UCI News

AP, Aug. 25, 2019
Some young Americans warm to socialism, even Miami Cubans
Americans who came of age during the last recession often embrace a larger government role in social policy. They cite stagnant wages, student loan debt and a decrease in employer-sponsored health insurance and pensions, according to University of California-Irvine political sociologist Edwin Amenta. … “Today’s socialism for younger people means the Canadian health system and the Swedish welfare state,” Amenta said.

Wired, Aug. 23, 2019
Why the Amazon’s vast wildfires are really bad news for the planet
And the scale of this year’s Amazonian fires also means that the rainforest is being pushed closer and closer to a “biophysical tipping point”, says Jim Randerson at the University of California, Irvine. As the forest shrinks, total rainfall decreases, potentially triggering a downward spiral of declining plant growth. “Once the rainfall declines, it will be difficult for the forests to regrow, even if we have policies in place to allow for reforestation,” he says. “Many modelling simulations suggest we [are] getting closer to this tipping point.”

Daily Pilot, Aug. 23, 2019
Toxic soil in Santa Ana? Community groups are working with UC Irvine to find out
[Enrique Valencia’s] organization, Orange County Environmental Justice, has been working with UC Irvine and other community members for the last two years to determine whether lead levels in Santa Ana soils are high enough to negatively affect residents. … The research started in 2017, when Valencia joined forces with the Santa Ana-based community group Jóvenes Cultivando Cambios and Alana LeBron, a UC Irvine assistant professor of public health and Chicano/Latino studies. [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to communications@uci.edu.]

Healthline, Aug. 23, 2019
Think Prescription Stimulants Like Adderall Improve Focus? They Don’t
Researchers tested and measured what short- and long-term effects these prescription medications had on adults. They recruited 43 people, ages 18 to 35, for a study at UC Irvine’s Sleep and Cognition Lab. … Sara Mednick, PhD, the study’s co-author and UCI associate professor of cognitive sciences and director of the campus’s sleep lab [said] “If you talk to anyone in college who is taking these stimulants, the hope is they’re using them to be able to study and party longer,” Mednick said. “It may make you feel like Superman, but it’s actually not making you smarter.”

Geek.com, Aug. 26, 2019
Study: Teen Tech Time Not to Blame For Poor Mental Health
new study suggests the time teens invest on their phones does not necessarily have an adverse affect on their mental health. “It may be time for adults to stop arguing over whether smartphones and social media are good or bad for teens’ mental health and start figuring out ways to best support them in both their offline and online lives,” co-author Candice Odgers, a professor at the University of California, Irvine and Duke University, said in a statement.

Previously “In the News”