SFU innovation revolutionizes the microscope, allows R&D to accelerate discovery (SFU Communications, Feb 8, 2018) A new microscope developed by SFU researchers Mike Kirkness and Nancy Forde spins thousands of times faster than a fairground swing ride, and subjects its contents to forces hundreds of times higher than in a NASCAR race or rocket liftoff.  Read more…

Endangered frogs: Getting the most bang for your conservation buck  (SFU Communications, Jan 24, 2018) Captive breeding may be a cost-effective strategy to reduce the extinction of critically-endangered amphibians when few other options exist. That’s according to a new study published in Ecological Economics by SFU ecologists Amanda Kisseland, Wendy Palen, and B.C. Ministry of Environment conservation specialist Purnima Govindarajulu.  Read more…

SFU researchers’ new database to help eradicate asthma in children  (Justin Wang, Jan 23, 2018) Imagine a world where allergies, asthma and related chronic diseases are rare. Better yet, imagine a world where these conditions can be prevented. A powerful new database being created by SFU genomics and bioinformatics researcher Fiona Brinkman and her team will help Canadian researchers make that world a reality.  Read more…

Saving sharks: SFU study identifies conservation priorities based on evolutionary history  (SFU News, Jan 18, 2018) To shine light on and conserve rare shark, ray, and chimaera species (chondrichthyans), SFU researchers have developed a fully resolved family tree and ranked every species according to their unique evolutionary history.  Read more…

It's the small things that matter - when insects shaped today's natural world  (Diane Mar-Nicolle, Jan 16, 2018) Research Associate Bruce Archibald in the Biological Sciences lab of Rolf Mathewes at Simon Fraser University led an international research team in a study that sheds new light on how the world became modern.  Read more…

Are bears picky eaters?  (Faculty of Science, Jan 10, 2018) Researchers at Simon Fraser University take a close look at predator-prey interactions between bears and salmon on the British Columbia coast.  Read more…

New findings on dark energy question Einstein’s cosmological constant (Justin Wong & Gabriel Colome, Jan 5, 2018) An international study co-led by SFU physicist Levon Pogosian has revealed that dark energy, widely thought to be the cosmological constant, may not be constant after all.  Read more…

Mars surface water: we finally know what happened (University Communications, Dec 20, 2017) In a recent study pubished in Nature, Brendan Dyck and his co-authors reveal that the sun may not have evaporated away all of Mars’ surface water after all.  Read more…

Design for better data from computer experiments  (Faculty of Science, Dec 6, 2017) SFU researcher Boxin Tang and his collaborator have devised a new method for constructing space-filling designs that is simple, and suitable for a wide range of computer modeling applications.  Read more…

Sociodiversity in honeybees and humans  (Faculty of Science, Dec 4, 2017) Simon Fraser University’s Dr. Bernie Crespi provides commentary on a recent research paper that provides evidence of overlap between humans and honeybees in genes underlying social behaviour.  Read more…

Revving your nanoscale engine (Diane Mar-Nicolle, Nov 28, 2017) Researchers in Simon Fraser University's Physics department - Assistant Professor David Sivak (left) and postdoctoral fellow Aidan Brown (right) - have discovered how “molecular machines,” found in the human body, can run so quickly. Read more…

SFU-Brazilian researchers connect to tackle insect transmitted diseases (SFU News, Oct 26, 2017) Research collaborators from SFU and Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil are studying why certain insects transmit diseases. Their collaboration began nearly a decade ago after discovering they shared a research interest in insects that transmit harmful and deadly diseases, including Dengue virus, Zika virus, and Chagas disease.  Read more…

Conservation actually works (Wan Yee Lok, Oct 25, 2017) Do countries that invest more on conservation actually achieve better results? SFU biological sciences Arne Mooers is a member of an international research team that released a study today in Nature confirming that countries that spend more money on conservation had less of their biodiversity subsequently threatened with extinction.  Read more…

New genetic research sheds light on sudden unexplained death in the young (Diane Luckow, Oct 20, 2017) Informing a grieving family that their child has suddenly died of unexplainable causes is a painful task for all coroners. Yet that’s the sad reality in an estimated 700 pediatric deaths each year in Canada.  Read more…

Intellectual disability and epilepsy in children (Faculty of Science, Oct 5, 2017) Simon Fraser University’s Tom Claydon is part of a research team studying genetic mutations that cause intellectual disability and epilepsy in children. These mutations reveal a novel potential target for therapeutics.  Read more…

Robust synthetic methods and molecular modifications are paving the way to high-performance, greener fuel cells.  (Faculty of Science, Aug 27, 2017) Researchers at Simon Fraser University have discovered modifications that yield high-performance proton exchange membranes.  Read more…

Subduction zone earthquakes off BC’s South Coast: were they all giants?  (Faculty of Science, Aug 18, 2017) Researchers take a closer look at the giant earthquakes in the Cascadia subduction zone, which often involve rupture of the full 1100-km long fault rather than just sections of it, causing earthquakes of magnitude 9 or larger.  Read more…

New complex materials with enhanced ability to convert mechanical stress into electrical energy and vice versa  (Faculty of Science, Aug 11, 2017) Researchers have synthesized new piezoelectric materials with significantly enhanced properties. This new family of materials has excellent potential for applications in electromechanical sensors and actuators, high energy density capacitors, and other devices.  Read more…

Study finds greater risk of extinction among high diversity amphibian groups  (Diane Mar-Nicolle, May 30, 2017)  A new study by Simon Fraser University biologists Dan Greenberg and Arne Mooers offers clues to why more than 30 per cent of amphibians, including frogs, newts, toads and salamanders, are at risk of extinction. Read more…

Black swans and the detection of ecological collapse  (Faculty of Science, May 26, 2017) We are all familiar with 'black swan' events – unpredictable and typically devastating events like stock market crashes and extreme weather – but occurrences such as population crashes among animals can have profound effects on society as well.  Researchers at Simon Fraser University and the University of Washington are looking at what drives population crashes and how they might be forecasted. Read more…

Natural Products: Are we close to the end?  (Faculty of Science, May 1, 2017) The search for novel molecular structures in Nature and the need for new antibiotics have prompted Simon Fraser University researchers to tackle important questions that will focus our efforts toward maximizing medically relevant discoveries from natural products research. Key questions include: what novel natural product structures remain undiscovered? where will we find them? are we going about this in the right way? Read more…

Preventing falls: A balancing act between posture and blood pressure control   (Faculty of Science, May 1, 2017) A large number of falls among elderly individuals remain unpredictable. Researchers at Simon Fraser University have completed a 10-year study of posture and blood pressure control that shows that these factors are linked. Their findings have the potential to help improve rehabilitative treatment and prevention of fall related injuries.  Read more…

River piracy caused by climate change  (Faculty of Science, Apr 21, 2017) The Yukon has a long history of geological wonders, great discoveries, and mysterious events. However, the latest ‘rush’ was not for gold; rather, it was a rush of cold water that rapidly changed directions. A team of researchers including SFU’s John Clague reveals that the cause is no mystery, this radical shift was indeed caused by climate change. Read more…

Enabling clean energy solutions through materials science  (Faculty of Science, Apr 21, 2017) Simon Fraser University researchers have improved the efficiency of nickel based materials used in electrochemical reactions that are critical to the generation of some alternative sources of fuels.  Read more…

Could a sugar molecule be key to fine-tuning how the genome responds to changes in an animal’s environment?  (Faculty of Science, Apr 19, 2017) Researchers at SFU think so. Their research suggests that proteins modified by a specialized sugar help fine-tune the expression of a large number of genes.  Read more…

Winners and losers among fish when watersheds change (Faculty of Science, Apr 19, 2017) A highly publicized study by researchers from SFU and University of Washington finds that there are winners and losers among fish as humans build roads and buildings in watersheds. This diversity of land-use sensitivities and ecological functions can provide ecosystems with a buffer from increased human development.  Read more…

A low-cost way to amplify DNA for genetic tests  (Faculty of Science, Apr 12, 2017) Researchers at SFU have developed a new method of DNA amplification that uses gold nanoparticles to help denature DNA strands. Conducted at a single temperature, this new method is a game changer for low-cost genetic testing.  Read more…

SFU's new supercomputer "Cedar" and its significance for Canadian researchers (Tia O'Grady, Apr 11, 2017) Compute Canada is renewing Canada’s advanced research computing platform and SFU is the home site for one of the four new supercomputing systems. Boiinformatics expert Dr. Brinkman discusses why the SFU supercomputer "Cedar" is so important for her research and the research of others in Canada.  Read more…

A new chemical reaction enables synthesis of unique cancer imaging agents (Faculty of Science, Apr 4, 2017) SFU Researchers discovered a unique chemical reaction that enables the incorporation of a fluorine radioisotope into various drugs used for cancer imaging. Through this reaction, they created a new tumor imaging agent that accumulates in cancer cells.  Read more…

Bright spots of hope for sharks and rays (Faculty of Science, Apr 3, 2017) Contrary to the conventional wisdom, sharks and rays can be fished sustainably. SFU researchers are investigating how sustainable shark management works and how it provides hope for sharks and rays facing extinction.  Read more…

Super-Seniors may reveal the secrets to healthy aging  (Faculty of Science, Mar 29, 2017) Super-Seniors live to old age without any major age-related disease.  Such health and longevity is attributed to both lifestyle and genetic factors. SFU researchers are studying the genetic makeup of Super-Seniors to understand what makes them so fortunate.  Read more…

 A ‘basic’ approach to water splitting as a promising way to store solar energy for on-demand use (Faculty of Science, Mar 29, 2017) SFU researchers have synthesized an efficient copper catalyst for carrying out water oxidation that will allow them to use water splitting to capture and store solar energy Read more…

Do female guppies prefer colourful males with bigger Y chromosomes? (Faculty of Science, Mar 28, 2017) Published in Nature Communications, SFU researchers are part of a team that confirmed how and when guppy sex chromosomes evolved, and what females are looking for in a male.  The implications include understanding gender determination and diseases caused by mutations in sex chromosomes.  Read more…

A new mathematical approach to mapping surfaces (Faculty of Science, Mar 27, 2017) SFU researchers have discovered a computer algorithm for solving mathematical equations that describe how to map locations from one surface to another.  Read more…

Adjusting for scorekeeper bias in NBA box scores (Faculty of Science, Mar 22, 2017) Researchers at SFU have discovered a systematic bias among scorekeepers in the National Basketball Association.  Read more…

Despite its name, the "minor” pilin plays a major role in Vibrio cholerae pathogenesis.   (Faculty of Science, Mar 22, 2017) The bacterial pathogen Vibrio cholerae uses specialized filaments called Type IV pili to form bacterial aggregates that allow it to colonize its human host. While protected in these aggregates, V. cholerae secretes a toxin, which causes the severe and potentially fatal diarrhea symptomatic of the disease cholera.  Read more…

Could ammonia be developed as a hydrogen storage medium to support a hydrogen-based energy economy?   (Faculty of Science, Mar 15, 2017) SFU researchers are using switchable chemistry to release dinitrogen (N2) from a previously unreactive product of ammonia activation. With further research this work may provide an opportunity for the development of ammonia as a hydrogen storage medium. Read more…

How can theory and simulation drive fuel cell electrocatalysis? (Faculty of Science, Mar 14, 2017) Increasing energy demand, dwindling conventional resources of fossil fuels, and adverse impacts on climate and environment of the current energy use drive the transformation of the global energy infrastructure. Electrochemical technologies like batteries, fuel cells or electrolyzers, will play a crucial role to help fill the gap between future energy demand and supply. SFU researchers develop theoretical methodologies for computer-based electrocatalysis simulations that allow the key reactions at play to be examined from first principles of physics. Read more…

SFU at the forefront of solid state functional materials science (Faculty of Science, Mar 13, 2017) SFU researchers have contributed significantly to the development of high-performance piezoelectric materials of complex oxide perovskite single crystals. Now, they have revealed the secret behind those properties and are ready to design the next generation of superior piezoelectrics. Read more…

Rational design of inhibitors for sugar processing enzymes (Faculty of Science, Mar 12, 2017) Applying their knowledge of enzyme catalysis, SFU researchers designed and then synthesized a novel sugar-like molecule that inhibits a sugar-processing enzyme. They used this inhibitor to uncover key missing details of the enzyme-catalyzed reaction. Their successful strategy provides a basis for designing mechanism-based inhibitors of other enzymes. Read more…

Research breaks new ground on tracking brain changes in autism (SFU News, Mar 10, 2017) Simon Fraser University researchers Sam Doesburg and Vasily Vakorin have discovered that the way in which different regions of the brain communicate with each other develops atypically in autism.  Read more…

Water: the gatekeeper for oxygen transport through anion exchange membranes used in fuel cells (Faculty of Science, Mar 9, 2017) Researchers at SFU used analytical electrochemistry coupled with numerical modeling and materials chemistry to investigate the transport of oxygen in their novel alkali-based, ion transporting membrane in order to maximize the power of alkaline polymer fuel cells. Read more…

Is there mounting water stress on small islands? (Faculty of Science, Mar 8, 2017) To help answer this question, SFU researchers evaluated 43 small islands worldwide. Their findings, published in Nature Climate Change, demonstrate that nearly half of these islands are experiencing a significant reduction in freshwater availability. Read more...

How and why are humans like social insects? (Faculty of Science, Mar 7, 2017)  Understanding the origins, evolution and forms of human social cooperation represents one of the outstanding unresolved questions in the sciences and humanities. A Simon Fraser University researcher is tackling this question using a method pioneered by Darwin himself to investigate social convergences of humans and social insects. Read more…

New evidence that tropical ice caps existed in the Andes will help researchers understand near-future climate change says SFU study (Justin Wong - Mar 2, 2017) A study by SFU earth scientists Nicholas Roberts and John Clague as well as René Barendregt from the University of Lethbridge reveals the first geologic evidence of recurrent ice caps in the tropical Andes over 2.7 million years ago—including during Earth’s last long globally warm period. Read more...

New tools to advance particle physics, SAR technology (SFU News - Feb 28, 2017) A new particle physics detector lab—where SFU researchers involved in ATLAS, the world’s largest physics experiment, can carry out research—and a specialized sensor to improve airborne monitoring for security, wildfires and other disasters, are among new tools that will help grow world-class research at SFU. Read more...

Winners, losers among fish when landscape undergoes change (Michelle Ma, University of Washington - Feb 21, 2017) As humans build roads, construct buildings and develop land for agriculture, freshwater ecosystems respond - but not always in the ways one might expect. Read more...

Cracking Darwinism: natural perfumes mediate mate choice and speciation in stick insects says SFU study (Justin Wong, SFU News - Feb 21, 2017) A collaborative study involving SFU biological sciences researchers Bernard Crespi, Gerhard Gries, and Regine Gries reveals that natural selection can drive speciation through cryptic colouration and mate choice in stick insects. Read more...

Flirting on the fly: humans can learn a thing or two from blow flies about attraction on dating apps (Justin Wong, SFU News - Feb 14, 2017) If your current relationship status this Valentine’s Day is “made dinner for two and ate both,” you may want to start taking notes. Read more...

SFU researchers shine light on antimatter (Wan Yee Lok, SFU News - Jan 30, 2017) Simon Fraser University physics professor Mike Hayden and PhD student Justine Munich are part of the ALPHA Collaboration, an international team that has recently shone light on antimatter—literally. Read more...

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