News + Announcements

Mom and baby share “good bacteria” through breast milk

Post Date: Jul 10, 2020

The process of pumping, storing and bottle-feeding breast milk may reduce the transfer of bacteria from mom to baby

A new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia and the University of Manitoba has found that bacteria are shared and possibly transferred from a mother’s milk to her infant’s gut, and that breastfeeding directly at the breast best supports this process.

The research, published today in Cell Host & Microbe, found that certain bacteria, including Streptococcus and Veillonella, co-occur in mothers’ milk and their infants’ stool, and this co-occurrence is higher when infants nurse directly at the breast.

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Extreme rainfall events cause top-heavy aquatic food webs

Post Date: Jul 09, 2020

An expansive, multi-site ecology study led by UBC has uncovered new insights into the effects of climate change on the delicate food webs of the neotropics.

In research recently outlined in Nature, scientists across seven different sites throughout Central and South America replicated the extreme rainfall events predicted by climate change science. Using the insect larvae that live in the water trapped by bromeliad plants as a model ecosystem, they found that food webs became top-heavy with predators when there were large day-to-day variations in rainfall.

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UBC research shows hearing persists at end of life

Post Date: Jul 08, 2020

Hearing is widely thought to be the last sense to go in the dying process. Now UBC researchers have evidence that some people may still be able to hear while in an unresponsive state at the end of their life.

This research, published recently in Scientific Reports, is the first to investigate hearing in humans when they are close to death.

Using electroencephalography (EEG), which measures electrical activity in the brain, the researchers analyzed data collected from healthy control participants, from hospice patients when they were conscious, and from the same hospice patients when they became unresponsive. The patients were receiving palliative care at St. John Hospice in Vancouver.

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Gender employment gap among parents increases over first three months of pandemic

Post Date: Jul 07, 2020

As the Canadian economy reopens, mothers are much less likely to be back at work than fathers—a gender gap that has been widening since the COVID-19 pandemic began, new UBC research has found.

The change has been particularly striking among less educated parents. For parents with high school education or less, whose children are elementary-school age, women’s employment trailed men by 1.6 percentage points in February. By May, that gap had multiplied more than 10 times to 16.8 percentage points.

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New UBC course explores how COVID-19 is impacting society

Post Date: Jun 29, 2020

Even if you’re tired of COVID-19and who isn’t?hundreds of UBC students are preparing to embark on a new credit course examining the pandemic on a worldwide scale.

More than 270 UBC students have registered for COVID-19 and Society—the first course of its kind in Canada. As part of the final project, students will work with a community partner to develop materials and recommendations to inform the public about COVID-19. We spoke with the course’s instructor and developer Katherine Lyon to learn more about putting a course together within a few months, as well as what she hopes to achieve.

What are the objectives of the course?

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Social circles of visible-minority youth become less diverse as they get older

Post Date: Jun 26, 2020

Visible-minority children born in Canada to immigrant parents, and those who immigrate here at a young age, have less diverse friendship groups than their non-visible minority peers, new UBC research shows.

And as those youth get older, the proportion of their friends who come from outside their own ethnic group gets even smaller.

Sean Lauer of UBC’s department of sociology and Miu Chung Yan of the UBC School of Social Work published their findings last month in Ethnic and Racial Studies. We spoke with Lauer about the study.

What motivated you to conduct this study?

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UBC receives $14 million in federal funding for COVID-19 research

Post Date: Jun 25, 2020

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have received a combined total of $14.3 million in grants in the latest round of funding from the federal government in support of research aimed at addressing the health challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In total, 19 teams at UBC working in drug research, global health, obstetrics, medical imaging, public health, and Indigenous health are receiving support as part of a $109-million investment in research projects by the federal government, focused on accelerating the development, testing, and implementation of measures to mitigate the rapid spread of COVID-19 and its negative consequences on people, communities, and health systems.

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