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A Sampling of Clips for July 5, 2011

* UCSD faculty and staff may obtain a copy of an article by e-mailing the University Communications Office

CA College Students Brace for State Budget Cuts
Associated Press, July 3 -- California college students are bracing for higher tuition bills and fewer courses and campus services under a new state budget that once again slashes spending on higher education. The budget signed Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown inflicts the latest blow to California's renowned higher education system, which has helped make the state an economic powerhouse and served as a model for other states and countries. UC President Mark Yudof said higher tuition will cause hardship for many students, but he sees little choice when the university faces a $1 billion budget shortfall driven by rising costs and shrinking public support.
His biggest worry is losing the academic talent that has made UC one of the world's top research universities. (Mentions UC San Diego.) More

Similar story in
USA Today
Washington Post

California GOP Claims Win in Holding Out Against Taxes
Associated Press, July 1-- California's Republican lawmakers are claiming victory after the state budget passed last week without a single GOP vote. They call it a win for taxpayers because the higher income, sales and vehicle taxes approved two years ago have expired. But GOP lawmakers also lost a historic chance to secure their top priorities - reforming public employee pensions, imposing a state spending cap and streamlining business regulations. Even as they opposed new revenue, Republicans hope to pin the blame for massive spending cuts on Democrats while claiming credit for the expiration of the temporary tax increases. UC San Diego political science professor Thad Kousser says Republicans may have gotten the best of both worlds - cuts to government programs without having responsibility for them. More

Similar story in
Salinas Californian

Plastic Found in Pacific Ocean Fish
United Press International, July 1 -- Scientists say plastic was found in 10 percent of small fish collected in the northern Pacific Ocean in a study of marine debris entering the food chain. Researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, estimated fish in the northern Pacific are ingesting as much as 24,000 tons of plastic each year, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. The study says fish are feeding on marine refuse, mostly small flecks of discarded plastic, accumulating in huge, slow-moving ocean currents called gyres.The small fish gathered in the study, called lantern fish, are a common food source for larger fish and researchers worry that plastics and pollutants they contain could be making their way up the food chain into seafood ingested by humans. More

Programming a Fetus for a Healthier Life
Wall Street Journal, July 3 -- Early intervention is among the most effective ways to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes, scientists believe. A study just getting under way is taking that to a new extreme: targeting fetuses still developing in the womb. The study, sponsored by the U.K. government, aims to use medication to change the environment in the uterus of pregnant women in order to improve the child's health later in life, a concept known as fetal programming. (Quotes Wulf Palinski, an adjunct professor of medicine at UC San Diego, who conducted the animal studies with colleagues.) More

New Strides Toward Artificial Pancreas
CBS News, July1 -- Spurred on by diabetes advocates and lawmakers, researchers report continued progress toward the development of an artificial pancreas for people with type 1 diabetes. For more than three decades, researchers have been tying, without success, to develop an artificial pancreas. The artificial pancreas is actually an automated, closed-loop system consisting of a continuous glucose monitor, an insulin infusion pump, and a glucose meter for calibrating the monitor. (Quotes Robert R. Henry, MD, president of medicine and science for the American Diabetes Association and also a professor of medicine at UC San Diego.) More

The power of D: Sunshine Vitamin’s
Potential Health Benefits Stir Up, Split Scientists

Science News, July 1 -- Proponents of vitamin D are increasingly convinced that the sunshine vitamin delivers the goods, no strings attached. It offers a safe route to better health, these advocates say, by promoting proper function of the bones, heart, brain, immune system, you name it. Proponents claim most people don’t get enough. Whereas humans’ pre­historic ancestors lived outdoors and made oodles of vitamin D in their sun-exposed skin, people today have become shut-ins by comparison — and scant sun exposure means low vitamin D. While scientists concur that it is essential for bone maintenance, some stop right there. (Quotes Cedric Garland, a public health researcher at UC San Diego.) More

Big Quake Near Salton Sea May Be Long Overdue
San Francisco Chronicle, July 3- The southern end of the San Andreas Fault may be overdue for a large earthquake that could cause heavy damage to the Los Angeles area, scientists have concluded after studying a record of ancient quakes and flooding around the seismically active region of the Salton Sea. The researchers report finding evidence of many small past quakes that have ruptured along small "stepover" faults which run at right angles to the southern end of the San Andreas. The underground stresses those small quakes have built up could trigger a much bigger one in the future on the dominant San Andreas, they say. A report from a group at the U.S. Geological Survey in Woods Hole, Mass., the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego and the Nevada Seismological Laboratory in Reno suggests that a major temblor in the Salton Sea region could reach a magnitude greater than 7 - significantly larger than the 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta quake of 1989 in the Bay Area. More

Similar story in
The Patch

A Conspiracy of Doubt About Climate Change
NPR, June 30 -- Most scientists agree that the climate is changing and that humans are partly to blame, but doubts are still raised in politics, in the media, and around the dinner table. Is there a small cadre of scientists and industry–financed think tanks that have worked to spread doubt about climate change science? That's what Naomi Oreskes, a professor of geosciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, and Erik Conway write in their new book, "The Merchants of Doubt." More

Similar story in
Vancouver Sun

Kelp, Flies Cover San Diego Beaches
KPBS, July 1--Kelp beds off San Diego’s coast thrive in cold waters. Last year’s La Nina provided perfect conditions for a large, healthy crop. “In a good nutrient year like a La Nina, the kelp will grow very, very rapidly, and actually they can recruit from little babies, you know germinating babies, and grow all the way to the surface within a year," said Ed Parnell, marine ecologist with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. But now the waters are warming up and some of the kelp is dying off and washing ashore. And that’s attracting swarms of flies and worms. More

Space Shuttle Era Ending With Unmet Goals
San Diego Union-Tribune, July 2 -- American astronauts were expected to have traveled far from Earth by now, either on trips back to the moon, out to an asteroid or maybe even to Mars.
But as NASA prepares to launch the shuttle for a final time on July 8, scientists and historians say none of those goals have been met. There’s also no clear successor to the shuttle, or a specific timetable for sending humans beyond low-earth-orbit. Even in San Diego, where workers helped build the shuttle, there’s been no major outcry over the curtain falling on 30 years of shuttle flights. (Quotes Megan McArthur, a shuttle astronaut who earned her doctorate at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.) More

Expanding Diversity in UCSD Student Population
San Diego Reader, July 1 -- UC San Diego announced on Friday that it will be accepting a record number of transfer students and a more diverse student base when classes begin in the fall. The university will admit 3,692 freshmen and 3,061 new students via transfer this September.
Six hundred-seven Mexican-Americans and 161 Latinos will be among the freshmen, up 18.8 percent and 27.8 percent from last year’s totals, respectively. Incoming transfer students from “underrepresented” ethnic groups are also up 13.6 percent over last year. More

Preuss School UCSD Class of 2011
The Patch, July 1 -- The local California Distinguished School held its 2011 commencement ceremony on Thursday afternoon. Nearly 100 Preuss School UCSD seniors received their high school diplomas on Thursday and 100 percent of graduates are college-bound, and are the first generation in their families to do so. The Preuss School is a nationally recognized school. The school has longer school days and an extended school year. More

Researchers Celebrate Five Years in Science Research Park
San Diego Daily Transcript, July 1 -- The La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology, Kyowa Hakko Kirin California Inc. and UC San Diego celebrated five years of partnership this week, with the anniversary of the opening of a state-of-the art research facility in the new Science Research Park. UC San Diego’s park is located adjacent to the East Campus Medical Center complex and just east of the Moores Cancer Center. The university launched the park to encourage science and technology organizations with shared interests to the university to locate on the UC San Diego campus. More

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