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Why we can’t tell a Hollywood heartthrob from his stunt double

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 10/02/2014 - 08:00
Why we can’t tell a Hollywood heartthrob from his stunt doubleJohnny Depp has an unforgettable face. Tony Angelotti, his stunt double in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” does not. So why is it that when they’re swashbuckling on screen, audiences worldwide see them both as the same person? UC Berkeley scientists have pinpointed the brain mechanism by which we latch on to a particular face even when it changes.
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NIH awards UC Berkeley $7.2 million to advance brain initiative

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 05:57
NIH awards UC Berkeley $7.2 million to advance brain initiativeThe National Institutes of Health announced its first research grants through President Barack Obama's BRAIN Initiative, including 3 awards to UC Berkeley totaling nearly $7.2 million over 3 years. The White House also announced a $5.6 million private-public partnership between UC Berkeley and Carl Zeiss Microscopy to improve neural microscopy.
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Three Bay Area institutions join forces to seed transformative brain research

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 09/25/2014 - 07:52
Three Bay Area institutions join forces to seed transformative brain researchAs scientists rally around President Barack Obama's BRAIN Initiative, three Bay Area research institutions - UC Berkeley, UCSF and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab - have decided to invest in high-risk, high-gain projects that could jump-start our understanding of the brain. Six new interdisciplinary projects take advantage of new technology, in particular nanotech and optogenetics.
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Berkeley and the making of Yosemite

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 16:00
Berkeley and the making of YosemiteYosemite National Park would be something quite different were it not for UC Berkeley and its visionary scientists, alumni and leaders. That's the blue-and-gold current flowing through Yosemite: A Storied Landscape, a just-published e-book that brings to vivid life the first national park in celebration of its 150th birthday.
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Healy and Lee receive Phase 2 Tissue Chip Award

Department of Bioengineering - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 09:28

Bioengineering professors Kevin Healy and Luke Lee and collaborators are one of only eleven top university teams nationwide to receive a Phase Two Tissue Chip Award from the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). 

chip waferThe Tissue Chip for Drug Screening initiative was designed to improve ways of predicting drug safety and effectiveness, with Phase Two encouraging scientists to collaborate to combine tissue chips into an integrated system that can mimic the complex functions of the human body. The two-year award will support Healy and Lee in their efforts to integrate human heart and liver tissues into a functional, 3-D model to screen candidate drugs for toxic side effects. 

Congratulations!
Read more about the 2014 Tissue Chip Awards.

Categories: Science News

Shake your silk-maker: The dance of the peacock spider

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 09:27
 The dance of the peacock spiderThe radio show "Science Friday" profiled UC Berkeley graduate student Madeline Girard and her study of peacock spiders, using Girard's amazing video of the rhythmic, disco-like courtship dances males employ to entice and placate females.
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Berkeley’s ‘Rosetta Stone’ for fire science imperiled by Sierra blaze

UC Berkeley Science News - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 13:18
Berkeley’s ‘Rosetta Stone’ for fire science imperiled by Sierra blazeBlodgett Research Forest, a key UC Berkeley research station, is under threat from the King Fire in El Dorado County. The 4,270-acre forest, located 56 miles east of Sacramento, is a critical site for a wide variety of research projects, including wildfire-management techniques. Nobody is watching developments with more interest than Berkeley's forest experts.
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King Fire Puts UC Research Forest to the Test

College of Natural Resources - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 06:48
By Ann Brody Guy, College of Natural Resources Final Update: Thursday, 11:30 a.m. It is raining today and Blodgett appears to be out of danger from the King Fire. Mop-up operations continue. King Fire containment is still listed as 38... Ann Guy

Media Advisory: Sept. 21 party to celebrate MAVEN spacecraft’s arrival at Mars

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 09:50
 Sept. 21 party to celebrate MAVEN spacecraft’s arrival at MarsA celebration of the arrival at Mars of NASA's MAVEN spacecraft carrying four instruments built at the University of California, Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory.
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Counting fish teeth reveals DNA changes behind rapid evolution

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 05:30
Counting fish teeth reveals DNA changes behind rapid evolutionThreespine sticklebacks undergo rapid evolutionary change when they move from the ocean into freshwater, losing their armor and gaining more teeth in as little as 10 years. UC Berkeley biologist Craig Miller now shows that this rapid change results not from mutations in functional genes, but changes in regulatory DNA. He pinpoints a gene that could be responsible for jaw deformities in humans.
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Human faces are so variable because we evolved to look unique

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 07:40
Human faces are so variable because we evolved to look uniqueWhy are human faces so variable compared to other animals? Berkeley biologists Michael Nachman & Michael Sheehan analyzed human faces and the genes that code for them and found a variability that could only be explained by selection for uniqueness, probably because of the importance of social interactions in human relationships and the need for all of us to be recognizable.
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2014 Berkeley-Rupp Prize for boosting women in architecture, sustainability announced

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 05:00
2014 Berkeley-Rupp Prize for boosting women in architecture, sustainability announcedSheila Kennedy, an internationally recognized architect, innovator and educator, is the 2014 recipient of the Berkeley-Rupp Prize. The award is given by UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design to a design practitioner or academic who has made a significant contribution to advance gender equity in the field of architecture, and whose work emphasizes a commitment to sustainability and community.
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Lessons for saving our forests

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 11:01
Lessons for saving our forestsUC Berkeley professor Scott Stephens lost 400 research sites in last year's Sierra Nevada Rim Fire, but the harm to the forest ecosystem is incalculable. Now fires are raging again in Yosemite. Stephens offered advice on how to reduce future catastrophes, in a NewsCenter story that first ran in October 2013; it is reposted here.
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Changing how we farm can save evolutionary diversity, study suggests

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 10:00
Changing how we farm can save evolutionary diversity, study suggestsA new study by biologists at Stanford University and UC Berkeley highlights the dramatic hit on evolutionary diversity when forests are transformed into agricultural lands. The findings point to using diversified farming as a way to preserve the evolutionary history embodied in wildlife.
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Berkeley BioE ranked #9 program in U.S.

Department of Bioengineering - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 12:59
Not only is Berkeley the #1 public university in the nation, Berkeley Bioengineering has been ranked the #9 bioengineering undergraduate program in the US, by U.S. News & World Report. This is one step higher than last year's ranking - #1, here we come!
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Follow noon TweetChat with Janssen Award winner Jennifer Doudna

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 07:30
Follow noon TweetChat with Janssen Award winner Jennifer DoudnaJohnson & Johnson will host a TweetChat featuring Jennifer Doudna (@UCBerkeleyNews) and Emmanuel Charpentier from noon to 1 p.m. Wed., Sept. 10, on the occasion of their receiving the 2014 Janssen Award in Biomedical Research. The chat will be moderated by former Scientific American Editor-in-Chief John Rennie. Follow @JNJInnovation and submit questions using the hashtag #DPJAward.
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Biologists try to dig endangered pupfish out of its hole

College of Natural Resources - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 13:30
By Sarah Yang, UC Berkeley Media Relations BERKELEY — Scientists estimate that fewer than 100 Devils Hole pupfish remain in their Mojave Desert home, but a conservation biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, is giving important guidance in the... Ann Guy

Biologists try to dig endangered pupfish out of its hole

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 01:00
Biologists try to dig endangered pupfish out of its holeA UC Berkeley biologist is giving important guidance in the efforts to rescue a critically endangered fish found only in Devils Hole, about 60 miles east of Death Valley National Park. It is estimated that fewer than 100 Devils Hole pupfish remain. Considered the world's rarest fish, the wild pupfish faces a 28 to 32 percent risk of extinction over the next 20 years.
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Bakar research fellows make their case in Silicon Valley

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 16:00
Bakar research fellows make their case in Silicon ValleySixteen faculty members from UC Berkeley's Bakar Fellows Program recently took their research ideas to Sand Hill Road — the heart of Silicon Valley's venture capital community — for a coveted meeting with some of the nation's top angel investors.
Categories: Science News

Study links honesty to prefrontal region of the brain

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 12:50
Study links honesty to prefrontal region of the brainLead author of new study linking honesty to a certain region of the brain says the findings have significant implications for understanding social interaction and cooperation within business organizations and beyond.
Categories: Science News