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Commonly available blood-pressure drug prevents epilepsy after brain injury

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 07:21
Commonly available blood-pressure drug prevents epilepsy after brain injuryUC Berkeley neuroscientist Daniela Kaufer and colleagues in Israel and Germany have shown in rats that a drug commonly prescribed for hypertension can nearly eliminate the epilepsy that often follows severe head injury. Nearly one in five cases of epilepsy is the result of head trauma.

Brain size matters when it comes to animal self-control

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 04/21/2014 - 11:00
Brain size matters when it comes to animal self-controlChimpanzees may throw tantrums like toddlers, but their total brain size suggests they have more self-control than, say, gerbils or fox squirrels, according to a new study of 36 mammal and bird species ranging from orangutans to zebra finches.

Neuroengineers bring science cred, Berkeley feel to ‘Transcendence’ film

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 23:15
Neuroengineers bring science cred, Berkeley feel to ‘Transcendence’ filmWhen Hollywood knocked on the doors of UC Berkeley engineering professors Michel Maharbiz and Jose Carmena, the researchers answered. Director Wally Pfister tapped their expertise in neural engineering and brain-machine interfaces during the filming of his movie, "Transcendence," which opens in theaters April 18.

Bigger, more frequent wildfires burn Western United States, study finds

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 16:15
Bigger, more frequent wildfires burn Western United States, study findsWildfires across the western United States have been getting bigger and more frequent over the last 30 years, a trend that could continue as climate change causes temperatures to rise and drought to become more severe in the coming decades, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Utah and UC Berkeley.

More and bigger wildfires burning in Western U.S.

College of Natural Resources - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 11:32
By Alexandra Branscombe, American Geophysical Union Wildfires across the western United States have been getting bigger and more frequent over the last 30 years – a trend that could continue as climate change causes temperatures to rise and drought to... Ann Guy

Chancellor Dirks hosts clean-energy talks with DOE, industry

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 19:03
Chancellor Dirks hosts clean-energy talks with DOE, industryUC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks hosted Department of Energy Assistant Secretary David Danielson and representatives from the clean-energy industry, university and DOE research labs to focus on the future of U.S. innovation and competitiveness.

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:28
Can new understanding avert tragedy?As a boy, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment to test whether plants grow better sprinkled with water or orange juice. Today, as a Berkeley professor — and one of Forbes magazine's "brightest stars" in the field of law and policy — he applies complex statistical strategies to examine the same basic question: How will environmental change affect life?

Adam Arkin receives DOE’s Lawrence Award for synthetic biology work

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 08:42
Adam Arkin receives DOE’s Lawrence Award for synthetic biology workBioengineering professor Adam Arkin, director of Berkeley Lab’s Physical Biosciences Division, was named one of six recipients of DOE's Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award for his work advancing biological and environmental sciences. Arkin is a leading authority on the evolutionary design principles of cellular networks and populations and their application to systems and synthetic biology

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 they invaded South America 22 million years ago

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 11:19
Hummingbird evolution soared after they invaded 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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