UBC Reports | Vol. 49 | No. 4 | Apr.
IN THE NEWS
Highlights of UBC Media Coverage in March 2003.
Compiled by Brian Lin
Bid Web Site Misleads
UBC economics Prof. David Green told BCTV that the Olympic
bid Web site is misleading B.C. taxpayers.
The Web site says the activities surrounding a successful
bid will generate up to 244,000 new jobs across various industries,
said Green, who holds a PhD in economics from Stanford University.
My problem is this is just not a credible number, this
represents 10-15 per cent of employment in B.C. in a typical
The economic impact studies that are used to derive
the bid committee numbers basically counts every job worked
on a project as a new job, if we used that method on the fast
ferry project, the project would be a big net gain,
World Record Shattered
UBC swimmer Brian Johns remembers the exact moment he realized
he had a shot at a world swim record in the 400 metre individual
I knew the first two legs of the race, the butterfly
and backstroke, had gone well but I wasnt really sure
how fast I was going, Johns told the Vancouver Sun.
But when I came up to take my first breath on the breaststroke
I could hear the crowd going crazy. Thats when I knew
I must be on a world record pace. That gave me the extra adrenaline
push I needed.
When he touched the wall at the end of his freestyle the
timer read 4:02.72. Johns had not only broken the world short
course mark of 4:04.24 set by Australias Matthew Dunn
in 1998 -- he had shattered it.
Over 15,000 students voted on the U-Pass referendum and the
yes side passed by a margin of two to one. Those
who take the bus or Skytrain are happy.
But some students say a pass is totally useless to them,
and there is no opting out.
For people who take the bus, let them have their pass,
student Grace Dosanjh told City TV. For those who drive
and carpool, let them opt out of it, its very simple.
I can already take the bus for cheaper than I can drive
to school, but thats out of the question, said
another student Sabreena Braich. Now Im paying
a lot more to drive, plus Im paying $160 for something
that Im never going to use.
Birth Control Pill Sparks Debate
Seasonale, an experimental regimen of the birth control pill
intended to suppress menstruation, is expected to receive
approval from the Food and Drug Administration this year.
But the pill has already sparked controversy over whats
natural, whether its wise to manipulate
a womans reproductive cycle with hormones for a long
Critics say its misguided to assume that Seasonale
would not pose any health hazards that traditional pills do
From what I have been able to find, the data are lacking
that the extended use of oral contraceptives is well-tolerated,
acceptable in terms of side effects, and causes a net benefit,
UBC endocrinology Prof. Jerilynn Prior told the Washington
Travellers Wary over Killer Bug
UBC psychiatry Prof. Steve Taylor told The Province that
instant news from around the globe tends to produce over-reactions
to low-frequency hazards, like the recent pneumonia
For the vast majority of people, there is no cause
for concern, Taylor said. The odds are much higher
you will be killed in a cab going to the airport.
Botox the New Penicillin?
In studies around the world, Botox is being tested as a treatment
for stroke paralysis, migraine headaches, facial tics, stuttering,
lower back pain, incontinence, writers cramp, carpal
tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow.
Scientists are testing its ability to treat morbid obesity
by weakening the muscle that lets food out of the stomach,
to prevent ulcers by weakening the muscles that force gastric
acids into the esophagus and to calm spasms in vaginal muscles
that make sex painful.
UBC ophthalmologist Jean Carruthers compared Botox to penicillin
for its versatility against a wide range of ills, and because
it, too, is an organic product derived from a common bacterium.
With her husband, Arthur, a dermatologist, she was one of
the first to observe, in 1987, that the small doses she injected
to paralyze and relax her patients spastic eye muscles
also smoothed their brows, reports the New York Times.
No More Guinea Pigs
A report commissioned by UBC Dean of Medicine John Cairns
has recommended eliminating the use of live animals for training
procedures. The recommendation will be implemented for September
Each year, students operate on about 25 anaesthetised pigs
for practice in procedures such as chest tube insertions and
tracheotomies. High-tech simulations designed by UBCs
Centre of Excellence for Surgical Education at the Vancouver
General Hospital (VGH) will replace the lab.
A large factor influencing the decision was the availability
of effective technologies for simulation. Haptic technologies
provide phenomenally accurate simulations for the feel
and touch, Cairns told The Ubyssey.