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UBC Reports | Vol. 52 | No. 7 | Jul. 6, 2006

In the News

Highlights of the UBC Media Coverage in June 2006

Compiled by Basil Waugh

Eleven cousins have stomachs removed to avoid cancer risk

Media outlets in Britain, Ireland, India and the United States, including CNN, USA Today and L.A. Times, reported the Associated Press story of 11 cousins who had their stomachs removed when genetic testing revealed a 70 per cent chance of developing a rare hereditary stomach cancer.

“Rather than live in fear, they tackled their genetic destiny head-on,” said Dr. David Huntsman, UBC Assoc. Prof. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, who found the gene mutation in the family.

Advances in genetic testing are increasingly giving families with bad genes a chance to see the future, sometimes with the hope of pre-emptive action. People have had stomachs, breasts, ovaries, colons or thyroid glands removed when genetic tests showed they carried a gene that gave them a high risk of cancer.

UBC’s Museum of Anthropology to grow by 50 per cent in $52-million expansion

Dozens of national and international media outlets, including CBS News, ABC News, China Post, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Globe and Mail, reported on a $52-million, 48,800-square-foot expansion to UBC’s Museum of Anthropology, the largest teaching museum in Canada.

To be completed by 2009, the “Renewal Project” will represent a more than 50-per-cent increase in the amount of space the museum has for its current exhibits and travelling shows from other facilities. The expansion will include a redesigned research centre and the Reciprocal Research Network, the world’s first web-based system for the exchange of collections information, which is being developed with the Musqueam Indian Band, Sto:lo Nation and the U’mista Cultural Society in Alert Bay.

UBC boy-band video spoof takes Internet by storm

A $12 video made by UBC students has become one of the most-watched video clips on the Internet over the past three months.

The story of the four-minute boy-band spoof, known as UBC Numa Numa, was reported nationally by Global TV and internationally by Norway’s VG.

The brainchild of recent marketing graduates Jorgen Kjono of Oslo, Norway, and Tyson Miller of Vancouver, B.C., the video features students dancing and lip-synching to the European hit “Dragostea din Tei” by Romanian pop group O-Zone in a series of locations around UBC’s Vancouver campus, the clothing-optional Wreck Beach and Richmond, B.C.

Since being uploaded to YouTube.com on Feb. 10, 2006, the video has received upwards of an estimated five-million hits, even gaining mention on popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia. It was a feature video on CollegeHumour.com for two weeks — receiving more than 200,000 hits in the first two days alone — and spent nearly 10 weeks as one of the most popular clips on Google Video.

UBC experts comment on domestic terrorism

UBC experts featured prominently in national media coverage of the thwarted alleged terrorist attack in Ontario last month.

Commenting in media outlets across Canada, including Maclean’s, Toronto Star, Vancouver Province and as a panellist on CBC’s The National, UBC Canada Research Chair of International Law and Global Politics Michael Byers cautioned that obsessing about terrorism can result in public willingness to concede power to government and a corresponding loss of individual rights.

Byers said Canadians should see last week’s arrests as a “spectacular success” that show Canada has the resources and legislation in place to manage terrorism.

Allan Tupper, UBC Associate Vice-President of Governmental Relations, said the issue will be a test for the Harper government, many of whose members only have experience in the partisan world of opposition.

“Major issues like this can’t be treated exclusively in a partisan way,” Tupper told Canadian Press. “A government governs for Canadians, and it requires objectivity and so on. This is one issue that has a lot of implications, including the very complex relationships for different Canadian citizens dealing with each other on a day to day basis.”

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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