UBC Reports | Vol.
50 | No. 10 | Nov.
In the News
Highlights of UBC Media Coverage in October 2004
Compiled by Brian Lin
Glucosamine No Long-Term Help for Arthritis
UBC researchers have found that popular arthritis supplement
glucosamine has no long-term benefit.
A recent study found that 45 per cent of glucosamine users
still suffered arthritis attacks during a six-month period.
forty-two per cent of those given a placebo suffered attacks.
“Our study shows that even if the supplement was initially
perceived by study participants to be helpful, it has no benefit
for maintenance, and continued use is not effective to control
flare-ups,” lead researcher Jolanda Cibere told Reuters.
Removing Detainees from Iraq Disturbing
At the request of the CIA, the U.S. Justice Department drafted
a confidential memo that authorizes the agency to transfer
detainees out of Iraq for interrogation.
UBC international law expert Michael Byers says that creating
a legal justification for removing protected persons from
Iraq “is extraordinarily disturbing.”
“What they are doing is interpreting an exception
into an all-encompassing right, in one of the most fundamental
treaties in history,” Byers told MSNBC News. The Geneva
Convention “is as close as you get to protecting human
rights in times of chaos. There’s no ambiguity here.”
It will Survive
Researchers have discovered part of the secret behind the
crucian carp’s ability to survive four months without
oxygen. The fish keep their hearts pumping at full speed.
“It’s long been known that crucian carp are
tolerant of low-oxygen conditions,” UBC PhD student
Jonathan Stecyk, part of the Canadian and Norwegian research
team, told The New York Times.
“We wanted to know what the cardiac activity was over
a prolonged period.”
Stecyk says the fish probably maintains its heart rate to
help get rid of the lactic acid. “Hopefully, this research
will lead people to figure out why the carp’s heart
can function so well,” he said.
Hope for the grieving
UBC psychiatry professor William Piper has studied the psychology
of grieving for 20 years and says that complicated grief is
clinically distinct from depression, and can be treated effectively
Piper told The Globe and Mail that lasting grief often involves
“unresolved grief” and “intrusive memories,”
but by learning better ways to identify and treat the problem,
health workers can help break the grip of complicated grief.
Put a Leash on the Hog Industry
Hans Schreier, a professor at UBC’s Institute for
Resources and Environment, is calling for tighter regulations
in the hog industry to prevent water problems.
Speaking at the recent Living With Livestock conference,
Schreier warned that a massive increase in worldwide demand
for meat and water, coupled with a spike in the number of
large-scale hog barns, is a recipe for disaster, reports Canadian
“Everyone tells us efficiency gets higher as you get
more intensive,” he said. “But eventually it comes
to the point where I don’t think we can manage it.”
Nobel Laureate Commemorated by Canada Post
Canada Post released a new stamp Oct. 4 commemorating the
work of the late UBC Nobel Laureate Michael Smith, whose family
attended ceremonies in Montreal and on the UBC campus to mark
the occasion. The $30-million Michael Smith Laboratories opened
at UBC in September.