Revving Your Nanoscale Engine

Biological molecular machines are microscopic proteins that carry out biological tasks by converting between different forms of energy. Many molecular machines burn chemical fuel to produce movement, similar to a car engine, only 100 million times smaller. An example of this is the protein kinesin, which transports cargo along cellular filaments to specific destinations within cells, and supports critical functions such…
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Canada’s talented and skilled workforce is a competitive advantage for our country that attracts investment, drives innovation, and strengthens the economy. That’s why our government is investing in Canadians—to make sure our students and recent graduates have the skills they need for the middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow. The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development,…
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In this paper we have generated and characterized a mouse model for Stargardt disease in which the conserved asparagine residue at position 965 in an ATP-binding binding domain of ABCA4 is replaced with serine. This disease-associated missense mutation (N965S) is commonly found in the European and Asian population and a similar mutation in a related transporter ABCA1…
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Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are potent suppressors of immune responses and are currently being clinically tested for their potential to stop or control undesired immune responses in autoimmunity, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and solid organ transplantation. Current clinical approaches aim to boost Tregs in vivo either by using Treg-promoting small molecules/proteins and/or by adoptive transfer of expanded Tregs. However, the applicability of…
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Three new species of microbe found in the guts of termites have been named after members of the Canadian prog-rock band Rush, owing to the microbes’ long hair and rhythmic wriggling under the microscope. “A Spanish postdoc, Javier del Campo, asked me to recommend some good Canadian music, and I suggested he listen to Rush,” says Patrick Keeling, a University…
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There are currently 5 million Canadians suffering from asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), diseases of airflow limitation for which there are no effective treatments. The main reason is that there are many subtypes of these diseases, and some people even suffer from both – a condition called Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome. The key to discovering new life-preserving drugs for…
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There are many scientific challenges to the design of a broadly effective HIV vaccine. One of the longstanding challenges has been the design of a component that can elicit broadly reactive nAbs. One of the target sites on the HIV spike that have been identified through past research are so-called oligomannose sugar molecules that largely coat the virus spike. It has proven challenging to elicit antibodies that can target…
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Infants that are held less by caregivers show lasting changes to genes involved in immune response and metabolism, according to a study of children from British Columbia. Fussy babies who were held the least were underdeveloped for their age in five areas of the genome when they were tested more than four years later. Fussy babies in the high cuddling…
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Get a simple cut on the finger or a bump on the head, and the body’s immune system rushes in to heal the area. Inflammation of this sort is a normal response to injuries or infections; but when inflammation occurs in the brain – particularly the developing brain of a child – it can lead to serious complications and have…
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In the basement of McGill University’s engineering building, Elizabeth O’Meara punches the word “engineer” into a Google Image search and watches the screen fill with pictures of men in construction helmets. “It’s kind of disgraceful,” O’Meara tells her audience, a group of Grade 11 students she’s hoping to encourage to pursue her own field of study. “Not everyone wears hard…
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