Thursday, 16 August 2018

Machines will soon dominate the work force. Here’s an unexpected way to prepare … now

As we look ahead to a world with less work, or even no work, we can take control — by using our hours with greater meaning and purpose, says business thinker Tim Leberecht.

Many of us divide our days into 8 hours of work, 8 hours of leisure and 8 hours of sleep. But what will happen when a large number of jobs — some studies say as much as 50 percent in two decades — are replaced by machines? And how will this affect our understanding of time?

In a future where traditional employment is no longer the center of our lives, we humans will find ourselves forced to define (or redefine) how to have a good life. Or, in other words, how to have a good time.

But we’re not well equipped to do so. Starting from when we were children, many of us have been trained to watch the clock (what’s called a Taylorist framework) where we keep an anxious eye on the hours and manage our minutes to be as productive as possible. In our leisure hours, brands and advertising compete for our attention and our time — we can choose to spend an afternoon at the mall, at the movies, or glued to Netflix or our Twitter feed.

In a future where most of us have less than 8 hours of work to do, we face three primary challenges: living our lives on our own watch (and not our boss’s), filling our unstructured time with meaning, and measuring the true value of our time.

Here are five points to consider as we rethink our attitudes towards time:

Our story is what makes time meaningful.

To navigate a shifting sense of time, we’ll need to have a strong sense of self that can weather the turbulence, and defy a reductionist version of ourselves that’s merely the sum of our past data. We can best cultivate that first quality — a strong sense of self — through a narrative device: our story.

By asking questions like ‘Why am I here? Who am I? Where am I going?’ our story will connect past, present and future. It protects us from the fallacy of thinking that the most precious time is the time we haven’t spent yet, but it also prevents us from the kind of short-term thinking that we’re prone to, on an individual and organizational level. Initiatives such as Stuart Brand’s Long Now Foundation, Eric Ries’ Long-Term Stock Exchange, or Martin Reeves’ call to “build a business that lasts 100 years” all seek to overcome our short-term bias and encourage us to think more holistically about how we’ll use the time at our disposal in our lifespan.

Our unique story can serve as our purpose, our anchor in this maelstrom. So let’s pause, spend time alone and listen to our own story. Or, read a book, watch a movie, or sit around a fire with friends or strangers — one’s story can sometimes be found in other people’s.

Rituals imbue time with meaning.

The more we quantify all aspects of our lives, the more that time literacy will need to go beyond chronos, or purely numerical time, and encompass what the Greeks called kairos, the opportune time to act. One way to capture kairos is to rely on an ancient device: ritual.

Like kairos, rituals are qualitative and subjective rather than quantitative and objective. Rituals allow us to repeat profound experiences, while at the same time keeping them personal and unique. They combine the thrill of “being at the right place at the right time” with the assurance of “being at the same place at the same time.”

Imagine, for instance, if, as writer Alexandra Samuel has posited, we established coming-of-age rituals to prepare our offspring for digital events — getting their first smartphone or their first social-media account. Could such indoctrination lead to a more humane digital world?

For those of us who are older, what rituals might fold into our lives? Rituals divide time in a meaningful way; they give our existence value without striving to measure it. As boundaries blur between a different past, present and future; between different life stages; between work and leisure; and between human and machine, rituals can hep us signify, highlight and celebrate transitions and other special moments.

Wasting time is human, so let’s embrace it.

In the uncertain future of work, jobless workers and retirees will both have to manage the vacuum of “useless” time, and gig economy workers will have to contend with the time between gigs. The gaps between jobs (and paychecks) may be free of structure but they are rich with worry and anxiety.

As many tasks are taken over by much-swifter machines, we’ll all face stretches of boredom. In our current, activity-obsessed society, if you’re bored, you’re boring. If you’re bored, you’re lost. If you’re boring, you’re a loser. But boredom should not be a stigma.

In boredom, we’re forced to sit with ourselves and our discomfort instead of escaping into doing, and it can strengthen our resilience and mental flexibility. To prepare for the future, we need to make friends with boredom. Meditation and mindfulness initiatives have sprung up to teach people the ability to be comfortable with unstructured time. In a similar vein, social psychologist Amy Cuddy and others have dissected the ingredients of the concept of ‘presence’, of being confidently and fully in the here and now. Kevin Kelly suggests that wasting time can be a virtue. He considers it the source of scientific discovery, innovation and progress. Wasting time can lead us, often randomly, to discovering outlier ideas.

One model of wasting time can be found in the example of the 19th-century flâneur, the urban wanderer. Rather than the streets and avenues, immersive technologies such as VR or AR may serve as the modern flâneur’s new territory. Pokémon Go, for instance, masterfully combined reward-driven action with open-ended discovery, in the form of digressions, detours and serendipitous encounters. Nineteenth-century historian and writer Anaïs Bazin once proclaimed the original flâneur “the only true sovereign of Paris.” Perhaps the 21st-century flâneur will be the “only true human sovereign” of the machine age.

Technology can allow us to live in multiple timelines at once.

We humans mark time by dividing it into a series of small, equal units: hours, minutes, seconds. But using technology, we can chop up time into units that make sense to us alone, causing it to be hyper-personalized. So-called “quantified self” apps — such as Chronos, Instant and RescueTime — allow us to gather reams of data from our waking and sleeping hours and promise to give us more control over every second.

Meanwhile, ironically, while these apps and tools help us optimize time, there are just as many — like Facebook, Twitter and Amazon, as Tristan Harris and others have pointed out — that want to steal our attention, which is the currency of personal time. Attention is a nonrenewable resource, and we’ve become more and more aware of how much of it we’re losing to such time thieves.

But then, Silicon Valley’s ultimate triumph could be to render the concept of chronological time obsolete. AI can help us store versions of ourselves and extend our life cycles (with innovations like immortal AI doppelgangers). It visualizes the consequences of our actions for us (and even their own), while predictive analytics can assist us in anticipating events and making smarter decisions about the future.

All this combines to suggest that, just as now we travel with ease between different time zones, soon we could travel between different life lines. Already, VR and AR technologies let us time-shift — with our avatar, the environment or both — by assuming an old or future version of our reality. We’ll move to experiencing the pleasures and pressures of time that involves past, present, and future at once. In fact, we might need a new word to describe this new dimension of time: holotime — time which is not only nonlinear but also three-dimensional.

The time for time literacy is now.

Let’s teach time literacy as a subject from elementary school to college, offer it as an essential module of corporate learning and leadership programs, and make it an ongoing topic of discussion in our lives. We may continue to use tracking apps to improve our quantitative understanding of time, but to appreciate its qualitative aspects, we can make rituals our new habits, visit and re-visit past and future versions of ourselves, and practice some of the tasks that can give us a better understanding of how to play with time. These include composing, playing and recording music; making and editing a podcast or a video; designing and producing an event; keeping a journal; and writing a story, our story.

Time literacy not only forces us to become more conscious of our own hours and how we’re spending them; it also encourages us to nudge other people into examining how they’re using theirs.

That, in turn, will help all of us, now and in the future — until our time is up.



Read more from TED: Ideas Worth Sharinghttps://ideas.ted.com/machines-will-soon-dominate-the-work-force-heres-an-unexpected-way-to-prepare-now/

Things to Do in Vancouver This Weekend

There are two weekends left in August, so let’s keep this summer going! When you’re not catching some sun at one of our beaches, there’s a bird festival, a soccer game, concerts, and The Fair at the PNE is on with all the rides, games, concerts, weird food and barnyard animals. (There’s a few air-conditioned things to do too, if that’s your jam.)

Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Ongoing



Friday August 17

Rock Ambleside
Where: Ambleside Park
What: Concerts by Kenny Chesney, Ed Sheeran, Tegan & Sara and Lilith Fair.
Runs until: Sunday August 19, 2018

Talk: Temple Grandin

Talk: Temple Grandin
Where: PNE Agrodome
What: Temple Grandin was one of the first people to publicly share her insights into autism from an insider’s perspective and is a prominent author and speaker on autism, who has published multiple books on the subject.

Wall

Wall
Where: VanCity Theatre
What: Canadian filmmaker Cam Christiansen has taken Hare’s 2009 monologue on the wall between Israel and Palestine as a starting point for an animated documetary exploring what this construction stands for (very different things to different people, naturally).
Runs until: Thursday August 23, 2018


 

Saturday August 18

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The Fair at the PNE

The Fair at the PNE
Where: The PNE
What: Daily live performances by musicians, adorable dogs, racing pigs, and other talented beings; a full park of rides, rollercoasters and carnival games; weird and delicious foods; a marketplace of wonders and oddities; magicians, mermaids… There’s a lot going on here.
Runs until: Monday September 3, 2018

Boyz II Men

Boyz II Men
Where: PNE Amphitheatre
What: If you were in North America in the 90s, you’re sure to know a few of their hits. The group redefined popular R&B and created songs that appeal to fans across all generations, penning and performing some of the most celebrated classics from the past two decades.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. New York Red Bulls
Where: BC Place Stadium
What: It’s a soccer game – bring your noisemakers!

YVR Chill Out

YVR Chill Out
Where: Larry Berg Flight Path Park
What: Enjoy the food, music, art and culture from some of the 22 countries YVR flies along with family activities, face painters, a glitter-tattoo artist, magicians and photo booths.

Starry Night

Starry Night
Where: Deas Island Regional Park (Delta, BC)
What: Explore the park along lantern-lit paths while discovering fun facts about the creatures who make the park their home.

Ohgr
Where:
The Red Room
What:
Led by Nivek Ogre for Skinny Puppy (one of Vancouver’s most influential industrial bands of all time) expect dark industrial and electronic, with a bit of catchand probably a really great stage show.

Forest Therapy

Forest Therapy
Where: Stanley Park
What: Vancouver’s first certified forest therapy guide will lead an exploration of the basics of “forest bathing” – a restorative practice inspired by the Japanese tradition of shinrin-yoku. Your guide will lead your through a series of “invitations” designed to calm our minds, by physically slowing down and connecting with your senses.

Yelawolf

Yelawolf
Where: Commodore Ballroom
What: An American hip hop recording artist from Gadsden, Alabama.

New West Pride Street Festival
Where: Columbia Street (New Westminster)
What: Performances, extended outdoor patios, and celebrations.


 

Sunday August 19

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Vancouver International Bird Festival
Where: Various locations
What: Bird talks, bird art, a bird photography contest, workshops, and an expo with a bunch of stuff to help you get a better view of the many birds who make their way through Vancouver and beyond.
Runs until: Sunday August 26, 2018

Richmond Garlic Festival
Where: The Sharing Farm
What: The highlight of the festival will continue to be the garlic plant, with over 1,000 pounds of locally grown garlic for sale. Chefs from the Lower Mainland will showcase delicious garlic-laced dishes, available for purchase. Also, expert bird handlers will educate and entertain event attendees with flying demonstrations of native birds of prey.

Air Supply

Air Supply
Where: PNE Amphitheatre
What: Air Supply formed in 1975 and rose to fame after securing an opening act on Rod Stewart’s tours across Australia and North America. Soon after, their hit song Lost in Love became the fastest-selling single in the world. Together, the soft rock duo’s albums have sold in excess of twenty million copies.

Sunday Afternoon Salsa
Where: Robson Square
What: Free outdoor salsa dance classes.
Runs until: Sunday August 26, 2018


 

Ongoing

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Kitsilano Showboat

Kitsilano Showboat
Where: Kitsilano Outdoor Pool
What: It’s a local outdoor variety show that is entirely volunteer run and has been a summer tradition since 1935. See the schedule, or even better – just go!
Runs until: Saturday August 18, 2018

Vancouver Queer Film Festival

Vancouver Queer Film Festival
Where: Various locations
What: Far from its humble roots, starting as a small volunteer project in 1989, the Vancouver Queer Film Festival is now the largest queer arts event in Western Canada. Each summer, the festival brings the very best in queer independent cinema from around the world to Vancouver.
Runs until: Sunday August 19, 2018

Odlum Brown VanOpen
Where: Hollyburn Country Club
What: Western Canada’s largest tennis event, offering an equal balance of $200,000 in prize money for men and women. This event also provides players the opportunity to gain valuable world-ranking points on both the ATP and WTA Tours.
Runs until: Sunday August 19, 2018

Film Noir
Where: The Cinematheque
What: There are blonde dames and soft-headed saps galore in The Cinematheque’s annual season of Film Noir, a celebration of one of the American cinema’s richest and most creative (and most jaded and cynical) periods.
Runs until: Thursday August 23, 2018

McQueen

McQueen
Where: VanCity Theatre
What: McQueen’s success as both tribute and investigation is due in large part to the filmmakers’ skill at balancing sensitivity with bold creative flourishes. This film traces the rags-to-riches story of the chubby high school dropout from working-class East London, Lee Alexander McQueen, with genuine empathy, via the words of the man himself and candid interviews with several of the people closest to the late designer.
Runs until: Thursday August 23, 2018

Wall

Wall
Where: VanCity Theatre
What: Canadian filmmaker Cam Christiansen has taken Hare’s 2009 monologue on the wall between Israel and Palestine as a starting point for an animated documetary exploring what this construction stands for (very different things to different people, naturally).
Runs until: Thursday August 23, 2018

Theatre Under the Stars

Theatre Under the Stars
Where: Stanley Park
What: Enjoy a delightful dose of family-friendly outdoor entertainment this summer with two Broadway musicals. Cinderella and 42nd Street will be performed live at the Malkin Bowl – a beloved Vancouver tradition since 1940.
Runs until: Saturday August 25th, 2018

FlyOver Canada’s Sounds of Summer Series

FlyOver Canada’s Sounds of Summer Series
Where: FlyOver Canada deck
What: Every Saturday in July and August, talented local artists will perform on the FlyOver Canada flight deck from 12:30 – 3 PM.
Runs until: Saturday August 25, 2018 (Saturdays)

Vancouver International Bird Festival
Where: Various locations
What: Bird talks, bird art, a bird photography contest, workshops, and an expo with a bunch of stuff to help you get a better view of the many birds who make their way through Vancouver and beyond.
Runs until: Sunday August 26, 2018

Mountain Music Series
Where: Grouse Mountain
What: Listen to music and meet other hikers, music-lovers and beer enthusiasts, or get a group of your buddies together to switch up your regular routine.
Runs until: Friday August 31, 2018 (Fridays)

Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast
Where: Vancouver Improv Centre
What: Vancouver is known internationally for its spectacular beauty, friendly citizens, and vibrant multicultural milieu. Beneath the glossy surface lies a complicated and eccentric city ripe for parody. In a series of vignettes, VTSL’s quick-witted improvisers lampoon such local stereotypes as our obsession with fitness (Grouse Grind and yoga, anyone?), quirky neighbourhoods (The Drive, Main St., Kits, Gastown), and foodie scene (coffee culture, craft breweries/distilleries, avocado toast).
Runs until: Saturday September 1, 2018

The Fair at the PNE

The Fair at the PNE
Where: The PNE
What: Daily live performances by musicians, adorable dogs, racing pigs, and other talented beings; a full park of rides, rollercoasters and carnival games; weird and delicious foods; a marketplace of wonders and oddities; magicians, mermaids… There’s a lot going on here.
Runs until: Monday September 3, 2018

Emily Carr in Dialogue with Mattie Gunterman

Emily Carr in Dialogue with Mattie Gunterman
Where: Vancouver Art Gallery
What: The work of two women artists practicing in British Columbia in the early twentieth century. This exhibition draws on the Vancouver Art Gallery’s deep holdings of Carr’s work to reflect her direct engagement with and great affection for British Columbia’s landscape. Like Carr, much of Gunterman’s oeuvre reflected her engagement with the wilderness around her which she documented with images of friends, campsites, trappers, prospectors, miners and the day to day of pioneer life.
Runs until: Monday September 3, 2018

Gurrumul

Gurrumul
Where: VanCity Theatre
What: Using mesmerizing concert footage and intimate home videos, director Paul Damien Williams delivers a poignant portrait of a complex artist who left us just as the rest of the world was about to embrace him.
Runs until: Monday September 3, 2018

Summer Treat Booth
Where: Park Royal Mall
What: Stop by the outdoor treat booth for swag, snacks, and a chance to win gift cards.
Runs until: Monday September 3, 2018

Home Away from Home

Home Away from Home
Where: Bill Reid Gallery
What: In a new gallery space dedicated to highlighting community and emerging artists, this exhibit highlights stories of the Cultural Sharing Program at the Carnegie Community Centre as represented by the individuals who participate.
Runs until: Sunday September 9, 2018

David Milne: Modern Painting

David Milne: Modern Painting
Where: Vancouver Art Gallery
What: David Milne (1882 – 1953) enjoyed a career that spanned half the twentieth century, taking him from the bustling cityscape of New York, to the battlefields of Northern France and Belgium, and back to the wilderness of the Canadian and US landscape. During his progression as a painter, he carved out a distinguished place among Canada’s most original artists.
Runs until: Sunday September 9, 2018

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival
Where: Vanier Park
What: What do you say to watching a live production of Macbeth, Timon of Athens, As You Like It or Lysistrata in a custom-built tent on the beach while sipping wine, beer, and munching on a picnic lunch themed to the play? Yes! Right? And don’t even get us started on the amazing costumes.
Runs until: Saturday September 22, 2018

BC Sports Hall of Fame All-Access

BC Sports Hall of Fame All-Access
Where: BC Place Stadium
What: Get behind the scenes of BC Place Stadium. Walk out onto the field, check out the team locker rooms, and even stroll through the premium lounges.
Runs until: Thursday August 30, 2018

Cabin Fever | Image from the Series “Ice Huts” by Richard Johnson (cropped)

Cabin Fever
Where: Vancouver Art Gallery
What: This exhibition traces the tradition of the cabin in Canada and the United States—from the settlement of the frontier to depictions showing how this humble architectural form has been appropriated for its symbolic value and helped shape a larger cultural identity.
Runs until: Sunday September 30, 2018

Sea Snaps
Where: Vancouver Maritime Museum
What: A display of work by Maria Steernberg. This exhibition highlights the beauty of Vancouver’s maritime setting and our beautiful coast line through a series of themes; the working waterfront, cruising, nature and disaster.
Runs until: Sunday October 7, 2018

Vancouver Farmers Market - Dude Chilling Park

Vancouver Farmers Market – Dude Chilling Park

Mount Pleasant Farmers Market
Where: Dude Chilling Park
What: Vancouver’s easy-going Sunday market located on the east side of Dude Chilling Park – the gathering place for a diverse crowd of young families, artists, dog owners, and quirky neighbourhood personalities.
Runs until: Sunday October 7, 2018

Arts of Resistance: Politics and The Past in Latin America

Arts of Resistance: Politics and The Past in Latin America
Where: UBC Museum of Anthropology
What: This premiere exhibition illustrates how Latin American communities use traditional or historic art forms to express contemporary political realities. Featuring art and multi-sensory installations from Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Honduras, Ecuador and Chile, with special attention to marginalized communities.
Runs until: Sunday September 30, 2018

Culture at the Centre

Culture at the Centre

Culture at the Centre
Where: UBC Museum of Anthropology
What: Five Indigenous-run cultural centres in BC will be showcased representing six communities: Musqueam Cultural Education and Resource Centre (Musqueam), Squamish-Lil’wat Cultural Centre (Squamish, Lil’wat), Heiltsuk Cultural Education Centre (Heiltsuk), Nisga’a Museum (Nisga’a), and Haida Gwaii Museum (Haida). Covering a wide geographic expanse from Vancouver to the Nass River Valley, this marks the first time the participating communities will come together to share their diverse cultures in one space.
Runs until: Monday October 8, 2018

Trout Lake Farmers Market
Where: Trout Lake
What: This is where you’ll find the vendors who have been doing it since the beginning; what started as 14 farmers ‘squatting’ at the Croatian Cultural Centre back in 1995 has grown into Vancouver’s most well-known and beloved market. Visitors come from near and far to sample artisan breads & preserves, stock up on free-range and organic eggs & meats, get the freshest, hard-to-find heirloom vegetables and taste the first Okanagan cherries and peaches of the season.
Runs until: Saturday October 20, 2018 (Saturdays)

Kitsilano Farmers Market
Where: Kitsilano Community Centre
What: At Kitsilano Farmers Market, shoppers will find a great selection of just-picked, seasonal fruits & vegetables, ethically raised and grass fed meat, eggs, & dairy, sustainable seafood, fresh baked bread & artisanal food, local beer, wine, & spirits, and handmade craft.
Runs until: Sunday October 21, 2018 (Sundays)

Riley Park Farmers’ Market
Where: Riley Park
What: 30+ vendors each week – a fresh selection of just-picked seasonal fruits & veggies, ethically-raised meats & sustainable seafood, artisanal bread & prepared foods, craft beer, wine, & spirits, handmade craft, and coffee & food trucks.
Runs until: Saturday October 27, 2018 (Saturdays)

The Really Gay History Tour
Where: Downtown Vancouver
What: Guests will visit the sites of police raids, bookstore bombings, the “kiss-ins” of Granville Street, Imperial Court coronations, and the gayest beer parlour in town. It’s a 2.5 hour long adventure into the stories of a community that fought back against oppression, police brutality and media hate campaigns to make Vancouver today one of the most queer friendly cities in North America.
Runs until: Sunday October 28, 2018

Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin: How do you carry the land?

Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin: How do you carry the land?
Where: Vancouver Art Gallery
What: This exhibition seeks to bridge the experiences of artists with diverse ancestries in dialogue. Long-time collaborators and friends, Goto and Morin, have created a performance art practice informed by their perspectives as a Japanese diasporic woman and Tahltan First Nations man.
Runs until: Sunday October 28, 2018

Kevin Schmidt: We Are the Robots

Kevin Schmidt: We Are the Robots
Where: Vancouver Art Gallery
What: An exhibition of innovative installations on view both within and outside of the Gallery spotlighting British Columbia-based artist Kevin Schmidt, who draws on aspects of conceptual and performance art while embodying the DIY sensibilities of an amateur inventor.
Runs until: Sunday October 28, 2018

Body Language: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest

Body Language: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest
Where: Bill Reid Gallery
What: Explore the rich history and artistry of Indigenous tattooing, piercing and personal adornment on the Northwest Coast. These five contemporary Indigenous artists are at the forefront of the revival of Indigenous tattooing in BC. They are reclaiming traditional techniques and traditional rights to be tattooed, and building awareness of the significance and protocols around the tattooing traditions.
Runs until: January 13, 2019

In a Different Light

In a Different Light
Where: Museum of Anthropology
What: More than 110 historical Indigenous artworks and marks the return of many important works to British Columbia. These objects are amazing artistic achievements. Yet they also transcend the idea of ‘art’ or ‘artifact’. Through the voices of contemporary First Nations artists and community members, this exhibition reflects on the roles historical artworks have today. Featuring immersive storytelling and innovative design, it explores what we can learn from these works and how they relate to Indigenous peoples’ relationships to their lands.
Runs until: Spring 2019

Wild Things: The Power of Nature in Our Lives

Wild Things: The Power of Nature in Our Lives
Where: Museum of Vancouver
What: This exhibition delves into the life stories of local animals and plants—how they relate to each other and how they connect people to nature in the city. Scenic design, videos, taxidermy, crowd-sourcing technologies, and the display of natural specimens breathe life into these tales of co-habitation. The immersive nature of the exhibition, including hands-on activities, encourages visitors to examine their relationship with nature, think about momentarily disconnecting from their devices, and find equilibrium with the natural world around them.
Runs until: July 2019

Making Waves: The Story and Legacy of Greenpeace
Where: Vancouver Maritime Museum
What: With humble beginnings in Vancouver, Greenpeace has grown into a large organization with offices in 40 countries. The NGO has protested numerous causes: whaling, deforestation, mining, genetic testing, and nuclear testing. Explore this exhibit that goes from their first voyage from Vancouver to Amchitka to protest Nuclear testing on an old fishing vessel to how cities, government, and industry today are developing new policies, technologies, and sustainable practices to ensure the preservation of our environment.
Runs until: September 9, 2019

What are you up to this weekend? Tell me and the rest of Vancouver in the comments below.

 

 


 




Read more from Inside Vancouver https://www.insidevancouver.ca/2018/08/16/things-to-do-in-vancouver-this-weekend-179/

Super-resolution microscope reveals secrets of deadly Nipah virus

The deadly Nipah virus and others like it assemble themselves in a much more haphazard manner than previously thought, new UBC research has found. The discovery could allow scientists to develop more effective vaccines and rule out many approaches to fighting these viruses.

Chemistry professor Keng Chou and his team of researchers from UBC and Cornell University used a super-resolution microscope patented by UBC to observe whether viruses actually assemble in the way scientists have hypothesized.

Keng Chou

Keng Chou

“We looked at hundreds of images, and we couldn’t find anything that supported the current model,” said Chou. “For some of these deadly viruses, the replication process is actually not as complicated as some thought.”

Nipah is an example of an “enveloped” virus, which gets its outer wrapping from the infected host cell, much like the viruses that cause influenza, rabies, measles and AIDS. Nipah can cause severe diseases and fatal brain swelling in both humans and animals. Yearly outbreaks in southeast Asia kill 40 to 90 per cent of those infected. In 2018, only two out of 19 people infected by Nipah in India survived an outbreak.

Nipah virus has three structural proteins: a matrix protein that provides structure, and two envelope proteins that enable the virus to attach and fuse with host cells. Scientists have believed that matrix proteins “recruit” envelope proteins, sending out some sort of signal so they can all join together on the cell membrane and become a functional virus. Researchers have tried to identify this signal in hopes of finding ways to disrupt the process.

However, Chou and his team observed that envelope proteins tend to be scattered randomly on the cell membrane. They now believe these proteins are picked up purely by chance when they are incorporated into a virus. This produces virus particles more quickly than previously envisioned, but many matrix proteins don’t pick the envelope proteins up at all, and don’t become functional viruses.

This observation has implications for vaccination, not just against Nipah but potentially against influenza, HIV and other enveloped viruses. Vaccines work by exposing a person to a small amount of modified virus or viral proteins, which rallies the body’s natural defense. Currently, there is no Nipah vaccine approved for human use. One of the potential strategies under development is to use virus-like-particles, which are protein-based structures that mimic viruses, to stimulate immune response.

Qian Liu

Qian Liu

“If a vaccine contains a large percentage of virus-like particles that have only the matrix protein but not the envelope proteins, it won’t trigger a strong immune response to the proteins that are most essential for helping a virus enter cells,” said Qian Liu, a postdoctoral fellow in UBC’s chemistry department who was lead author of the study. “Vaccines could be made more effective if we find a way to exclude those non-functional particles from the mix.”

The study, supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canada Foundation for Innovation, was published earlier this month in Nature Communications.

Photos: Super-resolution microscope reveals secrets of Nipah virus



Read more from UBC https://news.ubc.ca/2018/08/16/super-resolution-microscope-reveals-secrets-of-deadly-nipah-virus/

Cellphone use puts pedestrians off-balance

Health Day reported on a UBC study that found cellphone use dramatically changes a pedestrian’s balance, coordination and movement.

Mohamed Zaki, a research associate in UBC’s department of civil engineering, discussed the dangers associated with cellphones as distractions.



Read more from UBC https://news.ubc.ca/2018/08/16/cellphone-use-puts-pedestrians-off-balance/

Contemporary Calgary Appoints New CEO

Pierre Arpin has stepped down and David Leinster has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Contemporary Calgary.

Read more from Galleries West http://www.gallerieswest.ca/news/contemporary-calgary-appoints-new-ceo/

Surgical masks offer little protection against wildfire smoke: Prof

Global interviewed Michael Brauer, a professor at UBC’s school of population and public health, for a story about the lack of smoke protection offered by surgical masks.

“If you’re going to be going to work, and you’re wearing it on the bus and you’re going to go to work anyways, then really the only concern there is that it can be more difficult to breathe,” he said.



Read more from UBC https://news.ubc.ca/2018/08/16/surgical-masks-offer-little-protection-against-wildfire-smoke-prof/

Academic Rankings Of World Universities

CBS mentioned UBC in a story about the top universities in the world featured in the ShanghaiRanking Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018.

UBC was ranked number 43 on the list.



Read more from UBC https://news.ubc.ca/2018/08/16/academic-rankings-of-world-universities/