News + Announcements

Inactive teens develop lazy bones, study finds

Post Date: Mar 23, 2017

Inactive teens have weaker bones than those who are physically active, according to a new study.

Researchers with UBC and the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, measured the physical activity and bone strength of 309 teenagers over a specific four-year period that is crucial for lifelong, healthy skeletal development.

“We found that teens who are less active had weaker bones, and bone strength is critical for preventing fractures,” said Leigh Gabel, lead author and PhD candidate in orthopedics at UBC.

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Fish evolve by playing it safe

Post Date: Mar 23, 2017

New research supports the creation of more marine reserves in the world’s oceans because, the authors say, fish can evolve to be more cautious and stay away from fishing nets.

The research suggests that by creating additional “no-take” areas, some fish will stay within marine reserves where they are protected from fishing. While other fish will move around the ocean, these less mobile fish will continue to live in the protected areas, pass this behaviour on to their offspring, and contribute to future generations to increase the overall stock.

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Thirteen things scientifically proven to make you more attractive

Post Date: Mar 22, 2017

A Reader’s Digest story cited UBC research that found smiling women were shown to be more attractive but the same was not true for men.

Alec Beall, a UBC PhD candidate and study author, said people tend to associate expressions of happiness with femininity.

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New flexible sensor holds potential for foldable touch screens

Post Date: Mar 22, 2017

Picture a tablet that you can fold into the size of a phone and put away in your pocket, or an artificial skin that can sense your body’s movements and vital signs. A new, inexpensive sensor developed at the University of British Columbia could help make advanced devices like these a reality.

The sensor uses a highly conductive gel sandwiched between layers of silicone that can detect different types of touch, including swiping and tapping, even when it is stretched, folded or bent. This feature makes it suited for foldable devices of the future.

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Brain patterns cannot reveal end-of-life decisions for patients with severe brain injuries

Post Date: Mar 22, 2017

A growing field of research is examining the brain patterns produced by people with severe brain injuries who can no longer communicate and appear to be in a vegetative state. Some have argued that one day we may be able to unlock a code from these patterns and communicate with these patients.

Two UBC neuroethicists are studying what this might mean for Canada and other countries that have recently introduced legislation for physician-assisted death. In a JAMA Neurology article published last week, Judy Illes and Emanuel Cabral examine the ethics around end-of-life decision-making for patients with these injuries.

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Scotiabank funds $2-million cybersecurity and financial data initiative at UBC

Post Date: Mar 22, 2017

UBC is poised to accelerate cybersecurity and financial risk research in Canada and beyond, thanks to a $2-million donation from Scotiabank.

Over the next five years, the Scotiabank Cybersecurity and Risk Analytics Initiative will support research and educational initiatives, including internships, speaker series, engagement activities like “hackathons,” and other collaborative events to advance our understanding of the impacts of cyberattacks and refine risk management tools.

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Organic is only one ingredient in recipe for sustainable food future

Post Date: Mar 19, 2017

Mouseover the image and click on the dots to interact with the story. Many people choose organic thinking it’s better for humans and the planet, but a new UBC study published today in Science Advances finds that might not always be the case.

“Organic is often proposed a holy grail solution to current environmental and food scarcity problems, but we found that the costs and benefits will vary heavily depending on the context,” said Verena Seufert, a researcher at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES).

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