Research Briefs

Puffy exoplanet challenges traditional notions of planet formation

Since the first exoplanet was discovered in 1992, scientists have identified more than 4,000 of these astronomical bodies. Exoplanets—planets found outside our solar system—have been shown to challenge traditional theories of planet formation, which were based on Earth’s own system.  A recent study has revealed that gas giants can form […]

When the world of dinosaurs was rocked, so was the climate

As tropical forests are cleared for agriculture and coral reefs overheat from rising temperatures, thousands of species vanish into oblivion, unable to survive the rapid climatic and environmental changes of the Anthropocene—the age of the sixth mass extinction. The Anthropocene epoch is an unofficial unit of geological time used to […]

With tumours, it’s what’s on the inside that counts

For the first time, McGill researchers have detected regions of high rigidity within the developing tumour microenvironment (TME) of breast cancer tumours. These findings, published in Nature Communications, suggest new possibilities for mapping the progression of invasive tumours based on the physical properties of the TME, including tissue stiffness.   The […]

New study highlights differences in vaccination policies worldwide

Vaccination is arguably the most successful public health tool ever developed, virtually eliminating diseases like smallpox and polio from the viral landscape. The current COVID-19 public health crisis has pushed vaccine research efforts into overdrive, as scientists race to find multiple different formulas to grant the world immunity. However, the […]

Revealing the burning truth about droughts and heatwaves

Throughout the 1930s, horrific dust storms swept through Western North American, eviscerating agricultural fields and leaving the livelihoods of millions of underprepared farmers in peril. This period, known as the Dust Bowl, was characterized by severe drought and wind erosion. Since then, scientific advances have helped farmers develop more resilient […]

Living on the edge: Protecting endangered plant species in the Canadian North

From the boreal forests of Newfoundland to the majestic Douglas firs of British Columbia, Canada boasts some of the most astounding plant life the world has to offer. Yet, Canada’s flora are becoming increasingly threatened by climate and land-use change. Conservation biology is an important area of scientific research that […]

A new approach to addressing urban homelessness

The homelessness epidemic continues to affect over 235,000 Canadians each year, most of them in major cities. Despite some efforts from municipal governments and charitable organizations to address the staggering number of unhoused Canadians, this figure has continued to rise annually since the late 1980s. However, a new study published […]