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Mail-In-Ballot Rejections Analyzed In Study

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Nearly 69,000 mailed ballots were not counted in the 2012 California General Election. (Photo: Chris J. Nicolini | UC Davis)
Nearly 69,000 mailed ballots were not counted in the 2012 California General Election. (Photo: Chris J. Nicolini | UC Davis)

Top reasons why ballots were rejected: not arriving on time, not being signed or because signatures could not be verified.

Sept. 26, 2014
By Jeffrey Day
University of California, Davis

Voting by mail surpassed 50 percent of votes cast in a general election in California for the first time in 2012. A new study shows that nearly 69,000 mailed ballots, or about 1 percent, were not counted, and why they were rejected.

The top three reasons mail-in ballots were rejected: not arriving on time, not being signed or because signatures could not be verified, according to the study to be released Sept. 29 by the California Civic Engagement Project at the University of California, Davis, Center for Regional Change.

“California has one of the highest mail ballot rejection rates in the country,” said study author Mindy Romero, director of the California Civic Engagement Project. “Although 1 percent may not seem very high, that’s tens of thousands of people whose votes were not counted. And these votes could make the difference in close elections.”

A panel discussion on voting by mail with Romero, Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation and Jill La Vine, registrar of voters for Sacramento County, will be held at noon, Oct. 14 at the UC Center in Sacramento.

“This is the first statewide study of why some mail-in ballots are rejected,” Romero said. “People have taken the time to study the issues, fill out the ballot and mail or deliver it. They trust it is going to be counted.”

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University College Dublin, UC Davis To Continue Cooperation

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(Credit: Joseph Mischyshyn | http://bit.ly/1rqA13v)
(Credit: Joseph Mischyshyn | http://bit.ly/1rqA13v)

Agreement strengthens existing research, innovation and cultural links between the two institutions.

Sept. 26, 2014
By Andy Fell
University of California, Davis

University College Dublin and the University of California, Davis have signed an agreement of cooperation to further develop education, research, innovation and cultural links between the two institutions. The signing took place at an event Sept. 24 at the Irish Embassy in Washington, D.C.

“Researchers and academics at our institutions have been sharing ideas and working together for some time, but this agreement shows a real commitment on both sides to collaborate even further towards common goals. It heralds a new stage of cooperation between our two universities; a stage which promises to be exciting and exhilarating for all,” said Professor Andrew J. Deeks, President of University College Dublin.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P. B. Katehi said, “This new agreement stands as a truly significant development, not just for our two institutions but also for education and research in food and health worldwide. By creating a more formal collaborative relationship, we are building on current collaborations and leveraging the expertise and effort of two of the finest universities in the world.” Read the rest of this entry »

Study: No Health Problems For GE-Fed Livestock

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Cows, along with other livestock and poultry, now consume 70-90 percent of all genetically engineered crops. (Debbie Aldridge | UC Davis)
Cows, along with other livestock and poultry, now consume 70-90 percent of all genetically engineered crops. (Debbie Aldridge | UC Davis)

Health of animals consuming genetically engineered feed comparable to non-GE fed livestock.

Sept. 25, 2014
By Pat Bailey
University of California, Davis

A new scientific review from the University of California, Davis, reports that the performance and health of food-producing animals consuming genetically engineered feed, first introduced 18 years ago, has been comparable to that of animals consuming non-GE feed.

The review study also found that scientific studies have detected no differences in the nutritional makeup of the meat, milk or other food products derived from animals that ate genetically engineered feed.

The review, led by UC Davis animal scientist Alison Van Eenennaam, examined nearly 30 years of livestock-feeding studies that represent more than 100 billion animals. Read the rest of this entry »

Wine Leaders Adapt to Drought

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As the baby boomers pass the glass to the millennial generation, there will be trade-offs in consumption, but California wine will hold its own in the global market despite shifts in consumer demographics. (Photo: UC Davis | John Stumbos)
As the baby boomers pass the glass to the millennial generation, there will be trade-offs in consumption, but California wine will hold its own in the global market despite shifts in consumer demographics. (Photo: UC Davis | John Stumbos)

California’s wine industry leaders are adapting to drought and consumer shifts.  

Sept. 22, 2014
By Pat Bailey
University of California, Davis

California wine will hold its own in the global market despite shifts in consumer demographics, scarce water, and competition from imported wines, craft beers and cocktails, according to wine industry leaders surveyed by the University of California, Davis.

Findings from the tandem surveys of wine executives and industry professionals will be presented at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, during the Wine Industry Financial Symposium at the Napa Valley Marriott in Napa, California.

“Wine industry leaders are keenly aware that this is a time of great change for California wineries and related business,” said Robert Smiley, professor and dean emeritus of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.

“As the baby boomers ‘pass the glass’ to the millennial generation, there will be trade-offs in consumption, but the industry professionals surveyed indicate that they are prepared to meet these and other challenges by adjusting their brand composition, adapting new technologies and becoming more efficient in their use of water,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

UC Davis and Mars, Incorporated Announce Plans To Create First-Of-Its-Kind Innovation Institute

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The new institute would focus on food, agriculture and health.

Sept. 17, 2014
By Andy Fell
University of California, Davis


The University of California, Davis, through its World Food Center, and Mars, Incorporated today have agreed to pursue the establishment of a new institute designed to deliver big-impact, Silicon Valley-type breakthroughs in food, agriculture and health.

An independent advisory committee chaired by Bruce German, professor of food science and technology at UC Davis, will facilitate the design and development of the Innovation Institute for Food and Health prior to its launch in January 2015.

“Establishing the Innovation Institute for Food and Health will mark a great step forward in addressing the sustainability challenges we face at the nexus between food, agriculture and health,” said UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. “We are proud to be at the forefront of this multidisciplinary and multifunctional effort to confront these issues head-on through innovation at scale.” Read the rest of this entry »

Solving The Bluetongue Disease Mystery

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Veterinary researchers monitored cows and tiny gnat-like biting midges on a Northern California dairy to discover where the bluetongue virus hides during the winter. (Photo by Peggy Greb | USDA.gov)
Veterinary researchers monitored cows and tiny gnat-like biting midges on a Northern California dairy to discover where the bluetongue virus hides during the winter. (Photo by Peggy Greb | USDA.gov)

The virus survives winter by reproducing in the transmitting insect.

Sept. 16, 2014
By Pat Bailey
University of California, Davis

The bluetongue virus, which causes a serious disease that costs the cattle and sheep industries in the United States an estimated $125 million annually, manages to survive the winter by reproducing in the insect that transmits it, report veterinary scientists at the University of California, Davis.

The findings solve a century-old mystery and are particularly significant as global climate change brings more moderate winter temperatures around the world.  The new study appears Sept. 12 in the journal PLOS ONE.

“By conducting this epidemiological study on a commercial dairy farm in Northern California, we were able to demonstrate that the virus overwinters in female midges that had fed on an infected animal during the previous season,” said lead author Christie Mayo, a veterinarian and postdoctoral researcher in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

“This discovery has important ramifications for predicting the occurrence of bluetongue in livestock and, we hope, for eventually developing controls for the disease,” said co-author James MacLachlan, a UC Davis veterinary professor and viral disease expert. Read the rest of this entry »