Tag Archives: UBC

UBC Team: BC Sponge May Provide Covid Cure

UBC researchers have identified three biological compounds sourced in Canada that prevent COVID-19 infection in human cells. All three are derived from marine organisms, including a sea sponge native to Howe Sound.

The discovery paves the way for the development of new medicines for COVID-19 variants based on natural sources. BC’s ocean and forest ecosystems may contain a wealth of new antivirals waiting to be discovered.

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Endangered salmon are left to flounder as Canada hosts COP15

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The federal government is touting lofty goals at the United Nations biodiversity conference underway in Montreal, but Ottawa is failing to save iconic salmon and steelhead trout populations on the edge of extinction, B.C. conservation groups say. 

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West Coast engineers aim to clear up acoustic smog impacting endangered killer whales

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Editor’s note: In addition to being marine tourist destinations close to a principal British Columbian shipping lane, Cortes, Quadra and Read Islands are visited by both the northern and southern pods of Killer Whales

University of British Columbia engineers are working to help clear up the acoustic smog that hinders endangered orcas’ ability to gather information vital to their survival. 

Chronic underwater noise from shipping can drown out sounds marine mammals — such as the southern resident killer whales — use and rely on to communicate with each other, navigate, avoid danger or locate their prey. 

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Has B.C. turned a new leaf around protecting biodiversity?

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Environmental groups are applauding B.C. Premier David Eby’s new promise to protect 30 per cent of the province’s land by 2030 in partnership with Indigenous Peoples. 

The goal signals a potential shift by the NDP under the new premier to improve B.C.’s lacklustre record of protecting biodiversity and endangered species hot spots, conservation groups say.

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70% of the fish farms sampled had PRV-1, study finds

A new study published by the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, states that 70% of the samples taken from 56 fish farms had PRV-1.

One of the co-authors is independent biologist Alexandra Morton, who explained, “The study was my concept and I funded a lot of the analysis and did a lot of the sampling myself. It was truly collaborative with Clayoquot Action sampling the Farms in Clayoquot Sound. An extraordinary man, Dr. Neil Fraser from Powell River got in his speed boat and went to the central coast. The Wild Fish Conservancy down in Washington State, sampled farms there. So it was  a sustained effort by a lot of people, and then Dr. Gideon Mordecai did the analysis of the relationship between the different strains that we picked up.”

Continue reading 70% of the fish farms sampled had PRV-1, study finds