Recent listening: Megafish and Jellyfish

Two fishy items on KXJZ-FM’s Insight recently:

Zeb Hogan and friendUC Davis graduate Zeb Hogan, now a research professor at the University of Nevada at Reno, talked about some very big fish that live in freshwater on today’s show. As a graduate student at UC Davis, Hogan founded the Megafishes Project, and he has also hosted a National Geographic TV show, “Monster Fish.” He was recently honored with an award by the Cal Aggie Alumni Association.

Hogan will be speaking at Sierra College on Friday evening, and National Geographic channel will be running a series of “Monster Fish” episodes on Sunday.

Students take part in national hot rocks power competition

A team of UC Davis undergraduate and graduate students is among 11 selected to take part in the first National Geothermal Student Competition, sponsored by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Program. The intercollegiate competition will challenge students to advance their understanding of geothermal energy’s potential contribution to the nation’s energy needs in the coming decades.

Each team will conduct an assessment of the geothermal energy potential in the Rio Grande Rift area of southeastern Colorado and northeastern New Mexico. The UC Davis team plans to use immersive ‘virtual reality’ technology at UC Davis’s Keck Center for Advanced Visualization in Earth Sciences to build a three-dimensional virtual map of the area.

Pirates, mercenaries and international law

UC Davis law student Ansel Halliburton has posted an interesting paper discussing the legal issues raised by how shipping companies might defend themselves from Somali pirates. Here is the abstract:

Because of the recent surge in piracy emanating from the failed state of Somalia, the world’s navies have focused unprecedented resources and attention on the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. Despite a few successes, this military might has largely failed to reverse the tide of piracy. Shipping companies have begun to hire armed private guards to protect their vessels and crew where the public navies cannot. But should private force take a larger role? Should shipping companies hire mercenaries to go on the offensive against pirates? Does, or should, international law allow them to do so? This paper surveys public international law, emerging transnational criminal law, human rights and humanitarian law, and the histories of piracy and transnational private violence in search of answers.

UC Davis ranks high in Life Sciences in world ranking

UC Davis is ranked at #24 in the world for life sciences in Times Higher Education’s list of the world’s top 200 universities.

The campus ranks at #54 overall in THE’s Top 200 list, and at #42 for engineering and technology.

Study reinforces obesity/high-fat diet/heart disease link

A team of UC Davis biomedical engineers, led by Assistant Professor Anthony Passerini, has established a link between inflammation of the arterial lining, waist size, and triglyceride levels in the blood after eating a high-fat, fast food meal. The study reinforces the link between belly fat and inflammation of the arterial linings, which is the main cause of atherosclerosis.

The study is published online by the American Journal of Physiology Heart and Circulatory Physiology.