Coronavirus update – Friday, February 28

As you may have heard, health authorities announced yesterday a presumptive case of COVID-19 in the Montreal area. It is a case of a person who recently returned from travel abroad.

Despite this, health authorities are still very clear that the risk in Canada is low, and they are not recommending any additional measures to be taken by the general public. Frequent and thorough handwashing, as well as observing appropriate cough etiquette, are still the appropriate behaviours.

The University’s coronavirus webpage remains the most up-to-date source of information for our community.
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Call for Nominations – Widening Participation Committee – Deadline: March 9

In light of an expanding mandate and a commitment to ensure inclusive and transparent Faculty governance, the Social Accountability and Community Engagement (SACE) Office, McGill Faculty of Medicine, is seeking one new faculty member to join the following committee: Widening Participation Committee (WPC). We look forward to receiving your nomination via the online form!
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Call for Nominations – MDCM Program Committee – Deadline: March 10

In light of an expanding mandate and a commitment to ensure inclusive and transparent Faculty governance, the Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) program, McGill Faculty of Medicine, is seeking one clinical faculty member to join the following committee in the role of “member at large”: MDCM Program Committee.
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MIMM Bites Newsletter – February 2020

We are pleased to announce that the February issue is now available online. It provides news and announcements of interest to the faculty and support staff members, as well as to students and alumni members. It also presents information on department updates, upcoming events and announcements.
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Students develop innovative curricula proposals

A second cohort of medical students and residents recently completed an elective called Foundations in Medical and Health Sciences Education, developing curriculum proposals around environmental health, competency-based medical education, and the language of care in chronic illness. Offered through McGill University’s Institute for Health Sciences Education, the four-week elective was launched by Institute Faculty Members Dr. Stuart Lubarsky and Dr. Robert Sternszus in 2018 as a means of introducing students and residents to health sciences education by having them develop evidence-based curricula with real-world potential.
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New DNA test that reveals a child’s true age has promise, but ethical pitfalls

Epigenetic clocks are a new type of biological test currently capturing the attention of the scientific community, private companies and governmental agencies because of their potential to reveal an individual’s “true” age. Recently, the Kobor Lab developed the first pediatric epigenetic clock designed specifically for testing the age of young people, with an eye towards its applications in research and medical settings. But pediatric epigenetic clocks are likely to have non-medical applications as well. They could soon be used in immigration cases to prove the age of undocumented migrants seeking asylum as minors. Other future uses can be imagined, such as for child labour and trafficking surveillance, or even for the identification of child combatants in armed conflicts.
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Computational medicine workshop series launches

Registration is now open as the first in a series of computational medicine workshops launches on Friday, February 28, with workshops taking place into April on a range of emerging topics and skills. Seating is still available in some of the workshops so check out the details and register now. The series is primarily designed for students, postdoctoral fellows, medical residents, research assistants and faculty members in the Faculty of Medicine, but organizers say the workshops are open and interdisciplinary.
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Using a cappella to explain speech and music specialization

Speech and music are two fundamentally human activities that are decoded in different brain hemispheres. A new study used a unique approach to reveal why this specialization exists. “It has been known for decades that the two hemispheres respond to speech and music differently, but the physiological basis for this difference remained a mystery,” says Philippe Albouy, the study’s first author. “Here we show that this hemispheric specialization is linked to basic acoustical features that are relevant for speech and music, thus tying the finding to basic knowledge of neural organization.” Their results were published in the journal Science.
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Getting off of the blood sugar roller coaster

A study recently published in Diabetes Care by the McGill Artificial Pancreas Lab represents a breakthrough in the understanding of what makes an artificial pancreas system effective. With funding from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the group ran an experiment to deliver a second hormone, pramlintide, in addition to insulin in hopes that the combination would be superior to insulin alone. In the end, the study found that the combination of drugs significantly improved the percentage of time that a person’s blood glucose level stayed within a target range. By slowing down meal absorption, pramlintide gave the insulin more time to work.
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Dr. Joel Turner honoured as outstanding educator in point of care ultrasound

Dr. Joel Turner, of the JGH Emergency Department, has won the 2019 Educator of the Year Award from the Canadian Point of Care Ultrasound Society. By teaching doctors how to use ultrasound at the bedside, he helps them make diagnoses more quickly and accurately. Congratulations Dr. Turner!
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