UCLA In the News September 4, 2018

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

Noxious mix of smoke and pollution stresses health in California’s heartland | NPR

About 26 percent of school-age children in the San Joaquin Valley, California’s agricultural heartland, have asthma — the highest rate in the state, according to [UCLA’s] California Health Interview Survey.

TV shows scramble to hire more minorities, but pipeline of experienced writers is thin | New York Times

Hollywood’s writing staffs remain overwhelmingly dominated by white men. On more than 200 series in the 2016-17 season, just 13.7 percent of television writers were people of color, according to a report conducted by Darnell Hunt, the dean of social sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, for the advocacy group Color of Change.

New kind of solar cell developed at UCLA just broke efficiency records — by a lot | Inverse

“We’re drawing energy from two distinct parts of the solar spectrum over the same device area,” Yang Yang, a professor of materials science at UCLA, told UCLA Newsroom. “This increases the amount of energy generated from sunlight compared to the CIGS layer alone.”

Amid opioid crisis, UCLA researchers aim to put medical marijuana to the test | NBC News

Edythe London, a distinguished professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the UCLA School of Medicine, said she has designed the study to test different combinations of THC, the principal psychoactive component of marijuana, and cannabidiol, an anti-inflammatory component that does not get the user “high.” (UCLA’s Jeffrey Chen also quoted)

Pasadena’s quick exit from bike-share program is a blow for Metro | Los Angeles Times

The more unexpected competition has come in the form of electric scooters. Companies such as Bird and Lime have flooded the Westside and Mid-City with the small, battery-powered devices that cost $1 to rent and 15 cents a minute to ride, and can be left just about anywhere. “They compete for the same users — and often, much more successfully,” said Juan Matute, deputy director of UCLA’s Institute of Transportation Studies. “You’re not walking an extra two or three blocks from where the dock is to where you want to go.”

Enormous wildfires spark scramble to improve fire models | Nature

Much of the existing research has focused on extrapolating from past trends. But this recent study is aiming to create a more realistic picture of how wildfires and ecosystems will evolve by integrating detailed models of fire behaviour, vegetation and climate across the entire state. This should allow scientists to analyse how more extreme and variable weather will affect wildfires and how ecosystems will respond to them, says Alex Hall, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the project’s principal investigator.

Fire engulfs major Brazilian museum | Wall Street Journal

“There was no other collection like it in Brazil. Absolutely remarkable in its importance,” said William Summerhill, a history professor at UCLA focused on Brazil who visited the site many times and said signs of deterioration were present since at least 1987. “The original is now lost forever.”

8,000 new antibiotic combinations are surprisingly effective, biologists report | Phys.org

“There is a tradition of using just one drug, maybe two,” said Pamela Yeh, one of the study’s senior authors and a UCLA assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. “We’re offering an alternative that looks very promising. We shouldn’t limit ourselves to just single drugs or two-drug combinations in our medical toolbox. We expect several of these combinations, or more, will work much better than existing antibiotics.” (UCLA’s Van Savage also quoted.) (Also: KCBS –TV, The Telegraph, Daily Mail [U.K])

What Californians actually pay on each gallon of gas | Mercury News

In 1909, the state financed a 3,000-mile, 34-route road network with an $18 million bond that had no real funding source, other than the general fund, identified to repay it, said Martin Wachs, professor emeritus of urban planning at UCLA…. “The idea was not that you would be taxing gasoline,” Wachs said, “but you would be charging drivers for their use of the roads.”

Many Californians live in vehicles; lawsuit aims to stop cities from towing their homes | CALmatters

“It’s the credibility of the restrictions,” [UCLA’s Zev] Yaroslavsky said. “If the restrictions were not enforced, then no one would comply with them. The reason you and I rush out to the parking meter when it’s about to expire, to put another quarter in there, is because we don’t want to pay $80 for the privilege of having overstayed our welcome by a minute.... It makes absolutely no sense to take a homeless person’s car, confiscating it, impounding it. If you take away their car, they’re going to be on the street. That’s not a benefit to society. Common sense has to be in play.”

Didi’s safety problem is every ride-share company’s problem | CNN Money

The idea of getting into a stranger’s unmarked car was unheard of even a decade ago. Today, ride-sharing platforms are tremendously popular: Uber, for example, provides 15 million rides worldwide each day. That transition “happened without a lot of oversight or regulation,” said Saba Waheed, a research director at the UCLA Labor Center whose expertise includes labor and sharing economy businesses like Uber and Lyft.

Weight-loss pills can help. So why don’t more people use them? | NBC News

When it comes to dieting, Americans need to reframe how they view weight loss, [UCLA’s Vijaya] Surampudi said. “People need to focus on the health benefits,” she said. “Rather than thinking about how good you’ll look in that dress, you need to be thinking, ‘I won’t get diabetes now.’” Beyond that, a little patience goes a long way. “We didn’t put the weight on overnight,” Surampudi said. “And we shouldn’t expect it to come off overnight.”

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