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The latest in science and technology.

Proteins are the building blocks of cells. (
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. (
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

Tee-shirts from the charity F— Cancer (
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
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. (
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

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 (
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

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