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Why the Nepalese quake was so destructive

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 12:28
Why the Nepalese quake was so destructiveThe earthquake that ripped across Nepal and its neighbors on Saturday was the world's strongest quake so far this year. Scientists on UC Berkeley's Seismo Blog look at what caused it and why it was so devastating.
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Murthy Lab develops transcription factor delivery system

Department of Bioengineering - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 10:17

Researchers in Professor Niren Murthy’s lab have developed a way to efficiently deliver therapeutic transcription factors in living cells. Transcription factors are proteins that initiate and regulate the transcription of genes – a promising method for new treatments, but with significant delivery problems.

Murthy DARTsFirst author Kunwoo Lee, a PhD candidate in the UC Berkeley – UCSF Graduate Program in Bioengineering, has developed DARTs (DNA assembled recombinant transcription factors), a multifunctional oligonucleotide (short DNA or RNA molecule) with a unique molecular architecture. This allows them to bind transcription factors, trigger absorption by liver cells, and stimulate escape from the cell’s transportation structure.

Their research was published today in Nature Materials.

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Schaffer talks gene therapy delivery

Department of Bioengineering - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 10:29
Professor David Schaffer explains his directed evolution approach to solving the Delivery Problem in gene therapy.
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Astronomers join forces to speed discovery of habitable worlds

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 07:39
Astronomers join forces to speed discovery of habitable worldsUC Berkeley astronomer James Graham is leading a coalition of planet-searchers in an effort to more efficiently find habitable planets around other stars, and perhaps extraterrestrial life itself. The project is one of 16 funded by NASA's new NExSS (Nexus for Exoplanet System Science) initiative.
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Nanowire-bacteria hybrid converts carbon dioxide into plastic

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 14:53
Nanowire-bacteria hybrid converts carbon dioxide into plasticChemists Peidong Yang, Christopher Chang and Michelle Chang have created a nanowire structure that captures carbon dioxide from the air and, with the help of sunlight, makes acetate, a building block for plastics and other chemicals. The researchers call it a "revolutionary leap forward in the field of artificial photosynthesis."
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Doudna among Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 07:32
Doudna among Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the worldTime magazine has named Jennifer Doudna, a professor of molecular and cell biology, to its 2015 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. The list also includes President Barack Obama, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and rapper Kanye West.
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Capstone team takes second at Stanford Design Challenge

Department of Bioengineering - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 13:28

BioE senior capstone design team of Hannah Adelsberg, Celia Cheung, Eric Katz, and Suzanne Chou took second place at the annual Stanford Design Challenge for their invention, the HandleBar. HandleBar is a ratcheting stair assist railing for older people to safely ascend and descend stairs in their homes, allowing for increased independence while still encouraging individuals to climb under their own power.

HandleBar team

The Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge is a global competition aimed at encouraging students to design products and services to improve the lives of older adults. In this second year, the Challenge focused on ways to motivate / empower mobility among older adults in their daily lives, both inside their homes and in their community.

Read more at Stanford.

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Lee and Murthy fight drug-resistant microbes

Department of Bioengineering - Fri, 04/10/2015 - 09:17
Professors Luke Lee and Niren Murthy are leading a team, with Dr. Riley of the School of Public Health, to develop tools to quickly spot and identify drug-resistant pathogens. Their project will receive $5.8 million over five years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) as part of the agency’s effort to develop diagnostics to rapidly detect antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.
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Opinion: Seismo Blog details Bay Area quake risk

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 04/08/2015 - 12:19
 Seismo Blog details Bay Area quake riskIn its 100th entry since its launch in 2008, the UC Berkeley Seismology Laboratory’s “Seismo Blog” offers an up-to-date, more detailed map of earthquake risk in the larger San Francisco Bay Area.
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What happens when you put a hummingbird in a wind tunnel?

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 04/08/2015 - 07:00
What happens when you put a hummingbird in a wind tunnel?KQED producer Sheraz Sadiq joined UC Berkeley postdoctoral researcher Victor Ortega in Robert Dudley’s Animal Flight Laboratory to film hummingbirds in action for a “Deep Look” segment, “What Happens When You Put a Hummingbird in a Wind Tunnel?”
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Johnson and Kurpinski at WonderCon

Department of Bioengineering - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 13:30
Bioengineers Terry Johnson and Kyle Kurpinski hosted a packed panel on "Science and Science Fiction" at WonderCon 2015.
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Bioengineers mentor high school students

Department of Bioengineering - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 13:43

On April 4, over 100 students, parents, and teachers from throughout the Bay Area gathered at Stanley Hall for the second annual Bioengineering High School Competition (BioEHSC).

bioehsc groupBioEHSC, which is run by the Bioengineering Honor Society, is a 6-week bioengineering design competition aimed at high school students. This culminates in a final symposium where students share their proposals to solve pervasive medical issues using bioengineering strategies.

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New target for anticancer drugs: RNA

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 07:00
 RNAUC Berkeley researchers Jamie Cate and Amy Lee have found that a subset of messenger RNAs – many of which have been linked to cancer – have unique tags that make them promising targets for anticancer drugs. These short RNA tags bind to a protein, eIF3, that regulates translation at the ribosome.
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Dudley Featured on KQED Science

Department of Integrative Biology - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 11:23

Research by Professor Robert Dudley and postdoc Victor Ortega is featured in a segment on KQED Science about Hummingbirds in a wind tunnel.

Read more...

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Calaveras-Hayward fault link means potentially larger quakes

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 11:03
Calaveras-Hayward fault link means potentially larger quakesUC Berkeley seismologists have proven that the Hayward and Calaveras faults are essentially the same system, meaning that a rupture on one could trigger a rupture on the other, producing considerably larger quakes than once thought.
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200th anniversary of Tambora eruption a reminder of volcanic perils

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 05:00
200th anniversary of Tambora eruption a reminder of volcanic perilsAn expert on supervolcano eruptions, UC Berkeley's Steve Self was the first modern-day scientist to visit Tambora in Indonesia, the site of the largest volcanic eruption in the past 1,000 years. On the 200th anniversary of its eruption in 1815, Self and others are warning of the ever-present dangers of volcanoes like Tambora.
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Student Has Fun Exploring Disco Clam’s Underwater World

Department of Integrative Biology - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 10:25

Lindsey Dougherty’s love of the sea eventually led her to UC Berkeley, where she is now a graduate student focusing on one of the ocean’s more unusual critters: a clam that flashes in the deep.

This behavior earned it the nickname ‘disco clam,’ and Dougherty is working with UC Berkeley’s Roy Caldwell, professor of integrative biology, to explore how and why it flashes its mirrored lips.

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Astronomers upgrade their cosmic light bulbs

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 12:53
Astronomers upgrade their cosmic light bulbsType Ia supernovae allow astronomers to measure the distances to galaxies and the ever-increasing rate at which our universe is expanding. UC Berkeley postdoc Patrick Kelly has now identified the best, top-of-the-line Type Ia supernovae for measuring cosmic distances, potentially making distance cosmic measurements twice as precise as before.
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Student has fun exploring disco clam’s underwater world

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 11:34
Student has fun exploring disco clam’s underwater worldLindsey Dougherty's love of the sea eventually led her to UC Berkeley, where she is now a graduate student focusing on one of the ocean's more unusual critters: a clam that flashes in the deep. In a recent interview with Discovery Canada’s science show “Daily Planet,” Dougherty talked about her love of diving and her first encounter with these unusual mollusks.
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Young bug enthusiast meets his hero, E.O. Wilson

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 08:10
Young bug enthusiast meets his hero, E.O. WilsonEver since he was 5, Jasper Bagley’s idol has been E. O. Wilson, the renowned biologist, widely considered the world’s leading ant expert. On March 25, the 11-year-old insect enthusiast got to meet Wilson at UC Berkeley, where the entomologist was the keynote speaker at a conference on the national parks.
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