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UBC and SAP partner to foster girls’ love of technology

February 19, 2014

UBC and international software developer SAP Canada have joined forces to deliver technology workshops for Grade 7 girls at the company’s Vancouver offices. The GIRLsmarts program, organized by UBC’s Computer Science department, has been active for a decade, but this is the first year it has partnered with industry to hold workshops outside of UBC’s Vancouver campus. The move allows participants to experience a real world technology environment.

Low levels of atmospheric oxygen might not have delayed animal evolution

February 17, 2014

Challenging a long held view that low levels of atmospheric oxygen prevented the evolution of animals, new findings show that primitive animals can survive under extremely low oxygen conditions, according to researchers at the University of British Columbia, the University of Southern Denmark, and the California Institute of Technology.

'Big thaw' brings pathogens north: Infectious cat parasite found in western Arctic Beluga

February 13, 2014

University of British Columbia scientists have found for the first time an infectious form of the cat parasite Toxoplasma gondii in western Arctic Beluga, prompting a call for caution for the Inuit people who eat whale meat. The same team discovered a new strain of the parasite Sarcocystis, previously sequestered in the icy north, that is responsible for killing 406 grey seals in the north Atlantic in 2012.

UBC applauds boost in federal research investment, commitment to physics, math

February 11, 2014

The University of British Columbia celebrates the significant increase in federal government support for research announced today in Budget 2014, in particular the creation of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. Announced by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty as part of the budget tabled today in Parliament, the $1.5 billion, ten-year commitment to the Canada First Research Excellence Fund marks the beginning of a concerted national effort to propel top performing institutions onto the world stage.

UBC computer scientist wins $250,000 fellowship for research on how markets make decisions

February 3, 2014

UBC computer scientist Kevin Leyton-Brown is one of six Canadian researchers awarded an EWR Steacie Memorial Fellowship today, valued at more than $250,000.

UBC, TRIUMF physicists earn national award for antimatter research

February 3, 2014

A Canadian team including UBC physicist Walter Hardy and TRIUMF researchers have won the NSERC John C Polanyi Award for their work in creating, capturing and characterizing the antihydrogen atom. The award "honours an individual or team whose Canadian-based research has led to a recent outstanding advance in the natural sciences or engineering" and recognizes the "seamless collaboration among the multidisciplinary team, their mastery of multiple technologies, and their tight integration with the international collaboration" based at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland.

How the UBC creators of AutoStitch revolutionized computer vision and sparked a spinoff tsunami

January 31, 2014

When David Lowe first wrote a computer algorithm to identify objects in images, he never envisioned it popping up on nearly half a million iPhones and in supermarket checkout lines. But since its research publication in 1999, the Scale-Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT) algorithm, developed by Lowe, has been licensed by more than 20 companies, making it the most widely adopted invention in University of British Columbia history.

Climate change-related temperature swings leave insects vulnerable

January 29, 2014

Increasingly extreme swings in temperature may put some insects at higher risk than previously thought, according to a new study published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London.

Ocean acidification research should increase focus on species’ ability to adapt

January 27, 2014

Not enough current research on marine ecosystems focuses on species' long-term adaptation to ocean acidification, creating a murky picture of our oceans' future, according to an international study led by a UBC zoologist.

How a versatile gut bacterium helps us get our daily dietary fibre

January 19, 2014

UBC researchers have discovered the genetic machinery that turns a common gut bacterium into the swiss army knife of the digestive tract -- helping us to metabolize a main component of dietary fibre from the cell walls of fruits and vegetables. The findings illuminate the specialized roles played by key members of the vast microbial community living in the human gut, and could inform the development of tailored microbiota transplants to improve intestinal health after antibiotic use or illness. The research will be published in the journal Nature on Sunday.

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