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Where did these butterflies come from and where are they off to?

As summer transitions into fall, an increased flow of insect and bird migrations takes off. The McGill campus, as well as greater Montreal, has experienced a southbound butterfly migration in preparation for the winter. Although these butterflies are commonly misidentified as monarchs, they are actually Vanessa cardui, or Painted Ladies. Insect expert and Curator of… Keep Reading

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Building sustainable materials inspired by nature

On Sept. 14 at Soup and Science, students were made privy to the exciting field of Sustainable Materials Chemistry, as presented by Matthew Harrington, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry. “Since 1950 we’ve accumulated over five billion metric tonnes of plastic in our environment and landfills with a projected increase to 12 billion… Keep Reading

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From mutation to malformation: Developmental syndromes

On Sept. 12, Soup and Science featured some of the cutting-edge developmental biology research going on at McGill. Over an egg salad sandwich and a bowl of chicken soup, The McGill Tribune met Loydie Jerome-Majewska, pediatrics professor and medical scientist, to hear about her research regarding developmental syndromes. Between two and three per cent of children… Keep Reading

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Curing cancer with 1’s and 0’s

Rapid chemical analysis that takes days to complete in a lab can now be done with the click of a button. A self-proclaimed “Beast in Science,” associate professor in the McGill Department of Chemistry, Nicolas Moitessier, worked with his team of computer engineers and biochemists at the Moitessier Research Group in Montréal to develop new… Keep Reading

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Ask a Scientist: How is spider silk so strong?

How is spider silk so strong? It’s so thin and light! The properties of spider silk—also known as gossamer—can seem mysterious if we try to think of it as a kind of string; however, the strength of spider silk comes primarily from its complex structure on the microscopic scale. Gossamer is actually so materially and… Keep Reading

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Ask a scientist: Why isn’t the sky blue?

Two questions stood out for our first column. First, “Why is the sky blue?” This is a well-known one, but the subject has also been tackled by just about every scientific blog and answer column under the blue sky. The second attention-grabbing question was “Why isn’t the sky blue?” That query raises a very important point… Keep Reading

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