Virtual models can be created in the angiography room thanks to an approach developed by researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) and the university’s departments of radiology, radiation oncology, and nuclear medicine. The latest advances were presented by Dr. Gilles Soulez at the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology Society of Europe (CIRSE) conference on September 27, 2015. (more…)
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A new technology that reveals cellular gene transcription in greater detail has been developed by Dr. Daniel Kaufmann of the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) and the research team he directed. “This new research tool offers us a more profound view of the immune responses that are involved in a range of diseases, such as HIV infection. At the level of gene transcription, this had been difficult, complex and costly to do with current technologies, such as microscopy,” explained the University of Montreal professor. (more…)
On January 24, the journal Nature published an article entitled “There are no black holes.” 1 It doesn’t take much to spark controversy in the world of physics…But what does this really mean? In a brief article published on arXiv, a scientific preprint server, Stephen Hawking proposed a theory of black holes that could reconcile the principles of general relativity and quantum physics.
To better understand Hawking’s remarks, Forum interviewed Robert Lamontagne, an astrophysicist at the Department of Physics, Université de Montréal, and Executive Director of the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic.
What is a black hole? (more…)
Sperm cell release can be triggered by tightening the grip around the delivery organ, according to a team of nano and microsystems engineers and plant biologists at the University of Montreal and Concordia University. Concordia’s nanobiotech team devised a microchip that enabled the University of Montreal biologists to observe what happened when pollen tubes – the sperm delivery tools used by plants – tried to negotiate a microscopic obstacle course. The pollen tubes were exposed to a series of narrow, elastic openings resulting in a variety of cellular responses. When the opening was too narrow or tight, pollen tube growth stalled. However, the elongating tubes successfully penetrated slightly larger openings. Curiously, the pollen tubes burst and released the sperm cells when passing openings of a particular size relative to the pollen tube width. (more…)
Researchers at the University of Montreal have found that the glycated hemoglobin levels of children with type 1 diabetes followed at its affiliated Sainte-Justine Mother and Child University Hospital (CHU Sainte-Justine) is correlated linearly and negatively with household income. Glycated hemoglobin is the binding of sugar to blood molecules – over time, high blood sugar levels lead to high levels of glycated hemoglobin, which means that it can be used to assess whether a patient properly controls his or her blood glucose level. “Our study highlights a marked disparity between the rich and the poor in an important health outcome for children with type 1 diabetes, despite free access to health care”, explained Dr. Johnny Deladoëy, who led the study. (more…)
University of Montreal researchers found that changes in gravity affect the reproductive process in plants. Gravity modulates traffic on the intracellular “highways” that ensure the growth and functionality of the male reproductive organ in plants, the pollen tube. “Just like during human reproduction, the sperm cells in plants are delivered to the egg by a cylindrical tool. Unlike the delivery tool in animals, the device used during plant sex consists of a single cell, and only two sperm cells are discharged during each delivery event,” explained Professor Anja Geitmann of the university’s Department of biology. “Our findings offer new insight into how life evolved on Earth and are significant with regards to human health, as a traffic jam on these highways that also exist in human cells can cause cancer and illnesses such as Alzheimer’s.” (more…)
Christopher Cameron of the University of Montreal’s Department of Biological Sciences and his colleagues have unearthed a major scientific discovery – a strange phallus-shaped creature they found in Canada’s Burgess Shale fossil beds, located in Yoho National Park. The fossils were found in an area of shale beds that are 505 million years old.
Their study published online in the journal Nature on March 13, 2013, confirms Spartobranchus tenuis is a member of the acorn worms group which are seldom-seen animals that thrive today in the fine sands and mud of shallow and deeper waters. Acorn worms are themselves part of the hemichordates, a group of marine animals closely related to today’s sea stars and sea urchins. “Unlike animals with hard parts including teeth, scales and bones, these worms were soft-bodied, so their fossil record is extremely rare,” said author Dr. Chris Cameron of the University of Montreal. “Our description of Spartobranchus tenuis, a creature previously unknown to science, pushes the fossil record of the enteropneusts back 200 million years to the Cambrian period, fundamentally changing our understanding of biodiversity from this period.” (more…)
In a study published in the very first issue of the new journal JAMA Psychiatry, researchers from Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center, University of Montreal and King’s College London have shown that personality-targeted school interventions delivered to high risk adolescents manage to reduce and postpone problem drinking, which is responsible for 9% of the deaths in young people between the ages of 15 and 29 in developed countries. Furthermore, by delaying alcohol uptake in at-risk youth, low-risk youth apparently gain group immunity due to reduced drinking within their social network.
“Two factors determine problem drinking: personality and peer pressure,” explains Dr. Patricia Conrod, the study’s first author, who supports the assumption that approaching at-risk youth from the angle of mental health rather than information on the dangers of alcohol is more effective at preventing early-onset alcohol misuse. “Teaching young people how to better manage their personality traits or vulnerabilities helps them make the right decisions in given situations,” she explained, “whether it is a matter of overcoming their fears, managing thoughts that make them very emotional, controlling their compulsions, analyzing objectively the intentions of others or improving their self-perception.” (more…)