University of British Columbia

  • Science
    ​That ground beef that you're buying may not be 100 percent ground beef. Sometimes, unscrupulous meat producers will mix in ground offal, in order to stretch their beef supply farther. A new technique, however, uses a laser to detect the presence of such cow innards.
  • ​​While we may hear about ways of constructing new buildings to make them earthquake-resistant, what about all the buildings that are standing already? Well, that's where a special new concrete comes in. Sprayed onto existing walls, it allows them to withstand major tremors.​
  • ​For some time now, crumbs of rubber from ground-up tires have been used to produce a more resilient form of asphalt. Researchers from the University of British Columbia are taking things in a different direction, however, by using polymer fibers obtained from old tires to make concrete stronger.
  • Manually putting up a Do Not Disturb note at work can be a hassle. With that in mind, a scientist from the University of British Columbia has invented a desktop LED light that automatically switches between green ("It's OK to talk to me") and red ("Leave me alone").​
  • Scientists in Canada have carried out a study looking at how marine reserves can increase the numbers of less mobile fish, finding that fishing pressures in the surrounding areas also seemed to influence how quickly that evolution occurred. ​
  • Why do some cocaine users become addicts while others don’t? One popular theory attributes it to poor judgement. However the accidental creation of a cocaine-resistant mouse suggests otherwise – that for some people, drug addiction might be wired into their genes. ​​
  • ​When it comes to conditions that require patients to administer daily injections or take lots of pills, scientists are increasingly looking to drug-dispensing implants as a more convenient alternative. One of the latest such devices is activated simply by passing a magnet over the skin.
  • When a cancer invades the body, immune cells rush to the site to fight it. When that same tumor spreads, the cancer cells become invisible to our immune systems. Researchers are on to cancer's tricky cloaking mechanism, and the discovery could lead to new approaches to attacking the disease.
  • ​Microneedle technology uses tiny needles to break only the upper layer of the patient’s skin, doing their job without the need to dig deeper. The pain-free tech has now been used to create a device capable of monitoring patient drug levels – something that usually requires the drawing of blood.
  • A global effort is under way to find treatments for deadly hospital-acquired infections, with many such bacteria proving resistant to antibiotics. Now, help may have been found in an unlikely place, with researchers finding positive results studying an old folk remedy – natural Canadian clay.
  • Construction recently began on new student digs for Canada's University of British Columbia. Designed by Acton Ostry Architects, the Tall Wood Building will rise to 18 floors, making it the tallest wooden residential tower in the world.
  • A team of Canadian researchers has developed a gas-generating particle capable of propelling itself against the flow of blood, a development that could bring about significant improvements in treating internal bleeding.