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UBC Reports Jan 10, 2005

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VOLUME  51   |  NUMBER   1   I  JANUARY   10,2005
2 UBC in the News     5 Life-Saving Hospital Bed      5 Environmental Mine Tailings       9 The Music of Conflict        i Child Pain
Tiny Magnetic Couriers Deliver Drugs
The use of magnets to draw capsules directly to cancer tumours and diabetic ulcers holds enormous potential, says researcher, by Hilary Thomson
Tiny drug couriers with magnetic personalities could offer
new solutions for patients
who need drugs delivered
directly to tumours, diabetic
ulcers and other disease sites.
Urs Hafeli, a UBC assistant
professor of pharmaceutical
sciences, is an expert in targeted therapies that use magnetism to get drugs where
they need to go.
"I really want to get more
magnetic therapies to
patients," he says. "The theory is deceptively simple but
we know using magnets to
concentrate drugs in the body
has enormous potential."
Tiny magnetic particles -
magnetic microspheres - can
be filled with drugs or
radioactive materials to treat
a variety of illnesses. Magnets
applied outside the body
attract the spheres to the disease site where they deliver
therapeutics in a targeted
One of only a handful of
investigators in Canada to
work with magnetic microspheres, Hafeli is the only
researcher in the world to
explore how radioactive
continued on page 7
Drugs concentrate at target sites (1) thanks to magnetic microspheres. Traditional therapies circulate
through the system (r).
Do You Real \y Want
That Bite?
Resistance to signals from the "obesity hormone" may
feed drive to eat, and contribute to the onset of diabetes.
How many of us have
resolved to lose weight in the
New Year? Quick, put down
that hamburger and raise
your hand.
Obesity, along with its
debilitating partner, diabetes,
is becoming recognized as
one of North America's
major health concerns.
Scientists and clinicians
know the two conditions are
linked - but how?
Timothy Kieffer aims to
find out. A diabetes
researcher and associate professor in the departments of
cellular and physiological sciences and surgery, Kieffer has
recently received almost
$300,000 over three years
from the Canadian Institutes
of Health Research to
explore the connection
between a hormone called
leptin and the development
of obesity and diabetes.
"We've learned that the
mechanisms of obesity are
complex - it's not a matter of
gluttony," says Kieffer. " We
also know that maintaining
weight loss is difficult
because people are fighting
powerful hormonal effects,
including the fall in leptin levels. "
Leptin - also known as the
obesity hormone - is normally
produced by fat cells. It tells
the part of the brain that controls eating how much fat you
have, information that helps
the body minimize changes in
body weight. When an individual loses fat, leptin levels
fall. The brain interprets the
drop as a message that the
body is starving and must eat
more and conserve energy so
body weight and leptin levels
can return to normal.
Obese people produce lots
of leptin, but are somehow
resistant to its signals.
Because it can't "hear" the
signal, the brain thinks there
is insufficient leptin and the
stimulus to eat more and conserve energy gets activated.
Kieffer believes that leptin
resistance may contribute to
the development of diabetes
associated with obesity.
One of only a few
researchers world wide looking at the connection,
Kieffer's work could lead to
new ways to control body
continued on page 8
Timothy Kieffer has found beefing up is only one ingredient
in the recipe for obesity. I      UBC      REPORTS       |      JANUARY
Deprez & Associates
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!^\ Calling all
ml) UBC Authors!
Are you the author/editor of a book, or the creator
of a video, cd, cd-rom, or electronic book published
between January 2004 and December 2004?
If so, we would like to hear from you so that you
can be included in the 15th Annual Reception,
scheduled for March 2005, hosted by
President Martha Piper and University
Librarian Catherine Quinlan.
Ifyou are a UBC author, please contact
Margaret Friesen by January 7,2005.
Koerner Library, Room 218D
1958 Main Mall
The Library
Thought that counts
The Dominion and the
Rising Sun
Canada Encounters Japan,
John D. Meehan
272 pages, illus. • ISBN 0-7748-1120-X
• Join Dr Meehan at a lunchtime talk
to celebrate the release of his book:
St John's College, Social Lounge
12:30 pm • Friday, January 28, 2005
The Dominion and the Rising Sun is the first major study of
Canada's diplomatic arrival in Japan and, by extension, East Asia.
It is a highly readable and original examination of the political,
economic, and cultural relations forged during this seminal period
between the foremost power in Asia and the young dominion
tentatively establishing itself in world affairs.
Order from the UBC bookstore, or from uniPRESSES
tel.: 1.877.864.8477 • fax: 1.877.864.4272 • orders@gtwcanada.com
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EMAIL: public.affairs@ubc.ca
Highlights of UBC Media Coverage in December 2004. compi led by brian li n
UBC Student Wins Rhodes
UBC 4th-year biophysics student
Michael Rivers-Bowerman has
been awarded a 2005 Rhodes
Scholarship, worth more than
The award enables Rivers-
Bowerman to spend the next two
years at England's Oxford
University, studying politics, philosophy and economics.
"I'm kinda surprised. I never
thought I would wind up at
Oxford," the 22-year-old told
The Vancouver Sun. "This is just a
tremendous opportunity for me
to broaden my education, and at
one of the finest universities in
the world."
Rivers-Bowerman plans to
return to UBC after the scholarship to study medicine and specialize in radiation oncology.
Postpartum Depression often
As many as 80 per cent of
women suffer from postpartum
depression, making it the most
commonly encountered illness
following the birth of a baby
UBC psychiatry, ostetrics and
gynecology professor Shaila Misri
told The Globe and Mail. "Yet it's
one of the ones easily missed."
While in most cases, baby
blues fades after a couple of
weeks, for 10-13 per cent of
women, it can turn into lasting
depression that features intrusive
thoughts of harming their baby.
"They might see a knife in the
kitchen and think: 'What if I
stabbed this baby?' They might
see the microwave and think:
'What if I put this baby in the
microwave?' " said Misri.
To learn more about this serious form of depression, a screening tool of 10 questions will be
distributed to general practitioners and family physicians across
B.C. over the next few weeks.
Get the Laptop ofifyour Lap
New research published in the
journal Human Reproduction
shows that laptops, combined
with the thighs pressed-together
posture needed to balance them,
give off enough heat to raise the
temperature inside testicles by
nearly three degrees Celsius (5.4
This increase could endanger
the production of healthy sperm
and lead to infertility, says study
leader Yefim Sheynkin, a urologist
at the State University of
New York at Stony
"If [Dr. Sheynkin] can
measure that difference
in temperature [with
laptop use], it is significant, but it needs more
study," male-infertility
expert Victor Chow, a
consultant with UBC's
Centre for Reproductive
Health, told The Globe
and Mail. "We need to
know if it actually lowers sperm counts ... or
[if] the only thing you
can say about it is that
laptops heat up testes."
Daycare Centres
Commenting on the federal government's recent
commitment to build a
national daycare program, UBC early education professor Hillel
Goelman, who is a supporter of
the universal model, says communities ought to be able to decide at
the local level how best to deliver
child care.
"We don't want to drop daycare centres all across the country.
We have to ask ourselves, 'What
do we need?' " Goelman told The
National Post.
UBC research director Julie
Wagemakers and computer science
profesor Karon MacLean both
have children at UBC's newly renovated daycare centres.
Wagemakers says she never
would be able to give her two
young daughters the resources
they get at daycare at home.
"They've got a zillion musical
instruments — drums, ukuleles,
xylophones, everything,"
Wagemakers says. " Our two-year-
old loves music, and that's not
something we would have known
had she been at home . . . It's a
whole world built for little kids,"
says MacLean.
Orchid Centre Stage at
The Smithsonian has published a
book called Ultimate Orchid to
accompany the recently opened
"Orchid Express" exhibit at the
Natural History Museum
Saturday, reports The Columbus
The exhibit and book provide
interesting facts and stories about
the flower, including one where a
UBC biophysics student Michael
Rivers-Bowerman is heading to Oxford
as a 2005 Rhodes Scholar.
Virginia collector bought an interesting plant from a roadside stand
in Peru in 2002. He was sentenced
last month to a $ 1,000 frne and
two years probation for bringing
home an orchid protected by the
Endangered Species Act.
"The site where it was first
found has been stripped of these
orchids by unethical collectors, and
it is now locally extinct," said a
report from the Botanical Garden
at UBC. "Happily, a population
has been found elsewhere in a very
remote location." The university
did not name the place. □
UBC Rhodes Scholars
Former Prime Minister John
Turner (BA '49), who recently
led a delegation of election
observers in the Ukraine, is
one of UBC's better known
Rhodes Scholars. Over the
years many UBC students
have earned this widely recognized and prestigious honour,
established in 1902 to bring
outstanding students from
across the world to study at
Oxford University in the
interests of promoting international understanding and
public service. Since 1979,
eleven students from UBC
have won the scholarship,
currently valued at more than
$100,000. □
Director, Public Affairs
Scott Macrae scott.macrae@ubc.ca
Randy Schmidt randy.schmidt@ubc.ca
Design Director
Chris Dahl chris.dahl@ubc.ca
Sharmini Thiagarajah sharmini@exchange.ubc.ca
Michelle Cook michelle.cook@ubc.ca
Brian Lin brian.lin@ubc.ca
Erica Smishek erica.smishek@ubc.ca
Hilary Thomson hilary.thomson@ubc.ca
Kim Fisher public.affairs@ubc.ca
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randyschmidt@ubc.ca or call UBC.NEWS (604.822.6397) UBC      REPORTS      |      JANUARY     IO,     2005      |      3
Rest Easy: This Bed Can Save Your Life
A patient in a busy hospital
ward has a seizure. Violent convulsions prevent him from calling for help. It's a scenario that
nurses dread, but they also
computer program.
" One of biggest challenges
was getting the monitor to distinguish between seizures and
normal movement in bed," says
Most commercially available
medical bed monitors cost
between $800-$ 1,900.
Iverson says the group's key
to success was a combination of
What started as a three-month class project has gone farther than any
device on the market today to help keep track of patient movements.
know it's impossible to watch
patients every minute.
Now a group of UBC engineering students has developed
a new bed monitoring system
that lets health-care workers
check on patients from a
remote location. What started
as a three-month class project
has gone farther than any
device on the market today to
help keep track of patient
"There are currently products
out there that can detect a
patient out of bed but nothing
to detect whether a patient has
been still for too long or is suffering from a seizure. Our
device is based on cheap components and is extremely simple
but it can do these things," says
Hassen Karaa.
Karaa and fellow team members Shadi Safarkhah, Benjamin
Chen, Matthew Wilder,
Harjinder Gill, and Ahmed
Abdi are all fourth-year undergraduate students. None of
them knew each other before
starting the project, an assignment for electrical and computer engineering professor Lee
Iverson's instrumentation and
design lab course.
The medical bed monitor is a
thin pad that can be laid on top
of a mattress. Health-care professionals can program it to
check for a variety of conditions including epileptic
seizures, attempts to leave the
bed and prolonged periods of
inertia in bedridden patients.
The waterproof pad is
embedded with 24 sensors
that send information via an
Ethernet connection to a
computer at the nursing station.
The team designed a computer
program to analyse the data
being sent and developed a
user-friendly interface for health
care staff.
All a nurses have to do is
input the patient's name and the
condition they want to monitor.
To monitor for bedsores, for
example, they can input the
time interval (e.g., every five
minutes, 15 minutes) between
alerts. The computer uses a
time/date log to keep track of
each patient's movements and
can monitor several patients at
the same time. Nurses can even
choose how they want to be
notified, and the computer will
send them pop-up message on
screen or an audible message
such as "John Smith is having a
The team consulted with a
biomedical engineer and several
health-care professionals in B.C.
and Ontario in order to come
up with a product to meet their
needs. They also studied video
footage of people having
seizures. To prevent false alarms
the team incorporated a multiple detection function into the
Matthew Wilder. "If someone
is having a restless night, the
bed monitor won't register
good teamwork, keeping the
project simple and an ability to
listen carefully to what medical
practitioners had to say.
UBC Engineering students studied video footage of people having seizures
to help design a medical monitoring bed.
The team's other big challenge was cost. With a $400
budget, they quickly realized
they would have to settle for
simple, easily available materials like carpet underlay and 50-
cent tactile switches to use as
sensors. They estimate their
prototype cost about $200.
After seeing a demonstration
of the prototype, Alison
Phinney, an assistant professor
in UBC's School of Nursing,
says there is a definite need for
such a device in hospitals,
geriatric and long-term care
continued on page .
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ofTdiots 4      |       UBC      REPORTS      |      JANUARY     IO,     2005
Prof Captures Two Geminis
Creative writing professor
Linda Svendsen has been recognized for best writing in
Canadian television. Svendsen
and co-writer Brian McKeown
recently won a Gemini Award
for best writing in a dramatic
program or miniseries for
Human Cargo, the CBC TV
miniseries on the plight of
refugees.  As producers of the
series, the pair also captured
the Gemini for best television
movie or dramatic miniseries.
With 17 nominations, the
miniseries took seven Gemini
Awards, the second-highest
number ever awarded to a
A $9-million dollar project,
Human Cargo was filmed in
Vancouver and South Africa,
and aired as a six-hour
miniseries on CBC TV in
January 2004. During the early
stages of development, support
Scene from Human Cargo, co-written by UBC creative writing prof. Linda Svendsen (above, left), aired last January on CBC TV.
from UBC helped fund library
acquisitions, office expenses
and travel to African refugee
camps, a mine and South
African locations for research
purposes. Svendsen has taught
in the UBC Creative Writing
Department since 1989.
The Academy of Canadian
Cinema and Television awards
the Geminis to celebrate excellence in Canadian English-
language television. Three
other alumni from the UBC
department of theatre, film
and creative writing took the
stage to accept Gemini Awards
this year. Gavin Crawford
(BFA '93) took best individual
performance in a comedy or
series; Brent Carver (BA '72)
won best performance by an
actor in a leading role in a
dramatic program or miniseries; and Astrid Janson (MA
'72) won production design
or art direction in a non-
dramatic program or series. □ REPORTS       |      JANUARY
2 0 05      I      5
Turning Gold into Green with
Old Mine Tailings
Waste rock may help slow global warming, says geochemist. by Michelle cook
Copies Plus
1950 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
Long considered an eyesore
and an environmental
problem, mine tailings -
the waste rock produced in
the mining process - may
actually be helping to slow
global warming by absorbing the greenhouse gases
thought to cause climate
Greg Dipple, an associate
professor of earth and
from nickel, diamond,
chrysolite, platinum group
elements and some types of
gold mines.
In a natural process called
mineral carbonation, CO2
carried in rainwater reacts
with silicate minerals on the
surface of the tailings. The
reaction binds CO2 in a
solid form to the rock where
it can remain in a benign
companies have taken notice
of Dipple's research.
"They didn't believe it at
first, but now they're starting to call," he says.
But Dipple cautions that
his findings don't offer a
simple "throw it in a hole"
solution to reducing carbon
dioxide emissions. The next
step is to figure out how to
speed up the absorption
Left-over crushed rock can suck carbon dioxide from the
atmosphere through a natural process called mineral carbonation.
ocean sciences, has been
studying the waste rocks'
ability to soak up carbon
dioxide (C02) and hold, or
sequester, it for long periods. His findings could
impact mining operations
state for thousands of years.
Human activity releases
about eight billion tons of
C02 annually. With 500 million tons of waste rock in
southern Quebec alone,
Dipple thinks their potential
process. Although Dipple
and his team were surprised
at how fast the process was
occurring naturally in some
mine sites, at others it was
hardly noticeable.
The challenge will be to
"With tweaking, the tailings could soak up all the greenhouse gases
that mining operations produce. I think it's possible that we could
turn large mining projects into a greenhouse gas neutral industry."
Dipple first saw the phenomenon during a joint
project in southern Quebec
with Laval University.
Working at decommissioned mines in Cassiar,
northern B.C., and Clinton
Creek, Yukon, for the past
two summers, Dipple and
his research team documented how the tailings -
the crushed rock left over
after the profitable ore has
been extracted - suck CO2
from the atmosphere.
"It was pretty exciting to
see this. This is something
that occurs naturally on
geologic timescales,"
Dipple says. "We found
that it happens quite quickly in mine tailings. We didn't expect that."
The effect is very similar
to chemical weathering he
explains, and occurs in tailings rich in magnesium silicate - such as those derived
as a CO2 sink is significant.
"With tweaking, the tailings could soak up all the
greenhouse gases that mining
operations produce. I think
it's possible that we could
turn large mining projects
into a greenhouse gas neutral industry," he says.
It's also possible that
mines could soak up more
than they produce, earning
them carbon credits - the
system being developed
under the Kyoto Protocol,
an international agreement
aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The
credits could be used to pay
for mine reclamation. CO2
credit futures currently trade
for about CD$1.23/tonne at
the Chicago Climate
Exchange, and are predicted
to increase in value to
CD$10/tonne or more as the
Kyoto Protocol is implemented.
Not surprisingly, mining
model and accelerate the
natural reaction between the
mine tailings and CO2 at a
cost that will be viable for
mine owners.
"It's unpredictable
because it all comes down
to money," Dipple says.
"How much money will
they spend? Studies show
it's possible to get an 80 per
cent reaction in 28 minutes
but only by spending lots of
Nonetheless, he is optimistic that industrial CO2
sequestration could be in
use in mines in the near
"I think we'll have substantial field tests running
within five years," Dipple
He and his research team
from UBC's Mineral Deposit
Research Unit will continue
their field work at an active
mine in Australia in
February 2005. □
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AT   THE   UNIVERSITY   OF   BRITISH   COLUMBIA 6       |       UBC      REPORTS      |      JANUARY     IO,     2005
Regulating Assisted Human Reproduction
UBC professor and reproductive health consultant Judith Daniluk talks about choices and dilemmas, by erica smishek
Biological mothers, surrogate
mothers, gestational mothers,
egg donors, sperm donors, in
vitro fertilization - a lot has
changed since the days our
parents said they found us in
the cabbage patch.
No one knows this better
than Judith Daniluk, a professor in UBC's dept. of education and counseling psychology, and special education, who
also serves as a reproductive
health consultant at
Vancouver's Genesis Fertility
Centre and is the author of
The Infertility Survival Guide:
How to Cope with the
Challenges while Maintaining
your Sanity, Dignity and
As the Canadian
Government moves forward
with the Assisted Human
Reproduction Act, Daniluk
and other specialists in the
reproductive technology field
are preparing for what impact
the legislation will have on
them, infertile couples and
others they assist.
Daniluk recently sat down
with UBC Reports to discuss
the new Act, its implications
and her continued interest in
this ever-changing field.
\^S. The Assisted Human
Reproduction Act prohibits
certain activities and will regulate others with respect to
assisted human reproduction
and related research. Is it necessary?
We needed some general standards of practice.
There are still bigger issues.
For example, as a society we
need to decide what kinds of
services we believe should be
provided and to what extent
is there an obligation to
ensure that the children who
are produced through third-
party reproductive options
such as donor egg or donor
sperm have the kind of information they need in terms of
their social and medical history-
Technology has moved in
leaps and bounds compared to
what it was even 20 years
ago. And questions arise literally daily in this area of health
services. The question we need
to constantly ask ourselves is
"just because we can, does it
mean we should?"
\^S , You have been
working in the reproductive
technology field since 1982.
How has it evolved?
The changes are dramatic. Each time technology
affords another opportunity
to try something new, it opens
up a whole debate in terms of
the long-term implications of
what we're doing. For example, with assisted reproductive
Technology is creating new opportunities, but we need to consider implications for children says Daniluk.
technologies we've pushed the
age barrier at which women
can have children beyond anything that was ever imagined
before. Back in the '70s, even
the early '80s, ifyou didn't
have your first child by the
time you were 30, people
worried. Now it is becoming
typical for women of 40, 42,
44, 46 to say, "I'm ready. I
want to start having children."
The questions are numerous. I've worked with women
who are in their mid- or late-
40s married to younger men
who have never had kids but
really want them. The women
have grown adult daughters.
Is it okay for them to ask
their daughters to give them
an egg so that they can have a
child with their new partner?
Is it okay for a woman who
was born without a uterus to
have her mother be the gestational carrier for her child? Is
that okay? And what are the
implications of that?
It's amazing what we're able
to do now. And because we're
pushing the envelope, even
from a psychosocial standpoint, how do we make those
determinations as to what the
implications are going to be
for the child down the road?
Because that has to be taken
into consideration. And to not
do so is irresponsible as a
society. But it requires the
value judgments.
L/. Prior to the Act, I
understand that most clinics
used best practices from a
medical standpoint as a
\^S , What fascinates you
so much about reproductive
Even when you have
your best practice guidelines,
there are those heart-wrenching kinds of situations where
you have to take the culture
and the context into consideration when making those
What do you about the
young man who is 14, 15, 16
going through cancer treatments and as a consequence
his parents want him to bank
sperm. OK, fine. But who
owns that sperm? What if he
dies? And who has access to
it?   Or what about the couple
who go through in vitro fertilization and have seven or
eight frozen embryos. One of
the couple dies. The other
wants to use the embryos.
Say it's the woman who is
trying to create a child even
though the biological parent
will have died before the
child is born. Is that okay?
And who decides?  These are
some of the issues the act is
trying to address.
. Some of the most fascinating issues are about the
reconfiguration of family.
Some of that is social, because
we have so many more diverse
family forms such as blended
families and single parent
families through divorce. But
now there are more single
women pursuing motherhood
on their own using anonymous donor insemination.
Women now have the choice.
They don't have to wait for
Mr. Right, or if they've waited
and Mr. Right hasn't come
along and their biological
clock is ticking, they can
become mothers on their own.
There are also many more lesbian couples creating their
families through anonymous
donor insemination.
We are blurring gestational
and genetic lines, and we're
pushing age limits beyond
anything we could have imagined even 20 years ago.
\^S , After more than
two decades, what keeps the
whole area of reproductive
health interesting for you
both as a researcher and a
. . The field of reproductive health and medicine is
hopeful because we're talking
about creating life, we're talking about reconstructing family, we're talking about people
having choices and being able
to pursue options and if treatment fails, there is some peace
for them in knowing they did
everything they could and it
just wasn't meant to be.   My
book deals a lot with coping
with the stress of infertility
and dealing with the grief of
being unable to produce a
child. I've had people shed
tears in my office, I have shed
tears with them over some of
these situations. And yet, there
is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is often a hopeful
Whether that is the creation
of a family or whether it is
moving on to a childfree life
having done what they can or
whether it is moving on to
adoption or other parenting
options, it is still moving forward and assisting people in
that movement and that part
is really exciting.
For more information on the
Assisted Human Reproduction
Act, visit
For more information on the
Genesis Fertility Centre, visit
www.genesis-fertility.com □ REPORTS      |      JANUARY
2 0 05      I      7
Get your MUSE
Whenever, Wherever
If you think your cell phones
and PDAs have already
transformed your life, get
ready for a whole new array
of daily applications. Soon
these digital devices will be
able to serve as your personal tour guide and real estate
agent, among other things.
Providing the right information at the right place and
the right time through mobile
devices is at the heart of the
groundbreaking Mobile
Media-rich Urban Shared
Experience (MUSE) project.
Launched in July with a
$1.29 million grant from
Heritage Canada and
industry partners,
and led by UBC
Vogt, the
project aims
to find the
best ways to
make such
devices as
responsive to their'
environment as
people are.
So when you're
mesmerized by Mona
Lisa's smile, your museum
audio tour - playing straight
from your cell phone - won't
rush you on to the next
painting. And before you put
a down payment on that
dream house, your PDA
could advise you of the nearest schools and grocery
"With the advent of mobile
devices and the availability
of broadband technology
we're no longer tied to our
computers and phones," says
Vogt. "But as we roam
around the city, we need
access to information that
will enrich our understanding
of where we are, or simply
make our lives easier.
"We want to find the best
ways to make your mobile
device and your surroundings
work for you, together, to
deliver the kind of information you need."
Made up of 45 industry
leaders and researchers from
a variety of disciplines,
MUSE aims to leverage
Vancouver's cultural, industrial and technological
advantages - not to mention
the 2010 Olympics - to make
the city a mecca for context-
aware content delivery.
"Vancouver is the perfect
place to develop this leading-
edge field. We already have
well-established film, television, gaming and high
tech industries," says
Vogt. "And UBC, with
lone of the highest
density of wireless
hot spots in the
1 world, is the
logical place to
test the
One of the
MUSE sub-project
teams is already working
on improving audio tours at
UBC's Museum of
Anthropology, while another
is designing a high-tech heritage scavenger hunt in
Chinatown, to be unveiled
during next year's dragon
boat festival at Science
Aptly named AMUSEMENT, the scavenger hunt
game can be played on
mobile devices currently
available on the market and
uses the industry standard
802.11 wireless network.
Clues relating to Chinatown
culture are sent to players'
cell phones and points are
given when they reach the
correct location. □
Overcoming Youth
Voter Apathy
A special $297,000 project
has been approved through
MUSE aimed at increasing
youth voter participation in
the upcoming May provincial election. The project
will involve students and
engage them through interactive experiences such as
voting on important social
questions through their
own mobile devices, and
seeing first-hand the impact
of their votes.
Supported by funding
from Western Economic
Diversification Canada, the
project has already teamed
up with student groups at
UBC, SFU, UVic, UNBC and
BCIT to create "mobile
communities." Content
specifically designed for
mobile devices will be distributed amongst participants to engage youth
through their own peers.
MUSE welcomes proposals
of context-aware content
delivery. For more information e-mail
david.vogt@ubc.ca □
MUSE director David Vogt is looking for more ideas that use context-aware mobile devices.
Drug Couriers
continued from page 1
An unknown scientist relaxes in
a magnetized chamber to prove
safety of magnetic forces.
magnetic microspheres can
be used to treat several
types of cancer.
One of Hafeli's ideas -
which has not yet been
approved for funding - is a
magnetic bandage, which
may offer a new solution
for thousands of Canadians
who face foot or leg amputation because of diabetic
skin ulcers that won't heal.
Diabetic foot ulcers are
sores that occur in 15 per
cent of diabetic patients
some time during their lifetime. The risk of lower-
extremity amputation
increases eight-fold in these
patients once an ulcer
develops, usually because of
nerve and blood vessel complications of the disease.
Hafeli's idea has two
steps.   First, the wound site
would be covered with thin
but strong magnets embedded in a bandage. The next
step involves injecting
microspheres into blood
vessels near the wound that
are filled with slow-release,
healing growth factors.
The magnets attract the
microspheres to the immediate area of the wound
site and stop them there.
The spheres gradually break
down and release growth
factors over a period of
weeks, allowing blood
vessels and damaged tissues
to regrow and repair.
Hafeli, who arrived at
UBC in July 2004, has
recently applied for funding
to support the investigation.
The beauty of magnetic
microspheres, he says, is
that they can carry highly
active and sometimes toxic
drugs that normally could
not be tolerated within the
Small amounts of drug
targeted magnetically to
localized sites can replace
large doses of drug that,
using traditional administration methods, freely
circulate in the blood and
hit the target site in a
generalized way only. Also,
drugs within the sphere are
protected from breaking
down during transport and,
because they are targeted
instead of distributed in
blood, don't harm some
sensitive organs such as
bone marrow.
Hafeli is exploring
magnetic microspheres as
an alternative to traditional
radiation methods which
continued on page 10 I      UBC      REPORTS       |      JANUARY
Do You Really Want That Bite?
continued from page 1
weight and reduce the risk
of diabetes.
In the new study, he will
look at leptin's powerful
effects on regulating blood
sugar levels and how to
reverse leptin resistance.
Research on the leptin
connection may lead to medications that could help
I IM   I or ii in for
Global Citizenship, Global Health
Tuesday January 2.11I1. 200.?
I 0:00am ■ 2:00pm
Al (he l-'ir*l Vtiliwiiw l.onijlunisc.
I iiivcrsilj of Hritisli Columbia
198S West Malt PDini Grej Campus
people maintain a healthy
weight and reduce the risk
of diabetes.
"But medication to regulate
leptin won't be a magic bullet," says Kieffer. "Fat isn't
just a matter of genetics -
diet and exercise do play an
important role. How the
body regulates weight is just
a lot more complex than we'd
earlier believed. Ultimately
we hope to eliminate Type 2
diabetes by developing an
approach that can be combined with diet and exercise
to maintain a health body
weight." □
Diabetes could Double in 20 Years
According to the World Health
Organization, 177 million people
were suffering from diabetes in
2000. By 2025, that number is
expected to jump to 300 million.
The U.S. Centers for Disease
Control estimate that one-third
of American children born in
2000 will develop the disease.
A huge drain on health
budgets, diabetes care costs
Canadians about $ 13 billion
annually. The U.S. spent $132
billion to manage the disease in
About 80 per cent of patients
with Type 2 diabetes (formerly
known as adult onset diabetes)
are obese. With more children
becoming overweight, there has
also been a steady rise in the
number of kids with Type 2
Kieffer's study is also supported by the Michael Smith
Foundation for Health
For more information on
diabetes, visit the Canadian
Diabetes Association website at
www.diabetes.ca and click on
About Diabetes. □
li<-> imiIi' Speakers:
III*. MuHha lai|»4*r
I'rvsiJ.'iu. I BC
Or. .1. ff II. »-linit
Srimriiit Director, instiruu' ol Aboriginal Peoples
llr. ■!< iti   S|M«-ii< 1
Director, l W Centre lor international Ik
Wliat* Happening?
.   Building involvement in global health
.   Exploring Canada's role
.   Presentations on UHC-based projects
-   Poster displays
.   Workshops on global aboriginal health &
student opportunities in international health
lI'Mrd t\:
III!': ij-nlrr li,r hilrmri'mnitl llrriltll (CIH)
UBC In»thuLe for Aboriginal llcaltli (1AEI)
Rest Easy
continued from page 3
"Nurses are always
concerned about their ability to
watch patients closely, and
about patients crawling out of
bed and then falling. Some
health-care workers even move
high-risk patients into the halls
near nursing stations in order to
keep an eye on them," Phinney
"In acute care, where patients
are at high risk of seizure and in
a setting where they are closely
monitored already, having something like this in place would be
a bonus. If there was something
in the same price range as prod
ucts now available but that did
more and had a simple interface
easy for nurses to learn and use,
I think the health care community would welcome that."
What interested her was the
monitor's ability to alert nurses
when a patient is just starting to
get out of bed.
"There are products out there,
but these only tell the nurse that
a patient is already out of bed
and they have alarms that are
loud and disruptive," says
For her, the monitor's other
important feature is that it can
be set to alert nurses at specific
intervals. This is important
when people are sitting or lying
for long periods and at risk of
"You don't need to be sitting
or lying for long for this to have
an effect - even five to 10 minutes - and people die from these
things," Phinney explains,
adding that actor Christopher
Reeve, who died earlier this year,
died from an infection from a
pressure wound (bedsore).
Encouraged by feedback from
health-care professionals, Wilder
says the team would like to see
the device in use in hospitals
some day but, he adds, "for us,
the main success was not so
much the innovation but proper
consulting. When you're a consulting engineer, you need to listen to the client and that's what
we did." □
p A mf)   UBC Public Affairs has opened both a radio and TV studio on campus where you can conduct live interviews with local, national and international
media outlets.To learn more about being a UBC expert, call us at 604.822.2064 and visit our web site at www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/experts/signup UBC      REPORTS       |      JANUARY     IO,      2005      |      9
The Harmonies of Human Conflict
Is there a music of human
Paul Evans, acting director
of the Liu Institute for Global
Issues, posed the question to
Rena Sharon and Sal Ferreras,
teachers at the UBC School of
Music and acclaimed performers working in divergent musical styles.
"Over lunch with Dr. Evans,
we came to a meeting of
minds," says Sharon.
Teaming up with other musicians, they recently presented
an evening of musical and
visual interpretations of human
security called "Night of a
1000 Dinners" at the Liu
Institute. They hope the event,
a fundraiser for the Canadian
Landmine Foundation, is just
the beginning of continued collaboration and exploration in
this unusual area.
"It has definitely ignited a
certain spark," Ferreras says.
He and Sharon are an
unlikely duo. Born in
Montreal, Sharon is an internationally acclaimed pianist
who began her life in chamber
music at age eight; Ferreras
was born in Puerto Rico and
has explored his passion for
percussion through world, contemporary and symphonic
music. But they share a mutual
interest in global issues and
how music reflects various
states of human conflict.
"I have always been interested in the ways that global
issues intersect with what we
do as musicians," says
Ferreras, who is completing a
PhD in ethnomusicology at
Sharon, meanwhile, has
a keen interest in conflict
resolution's role in chamber
music. She co-directs the
Young Artist Experience with
Eric Wilson,pofessor of cello at
UBC. It is a unique interdisciplinary chamber music camp
for teens that blends intense
music study with explorations
in an historical way to nobility.
Sustenance includes music
that has grown out of national
trauma, hardship and sorrow.
"It reinforces the collective
spirit of a people," Ferreras
explains. "It is music that joins
people together, not so much
for a cause, but as a way to
identify with each other and to
try to overcome the same trauma."
Examples include Argentine
music from the 1970s, Central
American music created during
the civil wars of the 1980s,
and most national anthems.
The music of reconciliation,
Ferreras says, "is nostalgic,
faith-based, often slow and
repetitive like a sedative, it
puts you in a state of receiving. "
Examples at the Liu event
included The Last Post, a tra-
Pianist Rena Sharon (1) and percussionist Sal Ferrerras, teachers in UBC's School of Music, share an
interest in how global issues affect music.
ditional composition played at
most Canadian Remembrance
Day services, and a composition performed live by Persian
tar master Amir Koushkani
which is evocative of music
prohibited in Iran and took the
become recognized throughout
the world and is now the official national anthem of the
Another example is On the
Transformation of Souls, a John
Adams work commissioned by
[Ferreras] came up with four pillars of conflict that populations can go
through - catalyst, sustainer, reconciliation and renewal - and began to
collect music that would apply to each pillar.
in art, science, humanities, and
global studies. Through it she
has made many community
contacts and is a supporter
ofthe Liu Institute.
Provoked by Evans' inquiry
Ferreras considered how you
would define the music of
human security, how it has
been used and how it would be
organized. He came up with
four pillars of conflict that
populations can go through -
catalyst, sustainer, reconciliation and renewal - and began
to collect music that would
apply to each pillar.
" Catalyst is the music of
action, like a battle cry or a
war song," he explains. "It
elicits an adrenaline rush and
transforms people from ordinary citizens to warriors or
He cites the Olympic theme
as an example of a national
affirmation linked to competition that helps people connect
form of a set of notes designed
for a very specific emotional
expression and response.
"For countries that have
gone through trauma, it's a
question of what's left over?
How do you forgive?" Ferreras
explains. "In the case of South
and Central America, people
who were the oppressors are
still there and people have to
learn to get along with them.
Music is one of the only
devices that can bridge that
gap, that polarity."
In the fourth stage - renewal
- populations have gotten past
the reconciliation stage and are
seeing a real sense of transformation.
Ferreras points to the South
African national anthem,
which was written in the
1880s. Suppressed during
Apartheid, it became very popular with the black population
as a rallying cry and song for
liberation. It eventually
the New York Philharmonic for
victims of 9/11.
"It has a text built from the
names of people who were the
victims," he explains. "It is a
huge expression of sentiment,
an affirmation of values and
For the chamber music
portion of the concert, Sharon
was joined by her colleague
Andrew Dawes, members of the
Infinitus Quartet, and UBC
opera student Mike Broder. The
Brahms Piano Quintet was chosen for its diverse echoes of
lamentation, ferocity, solace and
energetic resolution. Sure on
this Shining Night, Samuel
Barber's luminous song, closed
the evening with a contemplation of a place for humanity
within a mysterious cosmos.
While Ferreras says there is
no single approach to this musi-
cology, he looks forward to further research on the
subject. □
The Lessons of Chamber Music
Rena Sharon would love to see diplomats and world
leaders engage in a drumming session before any
discussions or negotiations.
"It could become common international practice! Sal
Ferreras could be the UN facilitator of Musical Unification
Sensitization for Intuitive Communication, " Sharon says
with a chuckle. "Everyone gets a drum and they just start
a fabulously raucous musical dialogue. The collective
sound is irresistible. You can't participate without feeling
happy and energized. It breaks down verbal barriers and
elevates the sense of the communal."
Sharon, a professor of collaborative piano studies at
UBC, has been fascinated by the role of chamber music
interaction as a model of conflict resolution and peacemaking since fall 2001 when she met General Romeo
D'Allaire at a luncheon, hours after his lecture on his
experience as the Canadian General in charge of the UN
troops during the Rwandan genocide.
D'Allaire asked the pianist about her work and what
makes chamber music creative. She told him how four
musicians, who often don't know each other and may
have very different interpretive ideas, come together to
perform a piece of music that they all love. She explained
that "there is no leader in chamber music - everyone gets
an equal vote. Decisions must be arrived at through
collective agreement, with no primary spokesperson, no
veto powers, no hierarchy."
"Yielding to our colleagues can be emotionally, philosophically, and to a small degree even physically excruciating. And yet we all agree to compromise because the
consequence of those concessions can be breathtakingly
meaningful. You can't get there by yourself. Chamber
music only really works when our most complex insights
and most intimate emotions are shared and exchanged." □ io    I
IC      REPORTS      |      JANUARY
Drug Couriers
continued from page 7
use highly penetrating radiation that is absorbed
throughout the body. Its use
is limited by toxicity and side
effects. Hafeli loads his
microspheres with radioactive tracers that emit beta
radiation. Beta radiation consists of electrons that interact
with cells within a one-centimetre range only, virtually
eliminating side effects.
Spheres can be made of a
variety of materials. Some -
like albumin or gelatin - are
biodegradable and others,
such as glass, can reside in the
body without negative effect.
Magnetic radioactive
microspheres are applied
in methods similar to
non-radioactive spheres. A
magnet, placed outside the
body, is directed to the target
site. The magnet can be a rod-
shaped permanent magnet of
any size or can be contained
in equipment that looks like
an open magnetic resonance
imaging scanner.
The loaded microspheres
are introduced into a blood
FRENCH      ■
SPANISH       ■
ITALIAN         1
GERMAN         I
PUNJABI          j
DANISH          J
SWEDISH       1
RUSSIAN      1
LATIN          ■
Cultures & Travel
Non-credit day, evening or Saturday
morning language classes start
January 14
* Courses on Understanding Wine
and Culinary Arts
• Travel immersion programs to
France, Italy, Mexico and Cuba
LSI  Continuing Studies
\^j|Bj/    Languages, Cultures & Travel
/•• •
: ; «
• •*  •      .
< •* .. * r
A   *<^
i - -j ."•'.-.* ■;-'-VV.'1.-'-"-
Tiny magnetic particles - magnetic microspheres - can be filled with drugs or radioactive materials to treat a
variety of illnesses.
vessel, and in as little as half
an hour, they gather at the
target site to emit radiation
that kills surrounding cancer
cells. The therapeutic action
enough to not clog the
narrow blood capillaries.
In addition, spheres need to
be peppered with microscopic
magnetic particles, such as
lung tumours as well as finding ways to improve delivery
of rheumatoid arthritis drugs
to affected joints.
Determining optimum
"The theory is deceptively simple but we know using magnets to
concentrate drugs in the body has enormous potential."
lasts until the radioactive
material has decayed, usually
a couple of days or weeks,
depending on the material
used. If necessary, the
treatment can be repeated.
Specializing in biodegradable spheres, Hafeli works
primarily with polymers.
He is exploring a number
of factors that affect the
therapeutic value of the
technology. In this tiny treatment world, size matters.
One challenge is to find new
ways to make uniform-sized
microspheres. In addition, the
spheres need to be small
iron, so they will be attracted
to the magnet. Hafeli is
evaluating the toxicity of
these magnetic nanoparticles
as one part of his work.
Although magnetic microsphere research is in an early
stage, scientists have been
exploring how the spheres
can treat liver and brain
tumours, and first results
appear promising. Hafeli is
also focused on improving
magnetic microspheres so
they can be used in a greater
variety of treatments. He
plans to investigate magnetic
treatment of head, neck and
sphere size, effective magnetic
forces and other factors takes
the expertise of scientists in
disciplines that include
physics, chemistry, biology
and medicine. Hafeli works
with UBC collaborators at
TRIUMF - Canada's national
laboratory for particle and
nuclear physics - and the
departments of chemistry
and chemical engineering. He
also organizes international
conferences of researchers
and clinicians interested in
magnetic drug carriers. The
next meeting is in Austria in
May 2006. □
INTRODUCING ARGYLL HOUSE EAST - with wide-open views
of the Pacific Ocean, Coastal Islands and Coast Mountains, surrounded
by countless cultural, social and outdoor opportunities. Literally steps
from the Chan Centre, the Museum of Anthropology, and Pacific Spirit
Regional Park, Argyll House East is a rare collection of apartment homes,
penthouses and cityhomes built to the highest standards. All this, and
it's in the established neighbourhood of West Point Grey on the grounds
of the University of British Columbia. This could be the site of your new
home. And with all that's best about living in Vancouver at your
doorstep, could you picture anything more perfect?
One Bedroom & One + Den Apartments priced from $264,900.
-Two Bedroom Corner Apartments priced from $479,900.
Cityhomes priced from $574,900.
Penthouses priced from $599,900.
Stop by our Discovery Centre
at 1716 Theology Mall
facing Chancellor Boulevard.
Open noon til 5pm daily
(except Fridays)
For more information call us at 604.228.8100
or visit our website at www.argyllhouse.ca
*»■'««,. IC      REPORTS       |      JANUARY
2 0 0 5      I
Retiring Within 5 Years?
Construction of UBC's Main Library. Photo taken January 1925.
Main Library Under Construction (January 1925)
BYCHRIS HIVES, University Archives
Designed by the architectural firm of Sharp
& Thompson, the Library was one of the
three original permanent buildings on the
Point Grey campus. The Library's granite
facing stones were quarried on Nelson
Island in Pender Harbour and barged to
the foot of the Point Grey cliffs. From
there they were hauled to the building site
using an aerial tramway and light railway
system. Two wings (1948, 1960) were
added to the original structure.
Currently the site of extensive construction
and renovation activity, the Main Library is
being transformed into the Irving K. Barber
Learning Centre. The project will result in
the removal of the building's two additions
and a new structure will wrap around three
sides of the original Library building.
Opening of the new Barber Learning
Centre is scheduled for late 2006. □
El El Ouch!
Psychology student
examines how children
express pain
Scraped knees, bumps and
bruises, tummy aches, immunizations - in an average child's
early years, pain is a daily
reality. For sick kids, that pain
can be chronic and even more
Yet young children between
three and six years of age may
not have the verbal skills to
efficiently communicate the
type of pain or the magnitude
of discomfort they are
"A three- or four-year old
may not even understand what
the word 'pain' means," says
UBC psychology graduate
student Elizabeth Job.
Job, under the supervision
of professor emeritus Ken Craig
and former UBC pediatrics
assistant professor Christine
Chambers, has examined ways
children use everyday language
to describe pain, as well as their
ability to accurately convey
their level of pain, through
methods that include pointing
to a series of pain faces
developed as a rating scale,
called the Faces Pain Scale
Revised. The research will
increase understanding of how
developmental factors - such
as language and numerical
reasoning - influence children's
ability to accurately express
pain with these scales.
Ultimately the research could
lead to more effective pain
assessment and treatment for
UBC researcher studies the many ways kids say "ouch
" Kids do a lot of things when
they're in pain," says Job, who
completed the research at the
UBC pPsychology department
and the B.C. Research Institute
for Children's and Women's
Health. "They have characteristic facial expressions, they have
characteristic body expressions.
But few studies have considered
how children develop vocabularies to express pain. This is a
novel area in the field of pediatric pain assessment."
Results of one study that
used the Child Language Data
Exchange System (CHILDES)
database, a large language
development database found
the pain word strings most frequently used by a sample of
children aged 12 to 108 months
were "hurt," "ouch" and "ow"
while "ache", "boo-boo",
"pain" and "sore" occurred
very infrequently. Researchers
also found that the earliest age
of emergence for a pain word
string ("ouch") was 17 months
while the latest age of
emergence for a word string
("pain") was 72 months.
In another study involving
coding videotapes of 58
children aged four to six years
receiving a routine immunization, 27 children used words to
express the pain they
experienced due to the
injection; the remaining 31
did not use words. By far the
most common utterance for
those using words was an
interjection- "ow!" Other
utterances included declarative
sentences   ("It doesn't hurt"),
exclamatory sentences ("I didn't
cry!"), and interrogative
sentences ("Is that done?").
Researchers found that older
children were less likely to use
words to express their pain.
Job says the studies reflect
the need for clinicians to
become informed of factors,
such as language development,
that impact on pediatric pain
assessment. Only when clinicians carefully account for the
role developmental factors play
in the pain assessment process
will they be best able to
appropriately diagnose and
treat pediatric pain. □
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Berkowitz & Associates
Consulting Inc.
Statistical Consulting
research design • data analysis • sampling • forecasting
^^^^^^^  Jonathan Berkowitz, Ph.D ^^^^^^^h
4160 Staulo Crescent, Vancouver, B.C. V6N 3S2
Office: (604) 263-1508 Fax: (604) 263-1708
Walk-In Clinic
604-222-CARF. (2273)
University Village Medical/Dental Clinic
Walk-ins and Appointments n Extended Hours
Conveniently located in ihe UBC Village above Staples
#228-2155 Allison Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1T5
, Media
\T T OII TI College of Health
V,1VUr Disciplines
Digital Printing &
Computer Imaging
Graphic Design & Illustration
Video & Media Production
AV Equipment & Media Sales
AV Services & Maintenance
Large Format Colour
3 feet (90cm) wide by as long as you require
Ideal for conference poster presentations
Introducing the new high-resolution Epson
° up to 44" wide
0 up to 2880 dpi on photo-quality paper
° heavyweight, photo-quality, and archival
papers available
° pricing from $9 to $11 per square foot      J
The Media Group
Woodward IRC Building, Rm B32
2194 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T1Z3
Phone: (604) 822-5561 Fax: (604) 822-2004
Email: mediagrpts interchange.ubc.ca
Basement of
the Woodward
IRC Building
'.','■ '■:.::: ■  '.til
Health Science Mall ■£
www.mediagroup.ubc.ca 12      |      UBC      REPORTS      |      JANUARY
Seven international teams consisting of the world's
leading architects have been shortlisted in a bid to
create a new gateway and social heart for UBC's
Vancouver campus.
In total, 52 teams from 16 countries submitted
expressions of interest, including: Canada, the USA,
Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Austria, Spain, India, Germany,
the United Kingdom, Finland, Netherlands, Norway,
Switzerland, Japan, and France.
Beginning in January, the
competition's shortlist committee
will interview each of the seven
semi-finalists. Following this
process, three finalists
will be chosen and the
competition will officially
enter Stage 2 in which
the three teams will
prepare three visions
for UBC's University Boulevard. These designs, informed
by a campus poll, will then be evaluated by a jury which
includes a roster of internationally recognised architects
in association with university representatives.
1. Allies and Morrison Architects, London, England with
Proscenium Architecture and Interiors Inc., Vancouver, B.C
2. Diamond & Schmitt Architects Inc., Toronto, Ontario with
Acton Ostry Architects, Vancouver, B.C.
3. Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners, Santa Monica, California
with Hughes Condon Marler Architects, Vancouver, B.C.
4. Patkau Architects, Vancouver, B.C.
5. Richard Rogers Partnership, London, England with
Robert Burgers, West Vancouver, B.C.
6. Vincent James Associates Architects, Minneapolis, MN with
mcfarlaneGreen Architecture & Design, North Vancouver, B.C.
7. Zaha Hadid Architects, London, England with
Kasian Architecture Interior Design & Planning Ltd., Vancouver, B.C
A Sustainable Future
University Town is a mixed use and sustainable community which supports and strengthens the university's academic
mission. For more information on the competition objectives, scope and schedule please visit


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