Research Briefs

The underlying unity of life

Comparing animals of various sizes has historically been a challenge for biologists. From simple observation, an elephant could not be more different than a mouse. Yet, a universal underlying principle concurrently governs them both.  Scaling laws—derived mathematical models that compare an organism’s key life traits to its body mass—present an […]

Small but mighty: Arctic bacteria are capable of cleaning up oil spills

Historically impassable, the ice cover of the Northwest Passage along Canada’s Arctic coast has thinned over the past few years, piquing the interest of the shipping and luxury cruise industries. This thinning, along with Arctic drilling, makes the legendary frozen passage particularly susceptible to oil and fuel spills. To combat […]

Searching for a home away from home

Scientists believe that planets outside of the solar system capable of supporting life should look a lot like Earth. The theory posits that if the chemical components comprising Earth’s atmosphere can be found in that of distant planets, those worlds could harbour similar carbon-based life-forms.  This summer, two McGill University […]