Could a deadly mushroom help battle cancer?

Amanita phalloides. Photo: Flickr, stanze.University of British Columbia chemists are working to unleash the cancer fighting potential of Amanita phalloides — a particularly nasty poison shroomBy Silvia Moreno-GarciaInfamous. That might be the best description for Amanita phalloides. The highly toxic mushroom has been feared for centuries, earning it a spot in mystery novels (the mushroom did it) and history books (Roman Emperor Claudius was supposedly poisoned with it). Despite its deadly history, Amanita phalloides remains the cause of 90…

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How an imperfect diamond led to a perfect scientific discovery

Diamond ‘imperfections’ can provide information about their formation and the Earth’s structure. Photo: Istockphoto.By Maya Kopylova, UBC Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric SciencesThe value of diamonds is determined by how big, bright and flawless they are. But these aren’t the most valuable diamonds to me. When I look at diamonds, I’m hunting for inclusions — mineral imperfections caught deep within the diamond like a mosquito stuck in amber. Just like the mosquito in Jurassic Park contained…

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Setting inner-city youth up for success at university

Shawna Narayan is completing her undergraduate physics degree at the University of British Columbia.A University of British Columbia physics student created a program which helps high school students connect with post-secondary mentorsBy Heather Amos, University of British Columbia Media RelationsWhen Shawna Narayan looked back on her first-year, she realized that things would have been easier if she’d received a little advice from a local peer before even stepping foot on UBC’s campus.Determined to help the next…

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Bayesian analysis: science’s best attempt at fortune telling

Peering into the future: mathematics can help us get a clearer picture of diseases. Photo: istockphoto.Bayesian analysis: science’s best attempt at fortune tellingUsing math to model the future can help us get a clearer picture of how diseases spreadBy Mike Irvine | Postdoctoral research fellow at the University of British Columbia and the British Columbia Centre for Disease ControlI’ve got a question for you: What is the risk an individual will get HIV? It seems like a simple…

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Indistinguishable from magic: hunting for spiders in Mexico’s cloud forests

Hello! A new species of Mexigonus from Oaxaca poses for the camera.Last year, University of British Columbia zoologist Wayne Maddison travelled to the highlands of southern Mexico in pursuit of undiscovered species of jumping spiders. He kept a journal of his adventures, documenting his encounters with resplendently beautiful arachnids. Below is a short excerpt from his journal. You can read the full report of the expedition on Maddison’s website.28 June 2017It’s been more than three years since…

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De’coding’ stereotypes

The CODE workshops offer one-on-one learning for kids on the autism spectrum. Photo: Paul Joseph.UBC students have launched ambitious, one-on-one workshops to help children on the autism spectrum to program, problem solve, and connect.By Silvia Moreno-GarciaWhen Bahar Moussavi arrived at the University of British Columbia, starting a non-profit wasn’t the first thing on her mind. Her days were busy enough completing a combined major in Computer Science and Microbiology and Immunology. But over coffees with friends, an…

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