UCLA In the News February 4, 2019

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

Mars’ massive mountain might be just one huge hill of dust and sand | New York Daily News

“Craters are fundamentally big holes in the ground,” said UCLA planetary science professor Mackenzie Day. “So they’re a really good place to accumulate things — to accumulate sediment; accumulate dust and sand.” (Also: NPR)

So far, the deadly fentanyl epidemic hasn’t hit California. Here’s why | Washington Post

In Los Angeles, an addiction medicine expert at UCLA, Steven Shoptaw, is building statewide coalitions of academics and public health and law enforcement officials to fortify the state’s defenses against the deadly synthetic drug. “We know we’re in a privileged position to have been spared a lot of the fentanyl mess,” he said, “and we want to keep it that way.”

What is the blood of a poor person worth? | New York Times Analysis

A donation of plasma, for which he will be paid about $30, will yield roughly $300 worth of wholesale immunoglobulin, according to Roger Kobayashi, a clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine.

There is no winning without Latinos as part of your coalition | The Hill Opinion

A study released a month later by UCLA’s Latino Policy & Politics Initiative which further analyzed the midterm election results in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico and Texas found that “the push to turn out Latino voters is showing success, although an ongoing effort for a sustained period of time will be needed before Latinos turn out at the same rate as white voters.” The lesson to be learned, however, comes in their second conclusion of the UCLA report: “There is a good case to be made that had Bill Nelson, Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams done a better job with Latino voters, they would have won. Put differently, Republicans in all three races owed their election to a significant extent to Latino voters.” 

California’s next climate step: pushing for equitable choices | Capitol Weekly Opinion

(Commentary co-written by UCLA’s J.R. DeShazo and Colleen Callahan) It’s a moment that calls for big-picture thinking. As experts in environmental economics and urban planning, we see a promising path forward in bundling climate change solutions with initiatives to ease the housing crisis, transportation problems, and income inequality. At the center of this approach is a simple but powerful concept: choice.

Changes in RNA editing in the brain play an important role, scientists find | Science Daily

A team of UCLA-led scientists has discovered important clues about how RNA editing affects the brains of people with autism, the university announced Wednesday. The new insights involve RNA editing, in which genetic material is normal, but modifications in RNA alter nucleotides, whose patterns carry the data required for constructing proteins. “RNA editing is probably having a substantial physiologic effect in the brain, but is poorly understood,’’ said co-author Dr. Daniel Geschwind, UCLA’s Gordon and Virginia MacDonald distinguished professor of human genetics, neurology and psychiatry and director of UCLA’s Institute for Precision Health.

Solving the mystery behind the numbers of your favorite pho restaurants | Voice of OC

The numbers represent the history of war and sacrifice, hidden in plain sight for this popular cuisine in Los Angeles…. “Some people think [pho] comes from Chinese food,” said University of California, Los Angeles Vietnamese literature professor Chuc Bui. But he, himself, immigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam and said the story of the soup derives from a Vietnamese servant and a French man that came to Hanoi. The French man missed his food in France, especially the warm soup. So the servant tried to make pho familiar for him. The story says the name “pho” came from the idea of the “fire” that warmed the soup, said Bui.

Autism’s connection with air pollution explored in research | Irish Times

Research in California this year (and a forthcoming study in Denmark) bolstered the pollution-autism link. We should be worried about the particles coming out of traffic exhaust, because a lot of the studies show these fumes may be quite toxic, says Professor Beate Ritz, an expert on environmental effects on health at the University of California who is involved in the Californian and Danish studies. The fumes could be toxic to young brains especially, he says.

Startups are selling low-cost, at-home sperm banking kits for men who want to wait to have children | CNBC

“I think in general there’s a little bit sky-is-falling mentality that may be a little misguided with what [companies are] saying,” said Dr. Jesse Mills, an associate urology professor and director of the men’s clinic at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Do aphrodisiacs actually work? | New York magazine

According to Dr. Waguih William IsHak, clinical professor of psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and co-author of a review of studies on aphrodisiacs, “In sexual medicine research, the placebo response rate is very high. In depression [research], one out of three participants will respond to placebo, but in sexual studies 50 percent or more will respond.”

From ‘Blacula’ to ‘Get Out’: The 5 most important black horror films | Entertainment Weekly

“Horror Noire” is directed by Xavier Burgin and written by Ashlee Blackwell and Danielle Burrows, inspired by the book of the same name by Robin R. Means Coleman. The film’s executive producers include Coleman, Tananarive Due, who teaches “The Sunken Place” course at UCLA, and Phil Nobile Jr., editor-in-chief of the recently revived horror magazine, Fangoria.

A new film claims root canals cause cancer. Don’t believe it, dentists say | The Guardian

Tooth extraction can result in serious health consequences over time, said Dr. Mo Kang, professor and chair of the section of endodontics at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry. While root canals can’t save every tooth, said Kang, leaving the natural tooth intact helps maintain the jawbone’s original structure. Without the original tooth, the surrounding jaw bone that once supported it will eventually break down, affecting a person’s appearance and their ability to chew. “Let’s say I have an infection under my fingernail,” said Kang. “Do you amputate my finger because of that? That’s exactly what they’re claiming.”

Gates hopes to enlighten Americans about reconstruction | Associated Press

A fellow historian, Kimberle Crenshaw of the University of California-Los Angeles and Columbia University, said the U.S. Supreme Court was restrictive as well, changing the image of anti-discrimination laws into measures that gave blacks special treatment.

Mobile-phone microscope detects the ‘silent killer’ of honey bees | Phys.org

Researchers at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, in collaboration with the Department of Biology at Barnard College, have developed a mobile-phone microscope that enables rapid and automated detection of Nosema spores in honey bees in field settings…. Aydogan Ozcan, UCLA Chancellor’s Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the associate director of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA led the research in collaboration with Jonathan Snow, an assistant professor at the Department of Biology at Barnard College, and Hatice Ceylan Koydemir, a senior research associate at UCLA.

Teens who vape are more likely to smoke cigarettes later  | The Verge

There are a few limitations, including that the study looks at a window of time before Juul really took off, says Michael Ong, a professor of medicine and public health at UCLA who didn’t participate in the study. That means the results aren’t a perfect window into the e-cigarette market of today. Still, he says, “This study probably gives us the best estimates yet of what we might expect in terms of individuals who use electronic cigarettes as youth, and what might happen to them.”

Every time I think of the motorcycle show, I think of a crazy old song | Toronto Star Column

The results of a neurobiological study conducted by a team of three researchers from UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior have yielded pioneering scientific evidence revealing the potential mental and physical benefits of riding. Funded by Harley-Davidson, the study found that motorcycling increased metrics of focus and attention, and decreased relative levels of cortisol, a hormonal marker of stress.

Governor Newsom’s next move on health care | Chico News & Review

“He’s making a statement, and sometimes making statements is important — even if there’s little chance of making progress in the immediate future,” said Gerald Kominski, senior fellow at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. “It’s a way of drawing a line in the sand.”… Last year, a joint UCLA and UC Berkeley study found that the uninsured rate in California would rise to nearly 13 percent by 2023 if nothing is done at the state level to prevent it.

Los Feliz set the stage for teachers strike | Los Feliz Ledger

Initially backing the district’s position, Pedro Noguera, an education professor at UCLA, said his opinion changed as the strike unfolded. ”Looking at it from the outside, it seems like the teachers were right to push and they were right. There was more money in the system and outside of the system to address the needs,” said Noguera.

Media Contact