The Ring

One student's grand view of the smallest things

Tue, 2014-03-04 17:01

Cell interior of a developing mouse brain. Sample credit: Patrick Nahirney.
Cell interior of a developing mouse brain. Sample credit: Patrick Nahirney.

Invisible worlds exist all around us. And UVic biology undergrad James Tyrwhitt-Drake has made it his mission to reveal the smallest of those worlds, with spectacular results.

The invisibility of microscopic creatures, much like the perceptual invisibility that comes with the speedy flapping of a hummingbird’s wings, requires special equipment to capture and appreciate. For Tyrwhitt-Drake, that equipment is the scanning electron microscope (SEM) in UVic’s Advanced Microscopy Facility.


New vice-president research named

Tue, 2014-02-18 10:05

The University of Victoria has appointed Dr. David Castle as vice-president research, effective July 1, 2014. The appointment follows an international search.


US patent for UVic process to battle cancer

Wed, 2014-02-12 16:45

van Veggel. Photo: UVic Photo Services
van Veggel. Photo: UVic Photo Services

Chemistry professor Dr. Frank van Veggel likes to work with extremely small particles and very big ideas. He’s developed a process whereby nanoparticles, each 10 times smaller than a speck of dust, could someday assist oncologists better identify and target cancerous tumours and, in some cases, eliminate the need for painful and potentially dangerous biopsies.


Festival topics run from timely to timeless

Thu, 2014-02-06 12:19

IdeaFest 2014
IdeaFest 2014

How do young people use and respond to cyber-aggression? How can the diagnosis and treatment of concussions be improved? Why are our brains better than the smartest computers for certain kinds of tasks? And why do we respond to the music of one artist over another: is it the beauty of the melody, a special harmonic sound, or something else?

Some answers to these questions–along with dozens of others–will be presented at UVic’s annual IdeaFest, from March 3 to 8.


Film production class makes for reel-life learning

Mon, 2014-01-27 16:59

Bradley and UVic digital media technician Daniel Hogg. PHOTO: Nik West
Bradley and UVic digital media technician Daniel Hogg. PHOTO: Nik West
UVic film production class takes experiential learning to a whole new level

The tools writing professor Maureen Bradley uses with her students may not immediately leap to mind when most people think about research at the University of Victoria. But for Bradley, lights and cameras are very much the focus of the action when it comes to film production.


Online course shows how to put the brakes on climate change

Thu, 2014-01-23 17:59

It all began with a request from government. Could the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS), which is hosted and led by UVic, come up with an informative yet engaging way to explain the complicated science behind global warming? As a result, world-leading climate scientists—who were fortuitously based in Victoria—got together to create the first free, interactive online course in PICS’s Climate Insights 101 series, Climate Science Basics, which was launched by then-Environment Minister Terry Lake in August 2011.


Dangerous yet delicate: Grizzly bears are a key indicator of BC's ecological health

Thu, 2014-01-09 16:14

A grizzly bear takes a dip in a glacier-fed pool. Photo: Raincoast.org
A grizzly bear takes a dip in a glacier-fed pool. Photo: Raincoast.org

Though polar bears have become symbolic as a species put at risk by climate change, UVic research shows why the grizzly bear may be a better indicator of BC’s ecological health.


Bullfrog research takes big leap forward

Tue, 2014-01-07 14:48

Bullfrog. Photo: Dennis Churchill
Bullfrog. Photo: Dennis Churchill

Bullfrogs—to most of us they’re just big, green, bug-eyed critters that hop and croak and (usually) make us laugh. They’re also invasive in some regions, including southern Vancouver Island.

But to scientists studying environmental health, bullfrogs are an ideal “sentinel” species for monitoring the effects of pollutants such as pesticides, drugs and industrial effluents.


The impact of one French tweet

Mon, 2013-12-23 17:32

@lexico400 Le Robert and the tweet that started it all
The tweet that started it all

Visibilité. The word itself appears on the 1,873th page of the French dictionary Le Grand Robert (12th edition). It can mean “impact” or revealing things clearly. It is also what Dr. Catherine Caws, chair of the UVic French department, achieved with the class of FRAN400: Advanced Studies in French Linguistics: on Sept. 10, the Le Robert editors—without paper or ink and entirely online—reached out impromptu to retweet about the course and to find out more. Now that’s visibility.


UVic in the News: Top 10 of 2013

Thu, 2013-12-19 17:34

Dylan Collins, UVic’s newest Rhodes Scholar. Credit: Photo Services
Dylan Collins is the most recent Top Story of 2013 and UVic's latest Rhodes Scholar. Credit: Photo Services

As UVic looks ahead to 2014, the university is also celebrating a year of compelling news about UVic's people, projects, ideas and research.

Seaweed, dwarf galaxies and an iPad app for ‘the birds and the bees’ are some of the many captivating subjects for stories about UVic over the past 12 months. Here are just 10.