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 national courts prosecute crimes that occur elsewhere? | Washington Post

(Commentary by UCLA’s Leslie Johns, Máximo Langer and Margaret E. Peters) But why is a German court prosecuting crimes committed by a Syrian against other Syrian nationals on Syrian territory? Raslan’s trial reflects an important and growing trend in international politics: the assertion of universal jurisdiction by domestic courts. This move toward universal jurisdiction, our research suggests, is driven by migration.

After 2 years of COVID, where do we stand?  | Los Angeles Times

“Those who are vaccinated and boosted are highly protected against severe disease and death,” said Dr. Robert Kim-Farley of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. The vaccine doesn’t prevent infection, just as the flu vaccine doesn’t necessarily keep you from getting the flu. But you’re likely to have an easier time of it.

LAUSD may continue to postpone athletics | Los Angeles Times

The pause might offer coaches a bit of breathing room. However, Zuofeng Zhang, chair of the Department of Epidemiology at UCLA, said the break would do little to slow the spread of the Omicron variant if student-athletes are still in classes. “Why can’t we just give a pause to the in-person instruction, at least until the end of this month, to avoid this peak?” Zhang said. “By the end of the month, [cases are] going to reach a peak and it’s going to start to drop.”

Supreme Court blocks workplace vaccine mandate | MSNBC’s “Zerlina”

“It’s a very complicated moment for everybody, to be thinking about what the risk is and how they’re going to manage risk, not only in their home setting but in their work setting,” said UCLA’s Anne Rimoin (approx. 1:05 mark).

Lifting blood-donation restrictions on gay, bisexual men | NBC News

If the FDA were to lift donor bans for men who have sex with men, the annual blood supply would increase by 2 to 4 percent, or 345,400 to 615,300 pints of blood annually, according to the Williams Institute, a think tank at UCLA School of Law.

New cases slow in cities where Omicron hit first | New York Times

Christina Ramirez, a biostatistician at the University of California, Los Angeles, said it was too early to tell where the United States was in its surge. Omicron passed through and peaked in South Africa in about a month, but countries like Denmark and Germany look more like a “jagged sawtooth,” she said. “You get a couple days where it goes down, goes back up and goes back down.”

Checking privilege in the animal kingdom | New York Times

Jennifer Smith, a behavioral ecologist at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., said the idea for the paper arose early in the pandemic, in conversations that she and colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles, Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowtiz and Michael Alfaro, had over (of course) Zoom. They saw how Covid-19 was highlighting health disparities and other inequalities around the world. The scientists began to wonder if they could learn more about inequality by studying it in animals.

Biden announces more tests, masks, hospital staff | NPR’s “All Things Considered”

Lindsay Wiley, a health law professor at UCLA, agrees. She says the administration went all in on vaccination and has been much slower on masks and tests. And she says from her perspective, this is clearly “a failure to prioritize those areas, a failure to foresee that vaccination alone was not going to be sufficient.”

Concerns over mobile sports betting industry | “CBS Mornings”

“There’s some concern there. There’s concern there that if we go too quickly, we end up creating more harm than good. We may end up suppressing the discussion of proper prevention, how to actually do treatment,” said UCLA’s Timothy Fong. Dr. Fong says it’s a shared responsibility between consumers, regulators and the gaming industry to reduce harm from gambling disorders (approx. 4:10 mark).

The latest COVID surge, by the numbers | KPCC-FM’s “AirTalk”

“If the numbers get high enough, it’s still going to stress our health care system. So to put it in perspective, about this time last year, we were averaging about 21,000 cases of COVID-19 a day, and almost 300 deaths a day. We had about 8,000 people in the hospital. Now, we’re looking at over 40,000 cases a day … but we’re seeing just under about 4,000 people hospitalized and about 40 deaths,” said UCLA’s Dr. Timothy Brewer (approx. 1:20 mark).

Investigation into unregulated COVID testing sites | KCBS-TV

Dr. Omai Garner is director of point-of-care testing at UCLA. When asked how reliable the pop-up testing sites are and how much trust people should put them in, Dr. Garner said he thinks that’s unknown. “Where is that test going? Who’s even doing that test once it’s collected? I think that these aren’t things that we know” (approx. 1:25 mark).

Gov. Newsom’s K–12 education budget | EdSource

“The governor’s proposed budget includes strategic education and social investments to continue to eliminate deep inequities apparent by race and income throughout the state of California for young people, caregivers and families. A focus on expanding quality early education, in-school meals, mental health, strengthening the staffing and educator pipeline, bilingual education, expanded learning opportunities and prioritizing learning for justice-involved youth will yield great dividends for our state,” said UCLA’s Joseph Bishop.

As COVID surges, rapid tests can cost up to $300 | CalMatters

“There is a requirement that testing be free, but there is no requirement of how fast those test results need to be returned,” said Shira Shafir, a UCLA professor of epidemiology. “With this omicron surge, some people are again waiting four to five days for those lab results and at that point those results are essentially useless.” 

COVID and pregnancy complications | STAT

Unvaccinated pregnant people who get Covid-19 are at much higher risk for complications from the disease and death of their babies than their vaccinated counterparts, according to a new study from Scotland … “The plane is already flying and we’re trying to figure out how to rebuild it,” said Yalda Afshar, a maternal and fetal medicine researcher and physician at the University of California, Los Angeles, who was not involved with the study.

Closer to finding possible cure for HIV | The Hill

Researchers at UCLA have inched closer to finding a cure for human immunodeficiency virus by targeting infected cells that could be lying dormant in the body. In a study published in the journal Nature Communications this week, researchers improved upon a method originally developed in 2017 to kill hidden HIV-infected cells using cells that are naturally produced by the body’s immune system. The advance brings scientists one step closer to control or even eradicate the virus, which attacks the body’s immune system. (UCLA’s Jocelyn Kim is quoted.)

How the gut may affect brain function in mice | The Scientist

“I agree with the conclusion about the possible role of the microbiome on environmentally induced neuroplastic effects,” writes Emeran Mayer, a neurobiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who has investigated communication between the brain and gut but was not involved in the present study. However, as [short-chain fatty acids] are volatile, diverse, and have multiple effects on different cell types, he says it’s not possible to draw conclusions about the role of these metabolites based on their oral administration in the study.

U.S. immigration policy ‘weaponizes the desert’ | Texas Public Radio

“The argument that the government makes is that ‘migrants do this to themselves, it’s not our fault that people die in the desert,’” said [UCLA] anthropologist Jason De León. “But what I’ve been arguing for a long time is that we have a policy in place. It’s called Prevention through Deterrence. It weaponizes the desert. It forcibly pushes people towards places like the Arizona desert or the South Texas backwoods, so that folks will have to walk for days and days.” (De León is interviewed.)