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BUSINESS
April 1, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
While crews continue to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, a global airline trade group reported a steep drop in the number of airline fatalities in 2013, compared to the previous year. The International Air Transport Assn. reported 210 fatalities from commercial airline accidents in 2013, down from 414 fatalities in the previous year. Those 210 fatalities exceed the 239 people believed to have perished aboard Flight 370 last month. The fatality total was also below the five-year average of 517 deaths per year.
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SCIENCE
April 1, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
Tiny microbes on the bottom of the ocean floor may have been responsible for the largest extinction event our planet has ever seen, according to a new study. These microbes of death were so small, that 1 billion of them could fit in a thimble-full of ocean sediment, and yet, they were almost responsible for killing off all the life on our planet, the scientists suggest. The end-Permian extinction was the most catastrophic mass extinction the Earth has ever seen. It started roughly 252 million years ago --long before the dinosaurs-- and it continued for 20,000 years.
SCIENCE
April 1, 2014 | By Monte Morin
Research that made international headlines with a purported breakthrough in the creation of highly valuable stem cells has been found to contain falsified and manipulated data, according to a panel of Japanese investigators. At a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday, the government's RIKEN research institute announced that it had concluded an investigation into allegations of misconduct, and found that the lead author of the study had improperly altered images of DNA fragments used in the research.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2014 | By Tony Perry
The nation needs to better acknowledge and support the efforts of the "hidden heroes" from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars: the estimated 1.1 million civilian, volunteer caregivers tending to the needs of wounded and disabled veterans, according to recommendations contained in a Rand Corp. study released Monday. While family members and others have long cared for veterans, the veterans from two recent wars are more likely to have mental health and substance problems, making the task of providing care even more difficult, according to the study, funded by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2014 | By David Zahniser and Laura J. Nelson
A plan for increasing the sales tax to fix Los Angeles' broken streets is on a collision course with a similar levy being pushed for regional transit projects. Two weeks ago, the top budget advisor to the Los Angeles City Council said a tax increase is the only way thousands of miles of severely damaged roads and sidewalks will get repaired. A half-cent increase in the sales tax, which would generate $4.5 billion over 15 years, should appear on the November ballot, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said.
SCIENCE
March 31, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
Bariatric surgery did more to improve symptoms of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol after three years than intensive treatment with drugs alone, according to new results from a closely watched clinical trial involving patients who were overweight or obese. Study participants who had gastric bypass surgery or sleeve gastrectomy also lost more weight, had better kidney function and saw greater improvements in their quality of life than their counterparts who did not go under the knife, researchers reported Monday.
SPORTS
March 31, 2014 | By Houston Mitchell
Ever wonder just how accurate major league umpires are at calling balls and strikes? They obviously aren't as accurate as us fans sitting in the seats -- after all, we're always right. But what percentage of ball/strike calls would you guess that umpires botch? 5%? 8%? Would you believe 14%? Researchers Brayden King and Jerry Kim analyzed more than 700,000 pitches thrown during the 2008 and 2009 seasons and found that about 14% of non-swinging pitches were called erroneously.
OPINION
March 30, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Last year, after it was revealed that the National Security Agency was indiscriminately scooping up records of Americans' telephone calls under an expansive interpretation of the Patriot Act, President Obama urged the public to relax. "Nobody is listening to your telephone calls," he said. As for the so-called metadata that was being vacuumed up and stored by the government - the source, destination and duration of calls - the president assured the nation that the program was free of abuses and subject to aggressive oversight.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 28, 2014 | By Jon Christensen
When people say that Los Angeles is hard to read, as they often do, they're usually not talking about books. They're talking about the city itself or rather the megalopolis, made up of dozens of cities. It is this sprawling, tangled, confusing, seemingly homogenous but in fact diverse, mixed-up urban and suburban landscape that people describe as illegible. Edward Soja, a geographer at UCLA, has spent much of his long career trying to read Los Angeles. Along the way, he developed innovative and sometimes controversial theories of urbanization and became a founder of a dynamic "L.A.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 27, 2014 | By Inkoo Kang
Rarely has the zone between girlhood and womanhood been captured with such urgent honesty than in Eliza Hittman's superb teen drama "It Felt Like Love. " Hittman's debut isn't just a brilliantly tactile study of the mounting sexual curiosity and frustration of 14-year-old Lila (Gina Piersanti); it's also an important landmark in the oft-ignored subgenre of realistic movies about female adolescence. Lila doesn't want a boyfriend. She wants something better. When the working-class Brooklyn teen observes her slightly older but infinitely more sexually experienced friend Chiara (Giovanna Salimeni)
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