UCLA In the News January 4, 2019

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

Five ways to tell if a slowdown will turn into a recession | CNN Business

“When manufacturing weakens, the firms wouldn’t lay workers off, they would cut back their overtime hours,” says economist Ed Leamer, who directs the UCLA/Anderson Business Forecast Project. So far, manufacturing workweeks remain very long by historical standards, after reaching their longest point since World War II in the spring of 2018.

Detecting depression: Phone apps could monitor teen angst | Associated Press

At UCLA, as part of a broader effort to battle campus depression launched in 2017, researchers are offering online counseling and an experimental phone app to students who show signs of at least mild depression on a screening test. About 250 freshmen agreed to use the app in the first year. Personal sensing data collected from the app is being analyzed to see how it correlates with any worsening or improvement in depression symptoms seen in internet therapy.

Gavin Newsom may not be so lucky on the economy | Los Angeles Daily News Opinion

A few miles down Highway 101 from Cal Lutheran, economists at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management also see California’s economy cooling. Anderson Forecast Director Jerry Nickelsburg cites a trade war with China as another risk for California’s international trade and “could adversely affect the logistics industry, one of the fastest growing sectors in California this past year.”

The dean of UCLA Law explains the uncertain future of forensic science | The Verge

Shows like “Law and Order” and “CSI” have taught a generation of Americans that blood spatters and handwriting analysis are crucial for catching criminals. The reality, says UCLA School of Law Dean Jennifer Mnookin, is that many of these so-called pattern evidence techniques used in forensic science are faulty and not supported by evidence. In fact, when it comes to wrongful conviction cases (where new DNA evidence proves that someone was innocent), bad forensic science is the second most frequent contributing factor, behind only eyewitness testimony. There are real, and harmful, consequences to forensic science in the courtroom.

Opioid abuse up in people who need heart surgery, raising risk of complications | Reuters

The study wasn’t designed to prove whether opioid use disorders worsen surgical outcomes. Even so, the results highlight the need to identify opioid use disorders before surgery because these drugs can damage the heart and blood vessels, said Dr. Gregg Fonarow of the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles. “Opioids can slow the heart rate and lead to excess dilation of blood vessels producing potentially dangerous drops in blood pressure, and opioid use can suppress respiration,” Fonarow, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

LAUSD board members urge teachers to seek compromise and avoid strike | Daily Breeze

UCLA Professor John Rogers, director of the university’s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access, said a strike appears likely as the two sides offer responses to longterm threats ailing the nation’s second largest school district that are poles apart. “The district leadership is underscoring the importance of impending deficits and the teachers union is more concerned about longterm insolvency of public education in Los Angeles,” he said. “In addition to these two different ways of looking at and responding to reality, the other thing to look at is there’s a lot of ill will and distrust.”

Tumblr’s ban on porn needs work | CNN Business

As AI tools improve, humans will remain an important part of the moderation process. Sarah T. Roberts, an assistant professor at UCLA who researches content moderation and social media, points out that humans are especially good at dissenting when necessary. For example, we may be able to identify that an image depicting a violent scene is actually a war crime against a group of people. This would be very hard for a computer to determine. “I think people will always be better at [understanding] nuance and context,” she said.

‘Cameras can’t get in’ is only reason Democrats say border patrol facility that held girl is still open | Washington Post Analysis

As the fight over the border wall continues, Power Up talked to Kelly Lytle Hernández, a professor of history at the University of California Los Angeles and an expert on race and immigration, for some historical perspective on border politics. Today’s brand of vitriolic discourse is nothing new, Lytle Hernández told us: it actually goes back more than 150 years, predating the modern-day border itself. “You can certainly think about the U.S.-Mexico border as always having been this site of contest and struggle,” she said. “It has always been a struggle over migration across the border.”

California housing costs push migrants away from areas providing the most help | CALmatters

“Finding a lawyer is powerfully associated with positive outcomes in these cases,” said Ingrid Eagly, a UCLA law professor. She and her colleagues did a study tracking outcomes for families after being released from detention. Between 2001 and 2016, released families that did not have a lawyer were only allowed to stay in the country 7 percent of the time. Those who had a lawyer increased their odds to 49 percent. “They’re more likely to be able to gather evidence, to work collaboratively with their lawyer and to otherwise prepare and find witnesses who can testify in their case,” said Eagly.

More Tri-State residents are leaving the area than moving in, new study finds | NBC New York

The moving company’s data “aligns with longer-term migration patterns to southern and western states, trends driven by factors like job growth, lower costs of living, state budgetary challenges and more temperate climates,” economist and University of California, Los Angeles professor Michael Stoll said in a statement. (Also: Patch)

From almonds to walnuts, this food group has some great health benefits | Environmental Nutrition

According to a study of about 34,000 American adults, walnuts might cut the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by half compared to those who don’t eat nuts. “For each handful — increase in walnut intake — the prevalence of diabetes dropped 47 percent. The effect appears to be more potent among women than men,” said Lenore Arab, professor emerita of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the primary investigator of this study.

Core set of autism traits shows up in diverse cultures | Spectrum

The [Autism Spectrum Quotient] is not commonly used as a clinical instrument. More typically, scientists use it to study autism traits in the general population, says Catherine Lord, distinguished professor in residence of psychiatry and education at the University of California, Los Angeles. Still, the research underscores the idea that nuances in wording influence how caregivers interpret the questionnaire and recognize autism. “It’s a wake-up call,” Lord says. “We tend to forget that reading a questionnaire is a behavior.”

UCLA-derived Bruin Biometrics wins federal clearance to sell scanner | Los Angeles Business Journal

Bruin Biometrics, a UCLA medical device spinoff based in Westwood, has been granted federal clearance to sell a wireless scanner to detect bedsore risk. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the sale of the company’s SEM Scanner, a handheld portable device that can assess increased risk for pressure ulcers, or bedsores…. “Objective, scientific data from the SEM Scanner can give clinicians confidence to take action and intervene with methods to prevent pressure ulcers,” said Barbara Bates-Jensen, a professor at the UCLA School of Nursing and its School of Medicine and a co-inventor of the SEM scanner, said in a statement.

New treatment shows promise for some with peanut allergy | L.A. Parent

Conducting such a study, in this case a phase-three clinical trial of a drug called AR101, isn’t simple, as allergist/immunologist Rita Kachru of UCLA Medical Center, a principal investigator in the study, explains. UCLA was one of 35 study centers participating in the trial and enrolled nine patients. To find those nine, they meticulously tested patients’ reactions to peanuts, and enrolled those who had allergic responses to less than 100 mg, the equivalent of about one-third of a peanut. 

Genetic data on half a million Brits reveal ongoing evolution and Neanderthal legacy | Science

“Imagine 1% of the population has a Neanderthal variant,” says [Sriram] Sankararaman, now a computational geneticist at the University of California, Los Angeles. “If you’re looking at half a million people, you’re looking at enough copies of that variant in enough individuals [5,000] so you can detect subtle effects.”

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