By Date

New bacteria groups, stunning diversity discovered underground

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 10/24/2016 - 11:00
A bacterial bonanza comes from reconstructing the genomes of microbes in sediment and groundwater samples from an aquifer in Colorado
Categories: Science News

Wildfire management vs. fire suppression benefits forest and watershed

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 10/24/2016 - 09:45
Experiment in Yosemite National Park shows that wildfire management can produce an ecosystem more resilient to fire
Categories: Science News

Campus marks national Food Day with a week of activities

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 10/24/2016 - 09:30
Food Day, a national event, is Oct. 24, but at Berkeley, a hub of food-related work, it lasts all week.
Categories: Science News

Faculty Position for Biology of Cancer

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Fri, 10/21/2016 - 12:42

The Department of Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB) is soliciting applications for a new faculty member studying the biology of cancer; this position is open at any level (tenure-track or tenured). Rank will be determined by qualifications and experience. Potential start date is July 1, 2017. 

Please note that the deadline for this search has been extended to October 31, 2016. If you have already submitted an application you do not need to reapply. 

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The African Clawed Frog Genome Reveals a Complicated Family History...

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Thu, 10/20/2016 - 14:59

An international research consortium led by MCB scientists in the Harland and Rokhsar Labs, along with researchers at the University of Tokyo, "reports a striking pattern of genome duplication in the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis. The team showed that the frog’s genome arose through interspecific hybridizations of two now-extinct species between 15 and 20 million years ago."

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Long-term, hi-res tracking of eruptions on Jupiter’s moon Io

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 10/20/2016 - 12:30
Results from Keck and Gemini telescopes' ongoing study of Io's volcanic activity
Categories: Science News

Lab frog DNA shows what happens when genomes collide

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 10/20/2016 - 08:00
The African clawed frog, the most common amphibian in research labs today, got double the number of genes when two species hybridized 15-20 million years ago
Categories: Science News

Amy Herr on “2016 Power List” by Analytical Chemistry

Department of Bioengineering - Wed, 10/19/2016 - 20:17
Professor Amy Herr has been named to the 2016 power list of Top 50 most influential women in the analytical sciences by The Analytical Scientist. Herr was also named to the Top 100 Most Influential People in the Analytical Sciences in their 2015 Power List.
Categories: Science News

Development Engineering awarded $3 million from National Science Foundation

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 10/19/2016 - 15:09
The NSF awarded $3 million to UC Berkeley’s Development Engineering program to train graduate students to find innovative solutions to food, energy and water challenges in developing countries.
Categories: Science News

Understanding the Effects of Previous-Year Rainfall on Grasslands

College of Natural Resources - Tue, 10/18/2016 - 14:48
Image: blooming flowers in a grasslandDate: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - 14:45Legacy: section header item:  Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - 14:45headline_position: Top Leftheadline_color_style: Normalheadline_width: Longcaption_color_style: Normalcaption_position: Bottom Left

Unal Receives 2016 NIH Director's New Innovator Award

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Tue, 10/18/2016 - 11:13

Assistant Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development Elcin Unal is the recipient of a 2016 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's New Innovator Award for her work on "Illuminating Cellular Aging Pathways through Gametogenesis."

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Yartsev named NIH New Innovator

Department of Bioengineering - Tue, 10/18/2016 - 11:05
Professor Michael Yartsev will receive a NIH New Innovator award, designed to stimulate highly innovative research and support promising new investigators. Yartsev was recognized for his research studying the "First Mammalian Model System for Studying Vocal Learning: A Behavioral and Neurophysiological Approach."
Categories: Science News

Brohawn Receives 2016 NIH Director's New Innovator Award

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Mon, 10/17/2016 - 11:11

Assistant Professor of Neurobiology Stephen Brohawn is a recipient of a 2016 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's New Innovator Award, designed to support exceptionally creative new investigators who propose innovative projects that have the potential for unusually high impact.

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Climate change could be a greater threat to tropical frogs than deforestation

College of Natural Resources - Mon, 10/17/2016 - 09:58
Pygmy Rain Frog (also known as Pristimantis ridens) perches on a leaf.

Pygmy Rain Frog (Pristimantis ridens)

Changes in climate and land use are expected to reduce the livable area for tropical frogs because these species will increasingly encounter temperatures hot enough to harm their behavior, reproduction and physiology. Climate change, however, may be the most destructive force, according to a recent study involving a researcher from UC Berkeley.

The researchers found that declines in frogs’ thermally suitable habitat area from climate change alone could be up to 4.5 times greater than declines attributable to land-cover change only, such as converting a forest to agriculture. Unlike humans, frogs rely on external sources to regulate their body temperature, so habitats in which frogs are unable to keep their body temperature below their maximum temperature limit are unlikely to support frog populations.

For the study, ESPM Ph.D. student David Kurz traveled to Costa Rica and conducted frog surveys in three land-cover types: forest fragments, heart of palm plantations and pasture (a few of the frogs that live in the study area are shown in the slideshow above). After 400 surveys, Kurz and lead author Justin Nowakowski, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis, identified frog species restricted to forest as well as species that were able to survive in the agricultural areas.

From this data set and data on frog thermal tolerances, the research team, including scientists from John Carroll University, Zoo Miami and Florida International University, modeled the shifting thermal landscapes of frogs to determine how much suitable habitat area would remain 80 years into the future for frogs with different thermal tolerances under a variety of land-use and climate scenarios.

“Our field data and subsequent modeling show that frogs that are better able to withstand rising temperatures have a better chance of survival in a rapidly changing world,” Kurz said.

The researchers found that frog species living exclusively in forests were most sensitive to the high temperatures that come from the combination of climate change and forest conversion.

The study was published September 26 in the journal Conservation Biology.

Read more on the UC Davis website.

Image: Pygmy Rain Frog (also known as Pristimantis ridens) perches on a leaf.Date: Friday, October 7, 2016 - 10:00byline: Brett IsrealLegacy: section header item:  Date: Monday, October 17, 2016 - 10:00headline_position: Top Leftheadline_color_style: Normalheadline_width: Longcaption_color_style: Normalcaption_position: Bottom Left

Climate refuges identified for endangered snow leopards

College of Natural Resources - Mon, 10/17/2016 - 09:51

A new study of snow leopards’ habitat has found that just one-third of their current range will be a refuge from climate change by 2070, as habitat loss and fragmentation in the Himalaya and Hengduan mountains threaten not just snow leopards, but other species in the region.

A snow leopard in China

A camera trap caught an image of a snow leopard in China. (Photo by Shanshui/Panthera/Snow Leopard Trust)

Snow leopards live in remote, high-elevation area on and surrounding the Tibetan Plateau, known as “the roof of the world.” The region is warming more than twice as fast as the Northern Hemisphere on average, threatening endangered species that call it home.

Among these species, snow leopards are critically important to the Tibetan Plateau ecosystem because they are apex predators, which keep the ecosystem in balance. To understand how snow leopards — and the entire ecosystem — will fare as the climate continues to change, researchers from UC Berkeley and Panthera, a wild cat conservation group, used past changes in the region to project future climate scenarios.

“Substantial conservation challenges will emerge as vast areas of snow leopard habitat are lost and become increasingly fragmented as a result of climate change. Getting ahead of and addressing these challenges now is imperative for snow leopards, their landscapes and all the unique wildlife those landscapes support,” said Juan Li, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Steven Beissinger, a professor of conservation biology at UC Berkeley.

The research was published in a recent edition of the journal Biological Conservation. This work was supported by Panthera, the Snow Leopard Trust, the Shanshui Conservation Center and a postdoctoral fellowship from Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences.

Read more on the Berkeley News website

Image: A camera trap caught an image of a snow leopard in China. (Photo by Shanshui/Panthera/Snow Leopard Trust)Date: Friday, October 14, 2016 - 09:45byline: Brett IsrealLegacy: section header item:  Date: Monday, October 17, 2016 - 09:45headline_position: Top Leftheadline_color_style: Normalheadline_width: Longcaption_color_style: Normalcaption_position: Bottom Left

Four UC Berkeley scientists receive prestigious NIH awards

UC Berkeley Science News - Sun, 10/16/2016 - 17:00
Four UC Berkeley scientists have been recognized as innovators in their fields through new research grants awarded by the NIH.
Categories: Science News

International Archaeology Day

UC Berkeley Science News - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 16:47
It's International Archaeology Day every day at UC Berkeley.
Categories: Science News

Meyer Elected 2017 Vice-President and 2018 President of GSA

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 16:27

HHMI Investigator and Professor of Genetics, Genomics, and Development Barbara Meyer was once again elected to the Genetics Society of America (GSA) Board of Directors. Professor Meyer wiill serve as the 2017 Vice-President and 2018 President of GSA. 

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Bautista and He Named HHMI Faculty Scholars

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Thu, 10/13/2016 - 11:45

Associate Professors of Cell and Developmental Biology, Diana Bautista and Lin He were named 2016 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Scholars through a collaboration between HHMI, the Simons Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Scholars are recognized for their potential to make unique contributions to their fields.  

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A ‘Deep Look’ at frustrated squirrels and randy spiders

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 10/12/2016 - 13:14
KQED Science's Deep Look series recently profiled the behavioral studies of two UC Berkeley graduate students
Categories: Science News