Top research stories you might have missedWednesday, June 4th, 2014
McGill nurses turn hope into action – peer-to-peer education works!
In a hospital in a remote part of Tanzania with little access to health care tools tools – not even a telephone – in an area with one of the highest HIV rates in the world, public health nurse Betty Liduke has been scrambling to support an ever-increasing population of people who were HIV positive. Specifically, she had been looking for partners to help her launch a peer-education program in her community. Today, that dream is a reality, with a little help from her friends – writer and former CBC broadcaster Royal Orr, and McGill’s Madeleine Buck of the Ingram School of Nursing and McGill Nurses for Highlands Hope. The project has just received its first major funding boost from Grand Challenges Canada (GCC).
Thirsty for solutions to urban water crisis
One in four of world’s big cities water-stressed. As more people move to urban areas, cities around the world are experiencing increased water stress and looking for additional water supplies to support their continued grow.
The first global database of urban water sources and stress, published online this week in Global Environmental Change, estimates that cities move 504 billion litres of water a distance of 27,000 kilometers every day. Laid end to end, all those canals and pipes would stretch halfway around the world. While large cities occupy only 1% of the Earth’s land surface, their source watersheds cover 41% of that surface, so the raw water quality of large cities depends on the land use in this much larger area.
Melatonin makes old bones stronger; research on elderly rats may have implications for osteoporosis
“Old rats are tedious to work with,” says Faleh Tamimi, a professor in the School of Dentistry. “They get sick a lot and that means they also cost a lot more. But if you’re interested in aging and diseases like osteoporosis they’re an essential part of the process.” Tamimi is the leader of a McGill team which has just discovered that supplements of melatonin make bones stronger in elderly rats and therefore, potentially, in humans too.”
Brenda Milner awarded prestigious Kavli Prize in Neuroscience
A legend in the neuroscience world, and an active researcher at the age of 95 at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro), Dr. Brenda Milner is widely recognized as one of the founders of cognitive neuroscience – the field that brings together brain and behaviour. For more than six decades, her creativity and precision in studying amnesic and other patients have led to conclusions that radically changed the way we think about memory. Milner’s research has also had a profound influence on the development of tests to treat people with brain disorders.
On May 29 she was informed that she is a recipient of the prestigious Kavli Prize in Neuroscience for 2014. The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters also announced Thursday winners in Astrophysics and Nanoscience. Milner shares the Neuroscience award with two other researchers. The Neuroscience prize is awarded for outstanding achievement in advancing understanding of the brain and nervous system.
$3.3M in federal funding for environmentally sound and sustainable northern research
Prof. Murray Humphries of the Department of Natural Resource Sciences, who studies the sustainable development of the North and Prof. Stephen Yue, Chair of the Department of Mining and Materials Engineering, who heads the McGill Institute for Aerospace Engineering will benefit from the latest round of funding from the Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). They are among the recipients of over $14.8 million in funding announced in May by the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State for Science and Technology, at an event held at McGill.
With program nodes at both McGill University and the University of Alberta, the CREATE program is designed to train the next generation of natural resource consultants, managers, land use planners, and policy makers so they are ‘market-ready’ to enhance Canada’s competitive position and reputation as a country that efficiently develops its natural resources while maintaining rigorous environmental standards.
Are you an academic or researcher thinking about using social media to expand your reach? The London School of Economics published a “Guide to Using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities” in 2011 and we think it’s still a worthwhile primer.