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NEWS
March 27, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
In the latest of a slew of studies examining the role of the so-called microbiome -- the mix of microscopic critters that colonize our bodies and our environment -- in human health, Harvard researchers said Wednesday that part of the reason that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery works so well in helping people lose weight is because it causes changes in the mix of bacteria in our bellies. The discovery suggests that doctors might someday be able to mimic the microbial effects of weight-loss surgery without putting patients under the knife, said Dr. Lee Kaplan, director of the Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital and co-senior author of a report detailing the research in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 3, 2013 | David Zahniser
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power repeatedly bypassed its competitive bidding process when it awarded $480,000 in contracts to lobby Sacramento decision-makers, according to a report issued by City Controller Wendy Greuel. DWP executives issued four no-bid contracts for state lobbying over the last two years, two of them to Mercury Public Affairs, a firm that includes former state Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez as one of its partners. No public debate or vote by the utility's five-member Board of Commissioners was required under DWP contracting rules because each agreement was $150,000 or less.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 11, 2012 | By Stephen Ceasar, Los Angeles Times
Setting the stage for future legal battles, a state appeals court Friday nullified a settlement that allowed the Los Angeles Unified School District to shield certain schools from teacher layoffs during budget crises. The decision by the California 2nd District Court of Appeal voided a settlement in Reed vs. L.A. Unified that allowed the district to bypass seniority-based layoffs at 45 schools. Those campuses, the district argued, would be heavily affected because many of their faculty members have taught for relatively fewer years and thus accrued little seniority.
SCIENCE
August 9, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, underwent cardiac bypass surgery Tuesday, just days after his 82nd birthday. His wife, Carol, has told friends that he is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery. His location is not being made public, but the couple lives in Cincinnati. Armstrong had a stress test Monday that revealed four blockages in the arteries leading to his heart. Surgeons performed the bypasses the next day. In a bypass operation, a blood vessel is removed from elsewhere in the body (typically a saphenous vein from the leg)
ENTERTAINMENT
July 30, 2012 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Media veteran Ross Levinsohn is leaving Yahoo, two weeks after being passed over for the chief executive's job. The executive, whose experience straddles technology and entertainment, had been most recently serving as the Internet company's interim CEO since the ouster of Scott Thompson in May -- and was considered by many on Wall Street to be the candidate to beat. But he lost out to one of the top executives at Google, Marissa Mayer, whose appointment was considered a coup for Yahoo.
SCIENCE
July 21, 2012 | By Jon Bardin, Los Angeles Times
Attempts to control malaria — which kills about 1 million people a year — have traditionally focused on the use of drugs to treat the disease and insecticides to kill mosquitoes. Now some scientists have devised a sneakier strategy: feed mosquitoes a genetically engineered bacterium that will kill the malaria parasite from within. Insecticides have a major flaw, said Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena, a malaria expert at Johns Hopkins University and an author of the new study. "When insecticides are used — say, inside of houses — many of the mosquitoes in the area get killed but some will always survive.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 19, 2012 | By Patrick Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
I once asked a famous producer how he first became fascinated with Hollywood. His answer? "When I was 14, I got a subscription to Variety. " And no wonder. For more than a century, Variety was the most trusted brand in the entertainment industry, the bible of showbiz. But those days are gone. Media outlets everywhere are wrestling with how to generate revenue as readers have abandoned print for easy Web access to information. But Variety has been hit especially hard by its core audience's migration to the Internet.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 23, 2012 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
For the first time, L.A. Unified and other individual school districts can apply for federal Race to the Top grants, bypassing California officials, including the governor, who had objected to the rules for receiving the education-reform incentives. The draft rules, announced Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Education, will allow school systems to vie for funds that had been unavailable to any state that was unable or unwilling to compete for the grants. "We're wide open to new strategies, new approaches," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a conference call.
BUSINESS
May 12, 2012 | By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
LegalZoom.com Inc., an online provider of legal services for consumers and small businesses, has filed to raise as much as $120 million in an initial public offering. The Glendale company was founded in 1999 and offers self-help legal documents such as divorce and bankruptcy forms, real estate leases, prenuptial agreements and wills. The company has been credited with helping shake up the legal industry by making it simple for people to bypass lawyers. LegalZoom has served about 2 million customers during the last decade, it said in its filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 11, 2012 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
Despite strong opposition from environmentalists, the state Assembly on Thursday approved controversial legislation that allows a solar energy developer to bypass local agencies in seeking to build a large-scale power plant in a valley that is home to desert tortoises, golden eagles and bighorn sheep. The nation's leading environmental groups see K Road Power's proposed 663-megawatt Calico Solar plant as one of the most ecologically damaging renewable energy projects in the California desert.
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