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Science & Technology

Open Access offers antidote to overpriced journals

To students leaving the academic world, the cost of information may come as a shock. Without access to the extensive collections of the McGill library, journal articles cost around 30 dollars per view. The library pays thousands of dollars per journal subscription. In 2011, McGill paid $12,224,900 for journals and research database access; thisrepresents more… Keep Reading

The cross-section of a hurricane, with arrows showing the direction of wind. (hurricanescience.org)
Science & Technology

Researchers seek to unfog mysteries of hurricanes

Last week, Hurricane Sandy caused massive storms as far north as New England and Southern Ontario. Sandy’s aftermath is still making headlines across the East Coast. Like many hurricanes and storms, Sandy’s early development seemed erratic and unruly; sources from the American Global Forecast System and other organizations in North America differed on predictions for… Keep Reading

The Moa bird of New Zealand. (cfzaustralia.com)
Science & Technology

This week in research

Flightless Birds Flightless birds are an evolutionary puzzle. The most befuddling aspect of these seemingly-related animals is their dispersion across far corners of the earth, because, well, they’re flightless. Two opposing ideas seek to explain the far-reaching origins of these birds. In one, Charles Darwin suggested that a common ancestor flew to new locations, where… Keep Reading

As leaves stop producing chlorophyll, they begin to change colour. (www.mooseyscountrygarden.com)
Science & Technology

Why leaves change colour during the fall

There is always a sense of child-like wonder that is evoked by staring at that vibrant, multi-coloured silver maple en route to work. Indeed, why trees change their colour during the fall is the kind of question a father might have to answer for his curious five-year-old daughter. Yet changing leaves is such a basic… Keep Reading

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Science & Technology

Global epigenetics project granted millions in funding

Last week, scientists came one step closer to understanding the human body on a new level—down to each type of body tissue and its specific stages of phenotypic development. Through Genome Canada and the Government of Quebec, the Government of Canada finalized an agreement to supply $41 million towards epigenetic research—the study of changes in… Keep Reading

Was Count Dracula just a man with porphyria? (www.thescifiworld.com)
Science & Technology

Researchers find vampires not so undead after all

On Halloween, the streets will be filled with children dressed up as witches, vampires and other frightening creatures. For the past fifty years, research has speculated that the myth of one of these monsters can actually be traced back to a medical  disorder. Vampires are typically characterized by sensitivity to sunlight, pale complexion, and a… Keep Reading

Proteins are the building blocks of cells. (labstrip.com)
Science & Technology

Research in protein breakdown opens doors for cancer treatment

A team of researchers, led by McGill Professor Dr. Barry Posner,  has recently uncovered the importance of growth factors in maintaining healthy cells. Growth factors are molecules that stimulate and regulate cellular growth. Put simply, our cells are involved in a continuous cycle of breaking down and re-growth, much like the process of building structures… Keep Reading

iWalk’s bionic foot and ankle. (astepaheadprosthetics.wordpress.com)
Science & Technology

Robotic prosthetics make technological gains

With his amicable demeanour  and brilliant smile, Cameron Clapp is the quintessential Californian. There is, however, one other dominant element  of his persona­—his shiny, state-of-the-art robotic limbs. Clapp, now 26, lost both his legs below the knee and his right arm after getting hit by a train at the age of 15 near his home… Keep Reading

An autumnal tree. (Alexandra Allaire/ Photo Editor)
Science & Technology

Branché application reveals the secrets of urban trees

Mount Royal, west of downtown Montreal, serves as a vivid contrast to the cityscape. The autumnal leaves, ranging from yellows to fiery reds are reason enough to warrant a visit. Walking under the colourful canopy, a new tool will allow Montrealers to learn more about each tree. A made-in-Montreal iPhone application called Branché makes information… Keep Reading

Rowe on the Chikyu waiting to recieve an 850 meter core from the Japanese fault. (James Kirkpatrick )
Science & Technology

Christie Rowe: earthquake hunter

Christie Rowe is an earthquake hunter. The Wares Faculty Scholar and assistant professor of earth and planetary science at McGill travels the world studying fossilized earthquakes— earthquakes that occur deep in the earth’s crust, but eventually leave a visible record in rock that has risen to the surface because of uplift and erosion.  Last April,… Keep Reading

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