UCLA In the News January 4, 2016

Marriages of power couples perpetuate economic inequality | New York Times

There’s not much data on American assortative mating before early in the last century, but a recent paper by Robert D. Mare, a professor of sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles, showed that assortative mating was relatively more common in America’s Gilded Age, fell and reached a much lower level in the 1950s, and afterward started and continued to rise.

The challenge of keeping resolutions at work | Washington Post

And the reason boils down to how we respond to temptations in the present, according to Hal Hershfield, an assistant professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. “The present acts as a magnifying effect for our emotions,” Hershfield says — which means a desire right in front of us feels more powerful than a long-term one and can pull us away from that goal. This is even more true at work, where “we’re not fully in control of the things we do,” he says.

UCLA’s Depression Grand Challenge to reduce impact, cost of disease | Chronicle of Higher Education

As one of four directors of the challenge, [UCLA’s] Dr. [Jonathon] Flint will lead a 100,000-person investigation, called the largest-ever genetic study of a single disorder. “UCLA has managed, as much as one can within a university, to get the academics working together,” he says. “There are resources that appear just because you get collaborations from lots of groups.”

Cities in the Southwest race toward carbon neutrality | Los Angeles Times

(Op-ed by UCLA’s Jon Christensen) We’ve built up a solid cadre of professionals in city and state government, and the environmental groups that watchdog them. A decades-long competitive race between cities to reach carbon neutrality is certainly far better than the alternative, slouching toward climate apocalypse.

The cross-cultural–universality of conversational pauses | The Atlantic

“You don’t want to respond as fast as possible to everything,” says [Tanya] Stivers, now at the University of California, Los Angeles. “If I ask someone to go to a movie with me and they rapidly say no, that doesn’t feel nice. It’s better to have a gap before you turn someone down for something. And if you hesitate, I can say, ‘...or not tonight?’ We’re pretty good at adjusting.”

Despite higher risk, Latinos in California have low flu vaccination rate | Los Angeles Times

As important to public health as flu vaccinations are, according to UCLA’s California Health Interview Survey, only 43% of Californians received a flu shot in 2014. Worse, among Latinos, the largest racial or ethnic group in the state, only 37% were vaccinated.

Paramedics make house-calls to cardiac patients | KPCC-FM’s “Health”

For hospitals aiming to cut readmission rates, congestive heart failure is especially problematic, says Dr. Steve Rottman, a UCLA professor of emergency medicine and medical director for UCLA’s Center for Prehospital Care. “Roughly a quarter of patients who have congestive heart failure, once they’re discharged, end up being readmitted within a month,” he says.  About two-thirds of those readmissions, Rottman says, happen within the first week a patient goes home.

Los Angeles infrastructure wastes El Niño | Los Angeles Times

(Op-ed by UCLA’s Mark Gold) Investments in stormwater capture and infiltration help reduce coastal and river pollution, reduce flood risk and, most importantly, augment local water supply. Without these steps, L.A. County’s reliance on 58% imported water is unsustainable. El Niño may very well provide much needed short-term drought relief. But that relief won’t last with our current infrastructure. It’s imperative that we never waste another opportunity like this one again. (Gold was also quoted in a Los Angeles Times article on snowpack.)

‘Superman’ of metals could revolutionize auto, aircraft industries | Newsweek

Engineers at the University of California, Los Angeles, used a combination of ceramic silicon carbide nanoparticles and magnesium. The new metal boasts a stiffness-to-weight ratio that far surpasses other strong metals that engineers have reliably used for generations. The metal is also capable of absorbing and withstanding high heat without having its integrity altered. 

Domesticating dogs creates harmful mutations | Los Angeles Times

To see how domestication and the creation of breeds affected the DNA of modern-day dogs, UCLA geneticist Clare Marsden and her colleagues examined the genomes of 46 dogs from 34 distinct breeds…. The analysis revealed that compared with wolves in general, breed dogs had more DNA mutations that were harmful.

Teen brains are particularly susceptive to nicotine cravings | Reuters

“We interpret these data to mean that the teen brain is more responsive to the rewarding and thrilling aspects of smoking, thus making craving more psychologically salient to them,” said study co-author Adriana Galvan of the University of California Los Angeles. “The dopamine system undergoes significant maturation during the teenage years, rendering the teen brain more reactive to rewards and perhaps more vulnerable to addictive substances,” Galvan added.

Standardizing diagnosis for brain death | Los Angeles Times

Martin Monti, a UCLA expert on coma and other disorders of consciousness, emphasized that when it comes to diagnosing brain death, “the science is there.”… “This paper is a beautiful example of how good science and medicine and good practice go hand in hand,” Monti said. “The problem is that we really need to have an extremely uniform way of doing this because the devil really is in the details.”

Bureaucratic responsibilities are contributing to lack of stethoscope skill | Washington Post

“It’s all chart rounds and computer readout rounds. It’s horrible. I cringe,” said John M. Criley, professor emeritus of medicine and radiological sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

New executive action to close gun-show loophole | Reuters

“This won’t really close the gun-show loophole, it will only narrow that loophole,” said Adam Winkler, a law professor at UCLA and author of Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America. “This is going to marginally increase the number of people who have to get a license.”

Looking around and stepping out of our comfort zones | Los Angeles Times

(Op-ed by UCLA’s Nathan Deuel) There are the things we can do, the things we should do, and the way we actually live. It’s easy to be busy, to follow all the usual cues. It’s quite normal to settle for what’s comfortable and familiar. For one morning, I did something out of the ordinary. I set up a folding chair in a not-park beside South Bundy Drive, staking a claim on one of the unseen places right in front of us all.

The surprising, caustic rise of Donald Trump | KCRW-FM’s “Which Way L.A.?”

“In 2015, the thing that surprised me the most was Donald Trump,” said UCLA political science and communication studies professor Lynn Vavreck. “He surprised me in two ways: the first is in the bombastic nature and the contemptuousness of the things that he says and is saying on the campaign trail. And the second thing that surprised me was the response of the American public to those the things that he was saying.”

Program provides fitness equipment to schools in L.A. | CBS News

“Every kid should be able to enjoy physical activity and exercising,” said UCLA’s Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris. Sideris says the program’s biggest impact is seen on how well the students perform on California’s standardized physical fitness test. Among those that took part in “Sound Body, Sound Mind,” the percentage of students who passed the test tripled.

How race and perceived innocence influence media coverage | Vox

“Children in most societies are considered to be in a distinct group with characteristics such as innocence and the need for protection,” Phillip Goff, a UCLA researcher and author of the study, said in a statement. “Our research found that black boys can be seen as responsible for their actions at an age when white boys still benefit from the assumption that children are essentially innocent.”

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