News in Brief

NACS Conducts Survey on Student Computer Use

Stephen Franklin from NACS has conducted a Student Information Technology Experience survey and received a variety of responses in terms of computer usage on campus.

The survey found the following: 55 percent of respondents have a desktop computer and 67 percent use it every day. 83 percent of respondents have a laptop computer and 87 percent use it every day. Ninety-three percent of respondents have an instant messaging account. Of these, 14 percent have never or only rarely used it while 75 percent use it at least a few times a week with 53 percent using it daily. Ninety-six percent of respondents have text messaging. Of these, 31 percent have never or only rarely used it, 54 percent use it at least a few times a week and 32 percent use it daily. Twenty-two percent use it a few times a week. Eighty-nine percent of respondents participate in on-line social networks such as Facebook, Friendster, or MySpace. Of these, 81 percent do so at least a few times a week with 53 percent doing so every day.

Men With Breast Cancer Have Higher Risk of Second Cancer

According to UC Irvine epidemiologists, 10 percent of men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer have a higher risk of developing a second primary cancer, such as those of the stomach, skin or breast.

Research supporting this claim can be found in the journal ‘Breast Cancer Research.’ Hoda Anton-Culver, director of UCI’s Genetic Epidemiology Research Institute, along with her colleagues Sacha Satram-Hoang and Argyrios Ziogas, pulled data from the California Cancer Registry from 1988 to 2003, which revealed 1,926 men aged 85 or younger had been diagnosed with primary breast cancer. Of those men, 11.5 percent developed a second primary cancer at least two months later.

Researchers discovered that men who have had breast cancer also had higher rates of breast, bladder, stomach, colorectal cancers and melanoma.

Although male breast cancer is not common, 1,700 men in the United States are affected each year, usually due to increasing age, radiation, liver problems like cirrhosis, high estrogen levels due to obesity or genetic conditions in family history.

Analysis of Corn Helps Scientists Map Air Pollution

UC Irvine’s atmospheric scientists found that analyzing corn is an innovative and cost-effective way to map fossil fuel air pollution in the United States.

Generally in the past, scientists have measured carbon dioxide by collecting air samples, but mapping fossil fuel-emitted carbon dioxide through plants has proven to be a more efficient method.

In summer 2004, UCI scientists collected corn from 31 states for its easy accessibility, since it is widely grown and an annual plant. They tracked regional patterns across the states after drying the corn, converting them to graphite that was analyzed using the W.M. Keck Carbon Cycle Accelerator Mass Spectrometer, which measures radiocarbon (a rare isotope of carbon) and finally calculating the levels of carbon dioxide produced by fossil fuels where the corn was located.

California and the Ohio Valley had the most fossil-fuel-emitted carbon dioxide, although air in Colorado, Idaho and New Mexico appeared to be the cleanest. Interestingly enough, the Rocky Mountains provided a barrier for the movement of carbon dioxide.

NASA and the National Science Foundation funded this research, which can be found in ‘Geophysical Research Letters.’ The researchers involved were leaed author Diana Hsueh, John Southon, Xiaomei Xu and Nir Krakauer from the California Institute of Technology.