UCI News

Popular Science, May 12, 2022
Lake Powell’s drought is part of a growing threat to hydropower everywhere
When hydroelectric power isn’t reliable, people typically turn to fossil fuels, says Brian Tarroja, an energy [assistant professional] researcher at the University of California, Irvine. “You do want to build new assets, more renewable energy, more storage, more flexibility and all that stuff,” he says. … That could mean plants that work with lower amounts of water. Even more crucial, he says, is making sure that other renewable energy sources are built up as well. Otherwise, shortcomings in hydropower will continue to mean sliding back into fossil fuel use.

OCWORLD, May 9, 2022 (Video)
‘Hope Dies Last’ Alzheimer’s: A Journey of Lost Memories
“We know people are afraid of this disease and as we get older, more people are wondering, ‘Am I at risk for getting Alzheimer’s Disease? Do I even have the beginnings of Alzheimer’s Disease?’” said Joshua Grill, Ph.D. Director of UCI MIND. One of UCI MIND’s primary goals is to understand the causes leading to neurological disorder. … “If we can find treatments that push the disease off, delay it by five or ten years, we actually dramatically would reduce the number of people afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease. And the knowledge we’ve gained over recent decades … may position us to do just that,” said Grill.

Healthline, May 11, 2022
Ditching Social Media for Just 1 Week Can Boost Your Mental Health
“If you are feeling tension, pain, or having trouble taking a deep breath, turn it off,” said E. Alison Holman, a professor at the Sue and Bill Gross School of Nursing at the University of California, Irvine. She further suggests doing an alternative activity that make you feel good, like listening to your favorite song or playing with your pet.

Discover, May 13, 2022
Understanding the Basis of Superior Memory
Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory [HSAM] has puzzled researchers since 2000, when the first person with such superior memory reached out to James McGaugh, a now distinguished professor emeritus at the University of California, Irvine. When asked about his hypothesis for the origin of HSAM, McGaugh brings up a 2018 study published in PNAS. “It suggests the possibility that what underlies this is a strong ability to retrieve information that is in the brain,” McGaugh says. … Craig Stark, a professor of neurobiology and behavior at the University of California, Irvine said, “They forget very, very slowly, but they forget very slowly just the events of their lives.”

Mother Jones, May 10, 2022
This Research Explains Why Equality in America Is So Elusive
The findings are “really compelling,” psychologist Paul Piff, an [associate professor of psychological science] at UC Irvine who studies how people’s relative wealth and status affect their attitudes and behavior, says in an email. People in general, and particularly elites, “tend to perceive inequality as something abstract and fairly distant,” he says. “Inequality-mitigating policies are often framed in terms of policies to help the poor, which isn’t necessarily all that motivating for (some) folks. In a sense, then, combatting inequality rarely appeals to self-interest, which is a massive motivation for those advantaged in society to preserve the status quo insofar as it benefits them.”

Previously “In the News”