July 14, 2013
A landmark single-cell genomic study of microorgansims from sites across the globe is underscoring British Columbia's role as an 'oasis' of biodiversity. The findings, to be published Sunday in Nature, could also prompt scientists to redefine how the tree of life represents relationships among and between life’s three domains.
July 9, 2013
UBC zoologists have developed a vaccine that may halt the spread of West Nile Virus (WNV) among common and endangered bird species.
WNV, a mosquito borne pathogen, arrived in North America in 1999 and is now endemic across the continent. In 2012 alone, WNV killed 286 people in the United States, and 42 people have died from the virus in Canada since 2002. There is currently no effective vaccine against WNV infection in humans or birds.
July 5, 2013
Pieter Cullis, professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, has been appointed as the new Director of the UBC Life Sciences Institute.
As director, Cullis will work to nurture, expand and coordinate the work of the LSI's nine research groups and their scientists, and to raise the profile of UBC as a leader in the life sciences. He will bring a new vision and mission for the LSI, drawing upon his interest in personalized medicine and work to encourage interdisciplinary investigations.
July 3, 2013
One year after discovery, Prof. Colin Gay describes how Canadian scientists helped sort through mountains of data to help pinpoint the particle
The discovery of the Higgs boson was without doubt the most important of its kind in recent years. Finding the subatomic particle at the Large Haldron Collider (LHC) on the Swiss-French border made international news earlier this year—and for good reason.
July 1, 2013
Canada’s suitcase-sized MOST space telescope celebrates its 10th birthday in space this Canada Day weekend with new details on a distant super-Earth, and a renewed call for amateur astronomers to submit targets for the satellite.
"Over the years we’ve always half-joked that MOST could stand for My Own Space Telescope,” says MOST mission scientist and UBC astrophysicist Jaymie Matthews. “This is a chance for an armchair astronomer to teach the world about new worlds around other suns, and to celebrate Canada’s and MOST’s birthdays."
June 24, 2013
Planktonic bacteria inhabiting the world’s oceans have streamlined their genetic makeup to become lean, mean survival machines, according to new research by an international team of researchers, including microbiologists at the University of British Columbia.
The findings, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, are the first direct evidence of widespread genome reduction--organisms evolving to cast off superfluous genes and traits in favor of simpler, specialized genetic make-ups optimized for rapid growth.
June 19, 2013
About 100 Aboriginal children in rural BC will be able to attend math summer camps hosted by the University of British Columbia thanks to a $30,000 gift from the RBC Foundation. The camps, organized by the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS) and UBC Mathematics, are a key part of the University's efforts to foster an interest in mathematics among Aboriginal K-12 students.
June 17, 2013
UBC researchers with Microbiology and Immunology, Chemistry and the Centre for Blood Research (CBR) have partnered with an international investment company and a Chinese biotechnology firm to accelerate the development of new treatments for a variety of diseases.
The partnership--with Sichuan BoXin LaiTe Biotechnology and its major shareholder Heracles International Investment--is the first agreement of its kind between UBC and a Chinese biomedical technology company.
May 31, 2013
Sharks are worth more in the ocean than in a bowl of soup, according to researchers from the University of British Columbia.
A new study, published today in Oryx – The International Journal of Conservation
, shows that shark ecotourism currently generates more than US$314 million annually worldwide and is expected to more than double to US$780 million in the next 20 years.
May 22, 2013
Canadian and Swedish scientists today released genome sequences of two of the most economically important forest trees in the world.
Conifers supply raw materials for the Canadian forestry industry, which accounted for $23.7 billion in Canada’s economy in 2011. Gross output of the forest sector in Sweden in 2009 was $29.7 billion.
At 20-30 billion base-pairs and up to 10 times larger than the human genome, the white spruce genome, published in Bioinformatics, and the Norway spruce genome, published in Nature, are also the largest genome sequence assemblies to date.