X-Press – Briefs from the world of education.

April 9, 2003


McGill Reporter [April 3, 2003; v35 n13]
The McGill Reporter wrote this week that “Psychology professor Jeffrey Mogil has proved that a gene that causes red hair and fair skin also plays a role in how some women respond to painkillers.”

“‘In a nutshell, what we found is red-headed women are more sensitive to the effects of a particular class of analgesics: ‘ explained Mogil.”

Mogil has found that “Pentazocine is more effective on the crimson-crowned due to a variant of the gene melanocortin-1 (Mc1r). Though the gene is found in everyone, one variant of Mc1r is responsible for the distinctive pigmentation of 65 percent of all redheads (unrelated genes are the cause for the remaining 35 percent). The more common variant found in blondes and brunettes produces a protein that normally blocks the effect of kappa-opioid drugs. In redheads that protein isn’t doing its job, and so pentazocine can work unhindered.”

Bottled redheads cannot expect any advantage when using pentazocine:



McGill University Press Release

April 2, 2003 – McGill students have done it again. For the fifth consecutive year, the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) have given $500,000 to the University’s libraries. McGill Principal Heather Munroe-Blum will commemorate the gift — which will be fully matched by the University — during a special ceremony on April 3 at 4 pm in Redpath Library (3459 McTavish St.).


Since 1992, the SSMU has raised close to $11million for libraries, bursaries, the new Brown Student Services Building and the McGill Athletics Complex.



“Mount Royal College is about to become a link in a chain of activities that will provide clean water to thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of families in developing countries.”
In an innovative new program, Mount Royal College, in conjunction with Petro Canada and The Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology will offer a certificate program in water filtration devices and water hygiene for use in third world countries. “The CAWST volunteers will use this training to teach core groups of people in developing countries, who can then pass on that knowledge until the families who make up the population have the same access to clean water that most North Americans enjoy.”



Dalhousie University Press Release

April 3, 2003: Halifax – A new national organization will be formed in May when participants to the first College and University Retirees Associations of Canada (CURAC) conference gather at a founding meeting at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

The new organization will represent the interests of university retirees on issues such as pensions and benefits and provide social and cultural services to its members. It also will provide a link to other local and national seniors’ organizations in order to join the debate on issues such as health care, social benefits and the changing nature of retirement.

“Canada’s population is aging fast,” says Dr. Tarun Ghose, one or the conference organizers. “Our governments need to rethink and reconfigure government health care and social benefits policies.

“As university and college retirees, CURAC will have the responsibility to initiate or join the discussions on matters concerning seniors, and also for other pressing social matters such as the quality of education and accessibility to higher education, including professional education.”


CURAC’s membership is open to organized groups of staff and faculty retirees associated with one or more institutions of postsecondary education in Canada. It will officially come into being at its national conference at Dalhousie on May 26.