Media Watch

Medical Xpress

Population distribution can greatly impact COVID-19 spread, study finds

Medical Xpress -
"Social networks aren't smooth and tidy. They're rough and irregular, so diseases like COVID-19 that are transmitted through intensive contact can spread very unevenly," said co-author Carter Butts, UCI professor of sociology. "This results in some communities getting hit much earlier and a lot harder than others, even within the same area. Those different experiences can shape individuals' understanding of infection risk, impact their willingness to take protective actions, and potentially stress healthcare delivery systems in ways that are not captured well by standard epidemiological projections." Read More
The Atlantic

The United States has become a disaster area

The Atlantic -
Researchers who study this tangled web of crises call them “cascading disasters”—disasters that trigger other disasters like falling dominoes. As the climate warms, they are becoming increasingly common. Many risk analysts, though, still treat each disaster as a discrete event, according to Amir AghaKouchak at UC Irvine and Farshid Vahedifard at Mississippi State University. Read More
Kaiser Health News

KHN morning briefing

Kaiser Health News -
Twitter users were most likely to retweet public health agency tweets that contained practical information on the medical effects of COVID-19, how to mitigate those effects, and the status of the pandemic, according to a study published today in PLOS One. Led by researchers at the State University of New York in Albany and the University of California, Irvine, the study involved analyzing 149,335 tweets from 690 Twitter accounts of public health, emergency management, and elected officials across the United States from Feb 1 to Apr 30. (Van Beusekom, 9/16) Read More
Medical Xpress

When do people retweet health agencies' COVID-19 messages?

Medical Xpress -
An analysis of Twitter messages has surfaced certain features of COVID-19-related tweets by public health agencies that were associated with a higher likelihood of the tweets being passed along—"retweeted"—by individual Twitter users. Jeannette Sutton of the University at Albany, New York, and co-investigator Carter T. Butts at the University of California, Irvine, present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on September 16, 2020. Read More
E&E News

Coffee-cup-size gadget could hack solar power — study

E&E News - Energywire -
Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, found that solar inverters — which link solar panels to the wider grid — can be shut down or manipulated to potentially disrupt the flow of electricity. They first presented their new study at the virtual USENIX Security 2020 conference earlier this month. Mohammad Al Faruque, a UC Irvine associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science who led the research, said inverters can be hijacked with equipment worth less than $50. Read More

Slippery superfluids push jets to breaking point

Phys.Org -
To update this field for the 21st century, the Thoroddsen group collaborated with researchers at the University of California, Irvine, to build a device capable of reaching temperatures near absolute zero with windows for viewing with high-speed cameras. At these chilly depths, liquid helium can take on a range of different behaviors, including as a frictionless superfluid. Read More
Pasadena Weekly

Sandra Tsing Loh recommends watching in PJs with wine

Pasadena Weekly -
In 2005 Sandra Tsing Loh reconnected with the institute when Caltech and KPCC created a podcast for Loh to host “The Loh Down on Science.” The show is co-produced by LDOS Media Lab, Inc. and SCPR (Southern California Public Radio), in association with the University of California, Irvine Science Communications. The actual content is researched, written and edited by students from the UC Irvine School of Physical Sciences, School of Biological Sciences and School of Engineering. The 90-second show …  is broadcast five times a week to over 4 million listeners on 150 public radio stations …. Read More

California blackouts trigger debate about electric grid resilience

Marketplace -
“Before the incorporation of all these renewables and other things, you have the load profile, and then you just turn power plants on and off to meet the load profile,” said Brian Tarroja, a researcher in the Advanced Power and Energy Program at the University of California, Irvine. Some blamed California’s adoption of renewable energy for triggering the blackouts, but Tarroja said that’s an oversimplification. The real culprit is a lack of integration of these renewables and the difficulty of getting all that power where it needs to go. Another issue is that there’s no incentive for utilities to update. Read More

After a year of lobbying, Johnson backs fossil fuel bill over green objections

Politico -
“The thing that we must realize is that actually achieving a zero emissions goal is a little more complicated than the popular thinking understands,” said Jack Brouwer, director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center at the University of California, Irvine. Read More

University engineering clubs get moving again

Medium -
The current restrictions, as a result of the COVID-19 social distancing measures, is shaping and testing a new generation of young professionals in ways that will yield greater resiliency and adaptability in the workplace of the future. The University of California, Irvine Solar Car team is no exception. Like most research university engineering clubs, they have a limited timeframe to complete their objectives, are resource constrained and have their normal coursework to attend to. … The project manager of UC Irvine’s Solar Car team, Subin Shrestha, is one of those young engineering mavens that is traversing the challenges of our day. Read More