UCLA Campus Report: Porn Stars Have STDs; Use Drugs, More

Drake - Achilles

This week’s news includes news from the pornographic film industry, a new role for Google Glass in surgery and a big night for a UCLA alumnus at the Tonys.

An occasional report from around campus that recognizes that UCLA is a school with a world-class reputation for research and innovation and whose people make real impact on the real world.

Before I get to a loaded campus report for this Sunday, I want to wish all Dads on BN a very happy Fathers's Day. Hope all of you have a fantastic day. Now, this week’s news includes news from the pornographic film industry, a new role for Google Glass in surgery and a big night for a UCLA alumnus at the Tonys.

UCLA Headlines

Pornographic Film Stars Have Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Sometimes Use Drugs

It might not seem like breaking news, but …

A study by UCLA’s Fielding School of Health has confirmed that one in four adult film performers have gonorrhea, chlamydia or other sexually transmitted disease. The study was presented at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2014 STD Prevention Conference in Atlanta earlier this week and received coverage in such publications as the LA Weekly and Newsfixnow. The latter also noted that the study shows that adult film performers use drugs.

In the Weekly, Dennis Romero wrote:

Researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health's Behavioral Epidemiology Research Group looked into the sex lives and drug use of the porn stars between August 2012 and June 2013.

The average number of years on the job among participants was three. The average number of scenes they had done was 80. Among the findings: 23.7 percent of the subjects had contracted gonorrhea or chlamydia. It's not clear if the workers got the STDs on the job, however. According to a summary:

... Most performers had sexual partners outside of the industry with few reporting consistent condom use within the context of any partnership ...

More than half (58.7 percent) of the performers used marijuana, the study says. One in 5 used cocaine. Nearly 1 in 5 used ecstasy or Xanax. One-third said they had used drugs in the last three months.

Porn star Tasha Reign set to graduate from UCLA
In other adult entertainment news, pornographic movie star Tasha Reign graduated from UCLA this week. Reign, aka Rachel (I have since learned she prefer not to use her real last name), earned her degree in gender studies.

I mention this not to titillate but to illustrate a point. Reign, who posed for Playboy as a "Girl of the Pac 10" and who also has appeared in Penthouse, got a few headlines over the years that mentioned what some saw as a double life, her being both an adult film performer and UCLA student. It makes for a nice human interest story but, mostly, no one at UCLA made a big deal about the fact that she earned a living in the porn industry.

Contrast that, however, to the stories that emerged earlier this year surrounding another porn star, Belle Knox, who is a student at Duke University. Rolling Stone was just one of the many publications who wrote about her. You can do your own research, I’ll just note that Knox received death threats and was harshly judged by many in the Duke community.

My point is that we can be proud that UCLA is an open-minded community that accepts people for who they are without judgment.

Reign told the New York Daily News:

"I'm proud to be a Bruin and even more proud to be a part of the feminist porn movement."

Congrats to Tasha Reign, welcome to the UCLA Alumni Network.

UCLA physicians use Google Glass to teach surgery abroad

Teaching surgeons can watch operation and comment via this tech tool

Imagine watching a procedure performed live through the eyes of the surgeon. That’s exactly what surgical leaders in the United States were able to do while overseeing surgeons training in Paraguay and Brazil with the help of UCLA doctors and Google Glass.

UCLA surgeon Dr. David Chen and surgical resident Dr. Justin Wagner have made it their mission to teach hernia surgery around the world and are harnessing the latest technologies to help.

"Hernia repair is the most common operation performed worldwide," said Chen, assistant clinical professor of general surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "From a global health perspective, it is as cost-effective as immunizations because it allows patients to regain function and resume work and other daily activities."

It is also an easily teachable procedure that lends itself to the advent of this kind of technology, according to Chen, associate director of surgical education and clinical director of the Lichtenstein Amid Hernia Clinic at UCLA.

The team used Google Glass, which is worn like conventional glasses, but houses a tiny computer the size of a Scrabble tile outfitted with a touch-pad display screen and high-definition camera that can connect wirelessly to stream live.

With Chen and Wagner’s help, local surgeons at a hospital in Paraguay in late May wore Google Glass while performing adult surgeries to repair a common type of hernia in which an organ or fatty tissue protrudes through a weak area of the abdominal wall in the groin. This type of hernia is commonly found in both children and adults.

Through Google Glass, the surgeries were viewed "live" via wireless streaming in the United States to a select group of leading surgeons who could watch and oversee the procedures. The experts could also transmit their comments to the surgeon, who could read them on the Google Glass monitor. The surgeries are also being archived for later training purposes as well. Chen added that the educational program ensures competency and quality of the operations.

"We are one of the first to use Google Glass in teaching and training surgeons from outside a country," said Chen. And he says hernia surgery is just the beginning.

TFT alum's musical captures four Tony Awards

It was a great night for UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television alumnus Robert L. Freedman at the 68th Annual Tony Awards on Sunday. His musical, "A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder," was a four-time winner, earning top honors for best musical and best book of a musical for Freedman, best direction of a musical for Darko Tresnjak and best costume design for Linda Cho.

Nominated for 10 Tony Awards, Freedman’s musical comedy, co-created with Steven Lutvak (and adapted from Roy Horniman’s 1907 novel "Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal"), tells the tale of an ambitious young man, played by Bryce Pinkham ("Ghost The Musical"), who finds out he is ninth in line to inherit a fortune. Intent on being the recipient of that fortune, he makes plans to murder the eight family members who stand in his way, all played by Tony Award-winning actor Jefferson Mays ("I Am My Own Wife").

"Love & Murder" opened on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre in November 2013, after having previously played at The Old Globe in San Diego, where it had its world premiere and at Hartford Stage in Hartford, Connecticut. Other awards the musical has received include a 2014 Theater World Award for featured actress Lauren Worsham and seven Drama Desk Awards (from 12 nominations).

A screenwriter and dramatist, Freedman, who graduated from UCLA in 1979, has won numerous awards for theater and television productions, including "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows," a 2001 television film based on the memoirs of Lorna Luft, Garland's daughter.

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