DNA signature found in ice storm babies

Research and Discovery

The number of days an expectant mother was deprived of electricity during Quebec’s Ice Storm (1998) predicts the epigenetic profile of her child, a new study finds. Scientists from the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and McGill have detected a distinctive ‘signature’ in the DNA of children born in the aftermath of the massive Quebec ice storm.

Microplastic pollution discovered in St. Lawrence River sediments

Research and Discovery

Previously undocumented in North American rivers, concentrations of microplastic particles found in the St. Lawrence have proven to be as high as in the world’s most contaminated ocean sediments.

Reducing water scarcity possible by 2050

Research and Discovery

Increased water-recycling and improved irrigation techniques are among six strategies identified as key to successfully reducing global water scarcity.

Walking fish reveal how our ancestors evolved onto land

Research and Discovery

Researchers at McGill turned to a living fish, called Polypterus, to help show what might have happened when fish first attempted to walk out of the water some 400 million years ago.

Speedier diagnosis of diseases such as cancer likely thanks to new DNA analysis technique

Research and Discovery

Researchers from McGill and the Génome Québec Innovation Centre have achieved a technical breakthrough that should result in speedier diagnosis of cancer and various pre-natal conditions. The key discovery lies in a new tool that allows researchers to load long strands of DNA into a tunable nanoscale imaging chamber in ways that maintain their structural identity and under conditions that are similar to those found in the human body.

Life expectancy gap between blacks and whites in the U.S. varies considerably across states

Research and Discovery

Racial differences in life expectancy have declined nationally but still vary substantially across U.S. states, according to a new study by McGill researchers. The findings suggest that state policies could play a key role in further reducing racial differences in mortality. The researchers calculated annual state-specific life expectancies for blacks and whites from 1990 to 2009 and found that progress was uneven across states during the past two decades.

Global warming ‘pause’ since 1998 reflects natural fluctuation

Research and Discovery

Statistical analysis of average global temperatures between 1998 and 2013 shows that the slowdown in global warming during this period is consistent with natural variations in temperature, according to research by McGill physics professor Shaun Lovejoy.

Radio-burst discovery deepens astrophysics mystery

Research and Discovery

The discovery of a split-second burst of radio waves by scientists using the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico provides important new evidence of mysterious pulses that appear to come from deep in outer space. The finding by an international team of astronomers that includes McGill’s Vicky Kaspi marks the first time that a so-called “fast radio burst” has been detected using an instrument other than the Parkes radio telescope in Australia.

Scientists find key piece in brain tumour puzzle

Research and Discovery

Scientists have shown that a member of the protein family known as SUMO is a key to why tumour cells multiply uncontrollably, especially in the case of glioblastoma, the most common and lethal brain cancer.

A breakthrough for organic reactions in water

Research and Discovery

Green-chemistry researchers at McGill have discovered a way to use water as a solvent in one of the reactions most widely used to synthesize chemical products and pharmaceuticals. The findings mark a potential milestone in efforts to develop organic reactions in water.