UC Los Angeles
UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh was hired by Google to write a paper proclaiming the company’s right to be treated as a publisher and thus receive freedom of speech protection.
Volokh argues that Google can be seen as a publisher that only offers information it chooses to provide, allowing the site protection under the First Amendment. Since search algorithms created by Google choose which results to prioritize — just as a newspaper decides which stories will be featured on the front page — it should receive the same First Amendment protection, according to Volokh. The paper could give Google a revolutionary turn of support, stating that the website has no obligation to use neutral computer algorithms that ignore favoring Google-owned results.
UC Merced researchers have identified that the immune system can suffer damage from blocking the protein sclerostin in human bone marrow, a procedure often performed on patients with osteoporsis in order to build bone mass.
While blockage of sclerostin in bone marrow is known to build density of the bone, the study found that this blockage can also potentially lead to reduced production of B cells. Since B cells generate blood cells that are vital to blood circulation and other basic organ functions, their decreased production can result in a weakened immune system. Led by immunology professor Jennifer O. Mailay, the study was the first to examine not only the effects of protein blockage on bone density, but also its impact on cell production.
Researchers at UC Irvine have found that using email services in the workplace can lead to heightened levels of stress and increased heart rates.
Informatics professor Gloria Mark collaborated with assistant project scientist Stephen Voida and U.S. Army researchers to conduct the study, which found that employees who have their email access cut off while at work have reduced stress levels and increased productivity as a result. The five-day study examined individuals permitted to access their email accounts and individuals who were restricted from such access by attaching heart monitors to the subjects while they worked at an office setting. Subjects with email access more frequently switched off browser windows, doing so at an average rate of 18 times an hour, while those with restricted access maintained lower heart rates and reported higher levels of overall happiness.
UC Santa Cruz
The UCSC Long Marine Laboratory just welcomed an endangered Hawaiian monk seal who will be the center of several upcoming studies aiming to learn the mammal’s basic eating patterns and living requirements in order to combat the species’ current endangerment.
The eight-foot long and 370-pound sea lion, named Kakoa, was reported to have exhibited unruly behavior back in his homeland of Hawaii by harassing and devouring monk seal pups. Instead of being euthanized, the nine-year old seal was flown in April to UCSC, where it will be staying for 18 months before it returns to its aquarium in Hawaii. This will be the second time that UCSC has a Hawaiian monk seal to study in on-campus labs, as scientists strive to investigate the possible links between the declining numbers of monk seals and the species’ increased food competition with fishermen and other marine life.
UC Riverside will open the doors of its newly founded Institute for the Study of Immigrant Religions this June with panels and presentations discussing the role of South Asian immigration and religion in American culture.
The program was created in order to celebrate the high level of ethnic, racial and religious diversity at the campus, which was ranked as the most diverse UC campus statewide and sixth most diverse university nationwide. The opening event, which will take place on June 1 and is free to the public, will include a presentation by the nonprofit organization South Asian American Digital Archive and panelists from the university’s religious studies and politics departments.