Campus Opens Pharmacy School

Marking the opening of California’s second public pharmacy school, UCSD officially dedicated the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in a ceremony this week.

The dedication comes after a year of development at the school — the only one of its kind in Southern California — which saw the first time it has offered classes for freshmen through senior enrollees.

A new 110,000-square-foot building was also opened, which will allow the school to accept as many as 60 students per year.

The school was named after retail drugstore pioneer L.S. Skaggs in recognition of a $30 million gift from the Skaggs Institute for Research, marking the largest amount donated to any UCSD health science program.

Students participate in integrated programs with the UCSD School of Medicine to more actively engage themselves with patient care. The school’s first class will graduate in June.

UC Team Invents ‘Dragonfly Eye’

A team of bioengineers from UC Berkeley has developed a series of compound artificial eyes using houseflies and dragonflies as models.

The eyes will eventually be modified to act as cameras or sensory detectors, with potential uses including surveillance, high-speed motion detection, environmental sensing and medical procedures. According to bioengineer Luke P. Lee, the invention marks the first integration of thousands of microlenses, all oriented at different angles, with conducting channels created by beams of light.

The team predicts that the eyes will be built into ultra-thin camera phones within a few years. The eyes could also be formatted into camcorders for multidirection surveillance and for use as discreet, wearable cameras.

Weight Misjudgment Common In Latinos

Latino mothers frequently have erroneous perceptions of the body weight appropriate for preschool-aged children, according to a new study from UC San Francisco.

Latinos most commonly identified their children as healthy when in reality they were overweight. The study used results from a series of surveys of Latino women and children conducted between 2000 and 2003. The number of obese children was high among women who had no concerns about their children’s health or reported that their kids were eating well.

Pediatrician Elena Fuentes-Afflick conducted the study because of rising occurrences of childhood obesity in the United States. In the study, children were identified as overweight if their weights were at or above the 85th percentile on developmental growth charts.