News + Announcements

Gut enzymes could hold key to producing universal blood

Post Date: Aug 21, 2018

For blood transfusions to be safe, the donor and patient blood types must match. Now researchers at the University of British Columbia have identified a new, more powerful group of enzymes that can turn any type of blood into the universally usable type O—expanding the pool of potential blood donors and making blood matching safer and easier.

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Men place less value on care-oriented careers like nursing: UBC study

Post Date: Aug 20, 2018

Men assign less importance to care-oriented careers than women do, possibly because men internalize different values than women, suggests new research from the University of British Columbia.

While women are significantly underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, making up just nine to 16 per cent of engineers and 21 per cent of computer programmers in the U.S., men are even more markedly underrepresented in healthcare, early education, and domestic (HEED) careers. They make up only 10 per cent of nurses and four per cent of preschool and kindergarten teachers in the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Cigarettes account for half of waste recovered on Vancouver and Victoria shorelines

Post Date: Aug 15, 2018

Plastic waste—particularly from smoking– still dominates litter collected from B.C. coastlines, a recent study from the University of British Columbia has found.

UBC researchers analysed data from 1,226 voluntary cleanups organized by the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup (GCSC), a conservation initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF-Canada, along the coast of B.C. between 2013 and 2016.

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Fishing fleets travelling further to catch fewer fish

Post Date: Aug 01, 2018

Industrial fishing fleets have doubled the distance they travel to fishing grounds since 1950 but catch only a third of what they did 65 years ago per kilometre travelled, a new study has found.

Researchers from from the Sea Around Us initiative at the University of Western Australia and the University of British Columbia mapped the growth and spread of industrial fisheries since 1950 and found that global trends were dominated by the heavily subsidized fleets of a small number of countries, increasing the total area fished from 60 per cent to 90 per cent of the world’s oceans.

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Breaking up ‘fatbergs’: UBC engineers develop technique to break down fats, oil and grease

Post Date: Aug 01, 2018

Cooking oil and similar waste can clog pipes, harm fish and even grow into solid deposits like the “fatbergs” that recently blocked London’s sewage system. But UBC researchers may have found a way to treat these fats, oils and grease—collectively called FOG—and turn them into energy.

Researchers heated FOG samples to temperatures between 90 and 110 degrees Celsius and added hydrogen peroxide, a chemical that kickstarts the breakdown of organic matter. Researchers said the treatment dramatically reduced the volume of solids in the FOG by as much as 80 per cent. It also released fatty acids from the mixture that can be broken down by bacteria in the next stage of treatment.

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Distracted pedestrians walk slower and are less steady on their feet: UBC study

Post Date: Aug 02, 2018

Distracted drivers are responsible for more collisions in Canada than impaired drivers, but with smartphones becoming ubiquitous, distracted walking is also on the rise. Now, University of British Columbia engineers have analyzed just how mobile device use affects pedestrians, and their findings could help develop safer roads and autonomous cars in the future.

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Breakthrough discovery will change treatment for COPD patients

Post Date: Aug 01, 2018

Permanent lung damage caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) starts much earlier than previously thought, even before patients are showing symptoms.

These are the findings of a new study recently published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. The breakthrough discovery, led by Dr. Tillie-Louise Hackett, associate professor in the University of British Columbia’s faculty of medicine, will dramatically change how patients are treated for COPD, the leading cause of hospital admissions in B.C. and Canada.

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