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

Scientists are working on a pill for loneliness | The Guardian (U.K.)

Meanwhile, Steve Cole, a professor of medicine, psychiatry, and behavioral sciences at the UCLA School of Medicine who has frequently collaborated with the Cacioppos, is exploring how to mitigate the way loneliness makes the body susceptible to a host of diseases. Beta blockers, heart medications developed in the 1960s, inhibit the body’s response to adrenaline and may also “turn out to be great at disconnecting the psychological experience of social threat and uncertainty from its biological consequences in the periphery,” Cole says. “Even if we can’t stop loneliness with a brain-targeted drug, we might still be able to protect lonely people from the adverse health consequences.”

Nearly 2 percent of high school students identify as transgender; more than one-third of them attempt suicide, CDC says | Washington Post

A 2017 study by researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles estimated that about 150,000 youth aged 13 to 17, or 0.7 percent, identify as transgender, and 0.6 percent of U.S. adults identify as such.

The air quality on cruise ships is so bad, it could harm your health, undercover report says | CNN

Dr. Andre Nel, a professor of medicine and public health at the University of California Los Angeles, noted that the new study had not been published in a peer-reviewed journal so it lacks independent verification of how the monitoring was done and possible conflicts of interest. Nel, who played no part in the new study, explained that “ultrafine particles are not yet regulated in the U.S.” and this is an “important omission” in our legislation of air pollution.  “We have never undertaken to actually make it an official part of our assessment [of air pollution] so that we can determine whether there are threshold numbers that we do not wish to exceed,” said Nel. Scientists would need to do “deliberate studies” to determine what concentrations and amounts affect human health in the same way as has been done with other particulate matter.

Rediscovering the female filmmakers of the 1970s with UCLA’s ‘Liberating Hollywood’ series | Los Angeles Times

Beginning today at the UCLA Film and Television Archive’s Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood and running through Feb. 23, “Liberating Hollywood” features 15 films directed by eight women from the 1970s. The series is an extension of the new book “Liberating Hollywood: Women Directors and the Feminist Reform of 1970s American Cinema” by Maya Montañez Smukler, which looks at the 16 women who directed feature films in Hollywood in the 1970s… KJ Relth, a programmer at the UCLA Film and Television Archive who assembled the film series along with Montañez Smukler, agreed that part of what makes this series particularly energizing is simply the opportunity to take a fresh look at films that relatively few people have seen in the first place. In turn, this helps expands audiences’ definitions of movies that should be venerated. (Also: LA Weekly)

Cruiser indulged in a ship spa treatment, but the results were short-lived | Los Angeles Times

“The effects of a quick treatment like that wouldn’t last long,” said Dr. Ed Hewlett, a professor at the UCLA School of Dentistry. The combined light and bleach treatment would have caused dehydration that made my teeth appear whiter, he said. “As soon as you ate or drank, your teeth would have lost that look,” he added. Hewlett said cruise-ship whitening treatments, like the whitening treatments now available in mall shops, are too brief to be effective and recommended custom-made whitening trays, available from dentists.

$91 million case against nation’s largest insurer is a ‘clear win’ for patients | CNN

“Insurers across the country have been put on notice by this case,” said Jack Needleman, the chair of the University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Health Policy and Management. “Insurers ... still have an incentive to discourage patients likely to incur higher costs from re-enrolling through denial of claims and poor service. Insurance commissioners should be policing this behavior.”

What’s the way forward after the government shutdown? | KPCC-FM’s “AirTalk”

“It seems like what you’re hearing from everyone is: nobody wants to shut the government down again. It was just an unpleasant experience, and certainly horrible for the people affected financially, for everyone,” said UCLA’s Lynn Vavreck (audio download).

Reaching out to families can inspire new autism research | Spectrum Viewpoint

(Commentary written by UCLA’s Shafali Jeste) At the Care and Research in Neurogenetics (CARING) clinic at the University of California, Los Angeles, we have begun a monthly teaching conference dubbed “Bench to Bedside.” This meeting begins with a description of a specific person or group of people seen in the clinic and then proceeds to a research presentation related to that person’s condition. The talks attract students and faculty from across neuroscience, neurology and psychology.

Germs in your gut are talking to your brain. Scientists want to know what they’re saying | New York Times

Epileptic mice experience the same protection from a so-called ketogenic diet. But no one could say why. Elaine Hsiao, a microbiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, suspected that the microbiome was the reason…. Dr. Hsiao found that two types of gut bacteria in particular thrive in mice on a ketogenic diet. They may provide their hosts with building blocks for neurotransmitters that put a brake on electrical activity in the brain.

Historic effort launched to clean up toxic air pollution in San Diego’s portside communities | San Diego Union-Tribune

“Even getting to the point where they’re thinking about pursuing rules took months and months of meetings,” said Meredith Hankins, a fellow at UCLA School of Law’s Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, who has been following the regulatory process. “Obviously these warehouses are a huge economic driver in the Inland Empire, but reducing those emissions could really help a lot of people,” she added. “Communities are faced with unbelievable toxic emission from these diesel trucks going out to these warehouses.”

Could high-speed rail ease California’s housing crisis? See Japan | CityLab

That’s the question that a recent UCLA study explores, through the lens of Japan’s extensive high-speed rail system, the Shinkansen. The authors, led by UCLA management professor Jerry Nickelsburg, analyzed more than 50 years of prefecture-level economic and demographic data. The study follows up on a similar one from 2012, which used the Shinkansen to take a critical look at the expectation that high-speed rail would boost tax revenues in the towns and cities along the route. This time, the team charted the impact the Japanese trains had on housing affordability.

Effects of L.A. teachers strike ripple across California and beyond | Los Angeles Times

“The Los Angeles mobilization — and Oakland too — are starting off a slightly different public dialogue than what was caused by the red-state mobilizations,” said John Rogers, professor of education at UCLA. Yes, teachers in Los Angeles talked about the need for better pay, Rogers said, but the UTLA strike “brought forth how young people are experiencing education and how we as a society need to develop new structures to ensure that young people have the support they need.”

What does fallout from L.A. teachers strike mean for the future of charter schools? | Los Angeles Daily News

John Rogers, director of the UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access, warned of sometimes superficial narratives surrounding charter schools. “I think there are a number of somewhat simplistic analyses that don’t capture the full picture,” he said. “Many charter schools enroll large numbers of low-income students and students of color and we shouldn’t forget that fact.”

Plasma cells in the gut may actually help fight MS | Healthline

“The gut is a major immune organ, and it is known that there are important interactions between gut immune function, gut microbes, and MS,” explained Dr. Barbara Giesser, professor of clinical neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and clinical director of the UCLA MS program. “This study, by reporting that gut immune cells can travel to the brain and reduce inflammation, elucidates what appears to be a key mechanism by which the gut immune cells and the gut microbiome can influence immune function in MS, and may be an avenue for future therapeutic intervention,” Giesser told Healthline.

Newsom’s move: Not yet health care for all, but health care for more | CALmatters

“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.”

Loneliness is growing in U.S.; study says wisdom could treat it  | International Business Times

The participants were evaluated using several measures, including a 20-point Loneliness Scale created by UCLA and a four-item tool that measured social isolation (self-reported).

Vitamin D supplements aren’t living up to their hype | Science News

By nature, researchers zero in on just a few specifics in their studies. “But the world isn’t like that. The world is very complicated,” says Dena Herman, a nutrition researcher at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. In the end, people have to consider their own personal circumstances, she says. Herman doesn’t immediately suggest supplements when a patient appears to have inadequate levels of vitamin D. Often these patients are overweight, which could be affecting their vitamin D levels. “I usually recommend they get more physically active and get in the sun first,” she says. “If people could master the basics, they wouldn’t have to worry about supplements.”