UBC Research News Releases

UBC researchers launch clinical trial exploring CBD for bipolar depression

Post Date: Feb 27, 2024

Researchers at UBC’s faculty of medicine are launching a first-of-its-kind clinical trial investigating the potential of cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment for bipolar depression.

Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental health condition characterized by extreme changes in mood that cycle through periods of intense highs (mania) and lows (depression). Depressive episodes present a considerable challenge for people living with the condition and are associated with feelings of sadness and hopelessness, loss of interest in activities, trouble sleeping and increased risk of suicide. Despite available treatments, there is a persistent unmet need for more effective and well-tolerated therapies.

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Dating in the digital age: How online dating changes our partner selection

Post Date: Feb 12, 2024

Dr. Yue Qian

The growing use of online dating websites, apps and chatrooms has an influence on the types of romantic partners Canadians choose, according to a new UBC sociology study.

The study, published Monday in the Journal of Marriage and Family, examined the relationship between how heterosexual couples meet in Canada and their selection of partners, in terms of education, race, nativity and age.

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Not in my backyard: City councillors who represent the most homeowners tend to reject large housing projects

Post Date: Jan 29, 2024

For years, politicians across Canada have been sounding the alarm over the shortage of affordable housing. But according to a new study from the UBC Sauder School of Business, when municipal politicians represent an area that’s heavy on homeowners, they’re far more likely to vote against large housing developments — even more so if they themselves live in neighbourhoods where big projects are being proposed.

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How exercise can boost cancer treatment and recovery

Post Date: Feb 27, 2024

Dr. Kristin Campbell

A team of UBC researchers wants to help people living with cancer incorporate exercise as an important part of their treatment and recovery.

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Flawed foreign ownership narratives drove ‘housing nationalism’ in Canada

Post Date: Jan 25, 2024

The number of B.C. homes owned by people who live outside of Canada is less than half the number of homes that B.C. residents own abroad.

If that surprises you, blame narratives that have arisen during the housing affordability crisis, which often cite foreign home ownership as a major contributing factor with little evidence.

This is a form of nationalism that UBC sociologist Dr. Nathan Lauster and co-author Dr. Jens von Bergmann call “reactionary housing nationalism.” Their new paper in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies explores the trend and reveals more surprising statistics. We spoke with them about the research.

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UBC researchers advocate for sustainable logging to safeguard against global flood risks

Post Date: Feb 12, 2024

It’s time to recognize the power of healthy forests in managing global growing flood risk, and to shift towards more sustainable forestry practices and policy.

This call is emphasized by UBC researchers in a peer-reviewed article published recently in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

Dr. Younes Alila

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UBC experts on public transit and labour disputes

Post Date: Jan 22, 2024

A 48-hour strike has shut down bus and SeaBus service in Metro Vancouver. UBC experts are available to comment.

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How to conduct scientific research with Indigenous Peoples and Lands in a good way

Post Date: Jan 29, 2024

In the name of “research,” science has often harmed Indigenous Peoples around the world. How can researchers ensure they are conducting their scientific work in a good way, that serves the Indigenous Peoples involved and does not burden Indigenous scholars?

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‘Smart glove’ can boost hand mobility of stroke patients

Post Date: Jan 24, 2024

New washable wireless smart textile technology developed at UBC in collaboration with Vancouver startup also has potential uses in virtual reality and American Sign Language translation

This month, a group of stroke survivors in B.C. will test a new technology designed to aid their recovery, and ultimately restore use of their limbs and hands.

Participants will wear a new groundbreaking “smart glove” capable of tracking their hand and finger movements during rehabilitation exercises supervised by Dr. Janice Eng, a leading stroke rehabilitation specialist and professor of medicine at UBC.

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ChatGPT has read almost the whole internet. That hasn’t solved its diversity issues

Post Date: Jan 26, 2024

This release was updated on Jan. 26, 2024 to specify the version of ChatGPT used to ask about tipping in a restaurant in Spain.

AI language models are booming. The current frontrunner is ChatGPT, which can do everything from taking a bar exam, to creating an HR policy, to writing a movie script.

But it and other models still can’t reason like a human. In this Q&A, Dr. Vered Shwartz (she/her), assistant professor in the UBC department of computer science, and masters student Mehar Bhatia (she/her) explain why reasoning could be the next step in AI—and why it’s important to train these models using diverse datasets from different cultures.

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Hospitals dealing with increasingly complex patients, data reveals

Post Date: Jan 24, 2024

Hospitalized patients are more complex than they used to be.

That’s the finding of a newly published UBC study which set out to measure something researchers have been hearing anecdotally from hospital-based health-care workers over the past two decades.

As it turns out, they weren’t imagining things.

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Toxic chemicals found in oil spills and wildfire smoke detected in killer whales

Post Date: Dec 19, 2023

Toxic chemicals produced from oil emissions and wildfire smoke have been found in muscle and liver samples from Southern Resident killer whales and Bigg’s killer whales.

A study published today in Scientific Reports is the first to find polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in orcas off the coast of B.C., as well as in utero transfer of the chemicals from mother to fetus.

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UBC-led initiative protects salmon against toxic road runoffs

Post Date: Dec 14, 2023

The roads, bridges and highways that crisscross B.C. take us where we want to go. Unfortunately, they also help leak a toxic chemical shed by car tires—6PPD-quinone—into B.C.’s waterways, posing a serious threat to salmon habitats.

A collaborative project led by UBC and its partners is working to identify and mitigate these toxic hot spots. The researchers are surveying ponds, creeks and streams across the Lower Mainland in hopes of building future rain gardens and other “green infrastructure” that can contain this toxin.

Dr. Rachel Scholes (she/her), assistant professor of civil engineering, and postdoctoral researcher Dr. Timothy Rodgers (he/him) discuss 6PPD-quinone and the role of rain gardens in defusing its impacts.

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People more likely to behave unethically toward groups than individuals: UBC study

Post Date: Dec 07, 2023

People are more likely to act deceptively when dealing with a group than an individual, according to research from the UBC Sauder School of Business.

A job candidate, for example, would be more likely to exaggerate their qualifications during a panel interview than a one-on-one.

“We found that individuals act more unethically toward groups than individual targets – and how closely connected they are to the group comes into play,” says co-author Dr. Daniel Skarlicki, a professor at the UBC Sauder School of Business.

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Government supports continued research to reduce gambling-related harms

Post Date: Dec 05, 2023

The Province and the BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC) have renewed their investment of approximately $1.4 million in the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC, signalling a dedicated effort to reduce the potential harms associated with gambling for people in B.C.

“As government continues to work toward its commitments of harm reduction and a public health approach to preventing problem gambling, we are grateful for the work the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC does, said Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general. “Its research and findings are integral to the development of policies within government and the steps we take to protect British Columbians from the harms of problem gambling.”

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Stem cell-based treatment controls blood sugar in people with Type 1 diabetes

Post Date: Jan 16, 2024

An innovative stem cell-based treatment for Type 1 diabetes can meaningfully regulate blood glucose levels and reduce dependence on daily insulin injections, according to new clinical trial results from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH).

Dr. David Thompson

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The bigger you are, the better you fare when climate change causes cyclones

Post Date: Nov 22, 2023

Bigger animals fared better during a catastrophic tropical cyclone, new research has found.

As extreme weather events become more common due to climate change, the findings published in Nature could help wildlife managers develop strategies to help at-risk animals before such events hit as well as pinpoint general traits that help animals survive.

Antelope to elephants

Using GPS collars, cameras and aerial surveys of animals ranging in size from antelope to elephants, researchers examined how individuals and entire populations responded when Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique in 2019, the deadliest storm on record in Africa.

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Graduate channels broken NHL dreams into pioneering research on youth concussion care

Post Date: Nov 22, 2023

This week, more than 3,400 graduates will cross the stage at UBC from Nov. 22-24 to receive their diplomas as part of fall graduation. Among them is Scott Ramsay, a PhD student in the school of nursing.

By looking at Ramsay, a former professional athlete who stands at a lofty 6-foot-4, you’d never know the toll a traumatic brain injury has taken on his life.

Persistent migraines, bouts of vertigo and mood swings are just a few of the symptoms the 32-year-old has been plagued with during his battle with post-concussion syndrome.

Ramsay, who graduates from UBC this month with a PhD in nursing, has been working to intervene in the lives of youth undergoing similar struggles.

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World-leading scientists named Canada Excellence Research Chairs at UBC

Post Date: Jan 08, 2024

Three internationally renowned scientists have been named Canada Excellence Research Chairs at the University of British Columbia.

Their research aims to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges, from uncovering disease dynamics in the face of climate change to developing ecosystem conservation strategies and creating more efficient and sustainable processes for manufacturing medicines and agricultural chemicals.

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New process for screening old urine samples reveals previously undetected ‘designer drugs’

Post Date: Nov 15, 2023

Researchers from the University of B.C. and the BC Provincial Toxicology Centre (BCPTC) have developed a more efficient way to find out which new ‘designer drugs’ are circulating in the community.

In a study published today in Analytical Chemistry, they showed how high-resolution mass spectrometry can be used to analyze urine samples at scale and uncover molecules from emerging designer drugs that have been missed by conventional testing.

The approach can support public health and safety by enabling swift identification of new substances, potentially saving lives and guiding timely clinical responses to drug-related emergencies.

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Future leaders are learning how to tackle climate change in math class this year

Post Date: Nov 15, 2023

UBC and UBCO math teachers who want to use their math skills for good have collaborated with climate scientists to bring the climate crisis into their classrooms.

Math and climate action

More than 5,000 undergraduate students across several math classes this year will learn the tools needed to describe, understand and develop solutions to the climate crisis through problem sets, assignments, modules and activities.

Family was a motivator for two of the professors involved. “It was my daughter and my wife who kicked my butt to do something more useful with my mathematics,” said Dr. Brian Marcus, UBC site director of the Pacific Institute for Mathematical Sciences.

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Cracking the code: Why songbirds are larger in colder climates

Post Date: Nov 14, 2023

Local adaptation may protect songbirds against climate change

Scientists have unlocked the genetic basis underlying the remarkable variation in body size observed in song sparrows, one of North America’s most familiar and beloved songbirds. This discovery also provides insights into this species’ capacity to adapt to the challenges of climate change.

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UBC team deploys AI-powered robots for faster, safer construction

Post Date: Nov 16, 2023

Construction sites will soon evolve into smarter, safer job sites thanks to AI technology, according to UBC structural engineering professor Dr. Tony Yang.

Dr. Yang and his team at the Smart Structures Lab have developed smart construction robots that can perform basic tasks that workers perform, such as lifting and moving objects around a job site, autonomously transporting materials and monitoring sites for safety issues.

How it works

The UBC team recently demonstrated the concept at a construction site on Mitchell Island in Richmond, B.C.

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Genetic testing could greatly benefit patients with depression, save health system millions

Post Date: Dec 12, 2023

A special kind of genetic test that helps determine the best antidepressant for patients with moderate-to-severe depression could generate substantive health system savings and greatly improve patient outcomes, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.

The study, published today in CMAJ, shows that in B.C. alone, implementing pharmacogenomic testing could save the provincial public health system an estimated $956 million over 20 years.

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Cracking the code: Genome sequencing reveals why songbirds are larger in colder climates

Post Date: Nov 07, 2023

Scientists have unlocked the genetic basis underlying the remarkable variation in body size observed in song sparrows, one of North America’s most familiar and beloved songbirds. This discovery also provides insights into this species’ capacity to adapt to the challenges of climate change.

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Why is the law different when you’re unhoused?

Post Date: Dec 12, 2023

We all have cherished belongings: a photo of your children, a beloved relative’s ashes. These things are treasured, no matter where you live. So why doesn’t the law protect the belongings of unhoused people?

A new report by UBC, SFU and University of Ottawa researchers found the personal property rights of unhoused people in Canada are systematically undermined. Co-authors Dr. Alexandra Flynn (AF), associate professor in the UBC Peter A. Allard School of Law, and Dr. Nicholas Blomley (NB), professor of geography at SFU, discuss why belongings, and adequate housing for all, matter.

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Mind-control worms and eye-bulging fungus: real-life horror from nature this Halloween

Post Date: Dec 12, 2023

If you’re looking for a horror show to check out this Halloween, look no further than nature itself.

Gruesome parasites abound in the natural world, and UBC experts are here to fill you in.

The good news is, they either don’t infect humans, or are very, very rare – but they’re all pretty creepy.

Mind-control worms that loop around a bug’s gut then force it to drown itself

G. paranensis egressing from a tree wētā Hemideina sp. (photo taken in New Zealand, 2019). Credit: Dr. Jeff Doherty.

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Can AI nip tree disease in the bud?

Post Date: Oct 26, 2023

Global trade, tourism and other forms of human movement are accelerating the spread of tree and plant pathogens between continents. Dutch elm disease, first seen in Europe in 1910, was detected in Canada just four decades later. Since then, it has destroyed billions of elm trees in in North America and Europe.

Climate change compounds this problem. With droughts becoming more frequent and severe, trees have less resistance to disease—particularly infections from foreign regions to which they have no natural immunity.

What if we could detect emerging diseases at ports and borders before they have a chance to spread?

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UBC engineers develop breakthrough ‘robot skin’ in collaboration with Honda researchers

Post Date: Oct 26, 2023

Smart soft sensor can improve prosthetics and enhance human-robot interaction

Smart, stretchable and highly sensitive, a new soft sensor developed by UBC and Honda researchers opens the door to a wide range of applications in robotics and prosthetics.

When applied to the surface of a prosthetic arm or a robotic limb, the sensor skin provides touch sensitivity and dexterity, enabling tasks that can be difficult for machines such as picking up a piece of soft fruit. The sensor is also soft to the touch, like human skin, which helps make human interactions safer and more lifelike.

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Biological fingerprints in soil show where diamond-containing ore is buried

Post Date: Dec 12, 2023

DNA sequencing technique can also help source minerals that are key to the green-energy transition

Researchers have identified buried kimberlite, the rocky home of diamonds, by testing the DNA of microbes in the surface soil.

These ‘biological fingerprints’ can reveal what minerals are buried tens of metres below the earth’s surface without having to drill. The researchers believe it is the first use of modern DNA sequencing of microbial communities in the search for buried minerals.

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First epidemiological study links popular weight-loss drugs to stomach paralysis, other serious gastrointestinal conditions

Post Date: Dec 12, 2023

They’re being hailed as an effective way to lose weight, but diabetes drugs like Ozempic may come with a heightened risk of severe gastrointestinal problems.

That’s according to new research from the University of British Columbia showing that medications known as GLP-1 agonists—which includes brands like Wegovy, Ozempic, Rybelsus and Saxenda—are associated with an increased risk of serious medical conditions including stomach paralysis, pancreatitis and bowel obstruction.

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People who use alternative medicine favour risk and novelty, and distrust science

Post Date: Dec 12, 2023

Over 40 per cent of Canadians have used at least one risk-associated alternative health-care treatment in the past 12 months, says a new UBC study published in PLOS One. 

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Does antimatter fall up or down? Physicists observe the first gravitational free-fall of antimatter

Post Date: Sep 27, 2023

First measurement of the force of the Earth’s gravity on antimatter, which leverages a built-in-Vancouver antimatter gravity detector.

In the world’s first observation of the effect of gravity on antimatter, a group of researchers from Canada and around the world have made an important confirmation: like matter, antimatter does indeed ‘fall downwards’.

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Depression, anxiety may be among early signs of MS

Post Date: Dec 12, 2023

New research from the University of British Columbia is painting a clearer picture of the early signs of multiple sclerosis (MS), showing that people are nearly twice as likely to experience mental illness in the years leading up to the onset of the diseases.

The study, published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, suggests that psychiatric conditions like anxiety and depression may be part of a prodromal phase of MS — a set of preliminary symptoms and clues that arise before classic MS symptoms.

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Can social robots be used in elder care? UBC study aims to find out

Post Date: Oct 05, 2023

Meet Kiwi and Mango, social robots from Japan. They may look like a cuddly cross between Teletubbies and WALL-E, but what lies beneath is advanced AI technology that enables them to learn, speak, recognize faces and voices, move around and even offer hugs, emulating the warmth of a real pet.

Kiwi and Mango are on loan to UBC for a new study exploring interactions between social robots and older adults. Dr. Lillian Hung (she/her), lead researcher, Canada Research Chair in Senior Care and assistant professor of nursing, explains how the study was conceived and what it could mean for elder care.

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New action guide empowers people with dementia

Post Date: Sep 14, 2023

More than 597,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, and yet big gaps remain in healthcare support. It’s estimated that 85 per cent of people living with dementia are not receiving support after their diagnosis. And research shows being engaged in community is one of the biggest factors in slowing the condition’s progression.

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Many people have biased perceptions of EDI leaders: study

Post Date: Oct 05, 2023

For the past decade, companies across North America have paid more attention to supporting equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). This has prompted many organizations to create a leadership role fully dedicated to advancing EDI — so much so that between 2015 and 2020, the job title “head of diversity” increased 107 percent on LinkedIn. By 2021, more than half of S&P 500 firms had named a chief diversity officer.

But a new study from the UBC Sauder School of Business shows many people have deeply held beliefs about who should be an EDI leader, and they are rooted in racial stereotypes.

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Fish buffered from recent marine heatwaves, showing there’s still time to act on climate change

Post Date: Aug 30, 2023

Fish were surprisingly resilient to marine heatwaves before 2019, highlighting the need to keep seas from warming further, according to new research published today in Nature.

Marine heatwaves can have devastating effects on marine ecosystems and have been linked to widespread coral bleaching, harmful algal blooms, and abrupt declines in fish species. However, marine heatwaves before 2019 had little to no effect on the amount and type of marine fish affected, demonstrating that oceans have some resilience left if we can keep to 2019 temperatures, the researchers say.

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Salmon bones confirm sustainable chum fishery for 2,500 years under Tsleil-Waututh Nation

Post Date: Aug 30, 2023

New research confirms that Tsleil-Waututh Nation has consistently and sustainably fished for chum salmon for 1,200 years longer than the archaeological record had previously demonstrated.

This supports Tsleil-Waututh knowledge and further demonstrates that Tsleil-Waututh people have been sustainably living on and stewarding their traditional territory for longer than Western science may recognize.

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B.C. split on safety of self-driving cars – gradual introduction needed to build comfort among all road users

Post Date: Oct 05, 2023

While self-driving vehicles (SDVs) are being hailed as a solution for safer, more efficient roads, new UBC research suggests British Columbians are not quite ready to embrace self-driving cars wholeheartedly – and will need a period of gradual transition before adoption.

The study, conducted by the Research on Active Transportation Lab (REACT) in the faculty of applied science, reveals mixed perceptions of automated vehicles, particularly their effects on pedestrian comfort and safety.

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Study debunks stereotypes about homeless people’s spending habits

Post Date: Oct 05, 2023

The public has the wrong idea about what homeless people would do after coming into a large amount of money.

A newly published University of B.C. study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences unveils this stark contrast between public perception and reality when it comes to how homeless people manage their finances.

Participants in a U.S. survey of more than 1,100 people predicted that recipients of an unconditional $7,500 cash transfer would spend 81 per cent more on “temptation goods” such as alcohol, drugs and tobacco if they were homeless than if they were not.

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Researchers discover common origin behind major childhood allergies

Post Date: Oct 05, 2023

Several major childhood allergies may all stem from the community of bacteria living in our gut, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of British Columbia and BC Children’s Hospital.

The research, published in Nature Communications, identifies gut microbiome features and early life influences that are associated with children developing any of four common allergies — eczema, asthma, food allergy and/or hay fever. The findings could lead to methods of predicting whether a child will develop allergies, and ways to prevent them from developing at all.

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People dislike AI art because it threatens their humanity: study

Post Date: Oct 05, 2023

AI-generated writing, photography, art and music have been skyrocketing in popularity, but that surging success has also triggered an enormous backlash, with many rejecting AI art — and even asserting that its proliferation marks the beginning of the end for humanity.

So why do some people react so negatively to art made by artificial intelligence? According to a new study from the UBC Sauder School of Business, it’s because for some, it challenges what it is to be human.

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You’re reading this because an asteroid killed the dinosaurs, allowing mammals to dominate the Earth. But why?

Post Date: Oct 05, 2023

Dr. Kendra Chritz

Almost 66 million years ago, an asteroid struck the Earth, killing all non-avian dinosaurs and allowing mammals to dominate.

But just how did we evolve from rat-like creatures running between the feet of dinosaurs to take over their ecological niches? Dr. Kendra Chritz, assistant professor in the UBC department of earth, ocean and atmospheric sciences, aims to find out.

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Microplastic pollution: Plants could be the answer

Post Date: Oct 05, 2023

UBC device uses wood dust to trap up to 99.9 per cent of microplastics in water

Could plants be the answer to the looming threat of microplastic pollution? Scientists at UBC’s BioProducts Institute found that if you add tannins—natural plant compounds that make your mouth pucker if you bite into an unripe fruit—to a layer of wood dust, you can create a filter that traps virtually all microplastic particles present in water.

While the experiment remains a lab set-up at this stage, the team is convinced that the solution can be scaled up easily and inexpensively once they find the right industry partner.

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What’s your masculine style: Neo-traditional, egalitarian or progressive?

Post Date: Oct 05, 2023

Men navigate their intimate partner relationships depending on their masculine style, says new research led by UBC men’s health expert John Oliffe.

The study, which drew from in-depth interviews with 92 straight men ages 19 to 43 from diverse cultural backgrounds, found three types of masculinities:

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Just how smart are ‘trash pandas’? Volunteer your backyard to help scientists find out

Post Date: Oct 05, 2023

This summer, you can turn your backyard into a raccoon IQ test to help researchers figure out just how brainy your average “trash panda” is.

Hannah Griebling

Raccoons have big brains and thrive in complex city environments. But research on their cognitive abilities, or how they learn and act on information from the environment, is scarce.

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Selected quotes from research participants

Post Date: Aug 14, 2023

Neo-traditionalists
  • “Most of the time she [partner] does the house chores … while I do the manly duties like, maybe washing the car. Also, sometimes I do go for groceries, and I also do paint jobs in the house.” – Wayne
  • “The man is the head of the family….he is responsible for the relationship being equitable.” – Philip
Egalitarian
  • “Before there were conflicts where … my girlfriend, she felt like she was cooking more often than I was, which was true … how we resolved that was we’ll schedule days ahead of time. For example, if you cook three days, I cook three days. Then I think by having a more rigid schedule like that, more quantifiable schedule, we were able to sort of divide it more equally.” – Muyang
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Exercise apps a good prescription to boost healthcare workers’ mental health

Post Date: Oct 05, 2023

Simple home workouts using exercise apps can effectively reduce depressive symptoms in healthcare workers and could be a major tool to combat the global mental health crisis in the sector, says new University of British Columbia research.

The study, published today in JAMA Psychiatry, divided participants into either a waitlisted control group or an exercise group who were given free access to a suite of home exercise apps called DownDog, that included yoga, cardio and strength training. They were asked to aim for at least 80 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week over 12 weeks.

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It’s 2023, and coming out is, well, complicated.

Post Date: Oct 05, 2023

Dr. Amin Ghaziani

In an era of unprecedented LGBTQ2+ visibility coupled with incredible backlash, coming out as a sexual minority can be a deeply ambivalent experience, according to new research.

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Modern antidepressants may reduce risk of relapse for patients with bipolar depression

Post Date: Oct 05, 2023

Treatment with modern antidepressants may help prevent patients with bipolar disorder from relapsing into a depressive episode, according to an international clinical trial led by researchers at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Lakshmi Yatham

The findings, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, challenge current clinical practice guidelines and could change how bipolar depression is managed globally.

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Clearcut logging leads to more frequent flooding, including extreme floods

Post Date: Oct 04, 2023

Study also shows that larger, intact watersheds reduce flood risk more effectively 

Robbie Johnson

Loss of forest cover is associated with more frequent extreme flooding, as well as more frequent floods of any size, according to new UBC research.

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New study finds medications to treat alcohol addiction underused

Post Date: Jul 25, 2023

Medications for alcohol use disorder are underutilized in British Columbia, despite their safety and effectiveness, according to a new study published today in the journal Addiction.

The study found that between 2015 and 2019 fewer than five per cent of British Columbians who met the criteria for moderate to severe alcohol use disorder (AUD) received medications for the minimum recommended time of three months.

Researchers developed a cascade of care for AUD, a visual tool that describes the effectiveness of the health system in identifying people with AUD, engaging and retaining them in treatment and care, and in identifying gaps in service delivery.

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New algorithm maps safest routes for city drivers

Post Date: Aug 02, 2023

Dr. Tarek Sayed

Most navigation apps can show you the fastest possible route to your destination and some can even suggest an eco-friendly route calculated to produce the least amount of carbon emissions.

But what if they could also map the safest route with the lowest possible risk of a crash?

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Employers should allow workers to break the rules — sometimes

Post Date: Jul 24, 2023

When employees break the rules at work, they can land in hot water — but according to a new study from the UBC Sauder School of Business, bosses may want to think twice about cracking down on those who don’t stick to the script.

In the past, researchers believed that when employees broke the rules, they were doing it for malicious or self-serving reasons: for example, workers might steal, or take longer breaks than they’re entitled to. But it turns out that some employees ignore orders to help better serve customers, which can benefit businesses and improve the well-being of workers.

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Star with two faces discovered thousands of light years from Earth

Post Date: Jul 19, 2023

It’s not the nicest description for a human, but a two-faced star has been identified by astronomers in a first for its kind.

With one side composed fully of hydrogen and the other of helium, the star has been dubbed Janus after the two-faced Roman god of transition, and described in a new study published in Nature today. “The surface of the white dwarf completely changes from one side to the other,” says first author Dr. Ilaria Caiazzo, a postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology and UBC alumna. “When I show the observations to people, they are blown away.”

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The future of drug testing at festivals

Post Date: Jul 18, 2023

What if you could drop your drugs off at a vending machine that lets you know they’re safe in seconds, without any stigma?

UBC researchers will take one step closer to that goal this week when they take a prototype testing robot to Shambhala Music Festival in Salmo, B.C.

What is the future of drug testing?

Current portable testing techniques require technicians and can’t detect more than five compounds in a sample at a time, or specify the levels of any substance below five per cent.

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A vicious cycle: Mental disorders cause the very stress that fuels them

Post Date: Jul 25, 2023

Dr. Katerina Rnic

Part of what makes depression so hard to overcome is that people with depression tend to behave in ways that lead to more stress in their lives—and stress in turn fuels mental illness.

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Canadian scientists celebrate launch of Euclid satellite

Post Date: Jul 01, 2023

Mission will explore the evolution of the dark Universe

Today, the European Space Agency launched its Euclid satellite from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Twelve years in the making, the Euclid mission will construct a 3D map of the universe by observing billions of galaxies across more than one-third of the sky.

The goals: to understand the physical laws of the universe and explain how the universe originated and what it is made of.

The satellite will spend more than six years in space to accomplish the mission. More than 2,000 scientists will be involved in analyzing the data it sends back to Earth. This group includes Canadians from many leading astronomy research groups across the country.

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Changes in the tick of ‘cosmic clocks’ reveal gravitational waves

Post Date: Jun 28, 2023

Using part of the Milky Way as an antenna, researchers have found evidence for gravitational waves that undulate over periods of years to decades by measuring changes in the tick of ‘cosmic clocks’, according to new research.

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Canadian collaboration to develop national standards for substance use education and intervention in schools

Post Date: Jun 28, 2023

Substance use and related harms have been a key concern for many Canadians over the last seven years, but there remain troubling gaps in school-based approaches to substance use education and intervention. This leaves children and youth without critical information and supports for their wellbeing now and throughout their lives.

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Rain gardens could save salmon from toxic tire chemicals

Post Date: Jun 21, 2023

Specially designed gardens could reduce the amount of a toxic chemical associated with tires entering our waterways by more than 90 per cent, new research shows.

Tired toxins

The chemical 6PPD-quinone can form when car tires interact with the atmosphere. It enters rivers and streams when rain runs off roads into waterways. It is toxic to coho salmon, rainbow trout and some other fish.

“Rain gardens”, or bioretention cells, are gardens engineered to reduce flooding and soak up contaminants when road runoff is directed onto them.

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Biodegradable gel shows promise for cartilage regeneration

Post Date: Jun 21, 2023

A gel that combines both stiffness and toughness is a step forward in the bid to create biodegradable implants for joint injuries, according to new UBC research.

Mimicking articular cartilage, found in our knee and hip joints, is challenging. This cartilage is key to smooth joint movement, and damage to it can cause pain, reduce function, and lead to arthritis. One potential solution is to implant artificial scaffolds made of proteins that help the cartilage regenerate itself as the scaffold biodegrades. How well the cartilage regenerates is linked to how well a scaffold can mimic the biological properties of cartilage, and to date, researchers have struggled to combine the seemingly incompatible properties of stiffness and toughness.

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UBC researchers turn black bitumen into green carbon fibres

Post Date: Jun 15, 2023

Bitumen, the sticky product from Alberta’s oil sands, is normally burned as fuel or gets a second life as asphalt pavement.

But what if it could be turned into something more valuable, like the carbon fibres that make aircraft and hockey sticks light and durable, and electric cars safer and more efficient?

Cheaper fibres

UBC materials engineer Dr. Yasmine Abdin and her colleagues, Dr. Frank Ko in the faculty of applied science and Dr. Scott Renneckar in the faculty of forestry, have developed a way to convert bitumen into commercial-grade carbon fibres.

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Unlocking the potential of peer support to improve men’s mental health

Post Date: Jul 13, 2023

Approximately one of every five men in Canada will experience a mental health challenge this year. Many will avoid or delay seeking support, which can lead to devastating results.

Dr. Paul Sharp

Dr. Paul Sharp, a postdoctoral fellow with UBC’s Men’s Health Research Program and member of the Reducing Male Suicide Research Excellence Cluster, would like to help men find ways to tackle their mental health challenges through social connections.

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International group of experts redefines concussions

Post Date: Jun 07, 2023

Doctors and other health-care providers have a new standard for diagnosing mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), thanks to a thorough process led by researchers from the University of B.C. and Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

Dr. Noah Silverberg

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When consumers buy embarrassing products, they don’t want friendly service

Post Date: Jun 07, 2023

A UBC Sauder School of Business study shows that when people buy blush-inducing items, they choose self-checkout—or failing that, the most robotic human available.

It’s an age-old law of marketing that friendly customer service is a sure way to boost your business. But customers who are buying embarrassing products don’t necessarily want a smiling face or pleasant small talk.

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Baby’s first bites: How to introduce food allergens to infants

Post Date: Jun 07, 2023

Brock Williams

Safely introducing food to an infant for the first time can be daunting for caregivers. What can they eat? What if they choke? Will they like it? Throw allergens into the mix, and it’s a recipe for major anxiety.

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B.C. still eviction capital of Canada and most are through no fault of the tenant

Post Date: Jun 07, 2023

B.C. still leads Canada with the highest eviction rate in the country, and the vast majority are no-fault, according to a new report.

Researchers from UBC’s Balanced Supply of Housing research cluster analyzed 2021 Canadian Housing Survey (CHS) data from almost 41,000 Canadian households and found more than one in 10, or 10.5 per cent of B.C. renter households, reported being evicted during the five years prior to data collection, compared with only 5.9 per cent nationally. Prince Edward Island was second at eight per cent, followed by Nova Scotia and Ontario at just over six per cent.

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Why humans respect hard work regardless of results

Post Date: Jun 07, 2023

Dr. Azim Shariff

Have you ever had a co-worker make a big show of how hard they work—even though they don’t get great results?

They do this because people attach moral value to hard work, something Dr. Azim Shariff calls “effort moralization.”

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