Start eating purple
Professor of Biology Zheng-Hui He's purple vegetables, which he is growing in the University's Greenhouse as part of an experiment to produce nutrient rich food, were highlighted in an Oct. 13 Physorg.com article. "What's special about this purple pigment is that scientists have found that it is a powerful antioxidant, helping the human body to fight diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, and to deal with stress," He said. "We're testing how to grow purple tomatoes without genetic modification… We believe that having tasty, purple produce available, which is organic and affordable, can do a great good for people's health."
Shaping the debate
An Oct 13 Ventura County Star article discusses Associate Professor of Political Science Aaron Belkin and the think tank he founded -- the Palm Center -- as shapers of the debate about whether gays should serve in the military. "When we started our work 11 years ago, there was research showing that discrimination is bad for the military, but that research was not playing a very important role in the public policy conversation," Belkin said. Today, "the people who still support this policy, with due respect, sound almost insane when they try to defend it. There are simply no rational arguments left to defend firing gay and lesbian troops. And everybody knows that."
Assistant Professor of Biology Ravinder Sehgal's research into predicting malaria outbreaks was featured in an Oct. 16 Daily News and Analysis report. "We can now predict where malaria will show up in Africa. We expect our results could apply to malaria in humans too, since mosquitoes are mosquitoes, whether they are biting people or birds" Segal said. "We're going to refine the model to work better in the humid Nigerian rainforests where malaria levels are thought to be very high and also hope to expand the model for use in East and South Africa."
The California Progress Report, in an Oct. 18 story, tells of a Marin and Sonoma county commission devoted to creating integrated solutions for the 21st century. Humanities Lecturer Peter Richardson, who is also a commission member, explains the Green New Deal. "We make all of these divisions for practical reasons so we can compartmentalize these policy silos. But then you get into an extraordinary time when the conventional business as usual doesn't seem to be acting quickly or decisively enough to get what everyone seems to agree is the outcome we want," Richardson said, adding that, "getting the incentives to match the outcomes we want is a big part of it, and sometimes you have to look critically at the status quo and say it's not working."
Professor of Political Science Robert Smith discussed the election prospects of 38 African-American GOP candidates for Congress in an Oct. 20 New America Media story. "It's very difficult for black Republicans to get elected to Congress … Republicans will have a difficult challenge, even when facing black representatives involved in scandals," Smith said. "In spite of the scandals, by the time you get to November, it's a party line vote … If these representatives were going to be unseated, it would have had to happen in the primaries."
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