UBC Research News Releases

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: Mar 29, 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: Mar 29, 2021

Thursday marks one year since the World Health Organization’s declaration of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. UBC experts are available to comment on various 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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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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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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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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Marginalized groups experience higher cumulative air pollution in urban Canada

Post Date: Dec 21, 2020

Different marginalized groups are exposed to higher cumulative air pollution in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.

The study, published last week in Environmental Research Letters, shows that in Vancouver, Indigenous residents are most at risk, while the burden falls on immigrant and low-income residents in Montreal and Toronto, respectively.

The study is an illustrative analysis for 2012 and by considering how exposure to air pollution overlaps with various socio-demographics, the study reveals unique patterns of risk.

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Made-in-Canada method of producing life-saving radioisotopes receives Health Canada approval

Post Date: Dec 18, 2020

A made-in-Canada approach to producing the world’s most commonly used medical isotope has received Health Canada approval, ushering in a new era for patients in Canada and around the world who rely on these isotopes for critical diagnostic procedures.

A Canadian consortium, which includes the University of British Columbia, BC Cancer and TRIUMF, is the first in the world to obtain regulatory approval for this approach, allowing for the production of technetium-99m (Tc-99m) for clinical use in Canada using small particle accelerators known as cyclotrons.

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A bit of stress might not be so good for us after all: UBC study

Post Date: Dec 18, 2020

The notion that a bit of stress makes people perform better has been baked into our everyday lives. But research from UBC neuroscientist Dr. Adele Diamond suggests it might not be so good for us after all.

The study, published recently in Cerebral Cortex, found that even mild stress may harm most people’s executive functions—mental skills such as self-control, focused attention, working memory and problem solving.

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UBC study highlights need for more effective staffing in care homes

Post Date: Dec 17, 2020

Even the best-managed long-term care homes will need to step up to get through the second wave of the pandemic, suggests a new study by researchers at the UBC school of nursing.

The team, led by Professor Farinaz Havaei, evaluated the management practices of a large B.C. long-term care facility that successfully kept COVID-19 at bay at the start of the pandemic. It did not experience a single outbreak until much later in the year—when the B.C. health care system was much better prepared to fight the virus.

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New partnership aims to help B.C. communities adapt to surging seas

Post Date: Dec 21, 2020

Mud Bay in Surrey, B.C. is a recreational paradise. Bike riders zip down along the dike in all seasons, while walkers enjoy exploring the trails close to shore. The salt marsh—where the tide moves in and out twice a day—teems with plant and wildlife, including small fish, tiny crabs and other species that call the bay home. Up to 15 migratory bird species visit in spring and autumn, including snow geese, mallard and black-bellied plover.

Although the scenery is idyllic, it’s also in peril. Mud Bay is increasingly under threat as sea level rise pushes the salt marsh up against the dikes lining the shore—a phenomenon known as coastal squeeze. If the marsh disappears, so too will the marine life that it supports.

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Crowdfunding can affect consumer product choices — especially when the products do good

Post Date: Dec 16, 2020

When it comes to introducing new products to the market, crowdfunding has become a hugely popular way for sellers to attract customers.

A new study from the UBC Sauder School of Business shows that people will pay far more for social good items when they’re crowdfunded.

Hundreds of thousands of start-ups have successfully pitched their offerings to millions of prospective buyers on sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo; in fact, according to data from the Pew Research Center, by 2016, 25 per cent of Americans had contributed to a crowdfunded project.

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Pregnant women with COVID-19 at increased risk of hospitalization, ICU admission and early labour

Post Date: Dec 14, 2020

Early findings suggest transmission to infants is rare

While much remains unknown about the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy, emerging data from a national surveillance project reveals pregnant women with COVID-19 seem to be at greater risk of being hospitalized, being admitted to intensive care units (ICUs), and going into early labour.

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UBC experts on COVID-19 vaccine

Post Date: Dec 14, 2020

The first shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines arrived in Canada Sunday night.

UBC experts are available to comment:

Horacio Bach Adjunct Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, UBC Faculty of Medicine Email: hbach@mail.ubc.ca

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Peanut allergy treatment significantly lowers risk of life-threatening reactions in preschoolers

Post Date: Dec 07, 2020

After one year of treatment, nearly 80 per cent of study participants could eat 15 peanuts without a reaction

It’s a peanut-filled world—or at least it can feel that way for kids with peanut allergies. But a new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia and BC Children’s Hospital gives hope to parents and kids who face real danger from exposure to peanuts.

Dr. Edmond Chan

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Study finds gamblers ignore important information when placing bets

Post Date: Dec 03, 2020

People with gambling problems are less likely to consider important information that could prevent them from losing, according to new research published today from the UBC’s Centre for Gambling Research.

Instead, people with gambling disorder pay more attention to irrelevant information from the previous gamble to inform their next choice.

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What’s killing killer whales? Orca report covering a decade of necropsies identifies threats

Post Date: Dec 02, 2020

Pathology reports on more than 50 killer whales stranded over nearly a decade in the northeast Pacific and Hawaii show that orcas face a variety of mortal threats—many stemming from human interactions.

A study analyzing the reports was published today in the journal PLOS ONE. The study findings indicate that understanding and being aware of each threat is critical for managing and conserving killer whale populations. It also presents a baseline understanding of orca health.

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Researchers testing children across B.C. for COVID-19 antibodies

Post Date: Dec 02, 2020

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in British Columbia, a critical question remains on the role babies, children, teens and young adults play in transmission of the novel coronavirus.

Dr. Manish Sadarangani, associate professor in the UBC department of pediatrics and director of the Vaccine Evaluation Center at BC Children’s Hospital, is leading a research project that aims to provide further clues to this question.

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Seismic guidelines underestimate impact of ‘The Big One’ on Metro Vancouver buildings

Post Date: Dec 01, 2020

Scientists examining the effects of a megathrust earthquake in the Pacific Northwest say tall buildings across Metro Vancouver will experience greater shaking than currently accounted for by Canada’s national seismic hazard model.

The region lies above the Georgia sedimentary basin, which is made up of layers of glacial and river sediments sitting on top of sedimentary rock. In the event of an earthquake, it would jiggle and amplify the seismic waves, causing more intense and longer-lasting tremors. However, the amplification caused by the sedimentary basin is not explicitly accounted for in the 2015 seismic hazard model, which informs Canada’s national building code.

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UBC-Providence scientists join forces with WestJet and YVR for COVID-19 Testing Study

Post Date: Dec 01, 2020

This story is part of the “Making a difference” series, in which we shine a spotlight on the many ways—both big and small—that UBC community members are helping with the response to COVID-19. Share your story with us at media.relations@ubc.ca.

Over the last two decades, clinician-scientist Dr. Don Sin has spent his days doing research on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease while also caring with patients with the debilitating disease.

Then COVID-19 hit.

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It’s not too late to save 102 species at risk of extinction

Post Date: Nov 27, 2020

The Fraser River estuary in British Columbia is home to 102 species at risk of extinction. A new study says it’s not too late to save these species if action is taken now.

“There is currently no overarching plan to save them. If we don’t act quickly, many species, including species of salmon and southern resident killer whales, are likely to be functionally extinct in the next 25 years,” says senior author Tara Martin, a professor of conservation science at UBC, in a paper published today in Conservation Science and Practice.

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Better housing policies needed in a post-COVID world

Post Date: Nov 25, 2020

UBC report highlights gains but calls for longer-term solutions to improve housing supply

COVID-19 proved that governments can respond quickly to improve housing during a health crisis. The next step should be to build on these gains to make long-lasting improvements in the housing supply.

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COVID-19 isolation measures can elevate mental health risks

Post Date: Nov 18, 2020

Quarantine and isolation measures are a critical tool in curbing the spread of COVID-19. But new analysis of data from a survey of the mental health impacts of the pandemic suggests we need to pay more attention to the unintended mental health consequences of these measures.

Researchers at UBC, in collaboration with the Canadian Mental Health Association, surveyed 3,000 adults across Canada and found that mental health generally worsened with the pandemic. However, people who spent time in voluntary self-isolation or mandated quarantine were among those who felt the impacts more keenly.

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UBC releases 2019 animal research statistics

Post Date: Nov 17, 2020

UBC’s summary of animals involved in research at the university in 2019 is now available.

This is the tenth consecutive year the university has published the data. UBC is one of only three 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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Health of transgender youth improving but stigma, violence still a concern

Post Date: Nov 16, 2020

Canada’s transgender youth are more supported in their identities nowadays, with more trans teens—50 per cent compared to 45 per cent five years ago—living in their felt gender full-time, finds a new survey led by UBC researchers.

The survey also revealed more transgender youth are asking their friends and families to call them by their correct names and pronouns since the previous survey. Specifically, 92 per cent have asked their fellow transgender friends to do so, and 86 per cent have asked their parents.

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Online supports for COVID-19 stress are there—but Canadians aren’t accessing them

Post Date: Nov 10, 2020

Many Canadians are not making use of virtual resources that could help them cope with the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest analysis of a national survey led by researchers at UBC, in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

Sixty-five per cent of the 3,000 survey participants reported adverse mental health impacts related to COVID-19 in May, yet only two per cent reported accessing online mental health resources such as apps, websites, digital tools or other supports not involving direct contact with a mental health care provider.

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Half a billion bets teach UBC algorithm how to identify problem gamblers

Post Date: Nov 09, 2020

UBC researchers have successfully used machine learning to identify online gamblers whose betting behaviour could indicate a gambling problem.

By analyzing data from actual bets placed on the British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s (BCLC) PlayNow.com platform, an algorithm developed by the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC predicted with approximately 75-per-cent performance which players had, at some point, tried to curb their gambling by enrolling in BCLC’s Voluntary Self-Exclusion program (VSE).

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UBC scientists receive $3M for COVID-19 research projects

Post Date: Nov 06, 2020

New funding to cover urgent need for research equipment

Scientists at the University of British Columbia are receiving $3 million to support COVID-19 research projects through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

The funding—announced today by Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry—is part of $28 million that will support 79 projects at 52 universities and research hospitals, colleges, polytechnics and Cégeps across Canada. The funding covers the urgent need for equipment for ongoing research related to COVID-19.

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The unique mental health and brain impacts of COVID-19

Post Date: Nov 06, 2020

As COVID-19 infections spike around the globe, with no end in sight for months, questions are beginning to arise around the long-term effects of the pandemic on our mental health and brain health.

In a new paper published this week in Trends in Neuroscience, Judy Illes, neuroethicist and professor of neurology, and her team at UBC, examine the unique neurological impacts and neuroethical challenges posed by COVID-19, especially compared to other 21st century epidemics such as SARS, H1N1 and Zika virus.

Judy Illes

What are the main observations of the COVID-19 pandemic outlined in your paper?

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Hospital ER visits by children down 70% during pandemic peak in B.C.

Post Date: Nov 05, 2020

A new study from University of British Columbia researchers found a significant decline in the number of families with children accessing emergency departments across B.C. during the peak of the pandemic.

The findings, recently published in Emergency Medicine Journal, suggest that many families may have avoided visiting emergency departments for minor illnesses during the peak of the pandemic from March 17 to April 30, during which public health emergency and stay-at-home orders were declared.

Dr. Ran Goldman

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More Republicans follow COVID guidelines when they’re told it will protect themselves: study

Post Date: Nov 02, 2020

New research from the UBC Sauder School of Business suggests Democrats feel responsible for others, while Republicans feel responsible for themselves

For decades, scientists have predicted that a deadly pandemic would sweep the globe — but what they didn’t expect was that basic public health measures such as mask wearing and social distancing would become political flashpoints, especially in the United States.

But according to new research from the UBC Sauder School of Business, a different approach to public health messaging could help ease those tensions – and potentially save lives.

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Teens who participate in extracurriculars, get less screen time, have better mental health

Post Date: Nov 02, 2020

A new study from UBC researchers finds that teens, especially girls, have better mental health when they spend more time taking part in extracurricular activities, like sports and art, and less time in front of screens.

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Scientists detect 39 new gravitational wave events

Post Date: Oct 29, 2020

Results provide new clues about how stars live and die

The LIGO-Virgo Collaboration, including researchers at the University of British Columbia, has confirmed 39 new gravitational wave event detections, more than quadrupling the total known gravitational wave events from 11 to 50.

The results, published in four papers on arXiv, and soon to appear in Physical Review X and other journals, were collected from the first half of the most recent LIGO-Virgo observing run, O3. The two LIGO detectors in the U.S. and the Virgo detector in Italy gathered the data from April to October 2019.

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Social isolation puts women at higher risk of hypertension

Post Date: Oct 28, 2020

It’s no secret that loneliness and social isolation have a negative impact on the mental and physical health of older adults. Now, researchers at the University of British Columbia are discovering that social isolation affects the health of men and women in different ways—including placing women at higher risk of high blood pressure.

In a study recently published in the Journal of Hypertension, researchers discovered that middle aged and older women who lacked social ties were much more likely than men to suffer from hypertension—a known risk factor for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death among women—and stroke.

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Global COVID-19 treatment trial shows current antivirals are of little benefit to hospitalized patients

Post Date: Oct 16, 2020

In just six months, the world’s largest randomized control trial on COVID-19 therapeutics has generated conclusive evidence on the effectiveness of repurposed drugs for the treatment of COVID-19.

Interim results from the Solidarity Therapeutics Trial, coordinated by the World Health Organization, indicate that remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon regimens appeared to have little or no effect on 28-day mortality or the in-hospital course of COVID-19 among hospitalized patients. In total, 11,266 patients across 405 hospitals were studied. The results of the trial are under review for publication in a medical journal and have been uploaded as a preprint.

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On-scene care saves more lives than transporting cardiac arrest patients to hospital 

Post Date: Oct 14, 2020

If someone experiences cardiac arrest—a condition in which the heart suddenly stops beating—what’s the best way to keep that person alive?

A new study led by UBC researchers, and recently published in JAMA, compared the survival rates of two different strategies used by paramedics when treating cardiac arrests: 1) performing resuscitation at the scene, or 2) transporting the patient to hospital with resuscitation en route.

Dr. Brian Grunau, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor in UBC’s department of emergency medicine, explains why the chances of survival among patients transported to hospital are so slim.

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Immediate CPR saves more lives than transporting cardiac arrest patients to hospital 

Post Date: Oct 14, 2020

If someone experiences cardiac arrest—a condition in which the heart suddenly stops beating—what’s the best way to keep that person alive?

A new study led by UBC researchers, and recently published in JAMA, compared the survival rates of two different strategies used by paramedics when treating cardiac arrests: 1) performing resuscitation at the scene, or 2) transporting the patient to hospital with resuscitation en route.

Dr. Brian Grunau, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor in UBC’s department of emergency medicine, explains why the chances of survival among patients transported to hospital are so slim.

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Will we ever shake hands again?

Post Date: Oct 09, 2020

UBC researcher examines the psychological toll of the pandemic

From facing fears of contracting the virus, coping with extended separation from loved ones, and combatting the everyday emotional and financial repercussions of COVID-19, the pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on our mental health and wellbeing.

Dr. Lakshmi Yatham

Dr. Lakshmi Yatham, professor and head of the UBC department of psychiatry, explores the psychological toll of COVID-19 and offers his advice on combating stress and anxiety.

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Nearly half of parents willing to accept less rigorous testing of COVID-19 vaccine

Post Date: Oct 06, 2020

A new study from researchers at the University of British Columbia reveals many parents are willing to accept less rigorous testing and expedited approval of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The international study, recently published in Clinical Therapeutics, surveyed more than 2,500 families from Canada, Israel, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the United States who visited 17 different emergency departments between the end of March to the end of June.

When asked if they were willing to accept less rigorous testing and faster approval of a COVID-19 vaccine, nearly half (43 per cent) of parents surveyed globally said they were willing.

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Spinal cord injury research at UBC receives $48M grant

Post Date: Oct 01, 2020

An international research team, co-led by researchers at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, has received a $48 million grant (US$36.5M) for research that aims to improve long-term outcomes for patients with spinal cord injury (SCI).

The five-year project—made possible through a grant from the United States Defence Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA)—will revolutionize SCI treatments using innovative, implantable technologies.

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Webinar: Growing up in a pandemic

Post Date: Sep 30, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the daily lives of families everywhere.

From changes in outdoor play and physical activity to screen time and use of technology, the way children and teens spend their time looks much different than it did a year ago.

These new experiences and environments—combined with the stress of an uncertain future—affect brain health and learning, and will continue to impact the generations of young people growing up during the pandemic.

Join UBC experts from the faculty of medicine to learn more about these unique changes, how they’re impacting the brain, and how to help children and teens thrive during the pandemic.

After a short presentation by each speaker, viewers will have the opportunity to ask questions using Slido.

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New survey shows links between COVID-19 pandemic and B.C. nurses’ mental health

Post Date: Sep 29, 2020

B.C. nurses working in the front lines at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic experienced high levels of emotional exhaustion, depression and anxiety, finds a new survey by UBC nursing researchers and the BC Nurses’ Union (BCNU).

Three out of five nurses surveyed, or 60 per cent, reported emotional exhaustion, compared with 56 per cent from a similar survey conducted in late 2019. Forty-one per cent suffered from depression – up from 31 per cent earlier. And 38 per cent of nurses said they experienced anxiety, compared to 28 per cent last year.

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Earlier testing and tracing could have prevented spread of COVID-19 in U.S. and Europe

Post Date: Sep 25, 2020

Earlier testing and contact tracing might have prevented SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from becoming established in the United States and Europe, suggests a new study recently published in Science.

For the study, an international research team—including UBC scientist Jeffrey Joy—reconstructed the spread of SARS-CoV-2 across the world using genomic data from coronavirus samples, travel records, and computer-simulated models of how the virus spread and mutated over time.

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