UCI News

Quanta Magazine, April 21, 2016
The evolutionary argument against reality
Donald D. Hoffman, a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine …. has spent the past three decades studying perception, artificial intelligence, evolutionary game theory and the brain, and his conclusion is a dramatic one: The world presented to us by our perceptions is nothing like reality. What’s more, he says, we have evolution itself to thank for this magnificent illusion, as it maximizes evolutionary fitness by driving truth to extinction. … Quanta Magazine caught up with him to find out more.

Newsy, April 21, 2016
No worthless battery after 200,000 charges? Sign me up (Video)
Your laptop’s battery has been screaming to be replaced for months now, but that replacement isn’t cheap. Which is why this new nanowire battery out of the University of California, Irvine, is so exciting. … The study’s leader tried coating the nanowires in a thin plexiglass-like gel and started cycling them. … It turns out the gel made the wires more flexible and helped them not break, even after hundreds of thousands of charges.

National Geographic, April 21, 2016
Hearts of stone: A fabulous fossil find
But until now, researchers haven’t had the benefit of fossils to know for certain what ancient hearts looked like, since soft tissues such as hearts degrade easily and are notoriously finicky to preserve. “It’s interesting, since we’ve had to draw inferences from [living] organisms,” says James Hicks of the University of California, Irvine, an expert on vertebrate heart evolution who wasn’t involved with the study. “We’re studying the tips of a tree … we’re not looking at the branches.”

Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2016
In search of fair drug prices
Mireille Jacobson, director of UC Irvine’s Center for Health Care Management and Policy, said the dwindling number of drugstore chains makes it harder and harder for consumers to know they’re being treated fairly. “These are not highly competitive markets,” she said. “These are markets with a handful of big, big players, and with customers usually sticking with whatever drugstore is closest to them.”

Popular Science, April 21, 2016
Researchers accidentally make batteries last 400 times longer
Researchers at UC Irvine have used gold nanowires to store electricity, and have found that their system is able to far outlast traditional lithium battery construction. … “We started to cycle the devices, and then realized that they weren’t going to die,” said Reginald Penner, a lead author of the paper. … Other researchers have been experimenting with nanowires for years, but the introduction of the protective gel separates UC Irvine’s work from other research.

Orange County Register, April 21, 2016
Aerial spraying for mosquitoes rejected for O.C. – at least for now
Dr. Dean Baker, director of UC Irvine’s Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, said vector control officials were dismissing risks associated with Duet. The EPA, he said, does not go far enough in testing the pesticide’s health effects on children. … “No pesticide is entirely safe,” Baker said.

Daily Pilot, April 21, 2016
Virgen: Two amazing Toshiba Classic Scholarship Award winners
[Clarissa] Echevarria, 17, a senior at Tustin High, wants to help people who are like her. She was born with cerebral palsy and has been wearing leg braces since she was 2. She will attend UC Irvine as a pre-med major, she said, and wants to study neurology and oncology. “I want to learn more about how to reverse my disability or different treatment options,” Echevarria said …. “I want to study oncology because I knew many people who had cancer while growing up. I want to help make a difference.”

Previously “In The News”