral student Jean-Nicolas Audet, living in the city makes you smarter – if you’re a bird that is.
Looking for love on a laptop
Digital dating can be remarkably similar to the off-line encounters, according to Jui Ramaprasad, assistant professor in the Desautels Faculty of Management.
Taking the
Tami Zuckerman, BEd'02, likes to stay busy. So while she was preparing for a new addition to her family, she and her husband created VarageSale, a virtual garage sale system.
A champion for First Nations children
Cindy Blackstock, MMgmt'03, has spent a career fighting to defend Aboriginal children.
Managing millions - while still in school
About 35 people will begin jobs as analysts at an investment firm this summer. But they’ll only just be beginning their degrees at the Desautels Faculty of Management.
How AlphaGo (and two McGillians) made AI history
A team with some McGill connections created an artificial intelligence program capable of something no other program had done before.
Rewriting the book on hockey analytics
As the CEO of a hockey analytics venture that works with 10 NHL teams and two major sports broadcasters, Craig Buntin, MBA'13, can’t afford to sleep much.
A computer's perspective on how literature works
McGill’s digital humanities lab, .txtLAB, and director Andrew Piper may be able to provide answers to how certain phrases become so clichéd.
City Builders
Since it was founded in 1896, the McGill School of Architecture has trained generations of architects who have had an enormous influence on the way Montreal look.
Speaking volumes without a word
Professor Mark Pell, director of the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, has found that we can process a scream much faster than we can process "Help, I'm scared."
The man who stuck around
McGill News editor Daniel McCabe, BA'89 reflects on a major milestone.
The gift of you
The art of giving gifts, done right, can deepen a personal relationship. Done wrong, it can lead to a night sleeping on the couch.
Physician with a mission
Joanne Liu, MDCM’91, IMHL’14, has treated patients in the most dangerous parts of the globe as a Médecins Sans Frontières doctor.
Ready to tackle the cosmos
“The most powerful way to advance progress in scientific fields is through collaboration," says Victoria Kaspi, BSc’89, director of McGill's new Space Institute.
The story behind the billion-dollar cancer marker
In 1965, two McGill researchers made a breakthrough that impacts patients' lives today.
Building a new generation of STEM leaders
When the Schulich Leader Scholarships were launched, they were dubbed “Canada’s Rhodes Scholarships.” Today, over 170 Schulich Leaders can be found across the country.
Shutting down salmonella
Lawrence Goodridge, the Ian & Jayne Munro Chair in Food Safety in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, aims to dramatically reduce salmonella’s impact.
Simulating a world of high stakes
How do McGill medical students master a tricky procedure? The Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning.
The brothels of 19th century Montreal
In Mary Anne Poutanen’s insightful new book Beyond Brutal Passions, the McGill lecturer reveals why women turned to the sex trade ihn nineteenth-century Montreal.
Is suicide linked to risky behaviour?
A tendency to make risky decisions might make some people more vulnerable to suicide, according to preliminary results from McGill researcher Fabrice Jollant.
Reacting to the rhythm
Is music truly universal? Researchers from McGill and the Université de Montréal teamed up and put that notion to the test.
The marvels of microbe poo
Fool’s gold is a key to geological time, opening a door on climate from eons past. It is also made of poop.
Rich kids, poor kids, sick kids
The gap between rich and poor is increasing, along with inequalities in adolescents' mental and physical health, according to a study led by McGill professor Frank Elgar.
The myths around Not criminally responsible
Pop-culture may depict people with mental health issues as violent, but according to research from McGill professor Anne Crocker, BSc’93, that does not reflect reality.
A wry look at academic life
Nathan Hall, a professor in the Faculty of Education, is the man behind a popular Twitter account filled with observations about academic life.
Flummoxed in the food aisles
Concerned about the health-care costs of rising rates of obesity, psychology professor Thomas Shultz decided to take a careful look at nutritional labels.
Seeking out the best
To be a world-class institution, you need world-class brains. Principal Suzanne Fortier, BSc’72, PhD’76, gave her perspective on recruiting professors.
An end to allergies?
It’s still early days, but a recent study from McGill professor Christine McCusker shows there may be a way to vaccinate against airborne allergies.
Championing the Canadian horse
Pursuing the story of the Canadian horse and sharing it with others has been a major pre-occupation for Richard Blackburn, BEd’99, MA’11.
New probe hunts down elusive cancer cells in brain
McGill neurosurgeon Kevin Petrecca, BSc'94, PhD'00, MDCM'02, has co-developed a new technique that might make it easier to find cancer hiding in a healthy brain.
Taking stock of homelessness
McGill researchers recently oversaw the "I Count MTL" project, the first large-scale survey of homelessness in Montreal since 1998.
Let me prescribe you a video game for that
A group of McGill researchers, in collaboration with the gaming company Ubisoft, have developed an unexpected remedy for adults with amblyopia: a video game.
The sexting generation
For many young people, sexting has become almost commonplace. But what happens when it gets out of hand or contributes to cyberbullying?
Exploring civil disobedience on the Internet
McGill doctoral student Molly Sauter's new book, The Coming Swarm, examines tactics used online by activists.
How rethinking the food chain can thwart Ebola
To prevent the next pandemic, professor Colin Chapman thinks we need to study the health of everything--people, the environment, and animals--all together.
A commitment to students
Principal Suzanne Fortier, BSc’72, PhD’76, described the McGill Commitment, the University’s pledge to create more innovative,out-of-classroom learning opportunities for its students.
These fins are made for walkin'
Hans Larsson, BSc’94, and his research team raised fish to walk on land.
Uncovering the hidden injury
In a survey, Scott Delaney, MDCM’91 found many varsity athletes never sought proper assessment and treatment after what they believed to be a concussion.
More wolves on Wall Street
McGill professor Patrick Augustin's research suggests a large number of mergers and acquisitions spur “abnormal” market activity consistent with insider trading.
Children of the ice storm
Suzanne King, BA’79, a McGill professor, has found a distinct DNA marker in children whose mothers were pregnant during the 1998 ice storm.
Tiny beads of trouble
McGill professor Anthony Ricciardi discovered something unusual in the silt of the St. Lawrence: non-biodegradable microplastic beads.
A class act
McGill News editor Daniel McCabe, BA'89 remembers the life and impact of Jean Béliveau, who received an honorary degree from McGill in 2006.
New face at the helm
Learn more about Gabrielle Korn, the newest executive director of the McGill Alumni Association.
Uncovering the many faces of Anonymous
In her new book, McGill professor Gabriella Coleman takes readers behind the Guy Fawkes mask to explore the intricacies and motivations of the notorious Anonymous hacker group.
A promising new approach to Alzheimer’s
The cure for Alzheimer’s disease has been maddeningly elusive. But a recent discovery by McGill researcher Judes Poirier points to a new strategy with huge potential.
The combative economist
Tom Naylor says his new book, Counterfeit Crime: Criminal Profits, Terror Dollars, and Nonsense, is his “angriest and most cynical” to date. And for the consistently controversial economics professor, that’s saying something.
Spare the rod, thinner the child?
According to a recent study by McGill researcher Lisa Kakinami, there seems a link between parenting practices and the risk of childhood obesity.
Quebec’s new finance minister faces tough challenges
Quebec finance minister Carlos Leitao, BA’79, once ranked as the world’s second best economist, is grateful to McGill for helping him adapt to his new country.
The paradox of Pakistan
Even seasoned diplomats can be frustrated in their efforts to understand Pakistan. McGill professor T.V. Paul‘s new book offers a fresh perspective on one of the world’s most strategically important countries.
A side project that could save lives
McGill professor Colin Chapman is an anthropologist, not a medical expert, but his extracurricular efforts are having a major impact on the health of people who live near Uganda’s Kibale National Park.
The view from above
Wade Larson, MBA’00, is the driving force behind UrtheCast Corp., a Vancouver-based company that plans to “democratize” the view from space, offering anyone with an Internet connection the chance to see Earth the way astronauts do.
Our man in the Pentagon
As the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy, Daniel Chiu, BA’88, spends his days taking stock of everything that could conceivably go very, very wrong in the world.
The ties that bind
Elite athletes don’t make it to the Olympics all on their own. Meet some of the McGill grads (moms, dads and coaches) who played key roles helping to nurture some of Sochi’s stars.
Bloomberg Manulife Prize winner is trans fat's arch enemy
Harvard University nutrition expert Walter Willett played a pivotal role in sounding the alarm about trans fats. Now, he’s raising questions about milk.
The individuality of pain
Pain isn’t predictable. We don’t all experience it the same way. Luda Diatchenko, McGill’s new Canada Excellence Research Chair in Human Pain Genetics, is a leading expert on why that’s the case.
At risk for alcoholism
Recent research by McGill psychiatry professor Marco Leyton points to telltale differences in the brains of those at risk of developing drinking problems. A more pronounced dopamine response to alcohol might be a crucial warning sign.
Putting Montreal under the microscope
McGill’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Montreal will be assembling scholars from a wide variety of fields to examine what makes this unique city tick.
Simple swab test for HIV empowers patients
Nikita Pant Pai and her McGill research team have earned an international award for developing a life-saving screening test that is only a touchscreen away.
The allure of bad news
We might complain about all the negative media coverage of politicians, but political science professor Stuart Soroka says we’re drawn to it all the same.
BigBrain poised to make a big impact
The Montreal Neurological Institute’s Alan Evans was one of the driving forces behind the creation of BigBrain, the first high-resolution 3D digital model of a human brain.
Kinder, gentler drones
The word “drones” carries scary connotations, but David Bird, a professor of wildlife biology at Macdonald Campus, insists that drones can be an invaluable research tool. He is launching a new journal that argues his case.
The importance of a good night’s sleep
Just an extra half hour of sleep helps kids to be more alert and less moody in school each day. However, kids who sleep an hour less than they should are more dozy, irritable, frustrated and restless in class.
Diagnosing Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease afflicts about half a million Canadians, and that number could double within a generation. Diagnosing this form of dementia is difficult, but a new technique is showing remarkable accuracy in [...]
Robot research gets a boost
A new national robotics network, led by McGill’s Gregory Dudek, will develop smarter, tougher robots that can tackle the sorts of jobs that humans aren’t well equipped to handle.
The benefits of being openly gay
McGill researcher Robert-Paul Juster, MSc’10, discovered that gay or bisexual men who are open about their sexual orientation may experience less stress in their lives than their heterosexual counterparts.
A distinctly happy society
McGill economist Christopher Barrington-Leigh says Quebecers are among the happiest people in the world. He suspects the province’s Nordic approach to life has a lot to do with it.
Fuelling our future
What keeps researchers and industry partners involved in the transportation, fuel, forestry and agriculture sectors up at night? Climate change, and what it means for powering our future.
Standing up for science and sustainability
Lorne Trottier’s love affair with science and technology began in childhood and it eventually fuelled his co-founding of Matrox Electronics Systems, his Montreal-based video graphics company
Defining the line between fun and harm
When it comes to online privacy and cyberbullying, teens often have a poor grasp of the law surrounding these issues. But they aren’t the only ones who need to give the subject more thought.
How MP3s conquered the world (by doing less)
You might expect a history of the MP3 to start with Napster, or with the format’s technical development in the eighties. But Jonathan Sterne’s new book, MP3: The Meaning of a Format, is full of surprises.
Fuzziness in funding
In a study recently published in the British Medical Journal, Brett Thombs, an associate professor of psychiatry, and Michelle Roseman, BA’08, a master’s student in psychiatry, point to an alarming lack of transparency surrounding [...]
Why women don't reach for the top
Roxana Barbulescu, an assistant professor at the Desautels Faculty of Management, recently set out to investigate why women continue to be poorly represented in many of the most lucrative professions.
A simulator for surgeons
Imagine boarding an aircraft, only to discover that your pilot is taking a back seat in the cockpit, tutoring a trainee who’ll actually be the one handling the controls of the plane during take-off and landing.
Squeezed dry
With more than 75 percent of the U.S. suffering extreme drought this summer, farmers can’t be blamed for looking to underground aquifers for relief.
Trouble brewing in Brynania
In political science professor Rex Brynen‘s unique course on peacebuilding, students get to play the roles of government leaders, UN officials and rebel commanders.
The rules of combat
Chaotic though it may seem, war still has some ground rules ­­— international statutes that have governed the way battles can be fought. But, as the past decade has shown, combat no longer requires a formal battlefield.
An insomniac’s fondest dream
Sleep deprivation is a form of torture, according to international law, but there is no appeal to The Hague for the hollow-eyed and tormented who suffer from insomnia.
Outdoor hockey on thin ice
The outdoor skating rink may be an iconic symbol of Canadian life but according to Nikolay Damyanov, MSc’11, its continued existence is on thin ice
Music through the centuries
ELVIS is the title but “The King” is not the subject. This unique research project spearheaded by Julie Cumming is using technology to learn more about the music European kings and queens listened to centuries ago.
Behind the scenes of Anonymous
Gabriella Coleman’s research took place in online chat rooms, where she communicated with the notorious hacking collective behind cyberattacks on PayPal, MasterCard, Visa and the Vatican, among other high-profile targets.
Can we ‘forget’ chronic pain?
Chronic pain is a stressful and even debilitating situation that neuroscientists such as Terence Coderre, MSc’83, PhD’85, are trying to remedy.
A discovery with gigANTic implications
A McGill research team led by evolutionary biologist Ehab Abouheif has learned how to transform humble little ants into hulking super soldiers with giant heads.
What big teeth you have, Fido
McGill’s Hans Larsson was part of a research team that found the remains of a very peculiar-looking prehistoric crocodile that walked like a dog and ate with teeth like those of a sabre-toothed tiger.
Stress and the city
Do you find city living stressful? According to a research team that included McGill’s Jens Pruessner, you have good cause. Living in the city can affect your brain in measurable ways.
Rich man, poor man, sick man
There is a widening gap between the rich and the poor in Canada, and the news just got worse for those who get by with less. Research led by Nancy Ross, shows that there is also a gap in health-related quality of life.
Northern cuisine
Eating healthy food is a challenge for everyone in our fast food world. But eating well is even more difficult for the Inuit, according to a new study by McGill researchers.
In defence of religion
In the 10 years since the September 11 attacks, the mainstream consensus has come to define religion by its most extreme and violent adherents.
Hip-hop high school
Many words—not all of them complimentary—have been used to describe hip-hop. But in its 30-plus years of existence, the Bronx-bred art form, though a dominant cultural force, has seldom been called “pedagogically exciting.”
A quantum leap for research
You thought your shiny new laptop was fast? Meet Guillimin, McGill’s new supercomputer, an $8.3-million dream machine for university researchers.
On the hunt for better CF treatments
One in every 3,600 children born in Canada has cystic fibrosis. A new McGill research centre is trying to get a better handle on how the disease operates with an eye to developing new treatments.
The mighty (and mightily underappreciated) mangrove
Gail Chmura‘s work points to mangrove swamps playing an invaluable role as carbon sinks in our ever warming world.
Not good sportsmanship
Educational and counselling psychology professor Jeffrey Derevensky is helping the NCAA and the NFL tackle problem gambling among young athletes.
Young brains aren’t that resilient
Alain Ptito a neurology and neurosurgery professor at the Montreal Neurological Institute, BA’75, isn’t surprised by the public concern concussions have aroused in recent months.
Visualize the banana. Visualize yourself eating the banana…
If you want to improve the way you eat, the best way to do it is to make an action plan and visualize yourself carrying it out, according to McGill researchers.
A better focus on breast cancer
Alain Nepveu, a biochemistry professor at the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre, was part of a research team that recently found a means of classifying breast cancer patients at the molecular level.
I’m not wasting time, Ma, I’m helping science
An online game developed at McGill provides players with the opportunity to do more than just pile up points. Taking part in the game actually helps advance genetics research.
Getting high on music
A recent study from researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute has shown that music stimulates the same pleasure centres of our brain as a good meal or a first crush.
The enemy within
Timothy Geary, director of the McGill Institute of Parasitology, will be focusing much of his attention over the next few years on a group of tropical diseases which afflicted as much as one-sixth of the world’s population.
Clean water in a crisis
Disasters such as floods, tsunamis and earthquakes often result in the spread of diseases like gastroenteritis, giardiasis and even cholera, because of an immediate shortage of clean drinking water.
Bonding beauty to business
The words “inspiration,” “reflection” and “beauty” are not ones you’d ordinarily expect to hear from a management professor. But then, Nancy Adler is no ordinary professor.
Portrait of a scamp
There’s a plaque in the Strathcona Anatomy and Dentistry Building that memorializes Harold Borden, a third-year medical student who died in the Boer War, placed by his father Frederick, the longest serving defense minister in Canadian history.
Medicine in the Middle Ages
Medieval Europe expert Faith Wallis, BA’71, MA’75, MLS’76, edited Medieval Medicine ,a book which offers plenty of nitty-gritty details about the medieval practice of medicine - early recipes for anesthetics, and even how doctoring was perceived back then.
Listening to The Scream
Taking something old and giving it a new application is common in science. A discovery by Alexander Graham Bell in 1880 has led McGill chemistry professor Ian Butler to produce some colourful sounds—including Prussian blue and yellow ochre.
If the planet's dying, why are we prospering?
A group of researchers led by Ciara Raudsepp-Hearne, BSc’01, MSc’04, PhD’10, of the Department of Geography published a study tackling the question as to why the human race prospers while our planet ails.
Bitty, but brawny
According to chemistry professor Patanjali Kambhampati, once things get really small, “funny things can happen.” Not Shriner on a micro-motorbike funny— more like nano-crystals producing power far out of proportion to their size funny.
Long distance justice
Courts have been slow to go digital. “Even slower than health care,” says associate professor of law Fabien Gélinas. “The law needs to be predictable. So it’s fundamentally conservative, with great reliance on the past.”
Little lemurs, big discovery
Researchers have rediscovered the world’s only known living population of Sibree’s Dwarf Lemur, a species previously thought to be extinct in the wild.
Medical records at your fingertips
When it comes to staying healthy, some track blood sugar levels, others track pounds. Unani.ca, a new online personal health tool, lets both the diabetic and the überjock keep an eye on their progress.
At-risk aboriginals vulnerable to TB
Tuberculosis (TB), considered by many Canadians to be a scourge of the past, is alive and well among high-risk aboriginal communities in Montreal
From the cold to the cosmos
At MARS (the McGill Arctic Research Station), astrobiology students can perform exercises in the extreme cold, a prime environment for discovering scientific revolutions.
Unearthing the truth
If you’ve never heard the term “forensic geography,” Margaret Kalacska wouldn’t be surprised—the concept doesn’t yet have a Wikipedia entry.
Buddhism, True North style
Buddhism is often regarded as a recent phenomenon in this country, but it had already taken root in Canadian soil when the first Japanese Buddhist temple was built in Vancouver back in 1905.
National Geographic put him on the map
He might be a humble hydrographer, but assistant geography professor Bernhard Lehner’s work has recently gone global.
Casualties of climate change
A three-year study of climate change on Inuit communities, led by James Ford, associate professor of geography at McGill, shows that the warmer weather is hurting the Inuit lifestyle.
Good ethics for good science
Keeping pace with the world of genomics is not for the faint of heart. In an accelerated world of medical research grappling with the ethical issues arising from all this progress is a daunting task.
CJNR: 40, with a clean bill of health
Nursing has come a long way since 1969, and the Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, published since its inception by the McGill School of Nursing, has been there to document its transformation.
Casualties of conflict
We hear increasingly about the difficulties of veterans trying to return to ordinary life after a stint in the military. Associate professor of social work Myriam Denov is involved with a group of former soldiers whose re-entry into society is nothing short of miraculous.
Can IT provide the cure?
When Canadians think about how to improve the health care system, “better information technology” might not be the answer that springs to mind.
Under pressure
In places like eastern Canada, earthquakes seem a distant concern. But civil engineering professor Denis Mitchell thinks we should be ready for the ground to shake.
Temporary breakdown
Not all jobs are created equal. That’s the conclusion a McGill research team reached when it recently examined the lot of temporary workers.
Playing with ideas
McGill’s new Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas, or IPLAI, will be examining why some thoughts, people or artistic expressions have the ability to transcend cultures, disciplines and time periods.
The greatest story ever sold
Six years ago, Shirley Sternberg and Joe Kinchloe were doing research in Florida when they took a quick detour to the Holy Land. Sort of.
Open your mouth and listen
What a new McGill-led study has discovered is stretching our understanding of why we hear what we hear.
You’re Getting McSleepy, So Very McSleepy…
McGill researchers have designed an automated anesthetist that can gently knock you out.
Like father, like son
One of the world’s foremost experts on international human rights and refugee law, François Crépeau BCL/LLB’82, recently joined McGill’s Faculty of Law as the first Hans and Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law.
Bringing Haydn back to life
In a project combining 18th- century art with 21st-century technology, associate professor of music performance Tom Begin has recorded Joseph Haydn’s complete keyboard music exactly as it would have sounded over 200 years ago.
Killam hat trick
There are few honours available to scholars and scientists in this country that offer the prestige of the Killam Prizes. Five $100,000 prizes are awarded each year and on May 11, McGill professors took home three of them.
Parlez-vous Québécois?
Imagine judging your fashion sense against Parisian standards each day of your life. Developing a complex yet? French Quebecers can probably relate. Their relationship to their language has been the stuff of psychotherapy for over a century.
A discovery that rocked the world
Jonathan O'Neil, a McGill doctoral student has found the oldest known rocks on the planet, dating back as far as 4.28 billion years.
Where cancer grows
Scientists from the McGill Cancer Centre and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre have learned that microenvironments not only exist within the human body, but play a crucial role in determining whether cancer cells prosper or fade.
Kyoto Calling
His is a storied career by any measure, but the past year has been particularly heady for Charles Taylor, BA'52. This past June came the latest feather in his cap: Taylor became the first Canadian to win Japan's Kyoto Prize for arts and philosophy.
Smart dining
Want your baby to be bright? Then it might be a good idea to breastfeed instead of using formula.
Seeking the Roots to Suicide
Victims of child abuse might experience biochemical changes to their brains that leave them more vulnerable to suicidal urges as adults.
Evolving to the beat
As a well-connected veteran of the music industry, Daniel Levity believes there is truth to a truism often heard in music circles. "In almost no case is a band's second album better than its first."
An inside look at young brains
It’s taken six years, hundreds of volunteers, thousands of complicated images and millions of dollars. The result is the first-ever online database offering detailed information on how young brains blossom over time.
Baby boon
McGill researchers made some reproductive history this summer when they announced the birth of the first baby born from eggs matured and frozen in the lab, an achievement that could give women with cancer or ovarian disease fresh hope for motherhood.
Putting some WOW into the classroom
In spite of the flames, sledgehammers and underwater exploits, no one was harmed at the recent launch of McGill’s new Winners of Wonderment Lab.
Unkindest cut? Maybe not
Circumcised men are more sensitive than previously believed. The findings seem to put paid to the myth that losing the foreskin means losing sexual sensitivity.
Happiness is… a large subcortical brain volume?
A new study, led by assistant professor of psychiatry Martin Lepage and doctoral student Philippe-Olivier Harvey, has linked the inability to enjoy pleasurable experiences to the size of a subcortical brain region associated with emotion and rewards.
Teeny traffic cops
McGill scientists recently found a way to examine the exploits of tiny nucleic acids called microRNAs outside the confines of a living cell for the first time.
Changing the look of malaria
The traditional wisdom on malaria: quick to contract, slow to detect. A new technique, however, promises to change at least part of the malaria rulebook by giving the disease a colourful makeover.
The war inside
Soldiering is a stressful occupation, but many members of the Canadian military are reluctant to seek out help when struggling with some form of mental disorder.
Prescription for paddling
What’s the best long-term therapy for breast cancer survivors? A McGill researcher offers a surprising suggestion. Her prescription? Dragon boat racing.
Women in charge
After winning the Quebec Writers’ Federation’s first book prize for Shame and Humiliation: Presidential Decision Making in Vietnam, Blema Sternberg, BA’55, PhD’61, wondered what to do for an encore.
Food for thought
There is a growing appetite among Canadian academics for information on food — and not just about the best restaurants located near campus.
Beating back viruses
McGill researchers have discovered a way to boost a mouse’s natural anti-virus defences, effectively making its cells immune to influenza and other viruses.
Knee bones’s connected to the… ink-jet printer?
Doctors, in dealing with someone in need of a bone graft, have been forced to rely on ceramics or on harvesting bone from other parts of the body. In the near future, all they might have to do is fire up their ink-jet printers.
Getting to the roots of disease
Michel Tremblay, director of the McGill Cancer Centre, has found that 40 per cent of breast cancer cases in women are a result of over expression of PTB1b.
Killam conquest
Professors Patrick Selvadurai and Rod MacDonald are the latest McGill scholars to win one of Canada’s most prestigious research awards: the Canada Council for the Arts’ $100,000 Killam Prize.
Steering clear of danger
Stuart Savage, a professor of civil engineering and applied mecanics, has helped develop a computational model that should better predict where an iceberg is headed after being “calved” from the massive glaciers of Greenland.
The allure of jihad
What is behind the disquieting rise of Islamic fundamentalism throughout the world and why are so many Islamic youths drawn to militant organizations?
When lifespan is a black and white issue
A study recently published by postdoctoral research fellow Sam Harper and Professor John Lynch shows that African Americans in the United States are on average, far less likely to live as long as their Caucasian compatriots.