UCLA in the News lists selected mentions of UCLA in the world’s news media. Some articles may require registration or a subscription. See more UCLA in the News.

Can California agriculture survive with less water?  | Los Angeles Times

(Commentary by UCLA’s Stephanie Pincetl) The Ojai Valley in Ventura County is a magical place. Consider its elements: the sweet smell of California citrus blossoms in the spring, the open space preserved by orchards, the seasonal creeks that run free through the cultivated lands. But the Ojai Valley is also a place in peril. That’s because the water source that keeps this inland Ventura hamlet thriving is nearly dry.

Mountain lion inbreeding raises extinction fears | KNBC-TV

Scientists tracking two local mountain lion populations, one in the Santa Monica Mountains and another in the Santa Anas, have identified the first reproductive signs of inbreeding among these groups, which are cut off from breeding options by busy freeways. According to the UCLA-led study — which is available online and will be published in the January 2022 edition of the journal Theriogenology — the animals averaged a 93% abnormal sperm rate, while some also displayed physical signs of inbreeding, like deformed tails or testicular defects. (UCLA’s Audra Huffmeyer is quoted. Also: City News Service and KCBS-TV.)

Omicron threatens economic recovery | Time magazine

The variant is another blow to industries like hospitality that were struggling to come back to pre-pandemic employment levels, said Jerry Nickelsburg, faculty director of UCLA Anderson Forecast. That in turn will have a longer effect on growth because “those sectors will not recover as fast as we previously thought”.

Reliability of rapid at-home COVID tests | NBC News

“It takes more virus for the antigen test to be positive than it does for the PCR to be positive,” said Dr. Omai Garner, the director of clinical microbiology at UCLA Health, where he runs a testing lab. “That implies that you are more infectious if you are antigen-tested-positive.”

Stay home or work sick? Omicron conundrum | Associated Press

The U.S. is one of only 11 countries worldwide without any federal mandate for paid sick leave, according to a 2020 study by the World Policy Analysis Center at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Will COVID plague us forever?  | Orange County Register

UCLA professor of medicine and epidemiology Dr. Timothy F. Brewer isn’t sure there’s a meaningful distinction between pandemic and endemic at this point in COVID-19 anyway. “After 40 years, is HIV still a pandemic or is it endemic?” Brewer asked. “Does it matter to how we should or do respond to HIV? What is clear is that, unlike SARS and MERS, SARS-CoV-2 is efficiently transmitted from human to human, which makes elimination problematic.”

Luxury development on hold over wildfire concerns | Los Angeles Times

The orders reflect a growing realization that developers simply can’t continue to push into unoccupied areas without dramatically increasing fire risk, especially as climate change–fueled warming and drying has primed more land to burn more intensely, said Stephanie Pincetl, a professor at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. “I think it’s showing that people are beginning to understand the land use patterns of the past are not ones we can continue to practice,” said Pincetl, who studies climate change, sustainable cities and wildfires.

The latest on the pandemic | KPCC-FM’s “AirTalk”

What are you seeing at UCLA Medical Center? “Our numbers have increased substantially … The number of patients with COVID is certainly higher than it was over the summer. It’s not nearly as high as it was a year ago, when we were in our winter surge, exactly a year ago, but it’s significantly higher,” said UCLA’s Dr. Tara Vijayan (approx. 2:05 mark).

A troubling trend of sports gambling addiction | KABC-TV

“I’m very concerned, particularly if we do not put the proper regulations and protections in place, particularly for those who are at risk to develop gambling addiction, including the young, the old, minority populations — who can develop gambling addiction quickly and often times have no idea that they actually have the disorder,” said UCLA’s Timothy Fong.

HIV breakthrough by UCLA-led team | KNBC-TV

A UCLA-led team of researchers says they may have figured out to how to kill HIV-infected cells, and that could pave the way for a cure one day. The researchers developed what they call a “kick and kill” strategy — they found a way to use cells that are naturally produced in the immune system to kill the infected cells. 

With COVID surge, time to ditch cloth masks | Press-Enterprise

What’s driving the call for more effective face coverings is the unprecedented surge in infections against the backdrop of increasing evidence that the coronavirus forms tiny aerosols that float in the air, said Dr. Russell Buhr, a pulmonary and critical care doctor at UCLA Health. “Aerosols can stay suspended in the air so much longer because they are lighter and smaller,” Buhr said.

Many volcanic islands have cool origins | Popular Science

Volcanic hotspots such as Ascension Island in the South Atlantic may have a surprising origin, indicates a report published on January 6 in “Science.” Scientists have long thought that these islands were fueled by thermal plumes welling up from deep within the Earth’s mantle. However, when researchers compared the temperatures of volcanic hotspots and mid-ocean ridges around the world, they found that many of these so-called hotspots were actually rather cool. (UCLA’s Carolina Lithgow-Bertelloni is quoted.)

Gaming companies try to boost diversity | Los Angeles Business Journal

“One of the things that makes the tech sector unique is its incredible scalability, which has led to the incredibly rapid rise of these enormously powerful and valuable companies,” said Michael Karanicolas, executive director for the UCLA Institute for Technology, Law & Policy. “One consequence of that, and I think this is common across the sector, is a lack of institutional maturity, compared to traditional companies that have attained a similar level of size and reach.”

Calorie-restricted diets may not live up to the hype | Discover

For example, [calorie restriction] may cause the body to actually hold on to calories because we’ve evolved to retain energy during famine, says UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor Dana Ellis Hunnes, a registered dietician. When humans face starvation or extreme calorie restriction, their bodies lower their metabolic rate, decreasing the number of calories burned at rest.

Texas GOP’s Twitter meme stirs controversy | Salon

Long voting lines disproportionately impact voters of color, research has found. A 2020 University of California at Los Angeles study found that people who live in predominantly Black neighborhoods wait 29% longer to vote than those who live in predominantly White neighborhoods.

Mask mandates and domestic air travel | Daily Beast

“Screening unvaccinated persons with tests could identify individuals with asymptomatic infections (or symptomatic persons who are not following recommendations not to travel), reducing the likelihood of contagious persons boarding airplanes,” said Dr. Timothy Brewer, a professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. “Each of these steps reduces transmission risk, thereby protecting everyone on the flight.”