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Hunting supernovas with supercomputers

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 08:20
Hunting supernovas with supercomputersThanks to supercomputer models produced by Berkeley physicist Dan Kasen, astronomers were able to quickly find and study a distant Type Ia supernova, the kind used for calibrating the cosmos. These rare early measurements confirmed a theory that at least some Type Ia supernovae are produced when a white dwarf pulls mass from a binary companion until it explodes.
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IB Graduate Students Win Video Contest

Department of Integrative Biology - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 07:17

Two Integrative Biology Graduate Students, Joyce Chery and Roxanne Cruz-de Hoyos, are recipients of the 2015 Distinguished Fellows Video Contest and will receive funds for conference travel.
Read More and View Videos

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Congratulations 2015 Graduates!

Department of Bioengineering - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 14:27
We're proud of you! Watch the 2015 Commencement ceremonies online.
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In post-Soviet Russia, Lenin’s body still a powerful symbol

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 04:00
In post-Soviet Russia, Lenin’s body still a powerful symbolFor 90 years, the embalmed corpse of Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin has been on public display in Moscow’s Red Square. But ever since the Soviet Union collapsed, a debate has raged over whether to move it - or bury him once and for all. UC Berkeley social anthropologist Alexei Yurchak, an expert on the science and politics surrounding the corpse, believes the body won't be moved anytime soon.
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Cold-blooded animals find it hard to adjust to global warming

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 14:59
Cold-blooded animals find it hard to adjust to global warmingCold-blooded and other animals that are unable to regulate their internal temperature may have a hard time tolerating global warming, according to an analysis by biologists Alex Gunderson and Jonathon Stillman from UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University.
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Discovery paves way for homebrewed drugs, prompts call for regulation

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 12:00
Discovery paves way for homebrewed drugs, prompts call for regulationA research team led by UC Berkeley bioengineers has completed key steps needed to turn sugar-fed yeast into a microbial factory for producing morphine and potentially other drugs, including antibiotics and anticancer agents. The process could soon become as straightforward as making homebrewed beer, prompting calls for urgent regulation.
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Dueber lab engineers opium poppy pathway

Department of Bioengineering - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 09:01
Researchers in professor John Dueber's lab have taken us one step closer to producing more medications through synthetic biology by replicating some of the chemical processes of the opium poppy in yeast. Will DeLoache, bioengineering graduate student and study lead author, and collaborators, were able to synthesize the poppy compound reticuline from tyrosine, a derivative of glucose.
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BioE alum Shetty in Berkeley Engineer

Department of Bioengineering - Thu, 05/14/2015 - 13:48
BioE alumna Charvi Shetty was profiled in Berkeley Engineer magazine this semester with her startup company, Knox Diagnostics. She's developing an inexpensive asthma diagnostic, first designed in the Bioe Senior Capstone course.
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Conboy and Schaffer discover new drug to rejuvenate aging tissues

Department of Bioengineering - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 13:51
Bioengineering professors Irina Conboy and David Schaffer, have discovered a small-molecule drug that simultaneously revives old stem cells in the brains and muscles of mice. This is excellent news for anti-aging research, giving hope that there could exist a single intervention that rescues the function of multiple tissues throughout the body.
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Drug perks up old muscles and aging brains

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 07:28
Drug perks up old muscles and aging brainsUC Berkeley researchers have discovered that a small-molecule drug simultaneously perks up old stem cells in the brains and muscles of mice, a finding that could lead to drug interventions for humans that would make aging tissues throughout the body act young again.
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Forecasting Change, Welcome or Not

Department of Integrative Biology - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 07:23

Berkeley, California - Two thousand California honey bees may have a story to tell.  So too, more than 10,000 deer mice, and 3,000 oaks. Specimens of these plants and animals populate massive collections in Berkeley’s renowned research museums, and are now being enlisted as guides to past episodes of habitat and climate change.

Plant ecologist David Ackerly has calculated that some animals and plants would need to migrate as much as four miles a year to track their preferred temperature in a rapidly warming climate.

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Space Sciences Lab teams up with Emirates to send weather satellite to Mars

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 07:15
Space Sciences Lab teams up with Emirates to send weather satellite to MarsThe United Arab Emirates announced last week a plan to send a satellite to Mars in 2021, partnering with the University of Colorado, Boulder, UC Berkeley and Arizona State to help build the instruments. The Emirates Mars Mission, the first interplanetary mission of the Arab world, is designed to observe weather phenomena like Martian clouds and dust storms.
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Forecasting the impact of climate change, welcome or not

UC Berkeley Science News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 10:31
Forecasting the impact of climate change, welcome or notPlant ecologist David Ackerly, a UC Berkeley professor of integrative biology, has calculated that some animals and plants would need to migrate as much as four miles a year to track their preferred temperature in a rapidly warming climate. He is one of the architects of the Berkeley Initiative in Global Change Biology, an ambitious research effort.
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New awards fund work between U.S., Chinese women scientists

UC Berkeley Science News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 09:00
New awards fund work between U.S., Chinese women scientistsThe Chau Hoi Shuen Foundation Women in Science Program is now funding three women faculty members to allow them to collaborate with women scientists in China. The program is designed to encourage joint research projects that might not get off the ground otherwise.
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Some star explosions are lopsided, X-ray telescope finds

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 05/07/2015 - 16:00
Some star explosions are lopsided, X-ray telescope findsBased on measurements by NuSTAR's X-ray telescope, physicist Steve Boggs & colleagues found that a 1987 stellar explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud was lopsided, providing the best proof yet that core collapse supernovas - those that produce a neutron star or pulsar - are not symmetric. The outer layers are blown off in one direction, while the neutron star rebounds in the other.
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Young biologists: First time in the field, and curious about life

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 05/07/2015 - 12:00
 First time in the field, and curious about lifeWatch students who may have not have thought much about biology take their first plunge into the world of plants and wildlife on a three-day visit to the UC Natural Reserve System’s Hastings Natural History Reservation in Carmel Valley. They're in Berkeley's Biology Scholars Program, which supports underrepresented minority students pursuing the life sciences.
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Human security at risk as depletion of soil accelerates, scientists warn

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 05/07/2015 - 10:00
Human security at risk as depletion of soil accelerates, scientists warnScientists warn that humans have been depleting soil nutrients at rates that are orders of magnitude greater than our current ability to replenish it. They say that fixing this imbalance is critical to global food security over the next century.
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UC Berkeley scientists begin monitoring tremors on San Andreas Fault

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 05/07/2015 - 07:00
UC Berkeley scientists begin monitoring tremors on San Andreas FaultThe first of four borehole seismometers will be installed underground in Central California to monitor faint tremors beneath the San Andreas Fault, part of UC Berkeley’s TremorScope project to determine the link between tremors and earthquakes.
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Young physics professor receives DOE early career grant

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 05/06/2015 - 12:51
Young physics professor receives DOE early career grantJames Analytis, an assistant professor of physics, has been awarded one of the Department of Energy’s coveted Early Career Research Program grants to pursue work on exotic behavior in metals.
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Video cellscope automates detection of parasites in blood

Department of Bioengineering - Wed, 05/06/2015 - 10:43
The CellScope team in Professor Dan Fletcher's lab have made another breakthrough in mobile microscopy, using video to automatically detect and quantify infection by parasitic worms in a drop of blood. The new device can help revive efforts to treat common, neglected filarial diseases in Africa, such as river blindness.
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