UBC Research News Releases

Data from thousands of cameras confirms protected areas promote mammal diversity

Post Date: Jan 27, 2022

A new University of British Columbia study offers new evidence that protected areas are effective at conserving wildlife.

Researchers at UBC’s faculty of forestry analyzed data from a global data set drawing from 8,671 camera trap stations spanning four continents. They found more mammal diversity in survey areas where habitat had a protected designation—compared to forests and other wilderness areas that lacked that designation.

Dr. Cole Burton

This was true even when these protected areas experienced human disturbances such as recreational use and logging.

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When relationships break down, men are at risk of mental illness

Post Date: Jan 26, 2022

A new UBC study confirms that when men transition out of relationships, they are at increased risk of mental illness, including anxiety, depression and suicide.

“Most men experienced the onset or worsening of mental illness symptoms during a distressed relationship or following the breakdown of a relationship,” says the study’s lead author Dr. John Oliffe, a Canada Research Chair and UBC professor of nursing whose work focuses on men’s mental health. He noted that marital separation quadruples the risk of male suicide and suggests that distressed relationships as well as separation and divorce contribute to men’s mental health challenges.

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UBC-led research team finds nine new coronavirus species

Post Date: Jan 26, 2022

A former UBC post-doctoral research fellow led an international research team in re-analyzing all public RNA sequencing data to uncover almost ten times more RNA viruses than were previously known, including several new species of coronaviruses in some unexpected places.

This planetary-scale database of RNA viruses can help pave the way to rapidly identify virus spillover into humans, as well as those viruses that affect livestock, crops, and endangered species.

Dr. Artem Babaian

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Salmon camps show youth Indigenous science at work

Post Date: Jan 25, 2022

Imagine a summer camp where you can watch grizzly bears catch salmon in streams, while learning about the migration and preparation of the fish hovering in the water at your feet.

Welcome to the Salmon Science Camp for Nisga’a youth, run by Dr. Andrea Reid (she/her), principal investigator of the Centre for Indigenous Fisheries at UBC. With new funding from the multi-institutional $24 million Ărramăt Project, Dr. Reid plans to expand these camps and open doors to scientific learning.

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Nearly half of countries’ shared fish stocks are on the move due to climate change, prompting dispute concerns

Post Date: Jan 18, 2022

Climate change will force 45 per cent of the fish stocks that cross through two or more exclusive economic zones to shift significantly from their historical habitats and migration paths by 2100, a challenge that may lead to international conflict, according to a new UBC study.

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Sunflowers’ invisible colours help them attract bees and adapt to drought

Post Date: Jan 18, 2022

It turns out sunflowers are more than just a pretty face: the ultraviolet colours of their flowers not only attract pollinators, but also help the plant regulate water loss, according to new UBC research.

The dense collection of yellow petals of a sunflower (technically an ‘inflorescence’, or collection of many flowers) is a familiar sight, but it’s hiding something from the human eye: an ultraviolet (UV) bullseye pattern, invisible to humans but not to most insects including bees.

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More Canadians may be driving high since cannabis legalization: UBC study

Post Date: Jan 13, 2022

THC is being detected in twice as many injured drivers since cannabis was legalized in Canada, according to new UBC research published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.  

The findings may be a signal that more Canadians are choosing to drive after using cannabis.

“It’s concerning that we’re seeing such a dramatic increase,” said Dr. Jeffrey Brubacher (he/him), associate professor in UBC’s department of emergency medicine and the principal investigator of the study. “There are serious risks associated with driving after cannabis use. Our findings suggest more is needed to deter this dangerous behaviour in light of legalization.”

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UBC researchers lead $24 million project to treat spinal cord injury

Post Date: Jan 12, 2022

Federally funded work will develop a biomaterial bridge to help regrow nerve fibres

A key challenge in treating traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI)—the kind caused by impact from a car crash, a fall, a sporting activity or a violent act—is repairing the gap that is formed when the spine is broken.

This gap, typically a few centimetres wide, essentially blocks nerve impulses from getting through, leading to serious health issues that may include paralysis, loss of blood pressure, bladder and bowel control, sexual dysfunction, and chronic pain.

Now a new, multidisciplinary team—aptly named Mend the Gap—is working on a novel approach that may help people with SCI.

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Machine learning and AI used to rapidly detect sepsis, cutting risk of death dramatically

Post Date: Jan 10, 2022

A groundbreaking advance in quickly detecting sepsis using machine learning has been pioneered by researchers in the Hancock Lab and the department of microbiology and immunology at UBC.

Sepsis is one of the biggest killers in the world, responsible for one in five deaths worldwide including those from severe COVID-19 disease, but it is difficult to detect early. It’s defined as the body’s dysfunctional response to an infection and has a variety of symptoms— including fever, fatigue, hyperventilation and a fast heart rate—that may appear at first to be from other diseases.

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UBC clinical trial supports new self-administered rapid antigen test

Post Date: Dec 23, 2021

When it comes to COVID-19, peace of mind is difficult to come by.

But thanks to new research compiled with data from UBC’s first on-campus clinical study, a new self-administered rapid antigen test will soon be available in Canada. It’s a tool that could help combat growing uncertainty, prevent transmission and potentially save lives.

Dr. Sabrina Wong

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UBC scientists unveil world’s first molecular-level analysis of Omicron variant spike protein

Post Date: Dec 22, 2021

Findings show strong antibody evasion and binding with human cells that contribute to increased transmissibility—and that vaccination remains the best defence

UBC researchers are the first in the world to conduct a molecular-level structural analysis of the Omicron variant spike protein.

The analysis—done at near atomic resolution using a cryo-electron microscope—reveals how the heavily mutated variant infects human cells and is highly evasive of immunity. The findings shed new light on why Omicron is highly transmissible and will help accelerate the development of more effective treatments.

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UBC researchers launch first-in-Canada testing program for Alzheimer’s disease

Post Date: Dec 16, 2021

For the first time, Canadians can access a new test to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, thanks to a study being led by researchers at UBC’s faculty of medicine.

The test—which measures proteins known as biomarkers in the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord—could assist with earlier and more accurate diagnosis of the disease, giving patients and their families much needed answers and assistance with planning.

Over half a million Canadians are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia. With a rapidly aging population, that number is projected to double by 2031.

Dr. Mari DeMarco

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Farmed seafood supply at risk if we don’t act on climate change

Post Date: Dec 13, 2021

Study shows marine fish farms are not climate change safety nets

The supply of farmed seafood such as salmon and mussels are projected to drop 16 per cent globally by 2090 if no action is taken to mitigate climate change, according to a new UBC study.

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Stretchy, washable battery brings wearable devices closer to reality

Post Date: Dec 09, 2021

UBC researchers have created what could be the first battery that is both flexible and washable. It works even when twisted or stretched to twice its normal length, or after being tossed in the laundry.

“Wearable electronics are a big market and stretchable batteries are essential to their development,” says Dr. Ngoc Tan Nguyen (he/him), a postdoctoral fellow at UBC’s faculty of applied science. “However, up until now, stretchable batteries have not been washable. This is a critical addition if they are to withstand the demands of everyday use.”

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UBC releases 2020 animal research statistics

Post Date: Dec 09, 2021

UBC’s summary of animals involved in research at the university in 2020 is now available.

This is the eleventh consecutive year the university has published the data. UBC is one of the few Canadian universities to publish animal research statistics annually. The university publishes the data as part of its overall commitment to openness and transparency.

The data was collected for UBC’s annual report to the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC), a national organization that oversees the ethical use of animals in science.

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Prescribing the abortion pill without restrictions is safe and effective: UBC-led study

Post Date: Dec 08, 2021

Researchers say Canada’s experience offers a roadmap for other countries

Abortion remains safe after Canada removed restrictions on the medical abortion pill mifepristone in November 2017.

That’s one of the key findings from a UBC-led study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study used comprehensive government health data to examine 315,000 abortions in Ontario between 2012 and 2020. An analysis showed no increase in abortion-related health complications following the removal of restrictions on mifepristone, which is considered the “gold standard” drug for medical abortion globally.

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Review of Elephant Hill fire calls for Indigenous leadership in wildfire management and recovery

Post Date: Dec 06, 2021

Four years after the Elephant Hill megafire burned more than 190,000 hectares and destroyed over 100 homes in B.C.’s south-central Interior region, a new Indigenous-led report is recommending fundamental changes to the way wildfire management and post-fire recovery is conducted in B.C.

Sarah Dickson-Hoyle

The report notes that the wildfire could have been better managed if provincial agencies had engaged the affected Indigenous communities more actively, and earlier in the process.

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Key quotes (excerpts) from Secwépemc communities

Post Date: Dec 06, 2021

Secwépemc wildfire experiences and ongoing wildfire impacts

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Stem cell-based treatment produces insulin in patients with Type 1 diabetes

Post Date: Dec 02, 2021

In the first study of its kind, a team of researchers at the University of British Columbia’s faculty of medicine and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) has helped to demonstrate that a stem cell-based treatment delivered through an implantable device can produce insulin in the human body.

The treatment was provided to B.C. patients living with a severe form of Type 1 diabetes as part of a multi-year clinical trial. The study results were published today in Cell Stem Cell.

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Delaying second dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine produces stronger immune response

Post Date: Dec 01, 2021

The first peer-reviewed study in North America examining the timing between the first and second doses of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines shows that a longer dose interval leads to a stronger immune response. The study is funded by the Government of Canada through its COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF).

Principal investigator Dr. Brian Grunau, assistant professor in UBC’s department of emergency medicine and scientist at the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences, indicates that these results—published Tuesday in Clinical Infectious Diseases—could inform ongoing international COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

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UBC experts on new SARS-CoV-2 variant ‘Omicron’

Post Date: Nov 30, 2021

A heavily mutated variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus—designated “Omicron”—has emerged, with early cases concentrated primarily in South Africa. UBC experts are available to comment.

Dr. Horacio Bach Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine Cell: 604-727-9719 Email: hbach@mail.ubc.ca Language(s): English

  • Recipient of Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funding to design antibodies that neutralize and block the entrance of the virus into cells

Dr. Jeffrey Joy Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Tel: 604-368-5569 Email: jjoy@bccfe.ca Language(s): English

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UBC scholars call for global research agenda into TikTok’s impacts on public health

Post Date: Nov 25, 2021

TikTok has acquired more than one billion monthly users in just five years, but the influential video-sharing app remains one of the least studied social media platforms around.

UBC researchers want to change that.

In a commentary published this week in BMJ Global Health, assistant professor Dr. Skye Barbic (she/her) of the department of occupational science and occupational therapy joins research associate Marco Zenone (he/him) and postdoctoral fellow Nikki Ow (she/her) in calling for a global research agenda into TikTok’s impact on public health.

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Extreme heat is a threat to a wider range of people than we thought

Post Date: Nov 25, 2021

Extreme heat poses an increasing threat to the public, as heat waves are expected to become more frequent, more intense and longer-lasting due to climate change.

Although the adverse health impacts of heat are well documented among older adults, less is known about the potential impacts of heat on young and middle-aged adults.

Dr. Kate Weinberger

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UBC experts on Black Friday consumption and sustainability

Post Date: Nov 24, 2021

UBC experts are available to comment on topics related to Black Friday, including urging consumers to make the connection between what they buy and what eventually ends up harming our ecosystems.

Dr. Juan José Alava (he/him) Research associate, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries and principal investigator, Ocean Pollution Research Unit Email: j.alava@oceans.ubc.ca Interview language(s): English, Spanish

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Laneway homes can decrease neighbouring property values in affluent areas: UBC study

Post Date: Nov 22, 2021

Having a laneway house next door can significantly decrease the value of your Vancouver home, depending on where you live, according to a new UBC Sauder School of Business study.

Researchers found the presence of a laneway house within 100 metres of a property on the West Side of the city was associated with a 2.8 per cent lower sale price on neighbouring properties. Neighbours immediately beside a new home with a laneway house experienced an even deeper dip, selling for 3.8 per cent less, on average, than those beside new houses with a garage but no laneway home.

And in more affluent areas, having a nearby laneway house translated into a whopping 4.7 per cent drop in value.

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UBC experts on flooding and extreme weather

Post Date: Nov 17, 2021

UBC experts are available to comment on flooding and extreme weather in B.C.

Climate science and natural disasters

Dr. Lori Daniels Professor, Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences Email: lori.daniels@ubc.ca Interview language(s): English

  • Interactions of fire and rain to contribute to debris, floods and landslides

Dr. Simon Donner Professor, Department of Geography Email: simon.donner@ubc.ca Interview language(s): English

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Domestic cats drive spread of Toxoplasma parasite to wildlife

Post Date: Nov 10, 2021

New UBC research suggests free-roaming cats are likely to blame in the spread of the potentially deadly Toxoplasma gondii parasite to wildlife in densely populated urban areas.

The study—the first to analyze so many wildlife species over a global scale—also highlights how healthy ecosystems can protect against these types of pathogens.

Dr. Amy Wilson

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Life expectancy varies by as much as 9.5 years across Metro Vancouver

Post Date: Nov 04, 2021

Life expectancy in Metro Vancouver can vary by as much as 9.5 years depending on the neighbourhood in which you live, a new UBC-led study has found.

Vancouver remains one of the healthiest cities in the world, but inequality in life expectancy between its neighbourhoods has grown considerably since 2001.

“In these data we can see the actual inequality that occurs within the city and where it occurs,” said Jessica Yu, a doctoral candidate at UBC’s school of population and public health who was lead author of the study published this week in Health and Place. “We are seeing high inequality within a city that has a relatively high life expectancy overall.”

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Heatwaves like ‘the Blob’ could decrease role of ocean as carbon sink

Post Date: Oct 28, 2021

Researchers have found the two-year heatwave known as ‘the Blob’ may have temporarily dampened the Pacific’s ‘biological pump,’ which shuttles carbon from the surface ocean to the deep sea where it can be stored for millennia.

Canadian and European researchers, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, conducted a large-scale study of the impact of one of the largest marine heatwaves on record – colloquially known as the Blob – on Pacific Ocean microorganisms. Their observations suggest that it’s not just larger marine life that is affected by abrupt changes in sea temperature.

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UBC researchers are helping communities prepare for the effects of climate change

Post Date: Oct 26, 2021

The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) takes place next week and one of its four goals is to help countries adapt to climate change in order to protect communities and natural habitats.

From creating disaster preparedness apps to training local climate champions, UBC researchers are already working with communities to help them prepare for the effects of climate change.

App-daptation for disasters and hazards

Planning for a disaster can be scary, but UBC researchers are making it easier with a new app tailored to individual households.

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Spending time in nature promotes early childhood development

Post Date: Oct 21, 2021

Want to ensure your child hits their expected developmental milestones? New UBC research suggests living in areas with high exposure to greenspace can help set them up for success.

For the study, researchers at the UBC faculty of forestry and faculty of medicine analyzed the developmental scores of 27,372 children in Metro Vancouver who attended kindergarten between 2005 and 2011. They estimated the amount of greenspace around each child’s residence from birth to age five. They also assessed levels of traffic-related air pollution and community noise.

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UBC climate experts and COP26 delegates

Post Date: Nov 15, 2021

The 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) climate change conference is taking place in Glasgow, Scotland. UBC conference delegates and UBC climate, environment and sustainability experts are available to comment.

UBC COP26 delegation

Eman Alsulaiti (إيمان السليطي) (she/her) Undergraduate student, Department of Central, Eastern & Northern European Studies Email: eeman@student.ubc.ca Interview language(s): English, Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish

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UBC clean hydrogen technology deployed to Alberta in a $7 million collaboration

Post Date: Oct 25, 2021

New hydrogen technology developed at UBC could soon be providing clean energy in Alberta, thanks to a $7 million project between UBC, the government of Alberta and Alberta utility company ATCO.

The technology developed by the UBC researchers—methane thermal cracking—can produce up to 200 kilograms of hydrogen a day using natural gas, without using water, while reducing or eliminating greenhouse gas emissions. The team will test their system at a facility in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, run by ATCO, Alberta’s largest natural gas distributor.

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Preparing for the Big One: UBC research lab to shake, rattle and roll

Post Date: Oct 19, 2021

UBC’s Earthquake Engineering Research Facility (EERF) will shake, rattle and roll for the public this International ShakeOut Day.

EERF is a unique and purpose-built lab where internationally renowned UBC researchers study the behaviour of structures during earthquakes using specially designed, digitally operated and hydraulic powered “shake tables” that precisely replicate forces experienced during seismic events.

Researchers can build sets of typical home or office furniture layouts, complete with walls, then literally shake them to see what happens when an earthquake hits. The resulting destruction provides them with crucial data that can make buildings and homes safer.

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No apparent shortage of prey for southern resident killer whales in Canadian waters during summer

Post Date: Oct 16, 2021

A statement from Dr. Andrew Trites from the Marine Mammal Research Unit

A popular belief that there are fewer Chinook salmon during the summer in Canadian waters for southern resident killer whales, compared to an abundance of fish for northern resident killer whales, has been debunked by a study led by scientists at the University of British Columbia.

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Planned home birth presents little risk where midwifery is well-integrated

Post Date: Oct 08, 2021

In the state of Washington, a planned home birth with a licensed midwife is just as safe as a birth at a licensed birth centre.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia and Bastyr University (Wash.) arrived at this conclusion after analyzing outcomes of more than 10,000 community births in Washington state between 2015 and 2020.

The research team of midwives, epidemiologists and obstetricians published the findings Thursday in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Cancer chemotherapy drug reverses Alzheimer’s symptoms in mice

Post Date: Oct 05, 2021

A drug commonly used to treat cancer can restore memory and cognitive function in mice that display symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, new UBC research has found.

The drug, Axitinib, inhibits the growth of new blood vessels in the brain—a feature shared by both cancer tumours and Alzheimer’s disease, but this hallmark represents a new target for Alzheimer’s therapies.

Mice with Alzheimer’s disease that underwent the therapy not only exhibited a reduction in blood vessels and other Alzheimer’s markers in their brains, they also performed remarkably well in tests designed to measure learning and memory.

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UBC delegates on the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26)

Post Date: Oct 05, 2021

UBC has selected a delegation of eight – including three students, one staff, and four faculty members – to send to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow this November. The delegates are available to comment on various topics related to COP26. 

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Marine heatwaves could wipe out an extra six per cent of a country’s fish catches, costing millions their jobs

Post Date: Oct 01, 2021

Extremely hot years will wipe out hundreds of thousands of tonnes of fish available for catch in a country’s waters in this century, on top of projected decreases to fish stocks from long-term climate change, a new UBC study projects.

Researchers from the UBC Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries (IOF) used a complex model incorporating extreme annual ocean temperatures in Exclusive Economic Zones, where the majority of global fish catches occur, into climate-related projections for fish, fisheries and their dependent human communities.

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Kids too young for a COVID-19 vaccine? How to keep them safe

Post Date: Sep 28, 2021

With the arrival of the fourth wave of COVID-19 in Canada, and vaccines not yet approved for children under 12, what measures can parents take to protect kids who are not yet immunized?

Dr. Ran Goldman (he/him), professor in the faculty of medicine’s department of pediatrics, offers tips for parents and outlines when a COVID-19 vaccine for this age group could become available in Canada.

Dr. Ran Goldman

Does the Delta variant put children at greater risk?

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Dr. Daniel Pauly’s extraordinary life and work revealed in new book

Post Date: Sep 24, 2021

Dr. Daniel Pauly is the world’s most-cited fisheries scientist, but life for the UBC professor has been far from easy. The biracial son of a French woman and an American GI, he was born in Paris and kidnapped as a child to be a live-in servant for a Swiss family. He escaped to Germany at 17 and put himself through high school by attending evening classes after a full day’s work.

Dr. Pauly went on to blow the whistle on the devastation caused to marine ecosystems by the global fishing industry, and to become a marine scientist whose work received worldwide recognition.

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Heightened food worries linked to worse mental health during COVID-19 pandemic

Post Date: Sep 23, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated lockdowns may have worsened worries over food insecurity among many Canadians and negatively impacted their mental health, according to a nationwide survey conducted during the first wave.

People who were younger or who had household incomes below $50,000 were more likely to worry about having enough food to meet their household needs, says researcher Dr. Corey McAuliffe, a postdoctoral fellow at UBC’s school of nursing in the faculty of applied science.

Indigenous participants, people who had pre-existing mental health conditions, a disability, or who had children under 18 living at home were also more likely to feel concerned about their food supply.

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Coral reefs are 50% less able to provide food, jobs, and climate protection than in 1950s, putting millions at risk

Post Date: Sep 17, 2021

The capacity of coral reefs to provide ecosystem services relied on by millions of people worldwide has declined by half since the 1950s, according to a new University of British Columbia-led study.

The study offers the first comprehensive look at what climate change, overfishing, and habitat destruction of coral reefs mean for their ecosystem services, or the ability of the reef to provide essential benefits and services to humans, including food, livelihoods, and protection from storms. Overall, the findings showed that the significant loss in coral reef coverage has led to an equally significant loss in the ability of the reef to provide these services.

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Chemotherapy drug puts young children with cancer at high risk of hearing loss

Post Date: Sep 07, 2021

75 per cent of patients five years old and younger had experienced cisplatin-related hearing loss three years after starting therapy

A chemotherapy drug known to cause hearing loss in children is more likely to do so the earlier in life children receive it, new UBC research has found.

Cisplatin is a life-saving treatment for many children with cancer, but the study published today in Cancer shows that the hearing of very young children is impacted early during treatment and is affected to a greater extent than that of older children.

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Food for seals and other Arctic predators is shrinking — literally

Post Date: Sep 03, 2021

Unchecked climate change may leave some Arctic predators surviving off of marine “junk food,” according to a new UBC study.

It found that transformations to the makeup and distribution of fish species—as well as the size of fish in Hudson Bay—will begin to accelerate by 2025 and become progressively more extreme unless action is taken to reduce carbon emissions.

Using computer models, the researchers examined how these changes to prey would affect ringed seals, a common Arctic marine predator.

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New tool estimates how much affordable housing a city needs

Post Date: Sep 27, 2021

Canada needs a more cohesive strategy to help the more than 1.7 million people currently living in unaffordable, overcrowded or poor-condition housing, says UBC expert Dr. Penny Gurstein (she/her), head of the Housing Research Collaborative at UBC’s school of community and regional planning.

Penny Gurstein

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Do you hate seeing people fidget? New UBC research says you’re not alone

Post Date: Aug 31, 2021

Do you get anxious, annoyed or frustrated when you see someone fidgeting? If so, you may suffer from misokinesia–or the “hatred of movements.”

According to new UBC research, approximately one-third of the population suffer from the psychological phenomenon, which is defined by a strong negative emotional response to the sight of someone else’s small and repetitive movements.

Dr. Todd Handy

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Companion animals in the climate crisis: How pet owners can reduce their environmental impacts

Post Date: Aug 19, 2021

Pet ownership doesn’t have to be so tough on the planet, according to new UBC research.

“We should be mindful of what kind of impact pet ownership might have on the environment,” says assistant professor Dr. Alexandra Protopopova, NSERC and BC SPCA industrial research chair.

Dr. Alexandra Protopopova

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How to spot the elusive narwhal

Post Date: Aug 12, 2021

Finding animals in the wild can be tough, even for researchers with access to airplanes, high-end cameras and other costly gear.

Many animals blend with their surroundings or hide in places that human eyes can’t reach. This is especially true of marine animals, who move under cover of water.

That’s why researchers from the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries (IOF), the University of Manitoba, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada were surprised when the infrared video camera they brought aboard their plane captured narwhals swimming off the coast of Ellesmere Island, Nunavut.

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‘Sticky questions’ raised by study on coral reefs

Post Date: Aug 11, 2021

A new UBC study on the impact of climate change on coral reefs is raising sticky questions about conservation.

It found coral in more polluted and high traffic water handled extreme heat events better than a more remote, untouched reef.

The new study, conducted with researchers from the Republic of Kiribati’s Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resource Development, focused on two atolls in the Central Pacific, located 59 kilometers apart.

Sara Cannon

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Insects beware! This west coast plant wants to eat you

Post Date: Aug 10, 2021

First new carnivorous plant identified by botanists in 20 years

The delicate stalk and pretty white flowers of Triantha occidentalis may seem like the perfect place to perch if you’re an insect, but get trapped in its sticky hairs and it will suck the nutrients from your dead corpse.

That’s the surprising new finding by University of British Columbia and University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers, detailed in PNAS.

Dr. Sean Graham

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Innovative coating for blood vessels reduces rejection of transplanted organs

Post Date: Aug 09, 2021

Researchers have found a way to reduce organ rejection following a transplant by using a special polymer to coat blood vessels on the organ to be transplanted.

Dr. Jayachandran Kizhakkedathu

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UBC experts on Canada reopening its border to U.S. travellers

Post Date: Aug 06, 2021

The Canadian border reopens to fully vaccinated U.S. travellers on Monday, August 9. UBC experts are available to comment.

Dr. Stephen Hoption Cann Clinical Professor, School of Population and Public Health Cell: 778-928-8339 Email: hoption.cann@ubc.ca Interview language(s): English

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UBC’s HVAC teams are making sure we can breathe easy

Post Date: Aug 06, 2021

Over the past 18 months, learning, research, and work at UBC has been taking place remotely wherever possible.

But one group of people has diligently stayed on campus to keep infrastructure humming: the team responsible for ensuring that heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems function properly.

Now, as UBC prepares for a return to on-campus learning and instruction, these essential workers are doubling their efforts to ensure university spaces meet or exceed guidelines set out by WorkSafeBC, the BC Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

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Surprising insights into the migration pattern of world’s farthest-migrating species

Post Date: Aug 05, 2021

The Arctic tern—which has the world record for the longest annual migration—uses just a few select routes, a key finding that could help efforts to conserve the species, according to a new University of British Columbia study.

Globally, Arctic terns are declining and their wide geographical range has posed a challenge for researchers hoping to see where different tern colonies bottleneck when they migrate.

Joanna Wong

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Up to 85 per cent of historical salmon habitat lost in Lower Fraser region

Post Date: Aug 05, 2021

In order to reverse salmon declines, researchers say, more than 1,200 blocked-off streams and habitats need to be restored

For perhaps the first time ever, researchers have mapped out the true extent of habitat loss for salmon in the Lower Fraser River, one of the most important spawning and rearing grounds for Pacific salmon in B.C.

Salmon have lost access to as much as 85 per cent of their historical floodplain habitat—the biologically rich wetlands next to a river or stream that typically harbour wildlife—due to dikes and similar infrastructure, say researchers at UBC and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

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When maternity care providers don’t take ‘no’ for an answer

Post Date: Aug 05, 2021

People who decline maternity care services such as prenatal testing or epidurals often face pressure or scolding from their care providers, according to new UBC-led research.

In the largest study of its kind in B.C. — including analysis of 1,540 written accounts from 1123 women from across the province —  53.5 per cent of the total study sample reported declining some kind of care or procedure.

While most people reported care providers were supportive, almost one in three respondents said their care providers reacted with disrespect, tried to coerce them or disregarded their wishes. These negative interactions resulted in childbearing people feeling invisible, disempowered and in some cases traumatized.

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Beyond COVID-19: How mRNA technology could transform how we treat disease

Post Date: Aug 04, 2021

B.C. could be next hub for developing, manufacturing the high-tech vaccine platform

When Dr. Anna Blakney interviewed for a position at the University of British Columbia at the start of 2020, mRNA technology—her area of research expertise—wasn’t yet widely known by the general public.

Then COVID-19 hit. Today, more than a billion doses of mRNA vaccines have been administered worldwide to protect against the novel coronavirus.

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‘Cultural burning’ important for biodiversity: UBC expert

Post Date: Aug 06, 2021

As wildfires blaze around the province, a UBC researcher reminds us that some types of fire can be life-giving and help protect the planet.

Dr. Kira Hoffman

Indigenous peoples have practiced “cultural burning” for millennia, says faculty of forestry ecologist and former wildland firefighter Dr. Kira Hoffman, and this practice has helped manage wildfires, benefited food supplies and encouraged diversity of local plant and wildlife.

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What really goes on in a hospital emergency department

Post Date: Aug 03, 2021

Medicine has changed in the two decades that Dr. Fred Voon has been a physician. The questions from his patients in the emergency department have remained the same.

“Why is the wait so long?”

“Why did that person get seen ahead of me?”

“Why do I have to tell you the same story I told the last person?”

Dr. Fred Voon

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UBC experts on heat and wildfires

Post Date: Aug 03, 2021

UBC experts are available to comment on heat, wildfires and associated issues.

Heat wave

Dr. Sally Aitken Professor, Faculty of Forestry Email: sally.aitken@ubc.ca Interview language(s): English

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New book helps readers spot online health scams

Post Date: Jul 28, 2021

Internet health scams have increased in recent years, often spread through social media and causing untold harm, according to a new book by UBC nursing professor, Dr. Bernie Garrett.

Dr. Bernie Garrett

The New Alchemists focuses on some of the many deceptive healthcare and marketing techniques used to mislead people—and offers readers tips to avoid falling prey to scammers.

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Scientists capture most-detailed radio image of Andromeda galaxy to date

Post Date: Jul 28, 2021

‘Disk of galaxy’ identified as region where new stars are born

Scientists have published a new, detailed radio image of the Andromeda galaxy – the Milky Way’s sister galaxy – which will allow them to identify and study the regions of Andromeda where new stars are born.

Sofia Fatigoni

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Virtual contact in pandemic prompts over 60s’ loneliness

Post Date: Jul 26, 2021

Older adults who had more virtual contact than their peers during the pandemic actually experienced increased loneliness, according to new research published today.

The study, published in ‘Frontiers in Sociology’, found virtual interaction—including things like phone calls, texting, online audio and video chat— was not helpful on its own as an alternative to face-to-face time for people over 60.

Dr. Yue Qian

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Health and wellbeing a top priority as students return to campus

Post Date: Jul 22, 2021

As UBC prepares to welcome students back to campus this September, the university is taking extra care to keep them safe and in good health.

From embedded mental health counsellors to extended physician hours and a new nurse practitioner, UBC has expanded its health and wellbeing services to help ease the transition for students.

Dr. Ainsley Carry

Building on the developments of the last year, student health services will continue to be offered both in person and virtually, giving students more choice and better meeting their needs.

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UBC community supports COVID-19 research with rapid antigen testing clinic

Post Date: Jul 20, 2021

Twice a week over this past spring, Joe Stevens, residence life manager in Orchard Commons, headed to a room on the third floor of the building. There, he self-administered a COVID-19 test that provided results in under 15 minutes, while also contributing to important scientific research.

“I live in residence during the week and see my partner on weekends,” he explains. “So, I would do rapid tests on Friday before going to see my partner, and then on Tuesdays it would be a way of following up on the weekend.”

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How the pandemic shaped the sex lives of Canadians

Post Date: Jul 20, 2021

At the start of the pandemic, there were ample predictions that more time at home would lead to more time between the sheets.

But a new UBC study, recently published in the International Journal of Sexual Health, uncovers a more nuanced picture of how COVID-19 has shaped the sex lives of Canadians.

Dr. Lori Brotto

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UBC researcher embraces big data, helping uncover deeper insights into the genetics of autism

Post Date: Jul 19, 2021

A future where autism care is personalized to fit an individual’s unique genetic makeup is now one step closer to reality, thanks to a new big data initiative.

Dr. Suzanne Lewis

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Lhoosk’uz Dené village taps into clean water after a 20-year wait

Post Date: Jul 28, 2021

Today, a remote Lhoosk’uz Dené community is holding a celebration to mark a joyful milestone.

After decades of relying on bottled water, the village of about 50 people, located 200 kilometres west of Quesnel on Kluskus Lake, now has a steady supply of clean drinking water straight out of the tap, thanks to a new water treatment plant crafted to their unique needs.

“We had to do things differently. And now, what was just a dream many years ago is reality,” says Chief Liliane Squinas.

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Physical fitness of wild Pacific sockeye salmon unaffected by PRV

Post Date: Jul 13, 2021

The respiratory performance of wild Pacific sockeye salmon functions normally even when infected with piscine orthoreovirus (PRV), according to a new study released today.

The findings by researchers at UBC, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries are published in BMC Biology.

Dr. Yangfan Zhang

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