News Clips for Nov. 26, 2019

Car Makers Wager on Bigger Screens to Lure Buyers

When it comes to the media display in your car, auto makers are betting size does matter. Car companies are introducing bigger screens—and more of them—in their newest models. Executives say the larger displays are needed as the systems that show navigational tools, music options and the like become more sophisticated, and consumers—especially younger ones—want to bring more of their digital lives into the car.

Future forests facing climate balancing act

Forests can cope with a warming world if - and only if - temperature rises increase in line with increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Increased CO2 allows trees to develop physiological characteristics, such as greater foliage, that can cope with higher temperatures. But researchers warn that a break in the temperature-CO2 increase ratio could trigger mortality in forests. The findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Nobody had really considered incorporating the ability of trees, the forests, to adjust to novel conditions and to acclimate," explained co-author John Sperry from the University of Utah.

Ingenious new wearable tracks users’ brain waves to forecast epileptic seizures

For people with epilepsy, the fear of suffering an unexpected seizure can be enough to stop them from venturing out in public. To help instill confidence, medical technology company Epitel has created a new wearable EEG which monitors brain wave activity to help forecast seizures. Using machine learning technology, the Epilog device pairs with users’ smartphones and the cloud, and uses artificial intelligence to predict when a seizure might occur. In doing so, it promises to create an hourly seizure forecast that will allow people with epilepsy (a condition an estimated 1 in 26 people will develop over their lifetime) to plan their day with confidence.

‘The Good Place:’ Ethics comedy asks if there’s a second chance at life

In northern climates, November is bleak. Trees stripped of leaves stand bare against grey skies; the Hanukkah and advent candles that will light up the dark and cold are almost, but not quite, here. It’s fitting that some Christians historically call November the Month of the Dead. The ancient festival of All Saints falls on Nov. 1 and All Souls on Nov. 2.

Time to Stop Stalling on Mass Transit Funding for San Antonio

We love our traditions in San Antonio, from Fiesta to the rodeo, and – up until now – underfunding mass transit options. With the city set to continue growing in population and set to overtake Philadelphia as the sixth-largest city in the nation by 2021 according to the U.S. Census Bureau, it is time we stop kicking the proverbial can down the road and deal with our transportation issues.

Fossils reveal swimming patterns of long extinct cephalopod

Computational fluid dynamics can be used to study how extinct animals used to swim. Scientists studied 65 million-year-old cephalopod fossils to gain deeper understanding of modern-day cephalopod ecosystems. Three scientists affiliated with the University of Utah's department of geology and geophysics will present research on the width, coil diameter and the overall structure of the prehistoric cephalopods shells and how these factors affected their swimming patterns at the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics 72nd Annual Meeting on Nov. 25.

Engineered insulin with enhanced thermal stability inspired by fish-hunting snails

Scientists in the US have made insulin more thermally stable, yet just as potent, by adding an extra disulfide bond. The insulin analogue could be beneficial for diabetes patients who struggle to access refrigerators to store their medication.

The University of Utah could have protected Lauren McCluskey from her attacker — but chose not to, her family’s attorneys say in new court filing

Several employees at the University of Utah knew the man was harassing and extorting, even threatening and abusing, student track star Lauren McCluskey. And they had several opportunities to step in and stop him.