UCLA In the News February 14, 2018

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

How universities tackle society’s grand challenges | Scientific American

In 2013, UCLA announced its Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, which aims to transition Los Angeles County to 100 percent renewable energy, 100 percent locally sourced water, and enhanced ecosystem and human health by 2050. Since its launch, nearly 30 faculty members have co-developed a 5-year work plan comprising more than 100 research recommendations, and UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti have chaired an L.A. Sustainability Leadership Council to make Los Angeles the world’s first sustainable megacity. Then, in 2015, UCLA launched a second Grand Challenge to cut depression in half by 2050 and eliminate it by the end of the century. To that end, UCLA has commenced demonstration projects in preparation for a 100,000 person study and has begun screening students for depression and anxiety and providing treatment for students who need it.

‘Black Panther’ about to shatter film business assumptions | Los Angeles Times

“There aren’t many examples of African American directors being given that kind of opportunity to make a big-budget movie with a black cast and a global marketing campaign,” said Darnell Hunt, dean of social sciences at UCLA. “It’s a great opportunity to demonstrate the box-office power of this type of storytelling. This film, on both the cultural and economic fronts, has the potential to be a powerhouse.”

Bogus ‘free speech’ argument against unions | The Atlantic

Free speech has no fiercer advocate than Professor Eugene Volokh of the University of California at Los Angeles. As a teacher of First Amendment law, director of a First Amendment amicus brief clinic, and a founder of the libertarian-leaning Volokh Conspiracy blog, Volokh lets almost no free-speech sparrow fall anywhere in the U.S. without weighing in, usually against government and in favor of free speech objectors. Supreme Court justices have cited his opinions six times.

‘Curating Resistance’ merges punk and academia | L.A. Taco

“The idea of studying punk, of objectifying it, I can’t really do it,” says Jessica Schwartz, assistant professor of musicology at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music, who developed the conference. “I like the idea of punk as methodology or punk as an archival method or thinking critically about punk … how you can learn and use it as a method of surviving, especially when we’re not given the tools.”

Are Hispanics a racial group, ethnicity or both?  | KPBS-San Diego

About 45 percent of Hispanics self-identify as white, according to UCLA law professor Laura Gómez, but that is not likely how others see them. “These ‘white’ Mexican Americans are not generally recognized as white by others,” Gómez wrote in the new edition of “Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race.” Gómez’s book traces the history of the first Mexican Americans—Mexican citizens living in what is now the American Southwest and suddenly became Americans after the U.S. took control of the area following the Mexican-American War.

Algorithm to assist those with OCD | Medical Xpress

“This method opens a window into OCD patients’ brains to help us see how responsive they will be to treatment,” said Dr. Jamie Feusner, a clinical neuroscientist at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and the study’s senior author. “The algorithm performed far better than our own predictions based on their symptoms and other clinical information.” Feusner, who also is a professor of psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, said if the study’s results are replicated, OCD treatment could someday start with a brain scan.

Gene may protect against heart disease | Medical Xpress

“What this study tells us is that lncRNAs are important for the inner workings of cells involved in the development of heart disease,” said Dr. Peter Tontonoz, senior author of the study. He is also the Frances and Albert Piansky Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “Considering many genes like MeXis have completely unknown functions, our study suggests that further exploring how other long non-coding RNAs act will lead to exciting insights into both normal physiology and disease.” (Also: The Economic Times)

Scientists develop low-cost way to build gene sequences | Medical Xpress

“There’s an ongoing need to develop new gene synthesis techniques,” said Calin Plesa, a UCLA postdoctoral research fellow and co-first author of the paper. “The more DNA you can synthesize, the more hypotheses you can test.”

How social media alters brain may make you put phone down | Elite Daily

In a 2016 study carried out at UCLA, researchers scanned different regions of the brains of 32 teenage participants browsing a social media app developed to mimic Instagram. The results showed that when your pictures receive a lot of “likes,” it stimulates the reward circuitry of your brain. This causes you to feel satisfied which, of course, leads you to use social media even more. In other words, we’re all vain AF, at least on social media platforms.

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