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Add water and ‘resurrection plants’ spring to life in seconds

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 10:30
Add water and ‘resurrection plants’ spring to life in secondsKQED's "Deep Look" team visited UC Berkeley's University and Jepson Herbaria to learn about so-called "resurrection plants" from one of the world's moss experts, Brent Mishler, director of the herbaria and a professor of integrative biology.
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Chemist Christopher Chang receives $250,000 Blavatnik Award

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 09:14
Chemist Christopher Chang receives $250,000 Blavatnik AwardChristopher Chang, the Class of 1942 Chair in the College of Chemistry, was one of three University of California recipients of the 2015 Blavatnik Award, given yearly to exceptional young scientists and engineers. Chang was honored for his discoveries in chemistry that span both neuroscience and energy science and will receive an unrestricted prize of $250,000.
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Mishler Lab Featured on KQED Science

Department of Integrative Biology - Fri, 06/26/2015 - 10:52

Research by Professor Brent Mishler and IB graduate student Caleb Caswell-Levy on ‘Resurrection Plants’,  desiccation-tolerant mosses and their associated rotifers which can survive long dry spells and spring back to life when exposed to water, is the focus of a video and story on KQED public television.
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Environment takes big hit from water-intensive marijuana cultivation

Department of Integrative Biology - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 13:21

Published today in the journal Bioscience, the report outlines how illegal marijuana production is hitting California where it hurts, such as in sensitive watersheds already stressed by the state’s ongoing drought. Networks of pipes and hoses siphon water directly from small streams to irrigate the crops, draining what little water there is for wildlife and plants.

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Streamlined cockroaches inspire highly maneuverable robots

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 09:53
Streamlined cockroaches inspire highly maneuverable robotsOutfitting a robot with a rounded shell helps it scoot through clutter as easily as a cockroach, UC Berkeley researchers have found.
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Cockroach Robot Squeezes Though Cracks (Ugh!)

Department of Integrative Biology - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 12:53

Dubbed “veloci-roach,” the crawling device uses sensors and locomotion like many other bio-inspired devices.

But this one flips on its side to shimmy through spaces that would normally prove too small, according to Chen Li, postdoctoral researcher in the UC Berkeley department of integrative biology, and electrical engineering and computer science.

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Doudna and Charpentier share $500,000 Gruber Genetics Prize

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 06/22/2015 - 13:48
Doudna and Charpentier share $500,000 Gruber Genetics PrizeUC Berkeley biochemist Jennifer Doudna and microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Germany and of Umeå University in Sweden have received the 2015 Gruber Genetics Prize for their invention of a gene-editing technology known as CRISPR/Cas9, which has revolutionized the field of molecular genetics.
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Earth is on Track For a Mass Extinction, and Humans are to Blame, Study Says...

Department of Integrative Biology - Mon, 06/22/2015 - 08:50

“We are on the trajectory of seeing a mass extinction in two human lifetimes if we just keep doing business as usual,” said Anthony Barnosky, a paleontologist in UC Berkeley’s integrative biology department and one of the authors of the study.

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Nielson Helps Identify 8,500-year-old Kennewick Man as Native American

Department of Integrative Biology - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 05:46

An ancient human skeleton called Kennewick Man, found on the banks of the Columbia River in 1996, has been at the center of a dispute between Native Americans and scientists on the disposition of the remains. A new analysis of DNA from the bones by a team that includes Professor Rasmus Nielsen concludes that the man probably was an ancestor of local Native American tribes. Read More

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Controversial ‘Kennewick Man’ was an 8,500-year-old Native American

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 09:00
Controversial ‘Kennewick Man’ was an 8,500-year-old Native AmericanThe discovery of an ancient human skeleton on the banks of the Columbia River in 1996 ignited a controversy when local Native Americans claimed the remains for reburial and scientists protested that they should first be studied. A new analysis of DNA from the bones by a team that includes IB professor Rasmus Nielsen concludes that the man probably was an ancestor of local tribes.
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Humans’ built-in GPS is our 3-D sense of smell

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 10:00
Humans’ built-in GPS is our 3-D sense of smellLike homing pigeons, humans have a nose for navigation because our brains are wired to convert smells into spatial information, new research shows. Similar investigations have been conducted on birds and rodents, but this is the first time smell-based navigation has been field-tested on humans. The results evoke a GPS-like superpower one could call an “olfactory positioning system.”
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Oh Joy! Berkeley consults on ‘Inside Out’ emotions

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 08:00
Oh Joy! Berkeley consults on ‘Inside Out’ emotionsUC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner consulted on the new Pixar movie, 'Inside Out,' explaining the physiology and purpose of such emotions as joy, sadness, anger,fear and disgust that team up in the head of the main character, 11-year-old Riley.
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Anderson lab develops potential molecular lock and key for GMOs

Department of Bioengineering - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 12:47
Researchers in bioengineering professor Chris Anderson’s lab have used synthetic biology to develop an easy way to lock down bacteria, to contain its accidental spread. The work, led by recent BioE Ph.D. Gabriel Lopez, shows promise as a potential method of containing advances created through synthetic biology and genetic engineering.
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Scientists use molecular ‘lock and key’ for potential control of GMOs

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 04:00
Scientists use molecular ‘lock and key’ for potential control of GMOsUC Berkeley researchers have developed a way to put bacteria under a molecular lock and key as a way to contain its accidental spread. The method involves a series of genetic mutations that render the microbe inactive unless the right molecule is added to enable its viability.
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Newfound groups of bacteria are mixing up the tree of life

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 06/15/2015 - 08:00
Newfound groups of bacteria are mixing up the tree of lifeJill Banfield, professor of EPS and ESPM, and grad student Christopher Brown discovered a large number of new groups or phyla of bacteria, suggesting that the branches on the tree of life need some rearranging. The more than 35 new phyla equal in number all the plant and animal phyla combined.
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Why anti-depressants can make you itch

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 06/15/2015 - 07:48
Why anti-depressants can make you itchAnti-depressants, which prevent serotonin from being broken down, can also make people itch. UC Berkeley's Diana Bautista and Buck Institute investigators think they know why: at least in mice, there are itch receptors in the skin triggered by serotonin. The finding could lead to new anti-itch drugs.
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Amy Herr named 2015 Georges Guiochon Faculty Fellow

Department of Bioengineering - Fri, 06/12/2015 - 12:56
Professor Amy Herr has been named the 2015 Georges Guiochon Faculty Fellow! She will be presented the award and deliver a special lecture at the 42nd Symposium of HPLC (High Performance Liquid Phase Separations and Related Techniques) in Geneva.
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World’s science journalists are coming to Berkeley in 2017

UC Berkeley Science News - Fri, 06/12/2015 - 07:58
World’s science journalists are coming to Berkeley in 2017The 2017 meeting of the World Federation of Science Journalists will be held in San Francisco, co-hosted by UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco.
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World’s science journalists are coming to Berkeley in 2017

UC Berkeley Science News - Fri, 06/12/2015 - 07:58
World’s science journalists are coming to Berkeley in 2017The 2017 meeting of the World Federation of Science Journalists will be held in San Francisco, co-hosted by UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco.
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Three campus researchers named 2015 Pew scholars

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 06/11/2015 - 11:39
Three campus researchers named 2015 Pew scholarsThree UC Berkeley early-career researchers — Polina Lishko, Ke Xu and Juan-Pablo Castillo — have been selected as this year's Pew scholars, for those showing outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health
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