Research Briefs

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 […]

Detecting tiny cracks can reveal the potential of new technologies

The properties of materials, from the plastic in water bottles to the metal beams of skyscrapers, are determined by their microscopic structure. However, most substances are not perfectly uniform and rather contain a significant number of minuscule defects. These imperfections play a large role in determining the physical properties of […]

New evidence of sticky proteins redefines bacterial cell organization

A team of biologists at McGill are changing the way scientists think about the subcellular organization of bacteria. The research group, led by Dr. Stephanie Weber, Assistant Professor of Biology at McGill, examines the spatial organization of living systems using E. coli, a species of bacteria commonly used in laboratory […]

Gene therapy provides a potential breakthrough in brain cancer treatment

In the fight against cancer, scientists have long grappled with the ambiguous nature of stem cells. Glioblastoma tumours, the most aggressive form of brain cancer in adults, consist of these cells, which have the notable ability to self-renew. This makes these tumours notoriously hard to treat with targeted radiation therapy […]