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Higgs boson is just the beginning: UBC prof

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.

Canada’s pint-sized space telescope celebrates 10th anniversary in orbit

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."

Genetic survey sheds light on Oceans’ lean, mean microbial machines

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.

RBC's support expands reach of UBC Aboriginal math camps in rural BC

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. 

UBC researchers team up with Chinese biotech firm to accelerate infectious disease, cancer research

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.

Sharks worth more in the ocean than on the menu

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.

Mega genomes of spruce species decoded

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.

The Universe comes to Vancouver

May 22, 2013

Astronomers from across Canada and around the world converge on UBC to share the latest cosmic discoveries. What are the best candidate worlds to find a real-life ET? How are cosmologists revising the latest biography of the entire Universe – past, present and future? How do some astronomers act like astronomical versions of Indiana Jones to uncover secrets in 'stellar graveyards'? How can Canadian educators learn lessons from South African experiences linking African cultural traditions with modern astrophysics? Where will Einstein fail?

“Fish thermometer” reveals long-standing, global impact of climate change

May 15, 2013

Climate change has been impacting global fisheries for the past four decades by driving species towards cooler, deeper waters, according to University of British Columbia scientists. In a Nature study published this week, UBC researchers used temperature preferences of fish and other marine species as a sort of “thermometer” to assess effects of climate change on the world’s oceans between 1970 and 2006.

UBC biodiversity expert elected to US National Academy of Sciences

April 30, 2013

University of British Columbia zoologist Sarah Otto has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, an 150-year-old society charged with providing independent, objective advice to American policy makers on matters related to science and technology.  The Academy announced the election of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 14 countries today, in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

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