Karim Nader on memory reconsolidation

Prof. Karim Nader, Department of Psychology

Prof. Karim Nader, Department of Psychology

McGill neuroscientist Dr. Karim Nader (Department of Psychology) explains the theory of memory reconsolidation and describes how it might be used to treat anxiety disorders. Visit the Technology Review website to watch Professor Nader’s video.

Q & A – Exoplanets

Mini-Science logo At the conclusion of each Mini-Science lecture, audience members submit their questions to the evening’s presenter, who answers as many as possible on the spot. Three of the unanswered questions are sent to the presenter for posting here. In addition, a quiz is held each week based on material from the lecture. Here are questions and the quiz from Prof. Andrew Cumming’s lecture ‘In Search of New Worlds: The Discovery and Characterization of Exoplanets’ (April 22, 2009).
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Beginning at the end

Martin Grant, Dean of Science

Martin Grant, Dean of Science

Being Dean of Science at McGill means that I am, in some sense, the local guy who is expected to understand all areas of modern science, and understand the relevance of those areas to our lives.

This came through to me last fall when the CERN collider was getting set to be turned on for the first time. McGill is a major partner in the ATLAS project at CERN, and there was a fair bit of media coverage. I was asked questions about the ATLAS project at CERN by members of the media, by alumni, by my professorial colleagues, by my friends, and by my family. They figured that, as Dean of Science, I was an expert. In fact, their flattering misunderstanding showed they did not appreciate that a rather large fraction of a Dean’s job can best be described as clerical rather than scientific, and by no means am I an expert on all, or even a few areas of modern science.

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Tweets from MARS

Dale Andersen

Dale Andersen

Alumnus Dr. Dale Andersen (Ph.D. ’05) recently undertook field research at the McGill Arctic Research Station (MARS) on Axel Heiberg Island, Nunavut, with Dr. Wayne Pollard (Professor of Geography, MARS Director). Read Dr. Andersen’s updates: from the high Arctic to you via portable generators, laptop computers, and satellite connections via Dale Andersen’s Twitter page.

Q & A – Island Universes

Mini-Science logo At the conclusion of each Mini-Science lecture, audience members submit their questions to the evening’s presenter, who answers as many as possible on the spot. Three of the unanswered questions are sent to the presenter for posting here. In addition, a quiz is held each week based on material from the lecture. Here are questions and the quiz from Prof. Tracy Webb’s lecture ‘Island Universes: The Nature and Origin of Galaxies’ (April 15, 2009).
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Monosodium Glutamate: Fact vs Fiction

Logo: Office for Science & Society

Sometimes beliefs are converted into fact by repetition alone. We constantly hear of people who avoid monosodium glutamate (MSG) for fear of being struck by “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.” Restaurants have taken to posting signs declaring that “no MSG added” has been added to their food in a bid to pacify customers. This in spite of the fact that numerous controlled double-blind studies have failed to show the existence of “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.” (more…)

Q & A – An Astronomer’s Window

minisciencelogo-300pxAt the conclusion of each Mini-Science lecture, audience members submit their questions to the evening’s presenter, who answers as many as possible on the spot. Three of the unanswered questions are sent to the presenter for posting here. In addition, a quiz is held each week based on material from the lecture. Here are questions and the quiz from Prof. Matt Dobbs’ lecture ‘An Astronomer’s Window on the Birth of the Universe’ (April 8, 2009).
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The 2009 Africa Field Study Semester

Tea plantation, near Kibale National Park, Uganda.

Tea plantation, near Kibale National Park, Uganda.

McGill’s 2009 Canadian Field Studies in Africa / Africa Field Study Semester program took place January through March. Here is the first of several postings from the field.

January 25, 2009 | We had spent the past week in Nairobi, Kenya at the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology attending a series of lectures on topics ranging from anti-malaria programs to urbanization challenges and beyond from local figures, as well as touring fascinating sights like the Kibera slum, home to 1 million dwellers, and Uhuru Park, the culmination of an enormous conservation effort of the past few years. However, we left Nairobi today for Kibale National Park in Uganda. Starting with a 4 AM wake up in order to beat the traffic crunch of 1.5 million people who commute into the city each day, we piled into our trucks and set off for the airport. After saying goodbye to the “Green City in the Sun” until March, we caught a short Kenya Airlines flight to Entebbe in southwestern Uganda. There we began the real part of our journey: A 6 hour bus ride to the Makerere University Biological Field Station in the National Park. The trip actually went by fairly quickly, with lush forests and rolling hills of tea plantations providing scenery for practically the whole trip. Along with a few rest breaks and a couple of crates of “sodas” (soft drinks for our non-American readers), it wasn’t a bad trip at all. The field station itself is fantastic, with beds and meals provided and wide open spaces for soccer or Frisbee. Located above a local village and surrounded by forest, it maintains a fulltime staff and several cabins for residing researchers. Tomorrow is the first day of classes here and it should be a great chance to get out of lecture halls and into the field.

Contributor: Kevin Barford

Q & A – Neutron Stars

minisciencelogo-300pxAt the conclusion of each Mini-Science lecture, audience members submit their questions to the evening’s presenter, who answers as many as possible on the spot. Three of the unanswered questions are sent to the presenter for posting here. In addition, a quiz is held each week based on material from the lecture. Here are questions and the quiz from Prof. Victoria Kaspi’s lecture ‘Neutron Stars: Lighthouses of the Cosmos’ (April 1, 2009).
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‘Squeezing’ light into quantum dots

lasers
McGill University researchers have successfully amplified light with colloidal quantum dots. This had been written off by many as a scientific dead-end since, over the last 15 years, repeated quantum dot research efforts failed to deliver on expected improvements in amplification. However, after extensive research, Professor Patanjali (Pat) Kambhampati and colleagues at the Department of Chemistry determined that colloidal quantum dots do indeed amplify light as promised. The earlier disappointments were due to accidental roadblocks, not by any fundamental law of physics, the researchers said. This breakthrough has enormous potential significance for the future of laser technology, and by extension, for telecommunications, next-generation optical computing and an innumerable array of other applications. Read more online:

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