McGill Research 2013 Year In Review

By McGill University | Prepared by the Media Relations Office

Big bang swirls hint at universe's birth

A subtle distortion in the oldest light in the universe may help reveal secrets about the earliest moments in its formation.

Diabetes drug helps women, but may hurt men's hearts

A diabetes drug has positive effects on women's heart function, but can cause a metabolism shift in men thought to increase heart failure risk.

Expectant dads may need folate, too

A father's folate levels before conception may be as important as the mother's for the health of the offspring, according to a new study with mice.

Men get more bang for health care bucks

A first-ever study of health spending efficiency in 27 industrialized nations shows stronger gains in life expectancy for men than for women.

Mice raised without fathers are more aggressive

A new study with mice is the first study to link father absenteeism with social attributes and to correlate these with physical changes in the brain.

Shortcut lets brain make memories in a flash

Nerve cells have a special “pre-assembly” technique that enables the brain to quickly form memories. …

Snack test links gene to childhood obesity

A new study on childhood obesity links a gene in the brain's reward system to young children's food choices.

Waterborne parasite may soon be treatable

By blocking a protective enzyme in the microscopic parasite C. parvum, scientists have made it vulnerable to its host's immune system.

Low vitamin D raises risk of preterm birth for black moms

Pregnant African-American and Puerto Rican women who have low levels of vitamin D are more likely to go into labor early and give birth to preterm …

300,000 gamers unleashed on genetic science

For the past three years, 300,000 gamers have helped scientists with genomic research by playing Phylo, an online puzzle game developed at McGill …

Gene keeps wheat from sprouting on the stalk

A new way to keep high humidity from damaging wheat crops could save farmers millions …

Aggression in boys may start before birth

Chronic aggressive behavior exhibited by some boys from disadvantaged families may be due to epigenetic …

How birds got their wings

Birds split from dinosaurs when their front limbs got longer and their back limbs got …

Heart attack: 1 in 5 young women have no chest pain

Chest pain is readily recognized as a symptom of heart trouble, but not all women …

To fight pollution, China pays rice farmers to grow corn

Rice farming near Beijing has contaminated and tapped the city’s drinking water, but a program …

Send DNA 'cages' filled with drugs to sick cells

Tiny structures made of DNA strands may one day offer a way to deliver drugs …

Jet lag lets up faster without this protein

MCGILL (CAN) — Removing a key protein that regulates the circadian clock could help treat …

Flood of dopamine may fuel desire to drink

MCGILL (CAN) — A pathway in our brains that makes us crave reward goes into …

Tiny brain region senses motion ‘on the fly’

MCGILL (CAN) — In new research with implications for motion sickness, scientists have found key …

55 ways to make clinical drug trials more ethical

MCGILL (CAN) — A new set of recommendations could make preclinical studies of potential new …

How to churn out a 'greener' margarine

MCGILL (CAN) — A new technique replaces heavy metals with iron as a catalyst for …

Block nerve 'sprouts' to ease arthritis pain

MCGILL (CAN) — The nervous system may play more of a role in arthritis than …

Oceans need time to adapt to fast nitrogen cycle

MCGILL (CAN) — Scientists have completed the first global study of changes that occurred in …

New genes evolve to prevent inbred plants

MCGILL (CAN) — Even though a group of plants lost the complex genes for self-pollen …

How immune cells single out invaders

MCGILL (CAN) — Scientists are trying to understand how immune cells manage to sort through …

Mom's education predicts adult kids' depression

MCGILL (CAN) — Children of women who didn’t finish high school are twice as likely …

Astronomers shocked: Neutron star slows down

McGILL U. (CAN) — Neutron stars are known suddenly to begin rotating faster, but researchers …

Permafrost microbe loves salty Arctic ‘veins’

MCGILL (CAN) — Scientists have discovered a bacterium in the Canadian High Arctic that thrives …

Daily calcium linked to longer life in women

MCGILL (CAN) — Women who consume 1,000 mg of calcium a day—regardless if consumed in …