UBC Reports | Vol. 50 | No. 6 |
Jun. 3, 2004
In the News
Highlights of UBC Media Coverage in May 2004
Compiled by Brian Lin
Troy Good for the Classics
Commenting on the recent blockbuster epic film Troy, starring
Brad Pitt as Achilles, Shirley Sullivan, head of the classics
department at UBC, said most of her colleagues are willing
to overlook the film’s faults for the interest it will
spark in the ancient world.
“Anything that broadens the person’s perspective,
that takes them into the past and makes them see a wider range
of history, can’t but do good. Even if it’s a
distortion,” Sullivan told Canadian Press.
Sullivan said other epic movies have boosted the study of
the antiquities, including Gladiator, starring Russell Crowe
and movie classic Ben Hur.
Jelly Fish for Lunch?
Kicking off the World Fisheries Congress in front of 1,500
fisheries scientists from around the globe, UBC fisheries
professor Daniel Pauly, one of the world’s leading fisheries
researchers, showed how people’s growing appetite for
seafood has driven fishing boats from industrialized countries
ever farther into Southern Hemisphere seas controlled by Third
In the wake of the disastrous crash of the North Atlantic’s
cod stocks, the Newfoundland government is encouraging fishermen
to go after jellyfish, said Pauly, who in November was chosen
by Scientific American as one of the top 50 fisheries scientists
in the world, reports The Seattle Post Intelligencer.
Bell Gives UBC $1.25 Million for Tech Research
Bell Canada recently announced a $1.25-million commitment
to UBC to support technology research. The five-year commitment
is the first in Western Canada for the Bell University Laboratories
program, reports The Globe and Mail.
Bell is exploring a number of potential projects with UBC
researchers. Projects will focus on wireless technology and
The Truth About Echinacea
Commenting on a new U.S. study that says echinacea doesn’t
help prevent colds, UBC alternative therapy researcher Lloyd
Oppel told Global National that “echinacea is not delivering
on the promise that it’s held out to have. So this study
is very much in keeping with that.”
Placebo Effect Revealed
Experiments conducted by Italy’s University of Turin
Medical School have revealed the action of the placebo effect
in Parkinson’s disease patients.
“The research provides further evidence for a physiological
underpinning for the placebo effect,” UBC neurologist
Jon Stoessl told New Scientist.
His team demonstrated in 2001 that placebos can relieve symptoms
by raising brain levels of dopamine, a beneficial neurotransmitter.