Community News April 2023

Photo credit: UBC Land and Food Systems 

A groundbreaking ceremony for UBC's new Food and Beverage Innovation Centre

Last month UBC held a groundbreaking ceremony to start building its new Food and Beverage Innovation Centre (FBIC). At the reception, Dave Eto, president of local business consulting firm Qumai Consulting, spoke highly of the university’s dean of Land and Food Systems, Rickey Yada, and credited a significant portion of the $10 million project’s progress to his dedication.  

A long time in the planning, the FBIC will open in 2024 to support entrepreneurs in developing breakthrough food products, sustainable packaging, and other innovations that support human health, such as the creation of new delivery methods for medicine and nutrients. It will also be a place where our graduate students and researchers can showcase their current outstanding work in food science and technology. 

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Vaginal microbiome does not influence babies’ gut microbiome

It has long been assumed that birth mode and exposure of newborns to their mother’s vaginal microbiome during delivery greatly affects the development of a baby’s gut microbiome. This has given rise to practices like vaginal seeding, which aim to expose babies born via C-section to their mother’s vaginal microbiome.

However, a new study, published this week in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, examined this interplay. The findings show that, contrary to popular belief, a mother’s vaginal microbiome composition does not significantly affect their baby’s microbiome development.

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Is AI coming for white-collar jobs? A psychology professor finds out the hard way

A UBC psychology professor wondered whether AI was smart enough to handle some of his workload. He was astonished to discover it could.

In a paper recently published in Psychological Methods, Dr. Friedrich Götz detailed how he used GPT-2, a precursor to ChatGPT, to develop a psychological test that performed as well as what psychologists currently use. He discusses his research, its implications, how he’s making an uneasy peace with AI being part of our collective future—and why you should, too.

Read his Q&A with UBC news.