Posts tagged with "University of California"

Bloomberg: California and Massachusetts are the most innovative U.S. states

June 25, 2020

For the second consecutive year, California and Massachusetts have taken the first and second spots, respectively, in Bloomberg’s annual State Innovation Index.

According to a report by The Boston Globe, the ranking is based on six equally weighted metrics: research and development intensity, productivity, clusters of companies in technology, STEM jobs, residents with degrees in science and engineering, and patent activity.

California and Massachusetts’ success dates back more than 150 years ago with the creation of land-grant universities under the Morrill Act, according to New York University Stern School of Business economist Paul Romer.

The Morrill Land Grand Act of 1862 helped boost higher education in America by granting states public land. That land could be sold and the proceeds earned could be used to establish colleges. Massachusetts Institute of Technology was among the earliest recipients of the act, which served as the basis for many other institutions, including the University of California and Washington State University.

These schools “and their counterparts in every state created a new type of university—distinguished by a practical focus on problem solving that the world had never seen,” Romer, co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, said in a telephone interview with The Boston Globe.. “The success of California and Massachusetts is a sign of the high level of investment that those states have made in their university and research systems.”

California ranked number-one in the Bloomberg index for patent activity and second for both technology-company density and concentration of science- and engineering-degree holders. Its state university system and pre-eminence in research—along with private Stanford University—have been influential in building Silicon Valley headquarters for established tech companies and budding startups.

Last year, entrepreneurs there received more than $67 billion in venture-capital funding, according to data from PitchBook. That’s more than three times New York, the second-highest state for deal flow.

According to a joint report from PwC and CB Insights, the top five highest-valued private U.S. tech companies are all California-based: JUUL Labs, Stripe, Airbnb, SpaceX and Palantir Technologies.

In addition, among U.S. companies that went public last year, the five reaping the highest year-to-date returns also are in California: Zoom Video Communications, IT-service provider Fastly and life-science specialty businesses Vir Biotechnology, Livongo Health and IDEAYA Biosciences.

Second place Massachusetts took the crown for tech-company density. General Electric, Raytheon, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Biogen are headquartered in the Northeastern state. Prior to the pandemic, Boston-based Toast—a restaurant-management platform— was a venture-capital favorite. The startup raised $400 million at a $4.9 billion valuation in February.

Rounding out the top five are number three, Washington State; number four, Connecticut; and Oregon, which jumped two spots to number five.

Research contact: @BostonGlobe

Have a ‘cuppa’: 74% fewer tea drinkers develop glaucoma

January 9, 2020

According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, more than 3 million Americans have glaucoma—the second leading cause of blindness worldwide—but in England, only 480,000 suffer from the same condition, the National Eye Research Centre estimates.

Could the Brits’ affection for a cuppa tea, rather than a mug of coffee, be protecting their eyesight?

According to findings of a study published in the British Journal of Opthalmology, drinking at least one cup of hot tea daily can reduce your risk of developing glaucoma.

The study, which was conducted by scientists from the University of California, involved volunteers who consumed hot tea at least once per day. Findings showed that regular tea drinkers enjoy an incredible health benefit: They were fully 74 percent less likely to develop a condition called glaucoma, according to a report by the UK’s National Health Service. .

Strangely enough, other beverages such as coffee, iced tea, and soda didn’t improve the eye health of the participants.

A person with glaucoma experiences interocular pressure, or a buildup of fluid pressure in their eye. This pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve.

For the study, researchers analyzed information gleaned from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), an annual survey done in the United States. The NHANES aims to collate data and tests to provide an accurate picture of the health and nutritional status of adults and children.

The researchers reported that out of the 10,000 people involved in the annual survey, about 1,678 had full eye test results. Findings showed that 84 of the adult participants have developed glaucoma.

Meanwhile, almost half of the participants reported drinking coffee often. Fewer than 10% drank hot tea daily.

Tea, particularly green tea, is rich in antioxidants that have powerful benefits for the human body. Among the benefits of consuming green tea are the following:

  • It contains bioactive compounds—Green tea contains polyphenols such as flavonoids and catechins, which are powerful antioxidants. These nutrients aid in reducing the number of harmful free radicals in our bodies, and also protect our cells and molecules from damage.
  • It can improve brain function—It contains just the right amount of caffeine to keep you awake without making you feel jittery. Green tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which can increase dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain. Alpha waves indicate calmness and relaxation.
  • It increases fat burning and physical performance—because it ramps up metabolism and short-term fat burning.
  • It contains antioxidants that may reduce the risk of certain cancers—Green tea contains potent antioxidants that are known to combat developing cancer cells; particularly of the breast, prostate, and colorectal varieties.
  • It may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease in old age — According to animal studies, the catechin compounds in green tea can protect neurons and decrease the likelihood of developing these conditionsl
  • It can kill bacteria in your mouth and improve dental health—The polyphenols in green tea, most notably catechins, can kill harmful bacteria in the mouth. Green tea may also reduce bad breath.
  • It may lower the risk of getting Type-2 diabetes– Green tea has been known to reduce blood sugar levels,a problem for those living with diabetes.

So substitute a cuppa tea for your usual morning coffee and enjoy the results.

Research contact: @NHSEnglandLDN