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McGill University

Materials

Minute "printing press" gets gold nanoparticles organized

Researchers at McGill University's Department of Chemistry have created what may be the world's smallest "printing press." Using synthetic DNA as a kind of scaffold, the scientists manipulated gold nanoparticles a millionth of an inch in diameter to form orderly structures that could have great scientific, engineering, and medical potential.Read More

Environment

Metal makes for a promising alternative to fossil fuels

Clean fuels come in many forms, but burning iron or aluminum seems to be stretching the definition – unless you ask a team of scientists led by McGill University, who see a low-carbon future that runs on metal. The team is studying the combustion characteristics of metal powders to determine whether such powders could provide a cleaner, more viable alternative to fossil fuels than hydrogen, biofuels, or electric batteries.Read More

Medical

Maple syrup extract shows promise in fight against superbugs

Researchers at Canada's McGill University have uncovered what could be a pretty sweet way of warding off bacteria. The scientists developed a concentrated extract of maple syrup and combined it with antibiotics, finding that it heightened bacteria's vulnerability, suggesting it could prove an effective way of lowering dosages required to treat infections and help to hamper the evolution of drug-resistant superbugs. Read More

Science

Super-tough glass based on mollusk shells

In the future, if you drop a glass on the floor and it doesn't break, thank a mollusk. Inspired by shellfish, scientists at Montreal's McGill University have devised a new process that drastically increases the toughness of glass. When dropped, items made using the technology would be more likely to deform than to shatter. Read More

Electronics

Instrumented Bodies gives music and dance some backbone

For the last three years, a small research team at McGill University has been working with a choreographer, a composer, dancers and musicians on a project named Instrumented Bodies. Three groups of sensor-packed, internally-lit digital music controllers that attach to a dancer's costume have been developed, each capable of wirelessly triggering synthesized music as the performer moves around the stage. Sounds are produced by tapping or stroking transparent Ribs or Visors, or by twisting, turning or moving Spines. Though work on the project continues, the instruments have already been used in a performance piece called Les Gestes which toured Canada and Europe during March and April.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

GM tomatoes and helpful bacteria claimed to lower cholesterol

Atherosclerosis, more commonly known as hardening of the arteries, can have very serious consequences such as heart attacks and strokes. While there are medications that remove some of the offending plaque from the inside of the affected arteries, not everyone wants to take drugs unless absolutely necessary. Lifestyle improvements can certainly help, but soon two other options may be available – probiotics and genetically-engineered tomatoes. Read More

Science

Nanoscale electronic circuit suggests new possibilities for computers

A team of scientists from Montreal’s McGill University have successfully formed a circuit between two wires which were separated by a gap of only 15 nanometers – that’s about the width of 150 atoms. It is reportedly “the first time that anyone has studied how the wires in an electronic circuit interact with one another when packed so tightly together.” Along with being one of the smallest electronic circuits ever created, it has also led to a discovery that may have big implications for the world of computing. Read More

Medical

Researchers develop low-cost stroke rehabilitation glove

When the use of a hand is lost due to a stroke, it’s important to get that paralyzed hand moving again – this allows the brain and the body to “relearn” how to use it. A new approach to this problem has emerged in recent years with the development of powered devices like the Amadeo or the Rehabilitation Glove that enable patients to exercise passively until they recover sufficiently to start moving on their own. Now four students from Montreal’s McGill University have created a prototype stroke recovery glove that would cost relatively little to produce, and that patients can use at home through a video game interface.Read More

Robotics

World's first intubation robot tested on human subjects

Pretty much any time a patient is placed under a general anesthetic, a plastic endotracheal tube is inserted down their throat, in order to keep their airway open. The procedure is known as intubation, and has so far always been performed by hand. In this age of robotic surgery, however, it’s perhaps not surprising to hear that surgeons at Montreal’s McGill University Health Centre are now trying out a remote-control intubation system on human subjects.Read More

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