Summer science for the whole family

Photo: Beaty Biodiversity Museum.Looking for STEM activities for your family this summer? The University of British Columbia has online resources for you to explore, or check out some of our in-person programming 🎟️.UBC partnersThe Beaty Biodiversity Museum offers downloadable activities, online exhibitions and videos. Or visit the museum in person using an online timed-entry ticketing system 🎟️.Explore the UBC Botanical Garden online or in person. Book your tickets 🎟️ ahead of time.The Pacific Museum of the Earth…

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Celebrate Earth Day 2021 with UBC Science

We celebrate Earth Day this April 22. Photo: istock.We should care about our environment all year long, but Earth Day is a good reminder to pause and consider the myriad issues affecting our planet and envision how we can create a cleaner, fairer, more sustainable world for all.This Earth Day, we look at some of the resources around UBC that explore the many ways humanity and our planet are interconnected.Earth 2020Last year, UBC oceanographer Dr. Philippe Tortell…

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Super cool physics at very cold temperatures

How cold can you go? Scientists use helium at approximately 4.2 Kelvin, equivalent to -268.95ºC, just 4˚C above absolute zero, to cool down certain materials. Photo: SBQMI/UBC.Get a glimpse of some of the ‘coolest’ labs at UBC where researchers are probing the mysterious properties of materials under ultra-cold conditions.By Dr. Sarah Burke, Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute at UBC ScienceEver been so cold you felt like you could hardly move? It’s not just you. Atoms and…

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Finding the needle: How big data can diagnose disease and improve patients’ lives

The needle-in-the-haystack problem is really a data science problem. Photo: iStock.Modern medicine produces a massive amount of information about patients, but what good is the data without a way to understand it? A UBC computer scientist is finding ways to uncover secrets in the haystack of data.By Dr. Raymond Ng, Director UBC Data InstituteIf I told you to find a needle in a haystack, how would you do it? You might start by diving in and throwing…

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Do a Science a Day 2020 Holiday Calendar

UBC Science wishes you and yours a healthy and peaceful holiday season. We’ve put together a Do a Science a Day 2020 Holiday Calendar, proven to keep you and yours busy discovering, creating and baking into the New Year.16 December: 1 PMJoin Beaty Biodiversity Museum interpreters for a virtual tour (RSVP required).17 December: 4 PMHow do reindeer fly? UBC researchers on the physics of Santa, live. 🎁18 December: BreakfastBake cinnamonnites — inspired by UBC’s famous cinnamon bun recipe!19 December: AnytimeBuild a Rube…

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Could worms help us treat chronic inflammatory conditions?

The upside of certain worm infections is that they might limit the development of some chronic inflammatory conditions. Image: istock.By studying how infectious worms interact with our immune system, we may one day be able to treat diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and even allergies.By Lisa Osborne, Assistant Professor, UBC Department of Microbiology and Immunology2020 is the year of a global pandemic and we’re all hyper-focused on hand-washing, mask-wearing, and social distancing. Creepy crawly…

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Blood is the life: An appreciation of mosquitoes

Mosquito in lab resting on mesh. Photo: Paul Joseph/UBC.“There’s something aesthetically beautiful about mosquitoes, in a sort of a horrible evolutionary way,” says UBC biologist Ben Matthews.The way Ben Matthews talks about mosquitoes, you’d think he’s describing a creature out of Alien or Predator. But he’s right to point out the health hazards they pose — mosquitoes are the deadliest animals on Earth. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infect more than 400 million people each year with dangerous pathogens,…

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Labs in the age of COVID-19

Recreating lab experiences online can be a challenge, but UBC professors are finding ways to shift student learning. Photo: istock.University labs in the age of COVID-19Universities across the world have shifted to online classes. But certain types of research and learning require labs. UBC professors explains how they are tackling lab work and lab courses.Sara Harris, Professor of Teaching and Associate Dean Academic, Faculty of ScienceFaculty, staff and students have all been working hard over the summer to prepare…

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How Indigenous knowledge is helping us fine-tune statistical models

Pulling nets. When catching seals we employ different methods to outfit them with telemetry tags and track them. Photo: R. Gryba.How Indigenous Knowledge is helping us fine-tune statistical modelsA UBC statistical ecologist is trying to develop better methods to include Indigenous Knowledge in animal movement and habitat mathematical models.By Rowenna Gryba, UBC Statistics and GeographyIn Bayesian statistics, there’s a term called a prior. The prior can be “something known before” called prior knowledge. But it can…

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