UCLA In the News November 14, 2018

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

Controversial Students for Justice in Palestine conference will go on at UCLA. Here’s why | Los Angeles Times Opinion

(Commentary by UCLA Chancellor Gene Block) There is no easy way to resolve that discomfort. It remains an awkward reality that our constitutional system, and democracy’s commitment to open debate, demand that Americans allow speech we may oppose and even defend the rights of those who might not defend ours.

As autumn rain in California vanishes amid global warming, fires worsen | Los Angeles Times

“If Northern California had received anywhere near the typical amount of autumn precipitation this year,” UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain said, “explosive fire behavior and stunning tragedy in Paradise would almost certainly not have occurred.” (Also: San Francisco Chronicle, KPCC-FM’s “AirTalk”)

Muse members talk about staying relevant, how they chose Bruin Band for recording | Variety

“We saw a video where the UCLA [Bruin Marching] Band had done a whole Muse tribute thing at one of the football games … and it was amazing. So we thought, why don’t we get them to do a version of ‘Pressure,’” said Muse drummer Dominic Howard.

It’s not the economy, stupid | Washington Post Opinion

In a new book, “Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America,” political scientists John Sides of George Washington University, Michael Tesler of the University of California at Irvine, and Lynn Vavreck of the University of California at Los Angeles argue that the most recent presidential campaign was a clash of identities, to borrow a phrase from the late political scientist Samuel Huntington.

How catastrophic fires have raged through California | National Geographic

In an op-ed last summer, climate scientist Daniel Swain of the University of California, Los Angeles, wrote that California’s governor Jerry Brown mischaracterized the recent siege of wildfires when he said they were California’s “new normal.” “It would be a mistake to assume that the region has reached any semblance of a stable plateau,” Swain said. He urged California’s cities and officials to plan for a future of ever-worsening mega-fires. On Sunday Brown revised his catchphrase: “This is not the new normal,” he said. “This is the new abnormal.”

Her kidney donation now could save her granddaughter’s life later | CNN

And that’s how they came across an innovative new program, the National Kidney Registry’s Voucher Program. Essentially, it’s “a gift certificate for an organ,” Adams said. The program began at the University of California, Los Angeles, four years ago, when then-64-year-old Howard Broadman approached the UCLA Kidney Exchange Program led by transplant surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Veale with the idea of donating his kidney to a stranger now in exchange for a voucher that would potentially provide a kidney for his grandson in the future…. “The voucher capitalizes on donor-recipient pairs who are chronologically incompatible,” Veale said. “These are patients who want to donate their kidney now but are waiting for their loved one, who doesn’t quite need a kidney yet.”

How to avoid losing your memory in the digital age | The Guardian (U.K.)

It is not all bad news when it comes to our reliance on Google and co, though. Other studies have shown it could benefit short-term memory and problem-solving. Gary Small, a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioural sciences at UCLA, compared the brains of “internet naive” and “internet savvy” older adults and found that neural activity increased among the naive group after they had spent a week searching for things online. “We saw significant increases, particularly in the frontal lobe – the thinking brain, the part of the brain that controls working memory.”

Teachers, students on both sides of the border team up to create Baja’s first public dual-language schools | San Diego Union Tribune

The partnership involves many players, including San Diego State, the education departments for both California and Baja, the University of California-Mexico initiative, the University of California San Diego, the California Association for Bilingual Education and Patricia Gándara, co-director of the UCLA Civil Rights Project, Alfaro said.

Saudi Arabia is misusing Mecca | New York Times Opinion

(Commentary by UCLA’s Khaled M. Abou El Fadl) The control of Mecca and Medina has enabled the clerical establishment and the monarchy flush with oil money to extend their literalist and rigid interpretations of Islam beyond the borders of the kingdom. Most Muslims will always prefer a tolerant and ethically conscientious Islam to the variant championed by the crown prince and the acquiescent Saudi clergy.

Doctors not pushing smokers with artery disease to quit | Reuters Health

There are many reasons doctors might not intervene to help smokers quit, said Dr. Joseph Ladapo, a researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine of the University of California, Los Angeles, who wasn’t involved in the study. Sometimes, smoking cessation is not high on the physician’s priority list for the patient, and other times doctors may not know or may not ask a patient about current smoking habits, Ladapo said by email…. “Doctors have access to evidence-based therapies that significantly boost a person’s chances of successfully quitting, but they may not prescribe them if they are not prompted, as this study shows,” Ladapo added.

Civil War study shows father’s stress affects son’s lifespan | NBC News

“What happens to your ancestors can determine what happens to you, but the effects are reversible,” says Dora Costa, an economist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and lead author of a paper about the research that was published Oct. 15 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “It’s not destiny.”

The Congo’s ancient forest could be gone in our lifetime | Gizmodo

“This study is timely and comes at a period of time where we need to restrategize and think of the way we use the forest,” [UCLA’s Kevin] Njabo told Earther. “We need to look at what the forest people want to gain, what input they have, how they survive, what is their livelihood.
The question is not just for the forest but also for those who live within the forest and how do we make sure they can be able to survive just with the minimum standards of life: enough water, health, education.”

Psilocybin could be legal for therapy by 2021 | Rolling Stone

Researchers who pioneered psychedelic science agree — this is a landmark moment for their field. “It really does represent a significant development in the whole history of psychedelic research,” says University of California, Los Angeles, psychiatry and behavioral sciences professor Charles Grob, who conducted foundational psilocybin trials at UCLA in the mid-2000s.

Under poaching pressure, elephants are evolving to lose their tusks | National Geographic

Another collaborator, Shane Campbell-Staton, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California Los Angeles, will study blood, searching for answers about how genetics influences the phenomenon of tusklessness. Exactly how this trait is inherited is “puzzling,” Campbell-Staton says. Tusklessness does seem to occur disproportionately among females. It makes sense that tuskless males wouldn’t be able to compete for breeding access to female elephants, he says. But if this trait was traditionally X-linked — passed down along the X chromosome, which helps determine sex and carries genes for various inherited traits — we would think that because males always get their X chromosome from their mothers that you’d have a really large population of males that are tuskless. “But we don’t see that. Tuskless males are extremely rare in African elephants,” he says.

Will Thousand Oaks be the mass shooting that spurs change? | CNN

Adam Winkler, a UCLA law professor and author of “Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America,” doubts the latest massacre will bring significant change in America. “I think this is a shooting that may inspire an increased gun debate, more dialogue on the gun issue,” he said. “It’s unlikely that Republicans in the Senate or Donald Trump in the White House are going to support the kind of broad, new gun legislation needed to make a difference.”

The tortured souls cleansing the internet of illicit sex and violence | Daily Beast

Up until recently, the work of content moderators was largely unknown. “Commercial content moderators labor in the shadows of social-media platforms,” Sarah Roberts, a professor of information studies at UCLA, says in the documentary. But recent incidents involving Facebook or Twitter’s decisions to remove — or more controversially, leave up — potentially inflammatory or exploitative content have drawn attention to the way these platforms moderate content, and how this influences everything from politics to pop culture.

Google hires a world-class communicator to lead its health team | Forbes

UCLA Health ranked in the 38th percentile for patient satisfaction when [Dr. David] Feinberg agreed to run the system. During his tenure, UCLA’s patient satisfaction scores skyrocketed and catapulted UCLA to the top 1% of all academic hospitals in the country. And Feinberg still wasn’t happy. Statistically, ranking among the top hospitals still meant that 15 out of 100 patients were unsatisfied. Although most CEOs in any industry would be thrilled to land in the top one percent, Feinberg isn’t like most leaders. “I wanted to know why fifteen patients didn’t receive the highest level of compassion and empathy,” Feinberg told me.

How to turn your interests into a career | Nature

Viskontas took piano lessons as a child and made her opera debut at age 11. But her mother, a professional conductor, told her that music did not pay well. So Viskontas, who often listened to the opera singer Maria Callas while doing homework, decided to pursue science instead, earning an undergraduate degree in psychology and French literature at the University of Toronto, Canada, and a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles…. Viskontas saw neuroscience as a stable career choice that might offer ideas about how to better embody roles in operatic performances. But after years of alternating her focus between science and music, she found a way to combine the two, by applying neuroscience to musical training.

Does stress eating actually make you less stressed? | Vox

“So emotional eating can be in response to stress, but it can also be in response to anger or sadness — some researchers even characterize boredom as an emotion. If there’s a Venn diagram, then “emotional eating” is the biggest circle and then within it is what I call stress eating or comfort eating. That’s when you’re eating specifically in response to stress, and not any of these other emotions,” said UCLA’s A. Janet Tomiyama.

Experiment in California suggests right outreach can raise participation of low-income students in aid programs | Inside Higher Ed

A common lament of experts on student aid is that many would-be students who lack resources to pay for college don’t apply for aid for which they are eligible — aid that could make college possible or minimize the need for borrowing. An experiment in California suggests that a shift in messages to potential students may have an impact on this challenge. While the experiment is based on California aid programs, the issues involved are national — both for government and institutional efforts. The California Policy Lab —based at the University of California, Berkeley and UCLA — and the California Student Aid Commission decided to tweak the letter sent to low-income students to tell them they are eligible for state financial aid for college.

Patients with cancer of stomach, bowel respond well to new anti-HER2 drug | Medical Xpress

Professor Antoni Ribas from the University of California Los Angeles, who was not involved in the research, commented: “Although these are early results on a small number of patients, they suggest that this new HER2 targeted antibody can have an effect on difficult-to-treat cancers that have either failed to respond to previous therapies or have recurred. We look forward to further results from this study, as well as the further studies that are planned.”

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