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Computers learn to recognize human pose
11 November 2014
Computers learn to recognize human pose

Scientists have developed a new way for computers to see and understand human body pose in videos.

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Brain wiring differs in children with autism
15 April 2013
Brain wiring differs in children with autism

A recent study has revealed that children with autism have a structural difference in their brain wiring compared to children without autism

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Rainfall influences how quickly rivers cut through rock
11 April 2013
Rainfall influences how quickly rivers cut through rock

Scientists have long suspected that heavier rainfall causes rivers to cut through rock more quickly, resulting in a diversity of landscapes on Earth. Now, Fellow Taylor Perron (MIT), Global Scholar Ken Ferrier (Harvard), and their colleague Kimberly Huppert (MIT) have focused on the Hawaiian island of Kaua‘i and present clear evidence that rivers cut through rock faster where it’s wetter.

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Volcanic activity changes the Earth’s climate
9 April 2013
Volcanic activity changes the Earth’s climate

Over the last 500 million years, the Earth’s climate has cycled between greenhouse and icehouse states. These climactic fluctuations lasted from tens to hundreds of millions of years, and were marked by changes in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as well as changes in glacial activity. The main driver of this change in climate was the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which was largely governed by volcanic outgassing. But a question that has baffled researchers until now: what caused the dramatic and long-lived shifts in the rate of volcanic carbon dioxide outgassing?

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Getting to the heart of conservatives’ happiness
3 April 2013
Getting to the heart of conservatives’ happiness

In 2006, the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan US think tank, released a report that found that Republicans were much more likely to report being “very happy” than Democrats, a pattern that has persisted for decades but no one knew why. Two years later, a paper written by two New York University psychologists was the first to try to explain this gap. The paper argued that the difference in happiness arose because conservative ideology has “system-justifying tendencies” which buffer conservatives from perceived unfairness in society.

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Scientists demonstrate new way of manipulating quantum circuits
28 March 2013
Scientists demonstrate new way of manipulating quantum circuits

In the quantum world, the intrinsic spinning motion of individual electrons, called the electron spin, can be used to store and manipulate quantum information. This concept is being investigated by countless research labs around the world, with the ultimate goal of building a quantum computer. Recently, a team of researchers, including CIFAR Senior Fellow Andrew Sachrajda (NRC) and Fellow Michel Pioro-Ladrière (Université de Sherbrooke), demonstrated a novel and non-intuitive phenomenon that may lead to new ways of transporting spins around a quantum circuit.

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Chronic pain changes our DNA
26 March 2013
Chronic pain changes our DNA

About 17 percent of the Canadian population above 15 years of age has reported experiencing some form of chronic pain. Though chronic pain can be a result of an acute injury, in some instances the perception of pain continues even after an injury has healed.

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CIFAR cosmologists contribute to new portrait of the Early Universe
21 March 2013
CIFAR cosmologists contribute to new portrait of the Early Universe

Today, an international team of astronomers unveil results from the Planck Space Telescope, which was launched in 2009 to search for evidence of the early Universe. Since its launch, the satellite has gathered data on the cosmic microwave background (CMB)—radiation left over from the Big Bang about 13 billion years ago—and is now providing a glimpse into how the Universe formed and evolved over time.

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Government of British Columbia invests in CIFAR research
21 March 2013
Government of British Columbia invests in CIFAR research

CIFAR is pleased to share news that the Government of British Columbia is investing $2 million in support of the Institute's research in a variety of fields dedicated to improving the health and quality of human life.

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Celebrating World Happiness Day
20 March 2013
Celebrating World Happiness Day

March 20th was chosen by the United Nations, in June of 2012, not long after the first World Happiness Report was released, to be International Day of Happiness.

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International team discovers that star formation began early in the Universe’s history
20 March 2013
International team discovers that star formation began early in the Universe’s history

In the early Universe, there were 1,000 times more star-forming galaxies than today. By measuring how far these starburst galaxies are from Earth, astronomers can better understand how soon after the Big Bang the Universe started making new stars

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Hydraulic fracking releases ancient radioactive brine
20 March 2013
Hydraulic fracking releases ancient radioactive brine

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a widespread technique used by the oil and gas industry to obtain natural gas from shale rock, a type of sedimentary rock that contains hydrocarbons that cannot be recovered using conventional techniques. The process involves drilling thousands of feet into the Earth’s subsurface and injecting a special mixture of water, sand and chemicals to crack the rock and release the gas.

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Google buys startup company built on CIFAR research
18 March 2013
Google buys startup company built on CIFAR research

When Google Inc. bought Program Director Geoffrey Hinton’s startup company DNNresearch last week, the search engine giant acquired both technology and talent that grew out of long-term collaborative research at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

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Hydrogen and the faint-young-sun paradox
15 March 2013
Hydrogen and the faint-young-sun paradox

In the earliest days of our Solar System, the sun was much fainter than it is today and the average temperature on Earth would have been correspondingly cooler if the composition of the atmosphere were the same as today.

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Human parasite adapts in surprising ways
11 March 2013
Human parasite adapts in surprising ways

Infectious microorganisms find different, and sometimes surprising, ways to adapt to their environment. Understanding the root cause of their adaption can help scientists find better drug treatments to fight the changing nature of infectious diseases.

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Local strategies needed to sustain precious groundwater sources used for agriculture
5 March 2013
Local strategies needed to sustain precious groundwater sources used for agriculture

Groundwater is a life-sustaining resource for both humans and the environment, but scientists are warning that precious groundwater aquifers around the world are being depleted at unsustainable rates.

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CIFAR contributes to Imagining Canada’s Future project
1 March 2013
CIFAR contributes to Imagining Canada’s Future project

An international expert panel brought together by CIFAR has produced a report that is intended to assist the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) in identifying future challenge areas to which the social sciences and humanities research community could contribute its knowledge, talent and expertise.

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Real-life friends make you happier
26 February 2013
Real-life friends make you happier

A new happiness study by Program Co-Director and Arthur J.E. Child Foundation Fellow John Helliwell (University of British Columbia) and former CIFAR-funded post-doctoral fellow Haifang Huang investigated the effects that real and online friends have on an individual’s well-being. Their findings: real-life friends have a very large impact on one’s level of happiness, while there is no such impact from the size of one’s online network

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Developmental economist Siwan Anderson provides a view about violence against women in India
19 February 2013
Developmental economist Siwan Anderson provides a view about violence against women in India

The recent gang rape and murder in Delhi has brought unprecedented attention to the scale of violence against women in India. This case is just one example, albeit a horrific one, of the plight of women in this country. Among the women who could potentially be alive today, more than 2 million women are “demographically” missing each year.

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AAA 2013
15 February 2013
AAAS Annual Meeting 2013

The annual AAAS science conference gets underway today in Boston, with the theme “The Beauty and Benefits of Science.” It is the largest scientific gathering in the world, bringing together experts from more than 40 countries. Six CIFAR fellows participate in symposiums and workshops.

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Hertzman
11 February 2013
In Memoriam: Clyde Hertzman, CIFAR Senior Fellow

We are profoundly saddened to learn of the sudden death of CIFAR Senior Fellow Clyde Hertzman. A passionate visionary and esteemed researcher and early child advocate, Clyde inspired every one of us.

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CIFAR and Banff Centre partner to spur creativity and innovation
7 February 2013
CIFAR and Banff Centre partner to spur creativity and innovation

Two premier, national institutions, The Banff Centre and CIFAR (The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research), have entered into a partnership to strengthen Canada’s capacity in creativity and innovation. Together, both institutions represent many of the world’s best minds engaged in research in the natural and social sciences and the humanities.

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The psychology of conformity revisited
11 January 2013
The psychology of conformity revisited

Two famous experiments dominated the field of social psychology in the latter half of the 20th century: Stanley Milgram’s evaluation of human obedience and Philip Zimbardo’s simulated prison environment (the Stanford Prison Experiment). Both experiments sought to illuminate humanity’s tendency to conform to authority. Their results strongly suggested that people unthinkingly follow prescribed roles, no matter how oppressive, leaving Milgram and Zimbardo to conclude that conformity is deeply rooted in human nature.

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How a mother's depression affects language development in babies
14 December 2012
How a mother's depression affects language development in babies

By the time a baby is born, she is capable of learning any of the world’s languages. In the following weeks and months of life, this ability becomes more and more specific to her given environment: she responds to the languages of her surroundings and ignores foreign sounds. The small window of opportunity for heightened language acquisition, where the brain is especially receptive to learning, is known as a ‘sensitive period.’ Sensitive periods for language are particularly prominent in the first year of life.

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In Memoriam: Dr. Stefan Dupré (1936-2012)
10 December 2012
In Memoriam: Dr. Stefan Dupré (1936-2012)

It is with great sadness that we learned about the passing of CIFAR President Emeritus J. Stefan Dupré on December 6, 2012. During his time at CIFAR, Stefan was respected for his leadership in shaping the Institute’s vitality, putting it on a sustainable course, and for overseeing the evolution of its research programs in superconductivity and gravity to capitalize on the exciting advances in these emerging fields.

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World Bank report uncovers key lessons for community development projects
15 November 2012
World Bank report uncovers key lessons for community development projects

On November 15, 2012, the World Bank released a policy research report titled ‘Localizing Development: Does Participation Work?’ Authors Vijayendra Rao, a CIFAR Advisor and lead economist at the World Bank’s research department, and his colleague Ghazala Mansuri, took an in-depth look at the effectiveness of participatory projects, a specific form of development aid that empowers communities to participate and control local level decisions that affect their lives.

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Media Advisory - Annual Symposium: The New Science of Child Development
5 November 2012
Annual Symposium: The New Science of Child Development

On November 16, 2012, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) and the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) will present a special, one-day Symposium entitled The New Science of Child Development, which will explore the multi-faceted factors shaping the health, education, and psychological well-being of children.

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CIFAR researchers author new volume that changes our understanding of the early years of human life
9 October 2012
CIFAR researchers author new volume that changes our understanding of the early years of human life

For the first time, scientists have amassed a large collection of research that looks “under the skin”, to examine how and why experiences interact with biology starting before birth to affect a life course.

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New state-of-the-art research centre at the University of Waterloo brings together quantum and nano scientists
21 September 2012
New state-of-the-art research centre at the University of Waterloo brings together quantum and nano scientists

Today marks the official opening of the Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre (QNC), a state-of-the-art facility that will provide researchers in quantum information science and nanotechnology with cutting-edge tools and facilities, and collaborative opportunities to perform groundbreaking research.

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CIFAR announces Dr. Alan Bernstein, O.C. as new President and CEO
11 January 2012
CIFAR announces Dr. Alan Bernstein, O.C. as new President and CEO

Internationally-respected Canadian researcher and founding CIHR president to fill prestigious advanced research leadership post

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Denis Thérien joins CIFAR as vice-president, research
20 July 2011
Denis Thérien joins CIFAR as vice-president, research

President and CEO Chaviva Hosek is delighted to announce the appointment of Denis Thérien as vice-president, research for the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

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CIFAR researchers to lead National Academy of Sciences Sackler Colloquium
19 July 2011
CIFAR researchers to lead National Academy of Sciences Sackler Colloquium

In December 2011, CIFAR program members from Experience-based Brain and Biological Development and special guests are invited to present their research at the prestigious Arthur M. Sackler Colloquia in Irvine California.

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Space shuttle takes Canadian yeast into orbit
8 July 2011
Space shuttle takes Canadian yeast into orbit

NASA's final space shuttle mission last week carried some extra passengers in the form of yeast cell growth experiments. The trials were developed by a research team led in part by CIFAR Genetic Networks program director Brenda Andrews and CIFAR Fellow Charlie Boone. The experiments are testing the effect of microgravity on cell growth in space.

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CIFAR members win prestigious prize in Cosmology
9 June 2011
CIFAR members win prestigious prize in Cosmology

CIFAR is pleased to announce that three of the four winners of this year's Gruber Cosmology Prize are part of the Institute's Cosmology and Gravity program. The CIFAR winners are George Efstathiou, Carlos Frenk, and Simon White.

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Allan Griffin
2 June 2011
Allan Griffin

It was with great sadness that we learned that Allan Griffin passed away on May 19, 2011. Allan was an admired member of CIFAR’s community, not only because of his work in theoretical physics but also because he was a kind and devoted individual to many people around the world.

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Arrival of the Fittest: Canada’s crime rate is dropping as immigration increases. Is there a connection?
9 May 2011
Arrival of the Fittest: Canada’s crime rate is dropping as immigration increases. Is there a connection?

Successful Societies Program Fellow Ron Levi has been studying the link between immigration and youth crime. His latest research findings are featured in the June 2011 issue of The Walrus.

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Ask the Experts: What Does Bin Laden's Death Mean to Us and Society?
4 May 2011
Ask the Experts: What Does Bin Laden's Death Mean to Us and Society?

Social Interactions, Identity and Well-Being Fellow Alex Haslam and his research collaborators interpret the way people responded to Osama Bin Laden’s death. What does it reveal about social identity and how we relate to different groups and roles?

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Two UBC Science Researchers Awarded Guggenheims
7 April 2011
Two UBC Science Researchers Awarded Guggenheims

Fellow and Director of CIFAR's Integrated Microbial Biodiversity program, Patrick Keeling, was awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship for his work on coral reefs and parasite origins.

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Dr. Robert Gibbs Appointed Member of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
7 March 2011
Dr. Robert Gibbs Appointed Member of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Dr. Robert Gibbs, member of the steering committee for CIFAR's Humanities Initiative, appointed to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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Diverse backgrounds are part of the solution, not the problem
5 March 2011
Diverse backgrounds are part of the solution, not the problem

The work of Irene Bloemraad, a scholar in our Social Interactions, Identity and Well-Being program, is shared in a Vancouver Sun article. The piece argues for the importance of multiculturalism in building a better Canadian society.

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Arab social capital is there – it’s young and connected
5 March 2011
Arab social capital is there – it’s young and connected

The Globe & Mail discusses the recent Arab revolutions and the important role of young “social capital,” a concept conceived by Social Interactions, Identity and Well-Being advisory committee member Robert Putnam.

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