Research Briefs

Exploring the microbiota of human breast milk

Until recently, scientists presumed that breast milk—the primary source of infant nutrition— was microbe-free. However, recent studies have found that breast milk contains a healthy dose of good bacteria. These microbes originate from the mother’s gut microbiota—the harmless micro-organisms that colonize the human digestive system. The microbiome performs diverse functions […]

Study finds gender gap continues to persist in archaeology

For centuries, women have fought to have their scientific contributions recognized, and the challenge to secure tenure-track positions in academia is no different. Despite women representing two-thirds of all Canadian doctorates in archaeology today, they only comprise one-third of the country’s tenured faculty.  Lisa Overholtzer, an assistant professor of archaeology […]

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 […]