UBC Research News Releases

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 13, 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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UBC research shows wastewater genomic testing can effectively track COVID-19 variants of concern within a region

Post Date: Jul 12, 2021

Wastewater testing can accurately and rapidly identify levels of COVID-19 infections in the community, including the rise of variants of concern, suggests new research led by UBC professor Dr. Ryan Ziels.

Dr. Ryan Ziels

Ziels and his colleagues analyzed sewage samples from five municipal wastewater plants in the Metro Vancouver region during a period of increased COVID-19 case counts, from February to April 2021.

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New survey aims to improve care for families grieving loss of baby

Post Date: Jul 08, 2021

A new University of British Columbia survey looks to improve future care for Canadian families coping with stillbirth and neonatal loss.

The online questionnaire is open to people over 18 in Canada who have experienced perinatal loss between Jan. 30, 2018, and Dec. 30, 2021. The findings will contribute to an international study led by researchers in Australia.

Dr. Wendy Hall

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Better mental health supports for nurses needed, study finds

Post Date: Jun 24, 2021

Pandemic deepened anxiety and depression among nurses—those working in long-term care affected the most

Working in the highly charged environment of COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the mental health of nurses, according to a new survey by researchers at UBC and the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto.

The findings, described recently in the Annals of Epidemiology, are the first to compare Canadian nurses’ mental health prior to and during the pandemic.

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UBC experts on heat wave

Post Date: Jul 08, 2021

UBC experts are available to comment on B.C.’s current heat wave.

Dr. Mathieu Bourbonnais Assistant Professor, Department of Earth, Environmental and Geographic Sciences Email: mathieu.bourbonnais@ubc.ca Cell: 778-583-0272 Interview language(s): English, French (written)

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B.C.’s spending on K-12 education drastically increased over the last 50 years

Post Date: Jun 21, 2021

British Columbia’s K-12 public education operating spending is now 250 per cent of what it was in 1970, according to a new UBC study.

UBC faculty of education’s Dr. Jason Ellis called this rise in K-12 operating spending “astounding” since there’s only been a minimal increase in enrolment over the past five decades.

“There are many claims that school funding and spending in B.C. has decreased, and academic studies that only talk about cuts and underfunding, but this misperception of spending reductions is not based on historical research,” says Dr. Ellis.

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Study highlights pandemic impact on adolescent mental health

Post Date: Jun 28, 2021

Adolescents who were in a good headspace before COVID-19 suffered a decline during the pandemic, whereas those with poor mental health fared better, according to new research.

The study, published today in the Journal of Adolescent Health, fills an important gap in research examining adolescent mental health during the pandemic.

Dr. Yue Qian

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New study finds contaminants in many generic drugs may have harmful effects

Post Date: Jun 15, 2021

Contaminants in generic medications used to treat conditions like diabetes, heart disease, stomachaches and heartburn may cause damage to DNA, affect basic cell functions and even increase a person’s risk of cancer, according to a new UBC study.

Dr. Corey Nislow

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New global air pollution and health impact study the most comprehensive ever

Post Date: Jun 15, 2021

An international research team led by the University of British Columbia’s Dr. Michael Brauer and Washington University in St. Louis’ Dr. Randall Martin has published the most detailed analysis ever conducted on global air pollution sources and their health impacts.

They have estimated the contribution of major sources of air pollution for 204 countries and territories, making the data publicly available on an interactive website.

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Pandemic underlines need to address physician burnout, study finds

Post Date: Jun 12, 2021

Two out of three Vancouver physicians surveyed in a new UBC study faced burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Researchers from UBC’s faculty of medicine reviewed survey responses from 302 internal medicine physicians who worked for Vancouver General Hospital and St. Paul’s Hospital between August and October 2020.

They found burnout was prevalent among 68 per cent of physicians and noted over 20 percent of surveyed physicians were considering quitting the profession, or had already quit a position.

Dr. Nadia Khan

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Canadian telescope detects 500 fast radio bursts in a year, quadrupling number of known FRBs

Post Date: Jun 09, 2021

The CHIME telescope detected 535 new fast radio bursts during its first year of operation – from 2018 to 2019 – quadrupling the number of known occurrences of the puzzling pulses of radio energy from far outside our galaxy.

Scientists with the CHIME (Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment) collaboration are presenting a catalogue of the year of fast radio burst (FRB) signals today at the American Astronomical Society meeting.

“This catalogue marks a significant turning point in the FRB field,” says Bradley Meyers, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of British Columbia (UBC) department of physics and astronomy and member of the CHIME collaboration.

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A planet without apes? New research highlights danger to gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos in shifting habitats

Post Date: Jun 07, 2021

Globally, great ape populations and their habitats have drastically declined in recent history. New analysis published today reveals that if the pressures on their habitat remain unchecked, Africa’s great apes could lose between 85 per cent and 94 per cent of their range by the year 2050. As their range shrinks, their chances for survival also diminish.

In this Q&A, Jacqueline Sunderland-Groves, a great ape expert in UBC’s faculty of forestry who contributed to the study, explains what can be done to ensure the long-term survival of gorillas, chimpanzees and other great apes.

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Childhood cancer discovery may stop tumour spread before it starts

Post Date: Jun 02, 2021

New understanding of how Ewing sarcoma tumours travel through the body has the potential to prevent metastatic spread in a number of cancer types

A new discovery in Ewing sarcoma, an aggressive and often fatal childhood cancer, has uncovered the potential to prevent cancer cells from spreading beyond their primary tumour site.

The breakthrough provides new insight into what triggers the process that allows cancer cells to survive while traveling through the body in the bloodstream.

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Strong school and family ties buffer gender-diverse teens from bullying and hostility

Post Date: Jun 02, 2021

New report first to highlight experiences of gender-diverse youth in B.C. schools

B.C.’s gender-diverse youth continue to face significant bullying and harassment, but a new report underlines how social supports like strong school and family relationships make a significant impact on their well-being.

Researchers at UBC and McCreary Centre Society analyzed data from the B.C. Adolescent Health Survey, completed by more than 38,000 youth, ages 12-19 in schools across the province—including almost a thousand individuals who identify as transgender, non-binary or gender-questioning.

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UBC launches COVID-19 rapid testing clinic for students, others on campus

Post Date: May 27, 2021

UBC is launching a new COVID-19 rapid testing clinic for any students living in residence and other select groups living and working on the Vancouver campus.

The clinic—the first in Canada to use the Roche SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test Kit in a university setting—launches May 26 and will run for 13 weeks. It also includes a clinical trial component with researchers studying the viability of self-administered rapid screening tests for the general public across Canada. The clinic will be run on software provided by Vancouver-based health software company Thrive Health.

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Salmon virus originally from the Atlantic, spread to B.C. wild salmon from farms: Study

Post Date: May 28, 2021

Piscine orthoreovirus (PRV) – which is associated with kidney and liver damage in Chinook salmon – is continually being transmitted between open-net salmon farms and wild juvenile Chinook salmon in British Columbia waters, according to a new genomics analysis published today in Science Advances.

Dr. Gideon Mordecai. Credit: Amy Romer

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New program makes planning a birth after C-section simpler

Post Date: May 20, 2021

UBC researchers have created a new interactive online program to support people who have had a previous C-section make better-informed decisions about navigating their next pregnancy and birth.

There’s minimal support for people between pregnancies, says Dr. Sarah Munro, an assistant professor in obstetrics and gynaecology, who developed the program, My Next Birth, with her team at UBC, to help bridge this gap in care.

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Researchers launch COVID-19 vaccine registry for pregnant and breastfeeding individuals in Canada

Post Date: May 19, 2021

As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout ramps up across the country, the risks and benefits of immunization for pregnant and breastfeeding people remain largely unknown because the initial vaccine clinical trials did not include these populations.

In an effort to fill the knowledge gap, researchers are launching a COVID-19 vaccine registry and survey in Canada. They will collect real-time data on the impact of immunization on pregnant and breastfeeding individuals across the country.

UBC’s Dr. Deborah Money, professor in the department of obstetrics and gynaecology, shares why this research is critical. We asked her how pregnant and breastfeeding people in Canada can get involved.

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UBC breaks ground on $23 million renewable energy hub

Post Date: May 18, 2021

‘Test bed’ showcases clean energy solutions – receives $5.6 million funding from Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation

A new $23 million renewable energy hub will transform an entire city block at the University of British Columbia into a smart energy district, including the province’s first-ever hydrogen refuelling station for light- and heavy-duty vehicles.

It will also include the addition of a solar array, as well as intelligent charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

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New book maps links between global finance and the places we call home

Post Date: May 13, 2021

Matthew Soules has a multifaceted career. The busy architecture professor at UBC is a thought-provoking artist, designer and author.

Most recently Soules contributed to the design for šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square (formerly known as the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza) where he designed the white, cloudlike pavilion at the northeast corner.

Matthew Soules

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Canadian researchers lead development and testing of promising treatment for COVID-19 variants

Post Date: May 11, 2021

A new anti-viral drug could improve COVID-19 outcomes and survival rates — and is highly effective against multiple variants — according to a new study led by researchers at the University of British Columbia and Université de Sherbrooke.

The drug, called N-0385, blocks the SARS-CoV-2 virus from entering human cells through its favoured cell gateways. The results of the study are under review for publication in a scientific journal and have been uploaded as a preprint.

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Where should our digital data go after we die? UBC study explores possibilities

Post Date: May 06, 2021

People want control over what personal digital data is passed along after they die, along with tools to make it easier to do so, according to a new case study by computer science researchers at the University of British Columbia.

On the other hand, people found the idea of creating AI-powered replicas of a deceased person “creepy.”

The study’s full findings — among the first to look at ways of preparing personal digital data for death – will be presented next week at the 2021 Human Computer Interaction Conference (CHI.)

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Historic collection from the Klondike Gold Rush gifted to UBC in $2.5M donation

Post Date: May 06, 2021

UBC alumnus and Canadian telecommunications icon, Philip B. Lind, CM, has donated $2.5 million to UBC. This gift is comprised of the Phil Lind Klondike Gold Rush Collection, an unparalleled rare book and archival collection, dating from the Klondike Gold Rush (1894–1904), and financial support to ensure it is preserved and made available to the public at the UBC Library, where it will support research and learning.

Philip B. Lind, CM

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COVID-19 survey shows almost eight out of 10 adults are worried, bored, stressed, lonely or sad

Post Date: May 03, 2021

Pandemic exacts continued toll on mental health—outdoor activity and social connections are helping people cope

The pandemic continues to take an emotional toll on people in Canada, with 77 per cent of adults reporting negative emotions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest mental health survey by UBC researchers, in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

The five most common emotional responses to the pandemic across Canada were “worried or anxious,” “bored,” “stressed,” “lonely or isolated” and “sad”, says lead researcher Dr. Emily Jenkins, a professor of nursing at UBC who studies mental health and substance use.

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Potential ‘Achilles’ heel’ of SARS-CoV-2 virus captured on video

Post Date: Apr 30, 2021

Proteins known as lectins can bind to the spike protein on the SARS-CoV-2 virus and prevent it from accessing human cells, an international team of researchers led by the University of British Columbia’s Dr. Josef Penninger has demonstrated.

They have captured the action on the pathogen’s spike protein via video.

“Lectins are proteins that can bind the sugar molecule structure on lipids or proteins such as the spike protein,” explains Dr. Penninger, director of the Life Sciences Institute in Vancouver. “Our idea is to harness this property to develop a drug to combat COVID-19 disease.”

The researchers developed the largest lectin library in the world to find two lectins that are particularly adept at binding to glycans on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

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A baby’s first poop can help predict risk of developing allergies

Post Date: Apr 29, 2021

It may seem like an unusual place to go looking for answers, but the contents of a baby’s first diaper can reveal a lot about a newborn’s future health.

In a new study published today in Cell Reports Medicine, a team of University of British Columbia (UBC) researchers has shown that the composition of a baby’s first poop—a thick, dark green substance known as meconium—is associated with whether or not a child will develop allergies within their first year of life.

Dr. Brett Finlay

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UBC-grown biotech companies lead global pandemic efforts

Post Date: Apr 26, 2021

Millions of Canadians have received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, but what many may not realize is that a key component of the injection was developed right here at UBC.

Acuitas Therapeutics, a UBC spin-off company co-founded by Dr. Pieter Cullis, developed the lipid nanoparticle technology that allows the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine to enter human cells.

For the UBC professor, he says he never imagined Acuitas’ technology might one day help bring an end to the global pandemic.

Dr. Pieter Cullis

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UBC researchers identify the most dangerous prescriptions for B.C. drivers

Post Date: Apr 22, 2021

It’s well-known that drinking and driving is linked to a high risk of causing a car crash.

But taking common prescription medications like sleeping pills, opioids and medication used to treat anxiety and depression also poses a risk, a new UBC study of millions of drivers finds.

British Columbia drivers prescribed sedating antipsychotics have a 35 per cent increased risk of causing a road collision, while people on commonly prescribed benzodiazepines (like Valium or Xanax) increase their risk by 25 to 30 per cent.

The researchers from UBC’s faculty of medicine also found that high-potency opioids such as morphine showed a 24 per cent increased risk of road collisions.

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UBC’s budget for 2021/22 set to bolster EDI, expand student supports, and further the university’s impact

Post Date: Apr 20, 2021

The UBC Board of Governors has approved the budget for 2021/22, setting spending priorities for the year ahead to support the ongoing recovery from COVID-19, to further UBC’s impact through key priorities, and to continue support for excellence in teaching, learning, and research.

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Cool and COVID-safe: How radiant cooling could keep our cities comfortable and healthy

Post Date: Apr 20, 2021

Combination of special cooling panels and natural ventilation can minimize disease transmission while saving energy

A novel system of chilled panels that can replace air conditioning can also help reduce the risk of indoor disease transmission, suggests new analysis from the University of British Columbia, University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University.

The researchers computed air conditioning requirements in 60 of the world’s most populous cities—with the additional ventilation required due to COVID-19. Then, they compared the energy costs with their cooling method, using the chilled panels and natural ventilation.

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Incongruent messaging key to getting people to register as organ donors

Post Date: Apr 19, 2021

A new study from the UBC Sauder School of Business finds a subtle shift in organ donor messaging can lead to a big boost in registration.

Organ donation saves countless lives every year, and most people think it’s the right thing to do — but when it comes to people actually registering to donate, the numbers around the world are surprisingly low. This is particularly so in countries that rely on informed consent and require people to learn about organ donation before they opt-in to register as a donor.

In fact, in Canada, just 32 per cent of people have registered to become organ donors.

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Canada’s first 5G drones fly over UBC

Post Date: Apr 15, 2021

Drone test flight shows potential of 5G networks to support essential services and accelerate innovation

Canada’s first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flights over a 5G network took place at UBC last week, showcasing some of the future potential applications of 5G-enabled autonomous flight.

Two UAVs—standard quad models fitted out with a 5G signal transmitter receiver—were put through their paces by Vancouver drone R&D company InDro Robotics using UBC’s 5G network, installed by Rogers as part of a multiyear collaboration to pursue 5G research.

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How to change the world without leaving home

Post Date: Apr 12, 2021

UBC students find ways to tackle global issues despite pandemic

Ria Gupta always knew she wanted to spend a summer taking part in an applied research project abroad. But when the pandemic hit, the fourth-year arts student’s travel plans were suddenly stalled.

Ria Gupta

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Weight loss changes people’s responsiveness to food marketing: study

Post Date: Apr 01, 2021

Obesity rates have increased dramatically in developed countries over the past 40 years — and many people have assumed that food marketing is at least in part to blame. But are people with obesity really more susceptible to food marketing? And if they are, is that a permanent predisposition, or can it change over time?

According to a new study by UBC Sauder School of Business Assistant Professor Dr. Yann Cornil (he/him/his) and French researchers, people with obesity do tend to be more responsive to food marketing — but when their weight drops significantly, so does their responsiveness to marketing.

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Canadian-built laser chills antimatter to near absolute zero for first time

Post Date: Mar 31, 2021

Researchers achieve world’s first manipulation of antimatter by laser

Researchers with the CERN-based ALPHA collaboration have announced the world’s first laser-based manipulation of antimatter, leveraging a made-in-Canada laser system to cool a sample of antimatter down to near absolute zero. The achievement, detailed in an article published today and featured on the cover of the journal Nature, will significantly alter the landscape of antimatter research and advance the next generation of experiments.

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How to talk to people about climate change

Post Date: Mar 30, 2021

As our planet warms, seas rise and catastrophic weather events become more frequent, action on climate change has never been more important. But how do you convince people who still don’t believe that humans contribute to the warming climate?

New UBC research may offer some insight, examining biases towards climate information and offering tools to overcome these and communicate climate change more effectively.

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UBC Okanagan to offer Canada’s first bachelor’s degree of Indigenous language fluency

Post Date: Apr 28, 2021

Undergraduate degree taught in Nsyilxcn the first of many to come, degree organizers say

UBC’s Okanagan campus, located in the territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation, is set to become the first university in Canada to offer a bachelor’s degree in Indigenous language fluency.

The Bachelor of Nsyilxcn Language Fluency (BNLF) program, created in collaboration with the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) and the En’owkin Centre, is designed to work closely with the community to provide a comprehensive and high-quality education in Nsyilxcn—the language spoken by members of the Syilx Okanagan Nation—and to promote new, fluent speakers with a deep understanding of the language, culture, and customs.

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Therapeutic bed can help keep preterm newborns’ brain oxygen levels stable

Post Date: Mar 25, 2021

A medical device that has been shown to manage pain among babies born preterm can also help keep their brain oxygen levels steady during medical procedures, finds new analysis by researchers at UBC.

The device, called Calmer, is a pillow-sized therapeutic bed covered in soft fabric and inserted into the incubator. It can be programmed to mimic a parent’s heartbeat and breathing rate— providing a soothing presence by moving up and down gently to simulate a breathing motion and heartbeat sound for the baby when their parent cannot be present.

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Knowing someone with COVID-19 increased men’s anxiety more than women’s

Post Date: Mar 25, 2021

It started as a research project to track student mental health over an entire term at university.

Then, four weeks into the 13-week study, COVID-19 hit.

Suddenly, a group of UBC researchers and their partners had an unprecedented opportunity to learn how students were faring emotionally as a global pandemic inched closer and closer to them.

“It surprised me that 19 per cent of the students felt no emotional impact and another 54 per cent were able to manage,” said Dr. Daniel Vigo, lead author of the study published today in the British Journal of Psychiatry. “That’s 73 per cent of students who were either not impacted or were able to manage. That speaks to a very resilient student body.”

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Weaker antibody response to first COVID-19 vaccine dose found in long-term care residents

Post Date: Mar 25, 2021

A single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine produces a much weaker antibody response in long-term care residents than it does in younger healthy adults, new research has found.

The pre-print findings, yet to be peer-reviewed, raise questions about the optimal timing of the second dose of vaccine for older adults.

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Female salmon are dying at higher rates than male salmon

Post Date: Mar 24, 2021

Female adult sockeye from the Fraser River are dying at significantly higher rates than their male counterparts on the journey back to their spawning grounds, finds new UBC research. For every male salmon that doesn’t make it to their natal stream, at least two, sometimes three female salmon die.

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OCD among new mothers more prevalent than previously thought

Post Date: Mar 23, 2021

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) among those who have recently given birth is more common than previously thought, and much of this can be attributed to thoughts of harm related to the baby, new UBC research has found.

The researchers also learned that OCD can go undetected when new parents aren’t asked specifically about infant-related harm.

OCD is an anxiety-related condition characterized by the recurrence of unwanted, intrusive and distressing thoughts. If left untreated, it can interfere with parenting, relationships and daily living.

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Survey uncovers pandemic’s complex impact on people living with dementia and their families

Post Date: Mar 23, 2021

COVID-19 has been especially challenging for people living with dementia, their families and caregivers, confirms a new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The study uncovers the complex effects of the pandemic on more than 400 people in this community in B.C., and identifies their unique needs.

Dr. Julie Robillard, the study’s senior author and assistant professor of neurology at UBC’s faculty of medicine, discusses the biggest challenges being faced by people living with dementia and their caregivers, and shares how this work is already being used to inform services and resources in B.C.

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How COVID-19 workplace conditions are impacting nurses’ mental health

Post Date: Mar 18, 2021

Challenging COVID-19-related workplace conditions contributed significantly to nurses’ stress and anxiety at the height of the pandemic, suggests new analysis by UBC researchers.

An earlier survey conducted by the team and the BC Nurses’ Union last year found that many nurses in B.C. were reporting symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety and emotional exhaustion. Their new analysis, published recently in the journal Healthcare, links these mental health outcomes to specific issues at work, including frequent changes in COVID-19 policies and protocols, and perceived low levels of organizational support.

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UBC experts on COVID-19

Post Date: May 25, 2021

The provincial government is expected to announce plans for the gradual easing of COVID-19-related restrictions in B.C. at a 1 p.m. news conference today.

UBC experts are available to comment on related topics. Interviews will be conducted by phone or virtually in order to practice effective physical distancing.

For the latest updated information on UBC’s response, please visit ubc.ca. Information on the latest confirmed cases in B.C. and globally is available here.

To visit the UBC COVID-19 research website, click here.

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UBC experts team up to tackle air pollution with network of sensors

Post Date: Mar 09, 2021

Air pollution is an urgent problem linked to as many as nine million deaths per year worldwide and 14,000 annually in Canada, primarily from related heart and lung diseases. A group of UBC experts are determined to mount a rapid response through research.

The team, known as Rapid Air Improvement Network (RAIN), is planning to use a network of air quality sensors, mobile monitoring and sophisticated analysis instruments to locate and study air pollutants with the detail needed to support fast, effective interventions.

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The ugly truth: more consumers will buy unattractive fruits and veggies when they’re labeled ‘ugly’

Post Date: Mar 09, 2021

Few marketers would recommend that clients call their products ugly — but new research from the UBC Sauder School of Business shows that when it comes to selling misshapen fruits and vegetables, labeling them as “ugly” can be a recipe for sales success.

According to a recent report, U.S. farmers throw away up to 30 per cent of their crops annually — that’s 66.5 million tons of edible produce— because of cosmetic imperfections. An earlier study found that American retailers throw away over $15 billion in edible produce a year. What’s more, 1.4 billion hectares of land and 25 per cent of the world’s fresh water are used to grow produce that will later be thrown away.

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Blue herons identified as a significant juvenile salmon predator

Post Date: Mar 09, 2021

Pacific great blue herons could be scooping up as many as three percent of all juvenile salmon and as many as six percent in some years with low water flow, according to a new University of British Columbia study.

The study, published in The Canadian Journal of Zoology, is the first to estimate the portion of juvenile salmon being preyed upon by the understudied bird species in the Salish Sea region.

Up to 50 per cent of juvenile salmon deaths occur when the young fish pass through a gauntlet of predators and damaged habitats on their way to the ocean. Exactly how all these fish die has been a cause for concern, and the focus of extensive studies to identify predators.

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Women lead on COVID-19 research

Post Date: Mar 08, 2021

From vaccine development to building wearable infection detectors, women at UBC are making significant contributions to the COVID-19 research front.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, a few of these inspiring faculty members tell us about their work and offer advice for young women and girls considering a career in research.

Dr. Anna Blakney: Talking about vaccines through TikTok

Dr. Anna Blackney

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UBC study finds high life satisfaction linked to better overall health

Post Date: Mar 03, 2021

New research from UBC finds that higher life satisfaction is associated with better physical, psychological and behavioural health.

The research, published recently in The Milbank Quarterly, found that higher life satisfaction is linked to 21 positive health and well-being outcomes including:

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UBC chemist helps create new compostable coffee pod

Post Date: Feb 22, 2021

Dr. Zac Hudson believes your morning cup of coffee should be strong and guilt-free.

That’s why the University of British Columbia scientist has spent the past three years creating a new fully compostable coffee pod with Surrey-based NEXE Innovations.

“Every year more than 40 billion single-use coffee pods end up in landfill. If they’re made of plastic, they could be sitting there for hundreds or thousands of years,” said Dr. Hudson, an assistant professor and Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Chemistry. “We wanted to create a compostable pod to tackle this problem – and make sure the coffee still tasted great.”

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COVID-19 vaccinations: what you need to know about the second dose

Post Date: Feb 13, 2021

In Canada, currently approved COVID-19 vaccines—from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech—have demonstrated remarkable efficacy based on two doses taken at specified intervals. But what happens if you contract COVID-19 in between shots?

Dr. Manish Sadarangani, associate professor at UBC’s faculty of medicine and director of the Vaccine Evaluation Center at BC Children’s Hospital, weighs in on the second dose and explains why some people are harder to vaccinate.

Dr. Manish Sadarangani

Is it important to receive the second shot before the four-week interval elapses?

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How to be a mindful anti-racist

Post Date: Feb 11, 2021

Dr. Karen Ragoonaden, a professor of teaching at UBCO’s shool of education, wrote about how it takes time, effort and commitment to be mindful personally and professionally.


The Conversation

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Portrait of young galaxy throws theory of galaxy formation on its head

Post Date: Feb 11, 2021

Scientists peer 12 billion years into the past to reveal distant galaxy with an unexpected appearance

Scientists, including a researcher at the University of British Columbia, are challenging our current understanding of how galaxies form by unveiling pictures of a young galaxy in the early life of the Universe which appears surprisingly mature.

The galaxy, dubbed ALESS 073.1, appears to have all of the features expected of a much more mature galaxy and has led the team of scientists to question how it grew so fast. The research was published today in Science.

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Women with straight As in high school have same leadership prospects as men with failing grades

Post Date: Feb 03, 2021

The relationship between good grades in high school and future leadership responsibilities in the workplace is stronger for men than it is for women, a new UBC study has found.

The difference is particularly striking among those who have grown up to become parents, according to the study published recently in the academic journal Social Forces. Fathers with perfect high school grades supervised more than four times as many employees, on average, as mothers with equally stellar grades (19-4). But at the lowest levels of high school GPA, fathers supervised only slightly more people than mothers (4-3).

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Keeping the cameras rolling safely on B.C. film and TV sets

Post Date: Feb 01, 2021

UBC medicine professor working with Netflix on COVID-19 safety plans

At the start of 2020, Dr. Adam Lund was preparing for another busy year of helping keep people safe at marathons and music festivals.

For more than two decades, Dr. Lund—an emergency room physician and clinical professor in the UBC department of emergency medicine by day—has spent his free time as a medical and first-aid director at large-scale events. As a researcher, he also leads a working group at UBC conducting research to help identify risk factors associated with mass gatherings.

“We had a whole year of festivals and races and big mass gatherings planned, but then COVID-19 hit and all major planned events were put on hold,” said Dr. Lund. “So, it was like, what now?” 

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B.C. has better tools than universal basic income to create a more just society, report finds

Post Date: Jan 29, 2021

A basic income for all is not the best policy option to effectively tackle poverty and other justice-related issues in B.C., according to an expert panel of economists whose report on the idea of a basic income guarantee was released today.

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B.C. has better tools than basic income to create a more just society, report finds

Post Date: Jan 28, 2021

A basic income for all is not the best policy option to effectively tackle poverty and other justice-related issues in B.C., according to an expert panel of economists whose report on the idea of a basic income guarantee was released today.

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Nisga’a scholar launches new Centre for Indigenous Fisheries at UBC

Post Date: Jan 27, 2021

A new Centre for Indigenous Fisheries (CIF) is being launched at University of British Columbia, with Indigenous fisheries scientist, conservation biologist and Nisga’a Nation member Dr. Andrea Reid joining as Principal Investigator.

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From destruction to construction: Former nuclear bunker now hosts life-saving research

Post Date: Jan 22, 2021

New agreement between UBC and French subterranean lab boosts scientific collaboration

A Cold War-era nuclear bunker buried 500 metres below the countryside in southern France hums with new life today as an epicentre of vital research in science and technology.

The facility, built in the 1960s to house the nuclear command centre of the French air force, was decommissioned in the late 1990s and converted into a unique research lab that now draws scientists from around the world, including researchers from UBC.

Its main attraction is a magnetically shielded, vibration-proof research chamber fortified by a two-metre thick wall of reinforced concrete and steel—ideal for highly complex, delicate experiments, particularly those involving electromagnetic waves.

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Mental health conditions alarmingly high among children with autism

Post Date: Jan 19, 2021

Nearly 78 per cent of children with autism have at least one mental health condition and nearly half have two mental health conditions or more, according to a new U.S. study from UBC’s department of psychology and the AJ Drexel Autism Institute at Drexel University (Pennsylvania).

The study also found mental health conditions present in 44.8 per cent of pre-school age children with autism. The scope of the issue among that age group had not previously been established using a large, population-based sample.

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New UBC professorship to advance addiction medicine in B.C.

Post Date: Jan 18, 2021

Dr. Nadia Fairbairn has been named the inaugural Philip Owen Professor in Addiction Medicine at UBC.

The newly established professorship—the first of its kind in Canada—will help close the evidence-to-practice gap to strengthen the addiction treatment system in British Columbia.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we can’t lose sight of the other public health emergency affecting families in every corner of British Columbia,” says Dr. Dermot Kelleher, dean of UBC’s faculty of medicine, and vice-president, health, at UBC. “The Philip Owen Professorship in Addiction Medicine at UBC will further our commitment to research and training in addiction medicine to help save lives.”

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COVID-19 vaccines: what to expect and how to combat hesitancy

Post Date: Jan 15, 2021

With the arrival of the first COVID-19 vaccines in Canada, most are eager to roll up their sleeves. But not every Canadian is feeling confident about getting the jab.

According to a recent survey conducted by Angus Reid, less than two thirds of Canadians surveyed said they would get the vaccine right away. Twenty-three per cent indicated they would prefer to wait, while 12 per cent reported they would not get vaccinated and five per cent remained unsure.

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MIND and Mediterranean diets associated with later onset of Parkinson’s disease

Post Date: Jan 13, 2021

A new study from UBC researchers suggests a strong correlation between following the MIND and Mediterranean diets and later onset of Parkinson’s disease (PD). While researchers have long known of neuroprotective effects of the MIND diet for diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia, this study is the first to suggest a link between this diet and brain health for Parkinson’s disease (PD).

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