News in Brief

UC Irvine Receives $1 Million Gift for New Law School’s Library

Joan Irvine Smith and the Athalie R. Clarke Foundation donated $1 million to the new law school. This monetary gift, which is the school’s first leadership donation, will be used for the law library. Smith has been a long-time supporter for the establishment of a law school at UC Irvine. Smith is the great-granddaughter of the founder of Irvine, James Irvine.

Southwest Airlines’ Last-Minute Fares Not Always the Best Deal, Economist Finds

Economist Volodymyr Bilotkach discovered through a survey of 238 venues that Southwest Airlines, an airline known for its cheap airfares, offered airfares that cost more than the cheapest ticket prices on Orbitz.com. Southwest sells most of its airfares online, but is not a part of the major Web sites, such as Orbitz, Expedia and Travelocity, that allow customers to compare airfare prices. Bilotkach found that airlines, such as Southwest, might be taking advantage of customers who need to purchase tickets at the last minute. He compared the costs of flights at nine airports and found that Southwest offered cheaper tickets overall, bur more expensive last-minute tickets. His research also led him to conclude that the most significant cost difference was between long flights and flights from the North to the South end of the United States. Bilotkach’s paper may be accessed at http://www.socsci.uci.edu/~vbilotka/.

Treating Ticks with Antibiotics Inhibits Their Reproduction

Professor Dr. Alan G. Barbour, with the assistance of researchers Jianmin Zhong and Algimantas Jasinskas, discovered that certain antibiotics, which kill the bacteria necessary for nutrient delivery, trigger retarded growth in immature ticks and reduce reproduction. Their study was one year long on in southern and eastern United States, that lend to infections in humans and other animals. The ticks possess bacteria that keep them alive and are passed down to progeny. This study suggests the use of an effective antibiotic for pest-control that also poses no threat of toxicity to other animals.