The Ring

Three UVic scientists earn national honours

Wed, 2011-10-05 10:33

Canil holds a sample of Earth's mantle rock.
Canil holds a sample of Earth's mantle rock. Photo: Marc Christensen

Two University of Victoria scientists have joined the ranks of Canada’s academic elite. Geologist Dante Canil and astrophysicist Julio Navarro have been elected fellows of the Royal Society of Canada for outstanding scholarly and scientific achievement. The distinction is considered Canada’s highest academic honour.

Chris Barnes on Building NEPTUNE

Tue, 2011-09-06 14:52

Barnes with one of the node frames, July 2009
Barnes with one of the node frames, July 2009. Photo: Arnold Lim Photography

This June, Dr. Chris Barnes retired as founding director of NEPTUNE Canada, the world’s largest and most advanced cabled ocean observatory network. It and the VENUS coastal network make up the ONC Observatory, which is managed for the University of Victoria by Ocean Networks Canada.

Ottawa funds green technology for UVic research ship

Tue, 2011-09-06 14:20

UVic's new research vessel before refit
UVic's new research vessel before refit. Photo: Valerie Shore

he University of Victoria is aiming for a world-first in green shipping technology, thanks to new funding from the federal government.
In July, Western Economic Diversification Canada announced $1.19 million in funding to help transform UVic’s recently acquired research vessel into the world’s first plug-in hybrid “green ship” powered by electricity, hydrogen fuel cells and low-emission diesel fuel.

New chair focuses on the health of people and forests

Mon, 2011-09-05 14:16

Borchers. Photo: Gary McKinstry
Borchers. Photo: Gary McKinstry

Imagine the day when we can use a simple screening test to detect diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancers in their early stages—or have new and improved drugs for the treatment of AIDS and Creutzfeld-Jakob disease. Or how about the day when we can breed trees that can naturally ward off attacks by pests like the mountain pine beetle? And trees that are super-efficient at storing carbon and reducing global warming?
Those days might not be far off, thanks to a new research chair recently awarded to the University of Victoria by the BC government.

Ocean engineer to head NEPTUNE Canada

Wed, 2011-07-13 11:11


he new director of the NEPTUNE Canada ocean network is Dr. Kate Moran, a world-renowned ocean engineer who is completing a two-year term as assistant director in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in Washington, DC. Moran starts her five-year term with NEPTUNE Canada in September. She succeeds founding director Dr. Chris Barnes, who retired on June 30.

Government funding boost for assistive technology projects

Wed, 2011-07-13 11:05

BC Premier Christy Clark and CanAssist researcher/writer Luke Melchior
BC Premier Christy Clark looks on as CanAssist researcher/writer Luke Melchior demonstrates CanConnect technology.

On June 27, BC Premier Christy Clark visited campus and announced a $3.5-million grant from the Ministry of Health for two innovative projects involving technology that will help seniors and people with disabilities remain as independent as possible. One partner in the projects is CanAssist, a University of Victoria organization dedicated to improving the quality of life and promoting the independence of those with disabilities.

Ray Siemens on the digital humanities and the future of the book

Wed, 2011-07-13 10:10

Siemens. Photo: UVic Photo Servces
Siemens. Photo: UVic Photo Servces

What do new reading technologies, such as the e-book, mean for the future of the humanities? Dr. Ray Siemens, Canada Research Chair in Humanities Computing, posed this question at the University Club on June 28, as the guest speaker at the UVic Alumni Association’s Annual General Meeting.

UVic research offers new promise for future treatments of genetic diseases

Wed, 2011-07-13 10:00

Choy. Photo: UVic Photo Services
Choy. Photo: UVic Photo Services

Dr. Francis Choy and his team at the UVic’s Centre for Biomedical Research are investigating three rare, inherited diseases that affect young children and for which there are, as yet, no affordable and reliable treatments. All three diseases—Gaucher disease, Sanfilippo syndrome and glycine encephalopathy—involve the inability to produce certain enzymes necessary for intracellular structures called lysosomes and mitochondria to digest and eliminate used material.

UVic research takes aim at an aggressive form of prostate cancer

Mon, 2011-07-11 11:14

Hof. Photo: Nik West
Hof. Photo: Nik West

Fraser Hof is on the hunt for ways to stop a killer. No, he’s not a policeman or a crime scene investigator. But he is a detective of sorts.
Hof is a medicinal chemist at the University of Victoria and he’s hot on the trail of a molecule in our bodies that, when accidentally activated, can lead to a particularly aggressive form of prostate cancer. His mission is to find a way to neutralize it.

Antimatter matters: T2K, TRIUMF, VISPA, ATLAS, ARIEL & more

Fri, 2011-07-08 16:05

UVic/T2K team working on one of 3 Time Projection Chambers in Japan.
UVic/T2K team working on one of 3 Time Projection Chambers in Japan. Photo credit: KEK PR office

Try to imagine holding one trillion subatomic particles between two cupped hands.

The elaborate choreography of subatomic particles would of course be invisible to the naked eye, but for years now, UVic experts have been tracking the complexities of this very elusive behavior using sophisticated equipment. In recent months, their research has brought us even closer to holding the answers to the beginnings of the universe and its building blocks.