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New biomarker discovery can help scientists ID sudden oak death-susceptible trees

College of Natural Resources - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 12:34
Adapted from an article by Mauricio Espinoza, Ohio State University UC Berkeley and Ohio State University researchers have developed a way to predict the resistance or susceptibility of trees to sudden oak death disease, providing forest managers with the first... Ann Guy

Guggenheim fellowships go to eight Berkeley faculty

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 08:46
Guggenheim fellowships go to eight Berkeley facultyEight UC Berkeley faculty are among 178 artists, scientists and scholars nationally who have been awarded 2014 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowships, the foundation announced.

Isacoff Research Profile

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 10:28

Professor of Neurobiology Ehud Isacoff is the focus of a research profile on his brain and memory research on the UC Berkeley Research site.

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On memory’s trail

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 09:30
On memory’s trailBerkeley neuroscientist Ehud (Udi) Isacoff and his colleagues are working to solve one of the brain's mysteries: how memories form, and how they might be restored in people who have lost them, such as Alzheimer's victims.

UC Berkeley professor and structural biologist Thomas Alber dies at 60

UC Berkeley Science News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 07:00
UC Berkeley professor and structural biologist Thomas Alber dies at 60Thomas Alber, a UC Berkeley structural biologist known for his striking ability to choose important biological problems and attack them with elegant biochemical and structural studies, died peacefully on March 28, 2014, at his home in Berkeley, Calif.

Tom Alber has Passed Away

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 11:44

Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology Thomas C. Alber, a structural biologist known for his striking ability to choose important biological problems and attack them with elegant biochemical and structural studies, died peacefully on March 28, 2014 in Berkeley, CA.

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Hummingbird evolution soared after invading South America 22 million years ago

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 11:19
Hummingbird evolution soared after invading South America 22 million years agoA newly constructed family tree of the hummingbirds, led by Jimmy McGuire of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, tells a story of a unique group of birds that originated in Europe, passed through Asia and North America, and ultimately found its Garden of Eden in South America 22 million years ago.

Scientists pinpoint how we miss subtle visual changes, and why it keeps us sane

UC Berkeley Science News - Sun, 03/30/2014 - 09:00
Scientists pinpoint how we miss subtle visual changes, and why it keeps us saneEver notice how Harry Potter’s T-shirt changes from a crewneck to a henley shirt in the "Order of the Phoenix"? Probably not. Vision scientists at UC Berkeley and MIT have discovered an upside to the brain mechanism that can blind us to subtle visual changes in the movies and in the real world.

Wind power cost competitive with natural gas, study finds

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 03/26/2014 - 15:02
Wind power cost competitive with natural gas, study findsThe costs of using wind energy and natural gas for electricity are virtually equal when accounting for the full private and social costs of each, according to a new study on the federal tax credit for wind energy by UC Berkeley's Greg Linden and Syracuse University's Jason Dedrick. This makes wind a competitive energy source for the United States, they argue.

Sydney Kustu has Died

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Wed, 03/26/2014 - 14:03

It is with sadness that we announce the death of our Professor Emerita of Plant & Microbial Biology Sydney Kustu. Dr. Kustu studied the regulation of nitrogen metabolism in bacteria and was affiliated with the MCB department for several years.

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Sydney Kustu had Died

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Wed, 03/26/2014 - 14:03

It is with sadness that we announce the death of our Professor Emerita of Plant & Microbial Biology Sydney Kustu. Dr. Kustu studied the regulation of nitrogen metabolism in bacteria and was affiliated with the MCB department for several years.

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Doudna Research Profile on CRISPR

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Wed, 03/26/2014 - 13:51

Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology Jennifer Doudna is the focus of a research profile titled "Crispr Goes Global" on the UC Berkeley Research site.

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UC astronomers debut new robotic planet-hunting telescope

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 10:20
UC astronomers debut new robotic planet-hunting telescopeUC Berkeley astronomer Geoff Marcy and UC Santa Cruz astronomer Steve Vogt will be sharing a new robotic telescope at Lick Observatory, in operation since January, that will continuously scan the night sky for new planets. The first robotic telescope devoted to planet hunting, the Automated Planet FInder has the ultimate goal of finding Earth-size planets.

In memoriam: Sydney Kustu, Berkeley microbiologist

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 03/24/2014 - 11:50
 Sydney Kustu, Berkeley microbiologistProfessor Emeritus Sydney Kustu, a distinguished faculty member in UC Berkeley’s Plant and Microbial Biology Department, died in Berkeley on March 18. She was 71.

UC Berkeley Mourns the Loss of Sydney Kustu

College of Natural Resources - Mon, 03/24/2014 - 11:06
Professor Emerita Sydney Kustu, a distinguished faculty member in UC Berkeley’s Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, died in Berkeley, Calif., on March 18. She was 71 years old. She was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and... Ann Guy

CHAMACOS: How pesticides harm young minds

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 03/20/2014 - 10:23
 How pesticides harm young mindsChildren born to mothers who work in California’s pesticide-treated fields show signs of developmental problems, according the pathbreaking CHAMACOS study, led by UC Berkeley professor Dr. Brenda Eskenazi in the Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health. The study is spotlighted in the new "Nation."

Corporate-funded academic inventions spur increased innovation, analysis says

College of Natural Resources - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:35
By Sarah Yang, Media Relations Academic research sponsored by industry has a strong track record of leading to innovative patents and licenses, challenging assumptions that corporate support skews science toward inventions that are less accessible and less useful to others... Ann Guy

Corporate-funded academic inventions spur increased innovation, analysis says

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 10:00
Corporate-funded academic inventions spur increased innovation, analysis saysThe assumption that corporate funding yields academic work that is less useful and less accessible to other researchers is challenged by an analysis of two decades of data from more than 12,000 inventions in the University of California system. The paper is published in the peer-reviewed journal "Nature." Read about how new technology is spreading from campus faster than ever.

Map of fruit fly’s active genes has implications for understanding stress

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 07:50
Map of fruit fly’s active genes has implications for understanding stressA group led by scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has conducted the largest survey yet of how information encoded in an animal genome is processed in different organs, stages of development and environmental conditions. Their findings about the fruit fly paint a new picture of how genes function in the nervous system and in response to environmental stress.

Fierce solar magnetic storm barely missed Earth in 2012

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 10:41
Fierce solar magnetic storm barely missed Earth in 2012UC Berkeley physicist Janet Luhmann & former postdoc Ying Liu report that a rapid succession of coronal mass ejections – the most intense eruptions on the sun – sent a pulse of magnetized plasma barreling into space & through Earth’s orbit on July 23, 2012. Had it hit Earth, it could have disrupted the electrical grid, satellites, GPS & our increasingly electronic lives.