May Babies

Tsutui, Haley
Fregoso, Fred
Ghattas, Kathy
Go, Kate
Tobar, Dayana

05/08
05/17
05/23
05/25
05/27

June Babies
Escobar, Rebecca
Colon, Angela
Fabro, Amanda
Blue, Fay
Raymundo, Erica
Velazquez, Elizabeth

06/07
06/07
06/08
06/10
06/14
06/20

It has been all over the news and seemingly on the tip of every newscaster’s tongue:
The Panama Papers. A click bait namesake for sure, but it has opened a Pandora’s box
worth of questions. What are they? Why are they so important? And more importantly, why
should you be so concerned?
Sometime during 2015 a German newspaper by the name of Süddeutsche Zeitung
was contacted by an anonymous source, who they have chosen to call John Doe. From this
anonymous source they received what would amount to over 2.6 terabytes of encrypted
data. Contained within were a seemingly endless amount of internal documents from a
Panamanian law firm called Mossack Fonseca who are in the business of selling anonymous
offshore companies worldwide. What the owners then use these “shell companies” for –be it
shady business dealings or not –are of no concern to Mossack Fonseca.
Deeming the task of analysis to be too large of a task to tackle by themselves,
Süddeutsche Zeitung enlisted the help of the International Consortium of Investigative
Journalists, a Washington-based network launched in 1997 that is made up of over 165
investigative journalists in over 65 countries whose goal is to combat and expose issues of
corruption, cross-border crime, and the insurance of power accountability. With the help of
over 80 journalists, on April 3rd of this year over 11.5 million confidential financial and legal
documents were released to the public. These documents contain detailed information on
over 14,000 clients and more than 214,000 offshore entities. Of these clients were included 12
national leaders among the 143 politicians as well as their families and close associates.
But why does this concern you, the average everyday college student whose world as
of now revolves around juggling personal lives, school, and work? Well, while offshore
companies are not illegal per say, using them to hide assets in order to evade taxes, thwart
investigations, and protect criminals is most certainly illegal.
Here is the breakdown of what exactly is going on and how the Panama Papers tie
into it all:
So let us pretend that an individual makes around $80,000 dollars of taxable income a
year. That is all fine and dandy, but what if they were to make another million dollars on the
side through some not so reputable means of business (such as drug trafficking or bribery).
Now they know what they have done is wrong, but they do not want to get caught in the
act and hauled off to jail or fined. So what do they do?
Here is where Mossack Fonseca comes in. Usually through a middle-man of some sort,
so as not to have a direct connection to Mossack Fonseca, the individual will pay to have a
“shell company” –a business no more real than the paper it is printed on—created on their
behalf. This “shell company” will then be used to funnel millions of dollars into storage and
away from the ever watchful eyes of entities like the IRS. How is this possible? Well because
the “shell company” is set up offshore in places like Panama or other “tax havens”—a place

where the true owners of a company can remain anonymous—their home country is made
unable to tax it. If the individual with money to hide wants to move it around they have the
company pretend to make payments for “consultancy” as well as payouts in
“compensation” for canceled transactions. This is called tax evasion and, when the money
being hidden is obtained through criminal actions, money laundering. All of this was brought
out into the open thanks to the leaking of the Panama Papers which is deemed to be the
biggest leak of private documentation yet, spanning nearly 50 years and comprised of over
11.5 million documents.
But again, how does this all concern you? Take a moment to think about it. The people
being tied up in this whole international fiasco are not just your run of the mill mafia or drug
cartel members, though those were included in the papers. We are talking important
political leaders here; people like Putin, the king of Saudi Arabia, the prime minister of
Pakistan, as well as China’s main ruling body. Even public figures and entities like Jackie
Chan, sports stars, and FIFA officials have been implicated in this!
The money involved, billions of dollars, has been hidden away thanks to the services of
Mossack Fonseca. Money that would have been subject to taxation is just sequestered
away, unable to be touched by anyone save those who hid it. These dollars could have
helped to fund schools and hospitals, and pay for highways among other things. Instead it is
being used to fund violent illegal organizations globally.
The fact that Mossack Fonseca has been involved in these dealings for nearly 50 years
and nothing has been done about it until now is staggering. The fact that, if not for that
anonymous whistle blower leaking the Panama Papers to Süddeutsche Zeitung in the first
place, we would all still be in the dark about this is absolutely horrifying.
The story of the Panama Papers is of course on-going with more and more information
being made available daily. If you would like to learn more about the Panama Papers you
can visit the websites listed below:
www.panamapapers.sueddeutsche.de
https://panamapapers.icij.org
http://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/apr/03/what-you-need-to-know-about-thepanama-papers
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/05/09/panama-papers-leak-documentstax-shelters/84132964/
https://www.wired.com/2016/04/reporters-pulled-off-panama-papers-biggest-leakwhistleblower-history/
-

Fay Blue

Can Bees Pave the Road to Autonomous Robots?
At the University of Sheffield, Cope and his research
group recently published in the journal of Computational
Biology displaying their work in creating a model hypothesizing
how bees avoid hitting walls while in flight. This finding can be
essentially used in the development of robots that do not need
constant input of direction and with this technology can guide
themselves around. Bees accomplish this feat through utilizing
the speed of motion, or optic flow, of the world around them to
direct their flight. Optic flow is defined as the patterns of
apparent motions of objects, surfaces, and edges in a visual
scene caused by the relative motion between the eye and the scene. Using this technology
can help us develop more efficient algorithms for navigation and routing which would be
crucial for the creation of self-directing flying robots. A fun fact that came from this study is
that the use of optic flow might be the reason bees crash into windows since being
transparent, windows don’t generate any optic flow when bees approach them.
Alex J. Cope, Chelsea Sabo, Kevin Gurney, Eleni Vasilaki, James A. R. Marshall. A Model for
an Angular Velocity-Tuned Motion Detector Accounting for Deviations in the CorridorCentering Response of the Bee. PLOS Computational Biology, 2016; 12 (5): e1004887
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004887

Gene Expression in Real Time – No Longer Lost in Translation
The Stasevich lab at Colorado State University
published a paper in Science this last week shedding light in
a topic of biology that we as science majors are drilled to
understand conceptually but never have actually seen, the
central dogma of DNA makes RNA makes protein.
Stasevich’s research associate, Tatsuya Morisaki, has
accomplished imaging the production of the second step of
the dogma, mRNA translation to protein which is difficult to
do and has been avoiding discovery although transcription
of DNA to mRNA has been quantified in the past. This is an
extremely step forward in the area of gene regulation and disease since we have never
been able to actually see a protein being born and therefore, can not witness any maladies
that may be occurring during this step of protein synthesis. The researchers accomplished this
feat with the usage of fluorescence; proteins were engineered to have a site where the
nascent protein, still attached to the mRNA, can bind and then glow bright green with every
subsequent binding event. By imaging RNA translation, scientists may be able to provide
new insights on the fundamentals in genetic machinery and everything under that umbrella
like disease mechanisms.
Tatsuya Morisaki et al. Real-time quantification of single RNA translation dynamics in living
cells. Science, May 2016 DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf0899

Imaging of Reaction Intermediates

An International team of researchers led by
Felix R. Fischer (University of California at Berkely),
MIcheal F. Crommie (Lawrence Berekley National
Laboratory), and Angel Rubio (UPV/EHU University)
published a paper in the journal of Nature Chemistry
showing that they accomplished the imaging and
resolving of bond configuration of the reactants,
intermediates, and final products of a organic
reaction at the single-molecule level. This level of resolution to actually visualize the bonds of
a molecule changing as the reaction progresses is something that I, as a biochemistry major,
was astounded by. In our chemistry classes, we draw out molecules in the line-angle style but
we have never actually seen molecules being depicted in that form in nature. This finding
shows a very close resemblance to the structures we drew in CHEM 333/334 with the
experimental data the researchers acquired. This exciting finding can open up doors in
optimizing catalytic systems, advancements in nanotechnology, and applications in
biochemical and material sciences.
1. Alexander Riss, Alejandro Pérez Paz, Sebastian Wickenburg, Hsin-Zon Tsai, Dimas G. De
Oteyza, Aaron J. Bradley, Miguel M. Ugeda, Patrick Gorman, Han Sae Jung, Michael F.
Crommie, Angel Rubio, Felix R. Fischer. Imaging single-molecule reaction intermediates
stabilized by surface dissipation
and entropy. Nature Chemistry,
- Fred Fregoso
2016; DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2506

The California state strike that was ended abruptly last month was ended by a
negotiation deal between the union and the university. The argument was concerning about
increasing the salaries of CSU professors that was long overdue. Essentially, the argument
was that the union was asking for a 6 percent raise for CSU professors for the reason that
their salaries were below other schools such as the UC universities. However, the
universities argued that the school could not afford the demands of the union as the
recession forced them to budget other needs for students. They instead tried to negotiate for
a two percent raise that led to the authorized strike that almost halted education and
production of universities. The strike was supposedly to last for five days with professors
voluntarily joining the cause and making students aware of the situation without being
affected of the cause. The strike would have be one of the first occurrences on a higher
education system.
The argument bogged down to the universities budgeting of money under the notion of
spending non-staff spending as a benefit to the students’ higher education. The union
disagreed that the universities did have the budget to afford the increase spending for
professor’s salaries with the notion that the higher spending is an investment for education
since the main source is from the workers. The deal was negotiated to a 10.5 percent raise
for the professor salary in a three-year span but also health and other essential benefits.
However, this should be concerning to the students themselves for many reasons. The
increase in budget will cause universities to pick the best professors and be more careful in
their choices. For students who want to become a professor, they must reconsider and be
warned, as the demand of the job will be decreasing to balance the budgeting of other
spending regarding student’s education. The negotiation is also a prime example of the arms
race of education that is developing in universities. The notion of higher education, which is
a worthy cause, hides the fact that students will be impacted by this decision in numerous
ways. The effects of the negotiation may decrease the demands of professors because
having to pay them more can cause universities such as Northridge to have fewer classes in
a particular subject. That is worrisome as more students are staying in universities for five
years just to obtain their bachelors because of fewer staff. Another concern is the budget
cuts that universities have to handle because of this situation. As students, we do not see or
know how a campus budgets and know what is considered a high priority to the sake of
higher education. Schools can remove free necessities of students to adjust for the
agreement and students have less power compared to a union to deal with such decision.
Universities can also just increase the tuition of students to compensate for the agreement
and other spending for the sake of education. Universities are becoming more specialized
which is can be beneficial depending on what economic status is the student in.
In conclusion, the agreement should be better publicized to students, as they are who
the spending of higher education is meant to help. However, many students are not aware of
the consequences and benefits that this agreement can have in the next three years. We
should be involved and knowledgeable in the schools’ changes because students who are
trying to do bigger things with their lives have invested a lot of time in their goals.
-

Harvey Rosales

2016 Presidential Candidates
Democratic
Hilary Clinton
Bernie Sanders

Republican

Campaign Site
HillaryClinton.com
BernieSanders.com
Donald J. Trump DonaldJTrump.com

Issue
Clinton Sanders
Should the Death Penalty be allowed?
Pro
Con
Should Obama choose Supreme Court Justice’s
Pro
Pro
replacement?
Does lowering corporate income tax rate create jobs?
NC
Con
Should ANY federal Taxes be increased?
Pro
Pro
Flat Tax on income?
Con
Con
Are the common core standard good for education in
NC
Pro
America?
Should felons who have completed their sentences be
Pro
Pro
allowed to vote?
Should US election campaigns be publicly financed?
Pro
Pro
Is china an Economic /Military threat to US
Pro
NC
Is Obama care good for America?
Pro
Pro
Should planned parenthood receive federal funding?
Pro
Pro
Should undocumented immigrants in US be allowed to
Pro
Pro
become legal residents?
-

Trump
Pro
Con
NC
Pro
NC
Con
?
?
Pro
Con
NC
Con

Elizabeth Velazquez

• "2016 Presidential Candidate Positions on 54 Issues - 2016 Presidential Election ProCon.org." ProConorg Headlines. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 May 2016.
• "2016 Presidential Candidates on Healthcare - Ballotpedia." 2016 Presidential
Candidates on Healthcare - Ballotpedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 May 2016.