UCLA In the News March 20, 2019

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

Scientists say that our brains are not fully grown up when we are in our twenties | Daily Mail

Professor Daniel Geschwind, from the University of California at Los Angeles, stressed the degree of individual variability in brain development, saying education systems mistakenly tend to focus on groups, not individuals. Professor Geschwind added: “These are larger questions that go beyond the science. There are individual trajectories... development takes place over decades. But this varies from individual to individual.” (Also: Mirror)

Farmers are supposed to consider safer alternatives to toxic pesticides. UCLA report says that’s not working out well | KQED

Just under 200 million pounds of pesticides a year are used on California’s crops. When it comes to using them safely, 56 county agricultural officers are local communities’ final line of defense. But a new report produced at UCLA suggests that a lack of guidance for county agricultural offices in considering alternatives or cumulative impacts for toxic exposures, may be putting people at risk. “Many of these counties are really committed to doing good work in terms of oversight and inspection,” says Tim Malloy, a professor of law at UCLA and the report’s lead author. “But we can ask too much of them and I think they need additional resources coming from the state level to allow them to do good work at the local level.”

Facts about fake news’s influence on U.S. elections and the fight against misinformation | Los Angeles Times

Lazer and others analyzed more than 16,000 Twitter accounts over a four-month period in 2016. They found that just 0.1% of users were responsible for sharing nearly 80% of fake news on the social network. The spread of fake news was mostly concentrated among conservative users, according to their study published in January in the journal Science. That’s in line with research conducted by a team from UCLA in 2017. They examined how personality traits and thinking styles affect people’s intake and acceptance of information, and found that conservatives are more likely than liberals to believe things that aren’t true when the possible consequences are negative, or suggest possible danger.

Why it’s rarely easy to prove joke theft in the legal world | Variety

While comedians don’t sue each other much, according to UCLA School of Law professor Kal Raustiala, the informal rules in the comedic community dictate that “if you came up with the premise of the joke, you own that joke. Those don’t really track what the law says, but that’s how they kind of keep things, in their view, from getting out of hand,” Raustiala said. “And I think in practice it actually works pretty well. So it’s like a social-shaming kind of approach.”

How artificial intelligence is finding new cures in old drugs | Fortune

It owes its growing importance in large part to GNS’s technology adviser, Judea Pearl, a longtime A.I. researcher and professor of computer science at UCLA. In a popular volume published last year called “The Book of Why,” Pearl describes how true intelligence ascends from merely noticing patterns, which machine learning does in spades, to being able to express counterfactual reasoning about what would have happened, based on those patterns. Data alone, disconnected from any idea of a mechanism, doesn’t provide real insight. “Data is profoundly dumb about causality,” claims Pearl. Hill puts it more bluntly: “Deep learning is not that deep.”

To curb traffic, cities explore implementing congestion pricing during peak hours | NBC News

“The basic idea is that you use tolls for the specific purpose of reducing traffic congestion,” Michael Manville, an urban planning professor at UCLA, told NBC News. “The last 5 percent of vehicles on the road account for a disproportionate share of the delay all cars feel,” Manville said. “If you can find a way to deter a small proportion of vehicles, you get a big improvement in speed and big increase in flow.” And it turns out charging people more to drive helps shave off the last 5 percent. Manville says congestion pricing has been shown to ease traffic, make highways flow faster and free up side streets.

White House says Trump will drive a 10-year economic boom; economists disagree | Business Insider

Earlier in March, the UCLA Anderson Forecast, a well-known bellwether economic report suggested that the US economy will slow to recessionary levels in the next year, while a survey from the National Association for Business Economics showed that 77% of economists forecast a recession by 2021.

Why we need to reinvent democracy for the long term | BBC

As Ann Carlson, a professor of environmental law at the University of California Los Angeles, told Vox recently: “That’s the brilliance of having children as the plaintiffs … they’re arguing about the future of the planet.” If successful, it will be a landmark case finally granting rights to the citizens of tomorrow.

Jack the Ripper revealed? | KCBS-TV

Dr. Stanley Nelson, a UCLA professor of human genetics, says the DNA case against [Aaron] Kosminski is strong, but not completely iron-clad. “They’re not identifying a unique person, actually it’s about one in 50 to one in a hundred individuals in modern England have this mitochondrial type.”

Uncertain projections help to reveal the truth about future climate change | Phys.org

The first emergent constraint was identified on the snow-albedo feedback by lead author Professor Alex Hall of the University of California in Los Angeles, who said: “we found that the seasonal variation in the amount of snow-cover was closely related to the strength of the snow albedo feedback in the future, across a wide range of climate models. “As we have satellite measurements of snow-cover variations in the recent past, we can use these observations to select the most likely values of snow-albedo feedback across the models.”

17 research-backed habits that could help you live to be 100 | EatingWell

It’s important not to consume too few calories, either…. UCLA evolutionary biologist John Phelan told EatingWell that the gains from consuming a restricted-calorie diet aren’t enough to make it worth our while. Instead, focus on meeting your body’s specific caloric requirements for proper nutrition and longevity.

Wealth and admissions | Inside Higher Ed

Ozan Jaquette, an assistant professor of education at the University of California, Los Angeles, was one of those involved with the study on demographic shifts following an increase in out-of-state enrollment. He is also one of the lead researchers on the Off-Campus Recruiting Research Project, which looks at where colleges and universities recruit.

A shift in giving means local nonprofits must adapt | Los Angeles Daily News Opinion

A 2016 study by UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs found that charitable giving in Los Angeles fell by more than $1 billion between 2006 and 2013. While the Great Recession likely skewed the data, it is also true that our region lost about 165,000 white-collar, managerial-class jobs over the past 20 years as companies moved out of the region. Over this same period, the local population rose by approximately a million people.

Ultrasound provides precise, less invasive way to measure heart function in children | Medical Xpress

In an accompanying editorial, Christine T. Trieu, M.D., physician anesthesiologist, at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, noted there are very few commercially available, precise cardiac output monitoring devices for infants and young children. “Despite the encouraging results from this study, there are still many challenges in developing the ideal cardiac output monitor for pediatric patients,” said Dr. Trieu. “This is the reason why we welcome and applaud the study by Dr. Sigurdsson et al; it offers the possibility of a simple and reliable method that uses arterial line and central line to measure cardiac output in children of all sizes.”

J.H. Kwabena Nketia, 97, pre-eminent scholar of African music, dies | New York Times

He held professorships at the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Pittsburgh; and the University of Ghana, where he helped shape the curriculum after Ghana broke free from British rule. His 1974 book, “The Music of Africa,” is widely considered a definitive historical study, and “Ethnomusicology and African Music,” a collection of his writings published in 2005, is used in classrooms throughout Africa and across the world.

Scientists discover common blueprint for protein antibiotics | Phys.org

[Michael] Yeaman is also a Professor of Medicine at UCLA, and Chief of the Division of Molecular Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. To further validate the significance of this discovery, he and Yount worked with Gerard Wong and his team from the Department of Bioengineering, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA. Together, they applied state-of-the-art artificial intelligence and machine learning methods to verify how the alpha-core signature encompasses features of peptides known to exert strong antimicrobial activity. This is an example of how medicine, bioengineering and computational modeling can work toward improved health outcomes.

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