Reaching out from the field

Research

BIOLOGY PROFESSOR CATHERINE POTVIN IS A NEW BREED OF ACADEMIC: equal parts researcher and teacher, community activist, journalist, and even extreme adventurer. In a recent video series that she filmed and produced with her students, Potvin speaks to the camera while in a dug-out canoe on a river in Panama, part of an 11-hour journey […]

It’s a tooth! It’s a shell! It’s superglass!

Research

By Chris Atack MOTHER NATURE HAS BEEN DESIGNING DURABLE MATERIALS A LOT LONGER THAN HUMANS HAVE. The results are impressive — and instructive. Using an approach to materials architecture found in nature, associate professor of mechanical engineering professor François Barthelat and his colleagues have produced glass that is 200 times tougher than the ordinary substance. […]

Angry words

Research

CONFLICT RESOLUTION GOES DIGITAL: In addition to being a full-time student at the Faculty of Law, Jonathan Elston is also an accredited mediator, tech whiz and entrepreneur. In December 2013, he launched an app and website called Mediate2Go.com. Building on Elston’s research on modes of alternate dispute resolution such as arbitration and mediation, the app […]

These are your hormones on music

Research

IN THE FIRST LARGE-SCALE REVIEW OF 400 RESEARCH PAPERS about the neurochemistry of music, psychology professor Daniel Levitin and postdoctoral researcher Mona Lisa Chanda note that playing and listening to music have clear benefits for mental and physical health. Listening to music increases production of the social bonding hormone oxytocin and the immune system-boosting antibody […]

Improving access to healthcare in India

Research

THE HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS—HIV—AFFECTS AN ESTIMATED 2.4 MILLION PEOPLE IN INDIA and the stigma and discrimination often associated with HIV interferes with proper diagnosis and treatment. Nitika Pant Pai, an assistant professor of medicine (clinical epidemiology), has developed an award-winning HIV screening strategy with an oral, over-the-counter self-test that detects the presence of HIV antibodies. […]

Message from the Vice-Principal

Research

McGill’s tide-turning approach to research and innovation places a renewed focus on the cultural, entrepreneurial and social life of local and global communities. Since taking the helm as Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations) in 2010, I have embraced every opportunity to facilitate partnerships with the full spectrum of organizations — non-profits, SMEs, governments at all […]

The Big Picture on Big Data

Research

If you feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information available for any given subject, know that you are not alone. Philosophers, statisticians and computer scientists have been wrestling with questions about how to derive meaningful insights from large volumes of information for decades. Three McGill researchers showcase the different applications of Big Data and offer insights on […]

Opening up the Conversation

Research

Research isn’t always done in a lab — McGill’s Inquiry Network brings research and scholarship skills to undergraduate coursework and, in so doing, is expanding its ideas across the University and beyond. // By Laura Pellerine These days, George McCourt wears the hats of Associate Director of Undergraduate Affairs as well as Senior Faculty  Lecturer for the McGill School of Environment, but his undergrad career […]

Comfort food for the brain

Research

AH DOPAMINE, THAT FASCINATING NEUROTRANSMITTER linked to the brain’s reward pathways and implicated in everything from addiction to Parkinson’s disease. In a report published in the academic journal Appetite, researchers at the McGill-affiliated Douglas Mental Health University Institute say they are the first to connect a specific dopamine suppressing gene with a predisposition to childhood […]

Big brain, small detail

Research

MRI SCANS JUST GOT THE GOOGLE EARTH TREATMENT. BigBrain, the first 3D microstructural model of the entire human brain, allows users to zoom into the brain to see various cells the way we zoom into satellite images and see houses on a street. The interface is free and publicly available to researchers worldwide at bigbrain.loris.ca. […]