UCLA In the News November 17, 2017

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

Interstellar visitor shaped like giant fire extinguisher | Associated Press

A newly discovered object from another star system that’s passing through ours is shaped like a giant pink fire extinguisher. That’s the word this week from astronomers who have been observing this first-ever confirmed interstellar visitor. “I’m surprised by the elongated shape — nobody expected that,” said astronomer David Jewitt of the University of California, Los Angeles, who led the observation team that reported on the characteristics.

Cataract surgery tied to lower risk of early death | Reuters Health

“The results of this study suggest that cataract surgery may have benefits beyond improving vision even in patients who are elderly or sick,” said senior study author Dr. Anne Coleman, a researcher at the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Snarky coworkers can ruin morale | Quartz

UCLA Anderson’s Corinne Bendersky and Columbia University’s Joel Brockner conducted experiments in which participants were on the receiving end of an unfavorable decision from bosses (assigned an undesirable task or denied a promotion, say). As part of the experiments, the bosses apologized to some participants to whom they had relayed bad news. Other participants received no apology. Then the participants interacted with a “peer” who had observed the unfavorable decision. 

Tool predicts heart attack risk in older surgery patients | Medical Xpress

A tool designed to more accurately predict the risk of heart attack in older patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery works significantly better than traditional risk assessment tools. By having more accurate information, older patients and their physicians can make an informed decision on whether to undergo surgery, UCLA researchers concluded.

America’s new gun control bill won’t prevent mass death | Vice

“Let’s face it, you can’t get any law passed through this Congress, on any issue. And when it comes to guns, you can’t expect any major, effective reforms to be passed by them. If they can get a small fix for a flawed system, that’s better than nothing. It moves the ball. And in this Congress that’s probably a lot more than you could reasonably ask for,” said UCLA’s Adam Winkler.

World’s strongest conservation law under attack | Washington Post

[Commentary co-written by UCLA’s James Salzman] The strongest conservation law enacted by any country, the Endangered Species Act, is under attack. Again. Over the past three decades, bills in every Congress have sought to weaken the act, undermining a crucial law that most Americans support. The 44-year-old law needs reform, but not like this.

Mugabe’s fall may mark end of postcolonial ‘Big Men’ era | Los Angeles Times

“People who have been in power for a very long time, I would have thought they might start looking over their shoulders,” because their own ouster might suddenly seem possible, said John Campbell, [UCLA] Ralph Bunche senior fellow for Africa policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.

The Russia probe has entered Phase 2 | Los Angeles Times

[Commentary by UCLA’s Harry Litman] Phase 1 has given Mueller leverage against higher-level targets, who must be wondering how much the special counsel already knows, and how much he’s about to learn. Careful work may, eventually, enable him to secure evidence against the greatest target of them all: the president. In this second round, Mueller is holding all the cards and has the latitude to play them when and as he chooses.

A Chinese novelist is found in translation | New York Times

According to Michael Berry, a professor of contemporary Chinese cultural studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, “It makes sense that Xue wants to be removed from the cacophony of changes happening in China every day. The outsider perspective living in Montreal lets him explore opinions a writer in China wouldn’t dare to touch upon.”

Gorka says Iran ‘every Friday declares war on us’ | Politifact

Kevan Harris, assistant professor at UCLA and author of a book on Iranian politics, agreed: “To me — and I’ve been to the ‘revolution day’ parades in Tehran as well as the Friday prayers in University of Tehran where the main political sermoning is given — it is political theater.” Harris compared it to Trump’s claims in August that he’ll unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea if it continued to threaten the United States. 

What does 2nd Amendment have to do with race? | KCRW-FM’s “One Year Later”

“I think there is a lot of agreement on many issues when it comes to guns. It’s almost as if there’s such a divorce between the public and our elected officials. I think that if you look at polling data, it shows that most Americans support the idea that individuals have a right to bear arms; that they believe the Second Amendment does protect an individual’s right. At the same time, most people believe there’s plenty of room for gun control within the confines of the Second Amendment,” said UCLA’s Adam Winkler. (Approx. 20:20 mark)

Professor comments on South Korean earthquake | Korea Broadcasting System

“Over the last decade, we have always been surprised by larger earthquakes than we expected,” said UCLA’s Lingsen Meng. “Many of the active structures in the region have been stressed by these big earthquakes.” [Translated from Korean]

Officials probe source of Legionnaires’ cases near Disneyland | Associated Press

“It’s too early to point fingers at Disneyland for those four people,” said Sanjay Mohanty, a UCLA environmental engineering professor who studies water systems.

Senate GOP intent on scrapping health mandate | KPBS-FM (San Diego)

“I think what will happen is, first of all the Congressional Budget Office estimates that immediately four million people will decide not to gain insurance because they’re relatively healthy and they’ll say, ‘I no longer have to pay this penalty if I don’t have insurance, and I’ve been pretty healthy so I’m going to risk going without insurance for a while. If I need it again, I can get it. And I can’t be charged regardless of my health status because those features of the ACA are still intact,’” said UCLA’s Gerald Kominski. 

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