News in Brief

UCI Mock Trial Team Advances to Nationals
The UC Irvine veteran Mock Trial Team advanced to the national championships in the America Mock Trial Association’s (AMTA) 2007-2008 competition, after coming in second place in the regional championships with a record of seven wins and one loss. This is the most successful showing in the UCI Mock Trial Team’s three-year history as the veteran team attained better win-loss records than nearly 30 other teams that they competed against.
Aside from the UCI Mock Trial Team, UCI fields another group in the mock trial competitions, the junior Mock Trial Team, which also had some success, placing eighth in the regional competition. The AMTA national championships will be held in St. Paul Minnesota from April 4 to 6.
UC Irvine Places Second in Business Competition

A UC Irvine team that represented the Paul Merage School of Business placed second in the Association for Corporate Growth’s (ACG) Cup Competition. The group, which acted as financial analysts, advised a fictional company in an investment banking case study.
As a reward for its high placement in the competition the team was awarded $5,000. The ACG Cup Competition has been held annually for the past two years and invites teams throughout Southern California. This year the teams that placed in the top five overall were given cash prizes, which totaled $21,000.
Two-Pound Satellite to Photograph the Earth

A revolving door of students working on the UC Irvine Satellite Team has built the basic parts needed to launch a 2.2-pound satellite that will take photographs used to analyze the earth’s various land and cloud formations. The effort will result in a tissue box-sized satellite containing a cell phone-like structure launched into outer space.
The idea to launch a small-scale and cost-effective satellite for global university space research was first approached by researchers at Stanford University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1999. This collaboration ultimately resulted in the CubeSat platform, which consists of satellites that weigh less than or are equal to 2.2 pounds.
In November 2003, a handful of UCI students undertook the process of launching their own CubeSat satellite. Currently, the UCI Satellite Team consists of 10 undergraduate students, 10 graduate students and eight students assisting UCI researchers from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo. Still, due to the cycle of students graduating and new students coming aboard on the project, the actual number of team members who have contributed to the effort is much larger, consisting of nearly 60 members.
The team estimates that construction of the satellite will be completed by summer 2008 and that the satellite will launch in either January or February 2009. Additional information can be found on the project’s official Web site
Spread of Bird Flu May Be Halted

A study led by Robert G. Wallace, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Irvine, recognized and halted strains of bird flu (known as influenza A H5N1) from entering into Thailand and Vietnam.
Wallace and his team analyzed almost 500 strains of genetic sequences of protein found on the surface of the virus. The proteins were collected from 28 different regions throughout Africa, Asia and Africa.
The study’s findings showed that proteins found in Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam share the most similar evolutionary history with the bird flu, indicating the largest risk of danger. The most notable cause of the ailment spreading identified by Wallace is poultry trading.
Since its discovery in 1996, over 350 individuals have contracted the virus and approximately 60 percent have died.