Daily news roundup for Monday, February 9 , 2015

Feb 9, 2015

Here's what's happening in the Bay Area, as curated by KALW news:

Hey, California: Oklahoma had 3 times as many earthquakes in 2014 // Center for Investigative Reporting

"Earthquakes are synonymous with California to most Americans, but West Coasters might be surprised to learn they’re far from the new center of the seismic landscape in the United States.

"Oklahoma recorded more than three times as many earthquakes as California in 2014 and remains well ahead in 2015. Data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that Oklahoma had 562 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater in 2014; California had 180. As of Jan. 31, Oklahoma recorded 76 earthquakes of that magnitude, compared with California’s 10."

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Marin's LGBT groups merge // Marin Independent Journal

"The two principal organizations serving the lesbian, gay, and transgender community in Marin are merging to operate under a common nonprofit umbrella organization.

"'It's going to have a new name but we don't have the name chosen yet,' said Jennifer Malone, the current executive director of the Marin AIDS Project, who will head the new entity that will bring Spectrum LGBT Center and the Marin AIDS Project together."

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Chinatown sees uptick in homeless people in neighborhood // SF Examiner

"A rise in homeless people on Chinatown streets is being reported by residents and merchants in a neighborhood that some advocates say is ill-equipped to address the issue.

"Portsmouth Square, the largest open space in Chinatown, has become an encampment for a half-dozen homeless people nightly, and until a couple weeks ago when the Recreation and Park Department reinstalled park hour signage, foot beat officers could not issue them citations."

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23andMe: Quest for Parkinson's cure opens door to genetic data mining //  San Jose Mercury News

"Even seated, Mary Haynes' body is perpetually in motion. Her torso lurches side to side when she speaks, while Mike Tossy's body is noticeably still. His eyes dart around, but his head rarely turns.

"Both Haynes and Tossy suffer from Parkinson's disease -- a neurodegenerative disorder affecting nearly a million Americans. They are also two of 11,000 customers of 23andMe with Parkinson's participating in the DNA testing company's research program.

"By analyzing the customers' DNA, the Mountain View company has helped discover eight new mutant genes linked to the disease. Now Haynes and Tossy could be asked to make their genetic codes available for deeper scrutiny -- a possibility that would test the boundaries of privacy in medical research."

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Researchers prove that awe lowers level of proinflammatory cytokines // The Daily Californian

"Researchers published a study done on UC Berkeley’s campus that shows that positive emotions — such as awe, content, pride and joy — are beneficial for human health and the immune system.

"The purpose of this study was to find out if the experience of positive emotion was associated with lower levels of proinflammatory cytokines, which are proteins that signal the immune system to work harder and aid cell movement to sites of inflammation and trauma. The study also looked at whether certain positive emotions are more strongly associated with health than others."

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Secrets to marital bliss: Bay Area couples share their ingredients for long, happy unions // San Jose Mercury News

"It's a question that has launched hundreds of bestsellers and advice columns: What's the secret to a happy marriage?

"'We respond to that question many times,' said Rudy Tenes, of San Jose. He and Lily have been married nearly 60 years. 'People ask, 'How have you managed to make it last so long?' It's different for every couple.'

"It certainly is, as recounted by Bay Area couples who took some time in advance of Valentine's Day to share their ingredients for happy unions."