News + Announcements

Making bins more convenient boosts recycling and composting rates

Post Date: Apr 20, 2017

Alessandra DiGiacomo is lead author of a new study that found placing bins 1.5 metres from a door drastically boosts recycling and composting rates by 141 per cent. Credit: Martin Dee, UBC.

Want to recycle or compost more? Try moving the bins closer, new UBC research suggests.

The study shows that placing bins 1.5 metres away from suite doors drastically boosts recycling and composting rates by 141 per cent. The findings highlight how small changes in convenience can have a big impact on performance.

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Drug created from malaria parasite shows promise as bladder cancer treatment

Post Date: Apr 20, 2017


Photo: James Gathany, CDC.

A drug created from a malaria protein stopped tumour growth of chemotherapy-resistant bladder cancer, offering hope for cancer patients not responding to standard treatments.

Mads Daugaard

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Report says Site C business case is ‘weak,’ calls for project to be suspended

Post Date: Apr 20, 2017

A new report looking at the economic impact of Site C led by UBC researchers is calling for the B.C. government to hit pause on the project.

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UBC invention uses bacteria to purify water

Post Date: Apr 12, 2017

A University of British Columbia-developed system that uses bacteria to turn non-potable water into drinking water will be tested next week in West Vancouver prior to being installed in remote communities in Canada and beyond.

The system consists of tanks of fibre membranes that catch and hold contaminants—dirt, organic particles, bacteria and viruses—while letting water filter through. A community of beneficial bacteria, or biofilm, functions as the second line of defence, working in concert to break down pollutants.

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‘Whale breath’ reveals bacteria threatening endangered killer whales

Post Date: Apr 25, 2017

Breath sampling. Credit: Pete Schroeder

Droplets and exhaled breath caught from the blowholes of killer whales along the Pacific coast are providing scientists with insights into whale health and revealing bacteria and fungi that may be a threat to the mammals.

“We wanted to find out what sort of bacteria and fungi are present in healthy whales and the potential pathogens they are being exposed to in their environment,” said Stephen Raverty, the lead author on the study and an adjunct professor at UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. “In some circumstances, these pathogenic microbes could pose a threat to the animals and contribute to clinical disease.”

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Researchers identify genes that give cannabis its flavour

Post Date: Mar 30, 2017

Credit: Flickr

UBC scientists have scanned the genome of cannabis plants to find the genes responsible for giving various strains their lemony, skunky or earthy flavours, an important step for the budding legal cannabis industry.

“The goal is to develop well-defined and highly-reproducible cannabis varieties. This is similar to the wine industry, which depends on defined varieties such as chardonnay or merlot for high value products,” said Jörg Bohlmann, a professor in the Michael Smith Laboratories and faculty of forestry at UBC. “Our genomics work can inform breeders of commercial varieties which genes to pay attention to for specific flavour qualities.”

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Innovative software converts Wi-Fi data into energy savings

Post Date: Mar 31, 2017

The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre library. Credit: Lara Swimmer Photography

For the first time in Canada, a University of British Columbia engineer has found a way to use Wi-Fi to determine the number of building occupants and adjust ventilation accordingly – saving energy without sacrificing air quality.

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