By Date

Capstone team takes 2nd at Big Ideas

Department of Bioengineering - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 16:46
The bioengineering senior capstone design team of Matt Chan, Karthik Prasad, and Sara Sampson took 2nd place in the Global Health category of the Berkeley Big Ideas competition.  Team Vitalize is developing a wireless vital sign monitoring device tailored for low resource settings to enable the rapid recognition and management of sepsis. Although sepsis-related death is […]
Categories: Science News

Capstone team wins Honorable Mention in Big Ideas!

Department of Bioengineering - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 16:42
The Bioengineering senior capstone design team of Maxine Arnush, Priya Bhattacharjee, Josh Chen, and Richard Xu has received an Honorable Mention in the Hardware for Good category of the annual Berkeley Big Ideas competition. Their project addresses autonomic nervous system (ANS) disorders, which often go misdiagnosed or undiagnosed by physicians, especially in pediatric patients with less […]
Categories: Science News

New UC/Vox video series takes on climate change

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 14:24
Why are humans so bad at thinking about climate change? That provocative question opens the new series, Climate Lab, which looks at solutions to a daunting challenge
Categories: Science News

Kuriyan Receives Stein & Moore Award

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 12:05

HHMI Investigator and Chancellor's Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology John Kuriyan has received the 2017 Stein & Moore Award sponsored by The Protein Society. The award recognizes eminent leaders in protein science who have made sustained high-impact research contributions to the field.


A successful 2017 Bioengineering High School Competition

Department of Bioengineering - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 10:38
The annual Bioengineering High School Competition, run by our Bioengineering Honor Society, featured a keynote speech by Professor Tejal Desai, BioE PhD alumna and Chair of the UCSF Department of Bioengineering & Therapeutic Sciences. Read more about the competition at the UCSF School of Pharmacy.
Categories: Science News

MEng Capstone Project Highlight: Applied Rejuvenative Therapies

Department of Bioengineering - Mon, 04/17/2017 - 15:57
A team of BioE Master of Engineering students is working on aging and rejuvenation in the Conboy Lab.
Categories: Science News

MCB Grad Student Morrie Receives UC Dissertation-Year Fellowship

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Mon, 04/17/2017 - 10:49

Ryan Morrie, a graduate student in the Feller Lab, has been awarded the 2017-2018 University of California Dissertation-Year Fellowship for his outstanding scholarly achievement and future academic potential. He was also recognized for his involvement in scientific outreach with diverse local elementary school children through the Bay Area Scientists In Schools (BASIS) program.

April 29-30 symposium explores mystery of dinosaurs’ death

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 04/13/2017 - 14:51
Was it a comet or asteroid, volcanic eruptions, both or neither. Come find out.
Categories: Science News

Faculty Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Thu, 04/13/2017 - 13:54

Congratulations to Professors Jamie Cate and Christopher Chang for being elected members of the esteemed American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Device pulls water from dry air, powered only by the sun

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 04/12/2017 - 17:00
The key component is an extremely porous material called a metal-organic framework that absorbs 20 percent of its weight in water from low-humidity air
Categories: Science News

Capstone team takes a bite out of Shark Tank

Department of Bioengineering - Wed, 04/12/2017 - 16:01
The capstone team of Darya Fadavi, Jeffrey Feng, and Noreen Wauford was one of only three teams to win Accelerator Awards in the UCSF Surgical Innovations Shark Tank event. They will receive $25,000 in seed funding plus engineering and development support to advance their project, "Quantitative Assessment of Degree & Spatial Extent of Pain Nerve Block." They were the only winning team with student members, and co-presented with their UCSF mentors, Professors Matthew Haight and Merlin Larson.
Categories: Science News

Scientists join director at April 15 U.S. premiere of climate doc Tomorrow

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 04/12/2017 - 10:00
Climate tipping points inspired upbeat documentary about climate change and efforts to fight it
Categories: Science News

West Coast rollout of updated ‘ShakeAlert’ earthquake warning system

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 04/10/2017 - 17:00
California was the first to try ShakeAlert in 2016. Now Washington and Oregon will be able to test what will become a fully integrated West Coast early warning system.
Categories: Science News

M.Eng. Capstone Project Highlight: Prevention of Early Breastfeeding Cessation

Department of Bioengineering - Fri, 04/07/2017 - 12:37
Bioengineering Master of Engineering students are developing a revolutionary breast cream to help mothers continue breastfeeding their newborn children.
Categories: Science News

When human illness rises, the environment suffers, too

College of Natural Resources - Tue, 04/04/2017 - 13:35
Image of fishing boats

Fishermen on Lake Victoria. Image courtesy of Kathryn Fiorella.

A toxic environment is known to create health problems for people, but sick people can also create health problems for the environment. Around Kenya’s Lake Victoria, a fishing community where locals battle high rates of disease and a depleted fish stock, scientists found that human illness exacerbates unsustainable fishing practices.

The study challenges the long-held assumption in environmental research that human disease provides a natural check to environmental exploitation and demonstrates a new way that poor human health may harm the environment. The study suggests that quality healthcare could have benefits beyond human populations and help people manage their environment and the sustainability of those resources.

“Studies have suggested people will spend less time on their livelihoods when they are sick, but we didn’t see that trend in our study. Instead, we saw a shift toward more destructive fishing methods when people were ill,” said Kathryn Fiorella, the lead author of the study and a postdoctoral scholar at Cornell University. Fiorella was a doctoral student at Berkeley during the study, working in the lab of professor Justin Brashares.

The study will be published the week of April 3 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study was supported by funding from the National Science Foundation and Rocca fellowships to Fiorella through the Center for African Studies at UC Berkeley.

Understanding the links between human and environmental health is critical for the millions who cope with recurrent illness and rely directly on natural resources for sustenance.

“Healthy people, it turns out, are better for the environment,” said Richard Yuretich, program officer for the National Science Foundation’s Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems Program, which funded the research. “When you feel well, you can plan the tasks you need to accomplish more carefully. But when you’re sick, you often just want to get things done fast, with the result that you may be more wasteful. This project illustrates the complex relationships we have with the world around us. Investigating these links is the principal aim of NSF’s Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems Program.”

Added Brashares: “We’re focused on identifying and illuminating these connections between a changing environment and its potential impacts on human economies, health and social systems,”

To study these connections, Fiorella spent three months of each year of her graduate studies at Lake Victoria, a place where health and the environment are intertwined in complex ways and have been for decades.

Lake Victoria transformed after British colonists introduced Nile perch, a predatory fish, to the lake in the 1960s to support commercial fishing. Nile perch quickly dominated the lake and caused the extinction of hundreds of native cichlid species. During the 1980s and 1990s, commercial fishing grew around the lake and Nile perch started to decline, so regulations were enacted to save the fishery. During the same time, the HIV epidemic was spreading throughout East Africa. As Lake Victoria’s fishing community grew sicker, the environmental exploitation of the fishery worsened.

To explore how illness was altering fishing practices, the researchers tracked 303 households living on Lake Victoria. The households were interviewed four different times over a year. The researchers collected data about household health and fishing habits and looked for trends during times of sickness and good health.

Among active fishers, the study found limited evidence that illness reduced fishing effort. Instead, ill fishers shifted the methods they used. When ill, fishers were more likely to use methods that were illegal, destructive and concentrated near the shoreline, but required less travel and energy, the study found. Ill fishers were also less likely to use legal methods that are physically demanding, require travel to deep waters and are considered more sustainable.

“When people are chronically ill, they have different outlooks on the future,” Brashares said. “That different outlook means that they increasingly rely on unsustainable methods because they’re focused on short-term gain.”

Read more on the UC Berkeley news site. 

Image:  Image of fishing boats Date:  Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 13:30 byline:  Brett Israel, UC Berkeley Media relations Legacy:  section header item:  Date:  Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 13:30 headline_position:  Top Left headline_color_style:  Normal headline_width:  Long caption_color_style:  Normal caption_position:  Bottom Left

Yosemite documentary features Berkeley sequoia researchers

Department of Integrative Biology - Mon, 04/03/2017 - 13:25

BS Nature documentary that first aired March 29 and is now available for streaming explores the impact of climate change on Yosemite National Park, and features two UC Berkeley biologists who climb to the tops of giant sequoias to understand what the future holds for these ancient trees.

Categories: Science News

When human illness rises, the environment suffers, too

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 04/03/2017 - 12:00
Sick people can also create health problems for the environment, as a new study of the fishing community around Kenya’s Lake Victoria shows.
Categories: Science News

Renewable energy has robust future in much of Africa

College of Natural Resources - Mon, 04/03/2017 - 08:53
Image:   recreation, energy generation and livestock grazing. (Grace Wu photo) Date:  Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 08:30 Legacy:  section header item:  Date:  Monday, April 3, 2017 - 08:30 headline_position:  Top Left headline_color_style:  Normal headline_width:  Long caption_color_style:  Normal caption_position:  Bottom Left

More than Meets the Eye...

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Thu, 03/30/2017 - 11:02

MCB graduate student Nicole Haloupek's lovely article in the Berkeley Review is featured front and center on the UC Berkeley home page today. Read the full article, "Color by Numbers," which highlights the fascinating work of the Patel Lab (including grad students Ryan Null and Rachel Thayer) and other researchers on campus examinig the science behind color.


Presti Interviewed in CALIFORNIA Magazine

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Wed, 03/29/2017 - 15:24

MCB Teaching Professor of Neurobiology David Presti is interviewed about his popular UC course on Drugs and the Brain, and expanding public interest in psychopharmacology and consciousness in the Spring 2017 edition of CALIFORNIA magazine.