UCLA In the News April 11, 2017

UCLA In the News lists selected mentions of UCLA in the world’s news media. See more UCLA In the News.

Sabre-toothed tigers in ice-age L.A. had bad back trouble | New Scientist

Most modern museums lack the room to store more than a few complete skeletons from any species, but the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has a hoard of fossils dug from the famed La Brea tar pits near the city. Blaire Van Valkenburgh, a palaeontologist working on large predatory mammals at the University of California, Los Angeles, mentioned that local resource to her graduate students, and two were eager to investigate. Caitlin Brown found a way to map damaged areas on bones, and she and Mairin Balisi spent six months examining more than 35,000 bones from sabre-toothed tigers and the other apex predator that shared its Southern California habitat, the dire wolf.

Russia has been Assad’s greatest ally | Los Angeles Times

It “has really enabled the Syrian armed forces to reverse the losses they were suffering at that point,” said Daniel Treisman, a professor of political science at UCLA, whose work includes a focus on Russian politics and economics and comparative political economy. “Russian military involvement has succeeded in at least temporarily stabilizing the situation, allowing the Assad regime to win back territory that had been taken by the rebels.”

Hospital doctors more likely to order unneeded tests in some cases | KPCC-FM

“One of the most important problems of our time is rising health care costs,” said the study’s lead author Dr. John Mafi, an assistant professor at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. Unnecessary testing and referrals add to health care spending in the U.S., he said — which in 2015 totaled more than $3 trillion. (Also: Scienmag, News-Medical, Medical Xpress)

Asian-American actors on Hollywood’s barriers | The Guardian (U.K.)

Asian characters made up only 3%-4% of roles in scripted broadcast and cable shows in the 2014-15 season, according to a recent University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) report. Of the top 100 films of 2015, 49 had no Asian characters, and zero leading roles went to Asians, according to another study. In addition, “the quality of roles is problematic,” said Darnell Hunt, a UCLA professor who co-authored the diversity report.

The bidding race for the 2024 Olympics comes to a close | CNN International

“The election of Donald Trump and his subsequent pronouncements on immigration have not helped LA’s bid. Anyone who thinks otherwise is living in La La Land,” said UCLA’s Zev Yaroslavsky. (Approx. 03:40 mark)

Should women with cancer gene get preemptive mastectomy? | U.S. News & World Report

Dr. Maggie DiNome, associate professor of surgery at the UCLA Santa Monica Breast Center at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, says preventive mastectomy generally takes two forms. The first is a double mastectomy before any cancer shows up at all — that’s what Angelina Jolie had, and it’s “purely prophylactic and used by women who have a high risk because they have a hereditary risk. They’ll opt for a bilateral mastectomy to reduce their risk as low as it’s technically possible to make it.” The second type of preventive mastectomy is one that DiNome says is gaining more media attention, wherein women elect to have both breasts removed after being diagnosed with cancer in just one side.

Electric fix for removing chemicals in groundwater | The Conversation

In addition, Dr. Shaily Mahendra at the University of California, Los Angeles and her collaborators have discovered a wood-rotting fungus that has shown promise in transforming some PFAS species. These fungi need oxygen to breathe, but there is usually very little oxygen in groundwater. Fortunately, the electrodes that we use to break down contaminants also break down the groundwater around them, and this process generates oxygen.

California leaders forge ideas for universal health care | California Healthline

“California should explore all options, [but] we should not do that if it means withdrawing support for protecting the ACA,” said Jerry Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. “It would take decades to get back to where we are now,” he said.

How to protect yourself from air pollution | HealthDay

But there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself and your family from air pollution, said Yifang Zhu. She’s a professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in Los Angeles.

The link between mental and physical illness | OZY

Dr. Emeran Mayer, a professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and author of the book “The Mind-Gut Connection,” says the findings are consistent with earlier studies linking certain gastrointestinal and behavioral disorders, as well as studies finding an increased risk of depression after heart attacks and bypass surgery.

Conscious sedation a safe option for valve procedure | Phys.org

UCLA scientists have found that conscious sedation — a type of anesthesia in which patients remain awake but are sleepy and pain-free — is a safe and viable option to general anesthesia for people undergoing a minimally invasive heart procedure called trans-catheter aortic valve replacement. (Also: HealthCanal)

Would Trump support ‘Medicare for all’? | Bustle

“It is inconceivable to me that President Trump would jump on board ‘Medicare for all,’” Dr. Mark Peterson, chairman of UCLA’s Department of Public Policy, tells Bustle. “What we have observed suggests that President Trump possesses close to no information or knowledge about health care, healthcare systems abroad, payment systems, the Affordable Care Act, or the American Health Care Act.”

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