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The latest in science and technology.

Tee-shirts from the charity F— Cancer (vancitybuzz.com)
Science & Technology

Charitable auction site launched

Big companies have always been pressured by customers, governments, and charities to take an active role in social responsibility. Technology is now bridging this gap. CampusAuction, an online, Vancouver-based company that launched this August, connects students, businesses, and charitable organizations for the benefit of all. Open to any user, the site targets students by holding… Keep Reading

www.catastrophenetwork.org
Science & Technology

Why you should get your flu vaccine

Most people don’t give the seasonal flu a second thought. It seems pedestrian compared to the famous 1918 Spanish flu, which claimed more than 50 million lives worldwide. Outbreaks of other influenza viruses occuring nearly every decade since have killed over a million people. Avian flu—currently only highly transmissible between birds, not between humans—is still… Keep Reading

Wood chips, a common type of biomass. (biomassmagazine.com)
Science & Technology

Biofuels: A waste of land?

Oil companies are pumping out oil and natural gas 24/7 in order to meet the worldwide demand for fuel. Despite the apparent assumption that our grandchildren will be able to drive SUVs running on gasoline, the fact is that fossil fuel resources are becoming exhausted more rapidly than we can imagine. To solve the problem,… Keep Reading

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Science & Technology

A guide to professional social media sites

Social media has taken on a new, interactive role beyond its origins as a tool to connect with new and old friends. Facebook now lets users join favourite celebrities’ pages, Twitter lets us know what they’re up to at any given moment, and Instagram can show us what they ate for breakfast (through filters, no… Keep Reading

From the macroscopic to the microscopic level, fish scales are designed to protect. (photos provided by Barthelat’s lab)
Science & Technology

Fish scales serve as new model for protective armour

Imagine a hockey player preparing himself for a game and donning his socks, skates… and fish scale shoulder pads. This is not as outlandish as it seems—researchers are using fish scales as the model for a new wave of stronger protective armour. Since 2006, Francois Barthelat—associate professor of mechanical engineering at McGill and associate member… Keep Reading

A micrograph of an ovarian tumor (blog.netbio.com).
Science & Technology

Researchers unmask genetic nature of ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is the fifth-most diagnosed cancer among Canadian women, accounting for four per cent of all new cases. Tragically, 75 per cent of these new cases prove terminal within five years of their diagnosis. Although it is often compared to breast cancer, ovarian cancer is, in fact, more deadly, because detection usually occurs at… Keep Reading

Science & Technology

Don’t Knock the Floppy

Different generations can’t understand each other when it comes to technology. When older professors discuss the joys of computer programming on punched cards, I nod periodically and feign interest, but secretly send texts under the table. Soon enough, however, it will be us spouting technological trivialities on the next generation’s deaf ears. In fact, it’s… Keep Reading

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Science & Technology

Patents: from the McGill lab to the world market

At many universities, like McGill, the seeds of the next great invention could be awaiting discovery—in a student sketchbook, a lab notebook, or on the corner of a professor’s desk. While the allure of invention is strong, the high cost of obtaining a U.S. patent (usually between $20,000-100,000 and sometimes more) often has an inhibiting… Keep Reading

Super soldier ants dwarf worker ants. (flickriver.com)
Science & Technology

Freak ants reveal evolutionary truths to researchers

It turns out your high school science teacher was wrong. While evolution can seem like a random series of events, some researchers are arguing that there may be a non-random, or even predictable, aspect to the process. Ehad Abouheif, Canada research chair in evolutionary developmental biology, and associate professor of biology at McGill, conducts research… Keep Reading

Audrey Moores (chemistry.mcgill.ca)
Science & Technology

Audrey Moores: on a quest for ‘greener’ chemistry

Most people associate chemistry with toxic fumes and caustic materials. The Green Chemistry movement, which began in the 1990s, is working to change both the perception and the reality of the field.   Dr. Audrey Moores, an assistant professor in the McGill department of chemistry, focuses on green chemistry in her research. “What green chemistry… Keep Reading

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