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UBC Reports | Vol. 55 | No. 5 | May 7, 2009

In the News

Highlights of UBC Media Coverage in May 2009

Compiled by Sean Sullivan

Pot boosts lung disease risk

A new UBC study suggests people who smoke both tobacco and marijuana may have a high risk of developing a group of lung diseases that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
The findings suggest that marijuana and cigarette smoking may act “synergistically” to promote chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, said UBC Assoc. Prof. Wan-Cheung Tan.
However, smoking pot alone doesn’t seem to increase the risk of the deadly lung condition, said reports in Reuters, the Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Forbes and the CBC.

Spiders offer evolutionary clues

UBC researcher Wayne Maddison played a key role in the discoveries of dozens of new species of animals and plants in a “lost paradise” in the South Pacific.

Maddison documented 50 types of never-before-identified jumping spiders during a month-long trek through Papua New Guinea.

He said three of the new spider varieties were particularly special, as they show strikingly distinctive evolutionary lineages that had been unknown before.

Bloomberg, the Guardian, the Times, The Independent and the Daily Telegraph reported on the discoveries.

Office flirtation lowers morale

A study co-authored by Sauder School of Business Prof. Karl Aquino finds that some employees say they enjoy the occasional sexually charged joke, discussions of sexual matters or flirtation around the office.

However, there’s flip side: those employees felt less valued and were less productive than those who frowned on sexual banter, the study says.

The research, covered by MSNBC, the National Post, CTV and the Edmonton Sun, found 10 percent of women and 46 percent of men who had experienced office titillation found it enjoyable. But, the more they experienced it, the lower their morale.

Take the bus, stay in shape

A new study by researchers at UBC suggests taking public transit may help you keep fit.
The study by researcher Ugo Lachapelle and Assoc. Prof. Lawrence Frank of the UBC School of Community and Regional Planning found people who take public transit are three times more likely than those who don’t to meet the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada’s suggested daily minimum of physical activity.

The study, reported by MSN, the Huffington Post, CBC, Globe and Mail, Metro and Times of India, said people who drove the most were the least likely to meet the recommended level of physical activity.

Correction: The photo accompanying the May UBC Reports story Ugandan students advance digital literacy was misattributed. It was taken by Prof. Bonny Norton.

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Last reviewed 11-May-2009

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