In the news

Highlights of UBC media coverage in April 2013

Existential Tylenol

There was great media interest in UBC research that found a new potential use for the over-the-counter pain drug Tylenol. Typically known to relieve physical pain, the study suggests the drug may also reduce the psychological effects of fear and anxiety over the human condition, or existential dread.

Dept. of Psychology PhD candidate Daniel Randles authored the study with Prof. Steve Heine and Nathan Santos. The study was published in the Association for Psychological Science journal Psychological Science, and advances our understanding of how the human brain processes different kinds of pain.

The study findings were covered by:, the New York Daily News, Yahoo News, The Houston, Business Insider & Business Insider Australia, International Business Times, Live Science, The Toronto Star, CTV News, Huffington PostThe Vancouver Sun, The ProvinceNature World News, the National Post, The Toronto Sun, and

Chinese foreign fisheries

Research from UBC’s Fisheries Centre shows that Chinese fishing boats catch about US$11.5 billion worth of fish from beyond their country’s own waters each year—and most of it goes unreported.

The paper, published in the journal Fish and Fisheries, estimates that China’s foreign catch is 12 times larger than the catch it reports to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, the international agency that keeps track of global fisheries catches.

Coverage included The Guardian, UPI, the South China Morning Post, Asian Scientist, The Canadian Press, and the International World Fisheries & Aquaculture.

Harmful effects of medicines

Family doctors receive little or no information about harmful effects of medicines in the majority of drug promotions during visits by drug company representatives, according to an international study involving Canadian, U.S. and French physicians.

Lead author Barbara Mintzes of UBC’s School of Population and Public Health says the same doctors indicated they were likely to start prescribing these drugs, consistent with previous research that shows prescribing behaviour is influenced by pharmaceutical promotion.

The study was covered in: The Globe and Mail, CTV News, Time, The Philadelphia Inquirer,, The Vancouver Sun, and WebMD.

UBC top of the class

The New York Times, The Toronto Star and The Vancouver Sun covered the first report card assessing how much university laboratories benefit the world’s poor, and the top grade, an A-, went to UBC.

The report card came from Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, a student group with chapters at schools around the world.

The grades were based on three categories: how much research is devoted to neglected diseases that affect poor countries; how much effort  is made to ensure discoveries become available to the poor; and how many global health courses are taught.

Prof. Toope’s departure

The announcement that Professor Stephen Toope, UBC’s 12th president, will leave on June 30, 2014 to pursue academic and professional interests in international law and international relations received wide media interest.

The announcement by UBC Board of Governors Chair Bill Levine was covered by: The Globe and Mail, CBC, The Canadian Press, The Vancouver Sun and The Province.