Skip to Content

Science News

Love national parks? Thank UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 14:01
Love national parks? Thank UC BerkeleyWithout UC Berkeley and its alumni, the National Park Service would not be what it is today. In fact it might not even exist. The story of the NPS's founding is detailed in California Magazine as Berkeley, 100 years after gathering alumni, scientists and other influential people for a seminal conference on parks, opens a centennial conference on the future of the parks.
Categories: Science News

Herbicide Impacts Focus of BGSU Talk

Department of Integrative Biology - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 08:16

Dr. Tyrone Hayes, an assistant professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, will present "From Silent Spring to Silent Night: A Tale of Toads and Men." He will discuss the harmful impacts of chemical contaminants on amphibians and humans in Bowling Green State University's 2015 Jean Pasakarnis-Buchanan Lecture Tuesday 7 p.m. in 112 Life Sciences Building on campus.

Categories: Science News

New Lick instrument scans infrared for signals from alien civilizations

UC Berkeley Science News - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 14:38
New Lick instrument scans infrared for signals from alien civilizationsUC San Diego physicist Shelley Wright led a team that included UC Berkeley scientists Dan Werthimer and Geoff Marcy to build a sensitive infrared detector to look for laser signals from extraterrestrial civilizations. The instrument, now scanning the skies from Lick Observatory, was originally proposed by the late Charles Townes, inventor of the laser.
Categories: Science News

Slatkin Selected to Present Martin Meyerson Faculty Research Lecture

Department of Integrative Biology - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 16:37

Professor Montgomery Slatkin has been selected by the Academic Senate to be one of two lecturers for the 2015 Martin Meyerson Faculty Research Lectures.  The lecture, titled “Population Genetics of the Neanderthal Genome Project" will take place on Wednesday April 1. 
Read More...

Categories: Science News

Even at a molecular level, taking it slow helps us cope with stress

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 10:00
Even at a molecular level, taking it slow helps us cope with stressUC Berkeley scientists have identified a new molecular pathway critical to aging. They found that by slowing down the activity of mitochondria in the blood stem cells of mice, they could enhance the cells' capacity to handle stress and rejuvenate old blood.
Categories: Science News

Scientists urge caution in using new CRISPR technology to treat human genetic disease

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 10:00
Scientists urge caution in using new CRISPR technology to treat human genetic diseaseJennifer Doudna and five other UC Berkeley scientists co-authored a commentary in the journal Science this week urging caution when using new precision DNA scissors to do gene therapy, and strongly discouraged their use to alter the human genome in ways that can be inherited. Doudna is one of the co-inventors of this technology, referred to as CRISPR-Cas9.
Categories: Science News

Altering brain chemistry makes us more sensitive to inequality

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 08:00
Altering brain chemistry makes us more sensitive to inequalityWhat if there were a pill that made you more compassionate? A new study finds that giving a drug that changes the neurochemical balance in the brain causes a greater willingness to engage in prosocial behaviors, such as ensuring that resources are divided more equally.
Categories: Science News

Conifers' Helicoptering Seeds are the Result of a Long Evolutionary Experiment

Department of Integrative Biology - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 10:31

The whirling, winged seeds of today's conifers are an engineering wonder and, as University of California, Berkeley, scientists show, a result of about 270 million years of evolution by trees experimenting with the best way to disperse their seeds.

Categories: Science News

Conifers’ helicoptering seeds are result of long evolutionary experiment

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 08:20
Conifers’ helicoptering seeds are result of long evolutionary experimentMany plants today, like maples and ashes, have seeds that whirl as they fall. But the first plants that made whirling seeds were the conifers 270 million years ago. UC Berkeley paleobotanist Cindy Looy now explains the surprising fact that while early conifers had several different whirling seed designs, only one design survives today.
Categories: Science News

Two new projects will search for dark matter axions

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 08:50
Two new projects will search for dark matter axionsIs the mysterious dark matter that makes up 26 percent of the universe composed of a hypothetical particle called an axion, instead of the formerly popular WIMP? The Heising-Simons Foundation gave UC Berkeley physicist Dmitry Budker and nuclear engineering Karl van Bibber funds to look for axions with two different experimental techniques.
Categories: Science News

Bakar Fellow Shawn Shadden is using computer modeling to sharpen diagnostic tools

UC Berkeley Science News - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 12:58
Bakar Fellow Shawn Shadden is using computer modeling to sharpen diagnostic toolsBakar Fellow Shawn Shadden, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley, has developed computational strategies designed to serve as diagnostic tools to better inform treatment for medical conditions including stroke, heart disease and osteoporosis.
Categories: Science News

Saturn expert and science popularizer Carolyn Porco joins astronomy department

UC Berkeley Science News - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 08:17
Saturn expert and science popularizer Carolyn Porco joins astronomy departmentCarolyn Porco, a veteran planetary scientist and leader of the imaging team on NASA's Cassini mission at Saturn, has accepted dual invitations to be a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco and a Distinguished Scholar within UC Berkeley's Department of Astronomy. Porco is known for her work on the Voyager and Cassini missions and her award-winning efforts to engage the public in appreciation of the scientific enterprise.
Categories: Science News

Eko Announces $2M Funding & Clinical Trial

Department of Bioengineering - Thu, 03/12/2015 - 14:28
Eko Devices, a startup company spun out of the BioE 192 Senior Capstone Design course, has announced the start of a clinical study with UCSF Cardiology and the closing of a $2 million funding round. Core by Eko is the first stethoscope to be wirelessly connected to a smart device, and is set to retail for $199 beginning Summer 2015 pending clearance by the FDA.
Categories: Science News

Monkeys for equal pay (and every cat for itself)

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 03/11/2015 - 11:18
Monkeys for equal pay (and every cat for itself)In a campus appearance hosted by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, primatologist Frans de Waal discussed his research on "the emotional side of animal behavior" — behavior, he insists, more like our own than some humans admit.
Categories: Science News

New material captures carbon at half the energy cost

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 03/11/2015 - 10:00
New material captures carbon at half the energy costCapturing carbon from power plants is likely in the future to avoid the worst effects of climate change, but current technologies are very expensive. A new material, a diamine-appended metal-organic framework, captures and releases CO2 with much reduced energy costs compared to today's technologies, potentially lowering the cost of capturing this greenhouse gas.
Categories: Science News

Healy designs heart-on-a-chip

Department of Bioengineering - Mon, 03/09/2015 - 08:59
Researchers in Professor Kevin Healy's lab have taken a major step toward fast, accurate drug-toxicity testing with a sophisticated organ-on-a-chip using live, beating heart tissue.
Categories: Science News

Bakar Fellow targets cancer’s disposal system

UC Berkeley Science News - Fri, 03/06/2015 - 15:18
Bakar Fellow targets cancer’s disposal systemAndreas Martin, an assistant professor of molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley, has developed novel systems and strategies to screen for compounds that selectively inhibit protein turnover in the cell and may lead to new drugs against cancer. His work is supported by the Bakar Fellows Program.
Categories: Science News

A Preview of Dodging Extinction

Department of Integrative Biology - Fri, 03/06/2015 - 08:52

Anthony D. Barnosky is a Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, Curator in the Museum of Paleontology, and Research Paleoecologist in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Categories: Science News

Distant supernova split four ways by gravitational lens

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 11:00
Distant supernova split four ways by gravitational lensAstronomers now use massive galaxies and clusters of galaxies as magnifying lenses to study the early universe, but until now had never observed the brief flash of a supernova. UC Berkeley postdoc Patrick Kelly found such a supernova in images taken last year by the Hubble Space Telescope, split into a rare Einstein Cross.
Categories: Science News

Probing bacterial immune system could help improve human gene editing

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 08:28
Probing bacterial immune system could help improve human gene editingJennifer Doudna and James Nuñez are probing the CRISPR/Cas9-based immune system that bacteria have developed to prevent viruses from killing them, and have discovered how they “steal” genetic information from these foreign invaders to remember and attack them in the future. Doudna hopes this information will help to improve targeted gene editing in human and animal cells.
Categories: Science News