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

Transformative? New device harvests energy from darkness | New York Times

Aaswath Raman was driving through a village in Sierra Leone in 2013 when an idea came to him as suddenly as, perhaps, a light bulb switching on. The village was not equipped with electricity, and Dr. Raman, an electrical engineer at the University of California, Los Angeles, was unaware he was in a village until he heard the voices of shadowed human figures…. Dr. Raman wondered whether he could use all that darkness to make something light up, not unlike the way that solar panels generate electricity form the sun’s heat at night. (Also: Scienmag, Cosmos)

The Milky Way’s supermassive black hole is feasting | CNN

“We have never seen anything like this in the 24 years we have studied the supermassive black hole," said Andrea Ghez, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy and co-senior study author. “It’s usually a pretty quiet, wimpy black hole on a diet. We don't know what is driving this big feast." (UCLA’s Tuan Do also quoted) (Also: Futurism)

Conversion therapy associated with severe psychological distress in transgender people, study says | Washington Post

About 1.4 million adults in the United States identify as transgender, and nearly 700,000 LGBT adults have been exposed to conversion therapy, 350,000 of them as children, according to the Williams Institute, a think tank researching sexual orientation and gender identity issues at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law. Conversion therapy most commonly consists of psychotherapy from mental health professionals or religious counselors in an attempt to change someone’s sexual orientation or sexual identity, but it can also involve “aversion treatments,” such as inflicting physical pain to deter certain thoughts or behaviors, according to the Williams Institute.

While modern life may exacerbate depression, it may also give us tools to treat it | Zócalo Public Square

In fact, depression, which spans emotions ranging from sadness, to the inability to work, to thoughts of suicide, may not be one disease, said psychiatrist Nelson Freimer, who is director of the UCLA Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics. “We really have to start thinking of depression as a group of illnesses which have many features in common,” he said…. Michelle Craske, director of UCLA’s Anxiety and Depression Research Center, said that increasing access to mental health care, while important, would not be enough to address the problem of depression.

This $30 device turns the cold of outer space into renewable energy | Vice

As described in a paper published on Thursday in the journal Joule, the device is based off of a thermoelectric generator that creates electricity from the difference in temperature between a “hot side” and a “cold side.” The researchers — UCLA scientist Aaswath Raman, and Stanford scientists Wei Li and Shanhui Fan — decided to take this idea one step further and use the ambient environment of Earth as a heat source and the cold of outer space as one gigantic cold sink.

Is lab-grown meat the next frontier in ethical eating? | Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Amy Rowat, associate professor of integrative biology and physiology at University of California, Los Angeles, is one of six scientists who received a grant earlier this year from the Good Food Institute in Washington, D.C., to further develop cultured meat. Born and raised in Guelph, Ont., Rowat spent years studying cells and has years of academic experience in the science of food. “All the food that we eat is made of cells,” Rowat said, so developing cultured meat was a natural fit.

Two-thirds of top executives say Trump will be re-elected in 2020, business survey finds | CNBC

Presidents running for reelection amid weak economic conditions also struggle because they need to find other issues to draw voters, Lynn Vavreck, an American politics and public policy professor at UCLA, recently told CNBC. She added that Trump is “better positioned than most” to withstand a slowdown, because he ran on identity-focused issues like immigration in 2016, “but without a good economy it will be harder for him to swing marginal voters.”

California can help save the Amazon rainforest. Do we have the guts to try? | Los Angeles Times Opinion

(Commentary written by UCLA’s William Boyd) And, of course, even if it does work, the Tropical Forest Standard cannot solve the problem of tropical deforestation by itself. But the standard is worth trying. Like so much of California’s approach to climate policy, it is an experiment, one that has a lot of potential upside with very limited downside risk. The program contains multiple safeguards to protect the integrity of the California cap-and-trade program.

Voters in black neighborhoods face longer wait times | The Hill

The research, conducted by economists and statisticians at UCLA, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Chicago, used smartphone data that showed how long more than 150,000 devices had spent at specific polling places across the country as a way to measure how long the owners of those smartphones waited to vote.

How The Post’s analysis compares to other studies of school segregation | Washington Post

We found a small number of districts that became less diverse from 1995 to 2017. Most of these districts became predominantly Hispanic or black. The UCLA Civil Rights Project, using a different measure for segregation, found that integration rose in large suburbs only to fall again. The story could be different in the newly diverse, integrated districts identified by The Post.

How the body’s nerves become accomplices in the spread of cancer | Science magazine

Why would cancer cells form alliances with nerves in the first place, tuning in to their signals and drawing them close? One idea is that a nerve-rich neighborhood is simply a friendly place for cancer, says Steven Cole, a genomics researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles. Because nerves expand and migrate regularly, they crank out molecules that encourage growth and motility — which a nearby cancer cell will gladly drink up. Cole’s group also found that signals from sympathetic nerves nudge immune cells called macrophages to deconstruct nearby tissue, secrete growth-promoting molecules, and recruit blood vessels. “The cancer cells love it,” he says.

As climate change advances, it’s time to think about leaving the coasts | New York Daily News Opinion

“I would like us all to think of ‘retreat’ as not just retreating from unsustainable places but unsustainable ways of life,” Liz Koslov, assistant professor at UCLA offered recently at Columbia University’s Earth Institute conference, “At What Point Managed Retreat: Resilience Building in the Coastal Zone.”

Has a small trial stumbled upon a way to reverse biological aging? | Medical News Today

Prof. Steve Horvath from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health and colleagues initially set out to see if they could restore function in the aging thymus…. They also had a pleasant surprise. At the end of the trial, the researchers found that the mix of drugs they used to restore the thymus gland had also reversed other aspects of biological aging.

Over 20% of adult bike riders weren’t wearing a helmet during a crash | Earth.com

Researchers from Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science and the University of California, Los Angeles analyzed ten years of data from the National Trauma Data Bank. Accident data on 76,032 cyclists from 2002 through 2012 were included in the study, and only 22 percent of adults and 12 percent of young riders involved in an accident were wearing a helmet.  

Battle over ‘progressive’ solutions leaves independent contractors on edge | Los Angeles Daily News Opinion

Companies using independent contractors save “between 29 and 39 cents for every dollar of pay — possibly more for certain classes of construction workers,” says a UCLA report.

Molecular biologists reveal new insights into tumor progression | Science Daily

University of Delaware molecular biologist Mona Batish and collaborators at Harvard Medical School and University of California, Los Angeles, have identified a new circular ribonucleic acid (RNA) that increases tumor activity in soft tissue and connective tissue tumors. Finding this new genetic unit has the potential to advance understanding of the genetics of cancer and how cancer is identified and treated.

How to build a new park so its neighbors benefit | CityLab

“The good news is that stakeholders in about half of the projects we surveyed, including many park advocates and local community organizations, are proposing and actually implementing PRADS,” write Alessandro Rigolon, a professor of city planning at the University of Utah, and Jon Christensen, a professor at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. “The bad news is that the other half of the projects have not taken concrete actions yet.”

Follicle-stimulating hormone may predict bone loss in premenopausal women | Healio

“Measuring serum follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in women in their late 40s may help us forecast who will lose significant bone by the next year — before that bone loss occurs,” Albert Shieh, MD, MS, assistant professor in the department of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, told Endocrine Today. “Our overarching goal is to determine if preventing menopause transition-related bone loss can help prevent osteoporosis and fractures in later life.”