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UBC Science staff recognized for advancing diversity, creativity

June 5, 2014

Four members of the UBC Science community have been recognized for their outstanding service to the University with President’s Staff Awards. The awards recognize personal achievements and contributions to UBC and to the vision and goals of the University. Eleven PSAs were awarded this year.

Report supports shutdown of all high seas fisheries

June 5, 2014

Fish and aquatic life living in the high seas are more valuable as a carbon sink than as food and should be better protected, according to research from the University of British Columbia. The study found fish and aquatic life remove 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year, a service valued at about $148 billion US. This dwarfs the $16 billion US paid for 10 million tonnes of fish caught on the high seas annually.

Interactive teaching methods help students master tricky calculus

June 4, 2014

Pre-class assignments, small group discussions and clicker quizzes improve students' ability to grasp tricky first-year calculus concepts, according to a new study by UBC researchers.  

Researchers remap the epic evolution of a ‘ring species’ through central Asia

May 25, 2014

The Greenish Warbler, long considered an idealized example of a single species that diverged into two as it expanded its range, has a much more checkered family history than biologists previously realized. 

Promising discovery in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria

May 22, 2014

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have identified a small molecule that prevents bacteria from forming into biofilms, a frequent cause of infections. The anti-biofilm peptide works on a range of bacteria including many that cannot be treated by antibiotics. “Currently there is a severe problem with antibiotic-resistant organisms,” says Bob Hancock, a professor in UBC’s Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology and lead author of the study published today in PLOS Pathogens. “Our entire arsenal of antibiotics is gradually losing effectiveness.”

Nanomaterials research training at UBC gets boost

May 16, 2014

Researchers studying nanomaterials at UBC received a $1.65 million boost in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada today. UBC chemist Mark MacLachlan received the support from NSERC's Collaborative Research and Training Experience program, with the funding extending over six years. The investment will help MacLachlan mentor and train graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

New TRIUMF-UBC training program aims to turn Vancouver into 'Isotope Valley'

May 16, 2014

A new interdisciplinary program at UBC and the TRUIMF national physics lab will provide young scientists with enriched training experiences in the production, preparation and innovative application of isotopes for science and health.  The Isotopes for Science and Medicine (ISOSIM) CREATE program--announced today at a ceremony at McGill University by Minister of State (Science and Technology) Ed Holder--will help researchers transition from academia into the Canadian workforce.

Lethal parasite evolved from pond scum

May 8, 2014

A lethal parasite infecting a wide range of insects actually originated from pond scum, according to a genomic investigation by UBC researchers. A team led by UBC Botany's Patrick Keeling sequenced the genome of Helicosporidium – an intracellular parasite that can kill juvenile blackflies, caterpillars, beetles and mosquitoes – and found it evolved from algae like another notorious pathogen: malaria.

Planck reveals magnetic fingerprint of our galaxy

May 6, 2014

An international team of astrophysicists has released an unprecedented map of the entire sky that charts the magnetic field shaping the Milky Way galaxy and helps in our understanding of the birth of the universe. The team—which includes researchers from the University of British Columbia and the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA) at the University of Toronto—created the map using data from the Planck Space Telescope.

UBC antimicrobial pioneer elected to American National Academy of Sciences

April 29, 2014

UBC microbiologist Julian Davies has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He is among 21 foreign associates from 15 countries elected to the prestigious Academy today in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in research. The Davies lab searches for antibiotics from a variety of natural sources, these include bacteria isolated from soils, sediments, clays, mushrooms and lichens.

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