UCLA In the News June 1, 2018

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

Thanksgiving gatherings got shorter after 2016 election | New York Times

The study, which will appear in the Friday issue of Science magazine, found that Thanksgiving celebrations that year were about 30 to 50 minutes shorter for Americans who crossed partisan lines for the holiday than those who traveled to areas that voted like their own. “In this study, what we really care about is using the election of 2016 as a lens on how political polarization is damaging close family relationships,” said M. Keith Chen, an economics professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an author of the paper. It aimed to shed new light on how partisanship can wear down the most basic human bonds, Mr. Chen said. (Also: Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, BBC News, PBS NewsHour, NBC News and HealthDay)

Entertainment studios turn to virtual reality to entice movie fans | Los Angeles Times

Nanthia Suthana, a neuroscientist at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, for example, was one of the first to harness the power of VR to help map how the brain encodes and retrieves memories. “VR is the perfect medium to test those things in human beings,” Suthana said. “We can simulate real-world environments, but still maintain full control over what the participants are seeing.”

Discipline and special ed: Schools work to reduce suspensions | Christian Science Monitor

An April report from the Center for Civil Rights and RemediesDisabling Punishment, concludes that black students with disabilities lose about 77 more days of instruction every school year due to discipline than white students with disabilities. The report is the first to break down suspension disparities for students with disabilities state by state. “There are no excuses for states to ignore these profound disparities,” said Dan Losen, the director of the center — an initiative of the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles – when the report was released.

Meet the biochemist working to cure most common, lethal genetic disease of childhood | Mashable

Rachelle Crosbie-Watson wears a lot of hats. She is a biochemist, the chair of integrative biology and physiology department at the UCLA College of Letters and Science, and a professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. As a researcher she’s dedicated herself to curing the currently incurable: Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a relatively common and deadly childhood degenerative muscle disease. Her lab at UCLA continues to pump out results that they hope will make DMD a distant memory.

Clouds are disappearing in Southern California, and we’re not totally sure why | Mashable

“If you put lots of concrete and buildings on the surface, you do change the properties of the local microclimate,” Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability who had no role in the study, said in an interview. ”But no one has done a formal study why [clouds are decreasing]. We just know that we do observe this trend — it is happening.” It’s possible, though, this trend could be driven by increased warming in urban areas, boosted by climate change. “Los Angeles and San Diego are definitely both warmer than they used to be, particularly at night and in the warm season,” said Swain. “There is a hint, that might be what’s going on here.”

Despite risk of breast cancer, few men undergo genetic tests | Medical Xpress

“If a male has a BRCA mutation, his risk of breast cancer increases a hundredfold,” said Dr. Christopher Childers, a resident physician in the department of surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the paper’s senior author. “BRCA mutations also put men at higher risk for often aggressive prostate cancers that occur at younger ages. These mutations have also been associated with other cancers, such as pancreatic cancer and melanoma.

What’s behind Italy’s crisis and why it matters | The Conversation

[Commentary by UCLA’s Bruno Pellegrino] It was a true political earthquake: The Italian electorate resoundingly rejected the political establishment that has held power since the mid-90s in favor of populism, as happened in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The biggest issues were growing concerns over the euro and immigration. That’s in part because Italy is a major hub for migrants from Africa, an issue that has been a major challenge for the EU. Behind these problems, however, lies an economy that has barely grown in decades. A third of 20- to 34-year-olds are unemployed, and Italy’s debt is at over 130 percent of GDP, which is extraordinarily high.

Datebook: Exhibitions and events to check out | Los Angeles Times

“Striking the Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths,” at (UCLA’s) Fowler Museum. A sprawling exhibition of more than 225 objects will examine the virtuosity of African blacksmiths of the 19th and 20th century, who forged iron objects — such as blades, elements of sculpture and musical instruments — that were as aesthetically pleasing as they were, in many cases, functional…. Shirin Neshat, “Looking for Oum Kulthum,” at the Hammer Museum. Co-presented with Otis College of Art and Design, this screening is devoted to the latest project by the Iranian-born artist, which tells the story of an exiled artist and filmmaker who sets out to capture the life and work of the legendary Egyptian singer Oum Kulthum, known for her extraordinary range and her glamorous style.

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