UCLA In the News January 2, 2018

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

Applications surge at UCLA | Washington Post

A staggering 113,409 applied to the California flagship’s sister campus in Los Angeles. When the Los Angeles Times asked UCLA’s enrollment chief, Youlonda Copeland-Morgan, how she would make it through the admissions review season, Copeland-Morgan answered: “Joyfully.”

Freeway pollution travels farther than thought | Los Angeles Times

If anyone knows where to find refuge from air pollution near Los Angeles freeways, it’s Suzanne Paulson. The UCLA atmospheric chemistry professor has spent years studying how invisible plumes of dirty air from car- and truck-choked roadways spread into surrounding neighborhoods — increasing residents’ risk of cancer, asthma, heart disease and other illnesses.

Democrats in high-tax states plot to blunt impact of tax law | New York Times

Some proposals are more complex. Kirk Stark, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, has suggested that states encourage residents to donate money to their state governments, then let the governments credit those donations against their state income taxes. Such donations would qualify as charitable donations, which are still fully deductible on federal taxes.

Drinking hot tea linked to lowered glaucoma risk | Reuters

Compared to coffee, soft drink and iced tea drinkers, study participants who consumed a cup or more of hot caffeinated tea daily had 74 percent lower odds of having glaucoma, the study authors report in the British Journal of Ophthalmology. “Glaucoma can lead to blindness, and it would be great if it could be prevented because there is no cure,” said lead author Dr. Anne Coleman of the University of California, Los Angeles. (Also: Voice of America)

Why NFL’s future may rely on fixing concussion protocol | The Guardian (U.K.)

“Symptoms are a big part of the assessment, and are inherently subjective,” said Christopher Giza, director of the UCLA BrainSPORT program. “Some athletes aren’t aware a symptom may be from a concussion; some athletes purposely hide concussion symptoms; some athletes aren’t thinking clearly enough to recognize the symptoms and sometimes concussion symptoms present in a delayed fashion.”

Why U.S. spends much more than others on health care | New York Times

A recent study in JAMA by scholars from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle and the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine also points to prices as a likely culprit. Their study spanned 1996 to 2013 and analyzed U.S. personal health spending by the size of the population; its age; and the amount of disease present in it. They also examined how much health care we use in terms of such things as doctor visits, days in the hospital and prescriptions. They looked at what happens during those visits and hospital stays (called care intensity), combined with the price of that care.

Cracking the brain’s enigma code | Scientific American

“It’s a very cool result,” says Jonathan Kao, a computational neuroscientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who was not involved in the study. “My prior thought would have been that having the moment-by-moment information of the precise reach, knowing the velocity at every moment in time, would have allowed you to build a better decoder than if you just had the general statistics of reaching.”

Rehabilitation industry struggles to get clean | Orange County Register

“Something is seriously wrong with how we’re approaching this, and we’re not confronting it,” said Walter Ling, professor of psychiatry and founding director of the Integrated Substance Abuse Programs at UCLA. “There is no leadership. We know it’s not working. We’ve known that for years.”

How 2017 changed game for female athletes on big screen | KPCC-FM’s “FilmWeek”

“I love the three films you chose to discuss today, because they’re really kind of a zeitgeist, I think…. It’s interesting that all three of them are nonfiction. They’re fiction films, but they’re based on real characters,” said UCLA’s Kathleen McHugh. (Approx. 2:00 mark)

21st century tech sheds light on 2nd century Egyptian painting | Smithsonian

But by integrating three different technologies, the team of National Gallery and UCLA researchers was able to extend point measurements to scan the Fayum portrait, creating maps of molecular and elemental data for every pixel across its surface. “When combined, these techniques are extremely, powerful,” Ioanna Kakoulli, a professor of materials science and engineering at UCLA, tells Smithsonian.com. “This [analysis] can help deconstruct ancient technology by unambiguous identification of the materials constituting the object under investigation.”

The Russia story so far | Chicago Tribune

(Commentary written by UCLA’s Harry Litman) Steve Bannon nailed it. The Beelzebub-like Breitbart head and former presidential adviser declared that President Donald Trump’s May 9 dismissal of FBI Director James Comey was the biggest mistake in modern political history. That act, the 2017 equivalent of the Watergate burglary, led directly to a criminal investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller that imperils the presidency and may yet force Trump from office.

Space scientists think billions of exoplanets exist | Forbes

“There are hundreds of billions of planets in the Milky Way galaxy,” says Jean-Luc Margot, professor and chair of UCLA’s Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences department. To put that in perspective: imagine counting them all, at the rate of one per second. That task, says Margot, would take “about 3,000 years” to finish.

Could portable treatment centers fix rural America’s water woes? | Pacific Standard

Now a team of engineers and students at the University of California–Los Angeles has developed a water treatment system that fits in a 40-foot shipping container. It can turn agricultural runoff, brackish groundwater, and nearly any other water source into drinking water.

UCLA artist finds beauty in the grotesque | KCRW-FM’s “Press Play”

“The table to me is like a big landscape, so it is always changing. It’s kind of laying out the tools of the trade,” said UCLA’s Lari Pittman.

Kids learn computer science (without computers) | PC

Professor Miryung Kim, an Associate Professor of Computer Science at UCLA, may have cracked this problem. But Dr. Kim didn’t set out to re-think how education and industry needs to change its approach to training the next generation of professional geeks. She just wanted to address gender equity issues so her own 4-year-old daughter, Sophia, didn’t grow up thinking computer science was just for boys. So last summer, Dr. Kim invited a few of Sophia’s friends (and their parents), to a UCLA conference room for the Mommy Computer Science Camp.

Why walking is a no-brainer for improving brain health | Forbes

“Brain thickness, a more sensitive measure than volume, can track subtle changes in the brain earlier than volume and can independently predict cognition,” said lead researcher Prabha Siddarth from the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Why has science only cured one person of HIV? | Gizmodo (Australia)

A new study published Thursday in PLOS Pathogens shows a new potential route to curing HIV -- though it also highlights the extreme difficulties facing researchers. “We’ve effectively only cured one patient,” Scott Kitchen, the lead author on the UCLA study, told Gizmodo. “But that provides a lot of hope.”

How brain implants, VR could help treat diseases like Alzheimer’s | PC

“When I was a student, studying abroad in Europe, I was inspired by reading about different patient cases which were considered either unsolvable, or a mystery, in terms of why they were exhibiting the symptoms they had, due to some form of brain damage,” [UCLA’s Dr. Nanthia] Suthana told PCMag. “I was particularly fascinated by the famous case of ‘Patient HM’, who suffered from epilepsy and had his medial temporal lobe removed, which is crucial for memory formation. In fact, this is the area of the brain I now study.”

A quarter of California adolescents may be ‘gender nonconforming’ | KQED-FM

The gender expression question was included on the recent California Health Interview Survey, conducted by UCLA on a continuous basis. The telephone survey covers dozens of health topics. The CHIS has been going strong since 2001, but this was the first time a question on either youth gender identity or gender expression had been included.

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