From the sudden agony of stepping on a Lego block to persistent aching from chronic conditions, everyone experiences pain. Sometimes we know the pain will subside quickly and we can just tough it out, but other times it’s more than we can (or want to) handle on our own. The quest for pain relief has led humans to explore a vast array of treatments, from traditional painkillers to alternative therapies like massages and ice packs. Pain is an essential evolutionary mechanism, serving to ensure our survival and reproduction. Even so, I’m sure most people would opt to take an Advil to stop a headache rather than worrying about the growth of our family tree.
Last summer, QBIN launched the first trial of a new program designed to engage CEGEP students in bio-imaging research and help graduate students and postdocs gain valuable mentorship experience. Three PhD students from the Integrated Program in Neuroscience at McGill University were paired with two CEGEP students from Dawson College to complete a 10-week research internship. The pilot was a great success and we plan to expand the program to include more mentors and interns from across the province in summers to come! Read on to learn more about the program from the perspective of our first three QBIN mentors, Aurelie Bussy, Stephanie Tullo, and Isabelle Arseneau-Bruneau!
With the COVID-19 pandemic persisting for close to a year now, our daily routines and habits have changed dramatically. Those of us working from home have only a short commute from our beds to our desks, which may be convenient, but also reduces our exposure to different environments and blurs boundaries between work and leisure. Those who have lost their jobs or are shouldering childcare responsibilities on top of their work are facing numerous other challenges and changes to their lives, all of which may have lasting consequences. Most obviously, the change in routine due to public health restrictions has resulted in the visible dwindling of our social interactions. Could it be that the pandemic-related shift in our normal routines is also fundamentally changing the way we think and behave as human beings? It might be too early to tell but it’s definitely an interesting question to speculate about.
Aging is often associated with memory loss for personal events and their rich contextual detail (known as episodic memory). Episodic memory is the type of memory that allows you to remember where you parked your car in a mall parking lot, or whether or not you took your medication earlier in the day. It is also intricately involved with your personal identity, enables you to learn from past experiences, and helps you plan for your future.