In the News

UBC Reports | Vol. 54 | No. 3 | Mar. 6, 2008

Highlights of UBC Media Coverage in February 2008

Compiled by Basil Waugh

No Skyscrapers Required for Urban Density, Prof Says

Lawrence Frank, a professor of sustainable transportation at UBC, commented in an article on urban density in The New York Times.

Frank said even moderate increases in density can help significantly in curbing carbon emissions.

“You don’t have to live in a skyscraper,” he said. “You can have relatively low density and still maintain a more environmentally responsible lifestyle.”

Empathy Lessons: School Program Uses Babies to Reduce Bullying

UBC developmental psychologist Kimberly Schonert-Reichl was quoted in The Wall Street Journal.

The article was on Roots of Empathy, a non-profit organization that uses babies to teach grade schoolers empathy.

Schonert-Reichl’s research has found a drop in aggressive behavior among students who were in classrooms with the so-called “empathy babies.”

Autopsies Forecast Surge in U.S. Heart Disease

Heart disease may be on the upswing, according to a UBC study that looked at autopsy data from Minnesota residents who died from unnatural causes.

Researchers from UBC and Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic found that many of those who died from incidents such as motor vehicle crashes already had clogged arteries.

The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, was reported by Reuters,, Vancouver Sun, and Calgary Herald.

Sleep Apnea Doubles Car Crash Risk

People with sleep apnea, a breathing disorder that disrupts sleep, are more likely to be in a severe car crash involving injury, UBC researchers have found.

In a study of almost 1,600 people, respirologists at UBC and the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute determined that sufferers of sleep apnea were at double the risk of being in a collision.

“Even those patients with fairly mild sleep apnea had an increased risk of serious crashes,” said lead author Dr. Najib Ayas, a professor of medicine at UBC.

The study, published in the journal Thorax, was covered by the National Post, Calgary Herald and