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.

Wildfires drive mountain lions to take deadly risks | Los Angeles Times

Conservationists have long warned that Southern California mountain lions could vanish within decades due to inbreeding and loss of habitat. Now, biologists have identified another threat that could hasten their demise — extreme wildfires. In a paper published Thursday in the journal Current Biology, UCLA researchers found that the 2018 Woolsey fire had greatly increased the odds of a mountain lion being struck fatally by a motorist or killed by a fellow panther in a territorial dispute. (UCLA’s Rachel Blakey was quoted.)

16 years of climate gains wiped away by fire | Los Angeles Times

A nearly two-decade effort by Californians to cut their emissions of planet-warming carbon dioxide may have been erased by a single, devastating year of wildfires, according to UCLA and University of Chicago researchers … “When we look at the contribution of the 2020 wildfires, it becomes almost like a new sector of emissions in the economy,” said Michael Jerrett, a professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and a lead author of the research. “Really, we’re about double the reductions.” (UCLA’s Miriam Marlier was also quoted. Also: Phys.org, Independent, KPCC-FM’s “AirTalk” and CNN International — approx. 2:20 mark).

Asbestos, lung cancer and workers’ rights | NPR’s “Morning Edition”

What they recounted — ever-present asbestos dust with scant protection — stunned six experts in industrial hygiene and occupational health who were consulted by ProPublica. “Totally unacceptable,” said Rachael Jones, professor and chair of the Environmental Health Sciences Department at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Candidate’s ‘trust fund’ plan to tackle wealth gap | Washington Post 

State governments, which usually have to have balanced budgets, lack the borrowing ability to create a universal baby bonds program that would have as far-reaching impact as one backed by the federal government, said Naomi Zewde, assistant professor in the department of health policy and management at UCLA. But, she said, state-level efforts would provide proof of concept. 

Should state universities hire undocumented students? | Los Angeles Times

The University of California is considering a proposal to break legal ground by hiring immigrant students without work authorization in what would be a test of federal law that could dramatically alter tens of thousands of young lives … “At the University of California, students who cannot access DACA are being systematically denied opportunities afforded to their classmates, including employment opportunities that would enhance the research, education and public service mission of the university,” nine UCLA students and scholars wrote to UC President Michael V. Drake in a letter released Wednesday. (UCLA’s Astghik Hairapetian and UCLA students Abraham Cruz Hernandez, Jeffry Umaña Muñoz and Carlos Alarcón were quoted.)

Canaries in the climate-change coal mine | Los Angeles Times

Not long ago, I interviewed Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, a UCLA cardiologist with one of her profession’s more interesting caseloads. Some years back, Natterson-Horowitz was called to the Los Angeles Zoo to perform a transesophageal echocardiogram, a type of internal ultrasound she specializes in. She’d performed the procedure countless times but never in a case quite like this one. That day, she would treat a chimpanzee, her first non-human patient. (Natterson-Horowitz was quoted.)

Newsom’s campaign for governor looks to future | Associated Press

“He’s helping the entire party elevate their national message in ways that people who are in competitive races and in smaller states maybe can’t do,” said Matt Barreto, a UCLA political science professor and a senior adviser to Building Back Better, a nonprofit that launched to support the Biden administration’s agenda. “I don’t see him as taking any spotlight away from anyone.”

Museum uses past to reimagine climate’s future | New York Times

“The paleoclimate perspective has real practical applications,” said Daniel Swain, a U.C.L.A. climate scientist whose recent study predicts that megafloods could submerge parts of Los Angeles and California’s Central Valley and displace 5 to 10 million people. Dr. Swain cautioned that while past models sound wild, they actually downplay threats. That makes weaving those messages into visceral narratives — especially in audience-driven museums — tough.

Social Security allows people to select gender | New York Times

A report in June by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law showed that the number of young people who identify as transgender has nearly doubled in recent years, underscoring an emerging societal embrace of a diversity of gender identities.

How the pandemic created an unexpected ‘baby bump’ | Marketplace

“In fact, starting roughly about nine months after the pandemic, we see what we call a ‘baby bump,’” said Martha Bailey, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and one of the authors of the study. An initial drop in the birth rate in 2020 happened too early to have been caused by the pandemic affecting people’s family planning decisions, according to Bailey. “It seems like a lot of that decline was driven by reductions in childbearing to women who weren’t born in the United States,” she said. (Also: CNN Business and United Press International.)

Millennials in sexless marriages | BBC

Kimberly Anderson, sex therapist and assistant professor of psychiatry at UCLA’s School of Medicine, puts the rate of a ‘low-sex’ marriage at fewer than 25 times per year. Others say the definition is purely subjective; if a couple is unhappy with the frequency at which they’re having sex, there’s a problem worth addressing. 

N.Y. expands assistance for LGBTQ seniors | NBC News

A national survey published in May 2020 by the Williams Institute at UCLA Law painted a bleak picture when it comes to LGBTQ adults experiencing homelessness: When compared with non-LGBTQ adults, lesbian, gay and bisexual adults are three times more likely to report being homeless, while transgender adults are eight times more likely, the survey found. 

On Kenneth Moss’ ‘An Unchosen People’ | Los Angeles Review of Books

(Book review by UCLA’s David Myers) Now Kenneth B. Moss, a professor of Jewish history at the University of Chicago, has come to complicate the story, in ways at once surprising and intuitive, in his new book “An Unchosen People: Jewish Political Reckoning in Interwar Poland.” The golden age of 20th-century Polish Jewish history was, Moss shows with exceptional erudition and profundity, also a time of Kulturpessimismus, marked by a widespread sense of limited options and a narrowing horizon.

Are some comatose people actually conscious? | Scientific American

Communication might be possible using functional MRI, too. A few years ago, Martin Monti, a cognitive psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, used the method to investigate the presence of covert consciousness in a group of behaviorally unresponsive patients. He wanted to see if he could train them to reliably answer “yes” or “no” to questions by using different functional MRI activation patterns.

AI and aircraft wings that morph during flight | New Scientist

The basis of modern AI research is the artificial neural network (ANN), which mimics the structure of the human brain by creating large grids of artificial neurons connected by synapses. Just as the human brain learns new behaviours by strengthening synaptic connections, ANNs learn by adjusting the digital values stored to represent them. Ryan Lee at the University of California, Los Angeles, and his colleagues have borrowed that concept to create a mechanical neural network in which the strength of connections between neurons is replaced by beams of variable stiffness. (Lee was quoted.)

Stem cell therapy delays signs of aging in older animals | The Scientist

One month in, the mice’s kidneys showed signs of regeneration such as cell proliferation, and compared to the tissues of control animals, there was a reduction in inflammatory biomarkers in the kidneys and muscles. Certain tissues also appeared biologically younger as measured by various so-called epigenetic clocks — biomarkers of aging developed by study coauthor Steve Horvath of the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues.

When to get your flu shot | Fox News Channel

“We know that it’s getting colder. People are going inside. We’re going to see cases of respiratory pathogens increase. We’re going to see this happen more than what we’re used to over these last few years because we have so many of these mitigations taken off,” said UCLA’s Anne Rimoin.