UCLA In the News February 12, 2019

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

UCLA study finds immunotherapy may help patients with the kind of cancer that killed John McCain | Washington Post

The small, multisite trial led by researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles involved patients who had a recurrence of glioblastoma, the most common central nervous system cancer. It found that patients who received a drug called a checkpoint inhibitor before surgery lived for 417 days. Those who got the treatment after surgery survived 228 days, the current life expectancy for recurrent glioblastoma…. UCLA immunologist Robert Prins, senior author of the study published in Nature Medicine, said the results are “very encouraging” and will help researchers design better treatments using combinations such as checkpoint inhibitors and personalized cancer vaccines, another area attracting great interest.

Deputy city attorney says she contracted typhus at L.A. City Hall | Los Angeles Times

Typhus’ symptoms include a rash, fever and fatigue. Jeffrey Klausner, a professor at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, said that the severity of the disease varies widely and some people recover without ever realizing they had typhus. “Unless doctors are well aware of the signs and symptoms, it may be misdiagnosed,” said Klausner, an infectious disease expert. He said that “if people see fleas in their work environment, they need to be aware that one of the infections they could have is typhus.”

For airline passengers, dealing with food and animal allergies is a delicate dance | Los Angeles Times

For additional protection, a passenger with a severe animal allergy should do a sinus rinse (salt, baking soda and water) immediately before boarding and immediately after deplaning, said Dr. Rita Kachru, an allergist/immunologist and assistant professor at UCLA. The passenger also should take an antihistamine before and after, and consider using a steroid nasal spray such as Flonase or Nasacort, she said.

Barbie is now in a wheelchair and has a prosthetic leg; she’s more inclusive than ever | Teen Vogue

In order to properly represent disabled people, Mattel worked with them to create Barbie’s wheelchair — which any of the Barbies in the “Made to Move” collection will fit in — and the Barbie with a prosthetic limb. In addition to working with a team at UCLA to create the wheelchair, Mattel worked with 12-year-old Jordan Reeves, who has a prosthetic arm.

During stage show by UCLA alumna Carol Burnett, she reflects on her time at the campus | Orlando Sentinel

Fans raise their hands, and [UCLA alumna Carol Burnett] calls on them, just as she did on her TV show. “There’s no pre-planned questions, I’m flying without a net,” she said with a chuckle. She has performed the show for about 25 years, delivering it hundreds of times, including 20 last year. Burnett describes it as a conversation with the audience…. The award that stands out: Maybe the very first one when I was a freshman at UCLA. It’s a little card I’ve had laminated. Best newcomer in the theater arts department. That was my first one and that’s kind of wonderful.”

Giant hospital system’s charity status challenged | Washington Post

Jill Horwitz, a professor of law and health policy at the University of California at Los Angeles, said the argument will delve into whether UPMC’s behavior is in line with its legally defined charitable goals. “The attorney general is the primary government official with the responsibility to protect charitable assets in the state, so absolutely the AG has the standing to pursue an action if he thinks a charity is not applying its assets to the charitable goals required of the organization,” Horwitz said. But she also pointed out that operating as a charity doesn’t mean that an organization’s goal is to provide services free, just as a symphony doesn’t have to provide free tickets and a museum doesn’t have to provide free admission.

Why opioids hit white areas harder | Los Angeles Times

The answer, at least in part, appears to lie in unconscious physician biases about race, ethnicity and pain that more typically leave minority patients underserved and undermedicated, authors of the new study said. The resulting disparity in care may have briefly shielded minority communities from harm, said study leader Joseph Friedman, a medical student at UCLA. But for far longer and in many more instances, he said, “systematic racism within the healthcare system has led to … insufficient treatment” of minority patients’ physical and psychic pain.

‘Horror Noire’ shines a much-needed light on the history of African-Americans in horror films | NBC News

“Hollywood doesn’t understand the degree to which black people have loved horror and how that love has been passed down to many of us from our parents,” said Tananarive Due, who also teaches “The Sunken Place: Racism, Survival, and Black Horror Aesthetic” at the University of California, Los Angeles. “I watched these movies with my mother, Patricia, who bought me my Stephen King novel. She just loved horror films.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom pulls National Guard from border | Los Angeles Times

Patricia Gándara, co-director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, commended the governor’s decision, pointing to the state’s own battles over immigration and its treatment of immigrants — including 1994’s fight over Proposition 187, which sought to cut off schooling and health services for immigrants here illegally. “I think we grew up and we realized that immigrants were not a threat,” Gándara said. “We’re the fifth-largest economy in the world. And we have the largest percentage of immigrants in our state. How do you reconcile that if you think immigrants are taking our jobs and bringing down the economy?”

What is the Coral Triangle? | Live Science

“There are parts of Indonesia that have Indian Ocean fauna. There are parts of Indonesia that have Pacific Ocean fauna, and there are parts that have both,” said Paul Barber, a marine scientist with the University of California, Los Angeles. “It’s the overlap of these two faunas that create such a diverse ecosystem…. Because the Coral Triangle is [the] largest region of coral reef in world, it’s going to have [the] lowest extinction rates in the world,” Barber said.

Atmospheric river possible next week for California, raising flood concerns | Bay Area News Group

“The main problem if it does come to pass is that there is the potential for major flooding issues,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA who closely monitors atmospheric rivers. “It’s a big if, but this is one of the few times recently we have had an above-average snow pack. This storm could cause some really big problems. But it is a big if.”

Harvard fires back in legal battle over single-sex Greek clubs | Bloomberg News

The sororities are improbably casting themselves as feminist havens, said Juliet Williams, a professor of gender studies at the University of California at Los Angeles and a Harvard alum. “This is a really galling reapportionment of the mission of Title IX,” Williams said. “We now have members of these very elite final clubs and other groups who say they are the ‘victims’ of discrimination.”

Here’s what happened when Pasadena raised its minimum wage | LAist

Two new reports looking at recent minimum wage hikes in Pasadena shed some light on these debates. Their findings suggest that workers there are making more money, employment hasn’t gone down and businesses aren’t going away. “I think there are indications of concern,” said UCLA economist Ed Leamer, who led one of the reports. “But I wouldn’t, at this point, say the minimum wage has turned out to be an inappropriate public policy.”

Breakthrough use of immunotherapy slows aggressive brain cancer, study shows | Houston Chronicle

“This is an important first step toward using immunotherapy to benefit patients,” said Robert Prins, the study’s senior author and a tumor immunologist at UCLA, which led the multi-institutional, randomized study. “None of us believe we have cured anything, but we now know timing of immunotherapy matters against glioblastoma.” Prins said the next step will be to design better studies using the new approach, specifically deploying a combination of immunotherapies instead of just one drug. (Also: Bloomberg)

This common preservative in processed food may be making you tired | Healthline

“The average consumer would not know to be aware of this commercial food additive,” said Dana Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, a senior dietitian at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center. “It is commonly used to prolong the shelf life of many foods, and also may enhance the flavor of some others. It is likely a very inexpensive ingredient/additive which would explain its nearly ubiquitous usage.”

81 percent of Pasadena voters support $15 minimum wage, poll finds | Pasadena Star-News

Matt Barreto, a UCLA professor and co-founder of polling firm Latino Decisions, described Binder in an email as a “very reputable Democratic pollster.” He said that a sample size of 500-plus is large enough for a citywide, or even statewide, survey. The most important attributes of any survey, Barreto said, are whether the poll is representative of the population as a whole, how the questions are worded and the order in which they are asked.

Despite fierce weather, Nebraska avoids climate change plan | Associated Press

The reluctance in Nebraska may be driven by the political polarization of climate change science, said Jon Christensen, an adjunct assistant professor at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. Christensen said the Nebraska proposal “appears to be a very sensible and cost-effective approach,” but the issue too often gets hijacked by extreme positions on both sides — those who deny climate change and others who demand dramatic and immediate changes.

Finding home in a parking lot | CityLab

Although America has an estimated 2 billion parking spots for the country’s 250 million cars, the space is contested, and highly policed. “We can acknowledge that there are thousands of parking spaces in Los Angeles that go unused at night,” said Kantrim. Indeed, UCLA transportation scholar Donald Shoup estimates that “14 percent of incorporated land in Los Angeles County is devoted to parking” in his book, “Parking and the City.”

Is kombucha healthy? | Time

Despite all the health claims about kombucha, nutrition experts say there’s not enough scientific evidence yet to support most of them. “We lack a really well-controlled study to say, ‘This is from kombucha,’” says Dr. Zhaoping Li, professor of medicine and director of UCLA’s Center for Human Nutrition. Many of the health claims related to kombucha come as a result of people extrapolating study findings related to the human microbiome or the nutritional benefits of tea, she says. “People kind [of] take the concept and run with it.”

METRO’s left hand knoweth not what its right hand doeth | CityWatch Opinion

According to a recent UCLA study on declining METRO ridership, the hard data reveals two things. First, upscale tenants seldom ditch their cars and take a subway or bus to go to work, shop, or visit friends. Second, many former low-income transit users have recently bought cars and use them instead of buses and trains. (Also: KTLA-TV)

Supreme Court to take on gun laws this spring | NPR’s “Weekend Edition”

“How the court rules on this case could have an impact on whether states can ban military-style assault rifles or high-capacity magazines or adopt red flag laws that enable people who are dangerous to have their guns removed,” said UCLA’s Adam Winkler.

After project stalls, questions arise at South Park’s $1 billion Oceanwide Plaza | Los Angeles Downtown News

Dr. William Yu, an economist with UCLA’s Anderson Forecast and an expert on the Chinese economy and its impact on the United States, said that the Chinese government has recently altered its approach to money flowing out of the country. China’s foreign currency reserve has plummeted rapidly since 2014, Yu said, and foreign direct investment that peaked in 2016 has declined over the last two years. Now, he noted, Beijing is using its leverage and capital control efforts to stanch the flow of cash, with the goal of keeping more money within China. “It’s becoming very difficult for corporations to move money out of China,” Yu said.

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