Memory Engrams: The Physical Traces of Memories in Your Brain

In 1923, German biologist Richard Semon proposed the engram theory of memory. According to this theory, when a person experiences something, a set of selected stimuli from this experience activates entire populations of neurons in that person’s brain, thus inducing lasting chemical and physical changes in their connections. These changes are known as the engram. Each of the assemblies of neurons thus selected thereby contributes to the storage of the memory. As we shall see…

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Que pouvons-nous connaître ?

“Ce que l’on observe n’est pas la nature en soi mais la nature révélée par nos méthodes de questionnement.” C’est avec cette citation du physicien quantique Werner Heisenberg, l’auteur du principe d’incertitude qui porte son nom, que Marcelo Gleiser, lui-même professeur de physique et d’astronomie, commençait un article publié dans la revue Nature la semaine dernière. Intitulé « How Much Can We Know? », ce court texte soulève plusieurs questions fondamentales au sujet de la…

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Cracked Science: Does a New Organ Explain Acupuncture?

  Did you know that doctors recently discovered a brand-new organ no one knew existed? And that it may explain how acupuncture works? Actually, scratch all of that. This story is drenched in hype and we're going to cut through all of it. This is episode 16 of Cracked Science, for May 10th, 2018. Jonathan's latest video for the McGill Office for Science and Society.  

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Wait, there’s a much simpler explanation! (For CRISPR-Cas, not for GTA)

I'm in Halifax for a couple of weeks, visiting Ford Doolittle and his philosophical colleagues,  We've spent much of the time considering the extent to which CRISPR-Cas systems can or should be considered 'Lamarckian'.  I started with the simplistic perspective that of course it is, because an acquired character (immunity to future phage or plasmid infection) becomes inherited because the Cas proteins insert short phage- or plasmid-derived DNA sequences as a CRISPR 'spacer' into the…

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Right Turn: The ABCs of IP and CEO

For Canada to thrive, supporting and training our future work force and leaders is crucial. This can happen in a myriad of ways. For a group of Canadian organizations in the biotherapeutics field, this has taken the form of joining together to host training workshops for graduate students and early career researchers. Last year, the Clinical Translation Education Group (CTEG)* hosted Bench to Bedside for Biotherapeutics (“B3”), a successful one-day workshop that offered an introduction…

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Clicker-plus-food and food-only are equally good dog training methods

Scientists test the use of a clicker-plus-food versus the use of food only in a positive reinforcement tricks training course for novice dogs, and find both work equally well.Photo: Corey Terrill / ShutterstockThe study, by Lynna Feng et al (La Trobe University), used a randomized design in which dogs were assigned to one of three groups: a group that was taught with a clicker and food rewards (clicker training), a group that was taught with…

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Clicker-plus-food and food-only are equally good dog training methods

Scientists test the use of a clicker-plus-food versus the use of food only in a positive reinforcement tricks training course for novice dogs, and find both work equally well.Photo: Corey Terrill / ShutterstockThe study, by Lynna Feng et al (La Trobe University), used a randomized design in which dogs were assigned to one of three groups: a group that was taught with a clicker and food rewards (clicker training), a group that was taught with…

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Phys Ed Teachers Needed for Research Study

A research project at the University of Western Ontario is currently recruiting participants.  To participate or find out more, please contact Stephanie Truelove (519) 661-2111, ext. 88938, email: struelo2@uwo.ca, or Dr. Trish Tucker, (519) 661-2111, ext. 88977, email: ttucker2@uwo.ca. Physical education class provides an ideal environment for students to be physically active; however, the instruction of physical education varies greatly between individual teachers across the country. At this time, physical education specialists (i.e., gym teachers…

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James Kreppner Award goes to University of Saskatchewan’s Alana Cattapan

Alana Cattapan, assistant professor in the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS) at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) has been awarded the Canadian Blood Services’ James Kreppner Award ($43,275) to study the issues related to the commercialization of blood and tissue in Canada. 

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