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Three nearly Earth-size planets found orbiting nearby star

UC Berkeley Science News - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 05:00
Three nearly Earth-size planets found orbiting nearby starA team of astronomers has found the closest star yet with cool, Earth-size planets that could have the characteristics - solid surface and lukewarm temperatures - conducive to life. The team includes grad student Erik Petigura, Geoff Marcy and colleagues at the universities of Arizona and Hawaii.
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Historic plutonium sample traced to Seaborg, Manhattan Project

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 16:40
Historic plutonium sample traced to Seaborg, Manhattan ProjectA tiny sliver of plutonium safely stored on the UC Berkeley campus is making news for its connection to a momentous point in history. Nuclear scientists have recently determined with near certainty that the plutonium was created by a team led by the late UC Berkeley chemist Glenn Seaborg as part of the Manhattan Project.
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Kumar, Mofrad and Murthy new AIMBE Fellows

Department of Bioengineering - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 13:34

Sanjay Kumar

Congratulations to professors Sanjay Kumar, Mohammad Mofrad, and Niren Murthy, new members of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows!

MofradThe College of Fellows is comprised of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers in the country. Fellows are generally engineering and medical school chairs, research directors, innovators, and successful entrepreneurs who fulfill AIMBE’s mission of providing leadership and advocacy in medical and biological engineering for the advancement of society.

Niren MurthyThe inductees, who were nominated by their peers, were screened by committees of Fellows within their specialty and were elected by the full College as the official Class of 2015. They will be welcomed at a formal induction ceremony during AIMBE’s Annual Event in Washington, D.C. on March 15, 2014.

Read more at AIMBE.

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Q&A: Alivisatos, Kavli directors explore future of nanoscience

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 10:00
 Alivisatos, Kavli directors explore future of nanoscienceIn advance of the inaugural symposium Jan. 15-16 of the new Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute, Kavli ENSI director Paul Alivisatos joins Paul McEuen, director of the Kavli institute at Cornell, and Nai-Chang Yeh, director of the Kavli institute at Caltech, to discuss the future of nanoscience.
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Kaufer and Bentley Research on Infertility

Department of Integrative Biology - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 05:12

Associate Professors George Bentley and Daniela Kaufer have just published research on how blocking gonadotropin inhibitory hormone (GnIH) could eliminate stress-induced infertility.
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World’s oldest butchery tools gave evolutionary edge to human communication

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 01/13/2015 - 08:00
World’s oldest butchery tools gave evolutionary edge to human communicationTwo and a half million years ago, our hominin ancestors in the African savanna crafted rocks into shards that could slice apart a dead gazelle, zebra or other game animal. Over the next 700,000 years, this butchering technology spread throughout the continent and, it turns out, came to be a major evolutionary force, according to new research that combines the tools of psychology, evolutionary biology and archaeology.
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Blocking hormone could eliminate stress-induced infertility

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 16:00
Blocking hormone could eliminate stress-induced infertilityBerkeley scientists show that the effects of chronic stress on fertility persist long after the stress is gone. This is because a hormone that suppresses fertility, GnIH, remains high even after stress hormone levels return to normal. In rats, they successfully blocked the hormone gene and restored normal reproductive behavior, suggesting therapeutic potential for stressed humans and animals in captive breeding programs.
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Rise in mass die-offs seen among birds, fish and marine invertebrates

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 12:00
Rise in mass die-offs seen among birds, fish and marine invertebratesAn analysis of 727 studies reveals that there have been more instances of rapid, catastrophic animal die-offs over the past 75 years. These mass kills appear to have hit birds, fish and marine invertebrates harder than other species.
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Eko Devices team named to 30 under 30!

Department of Bioengineering - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 18:09
BioE alum Connor Landgraf and his two co-founders of biotech startup Eko Devices have been named to the 2015 30 Under 30 by Forbes Magazine. Eko is designing a revolutionary smart digital stethoscope to improve patient care.Each year Forbest lists the brightest stars in 15 different fields under the age of 30. Congratulations!!
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How songbirds may help build a better hearing aid

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 10:51
How songbirds may help build a better hearing aidUC Berkeley psychologist Fred Theunissen's work on songbirds could help improve hearing aids to allow people to home in on specific sounds in noisy environments, a particular problem for the hard of hearing. He and his graduate students study zebra finches, which are especially adept at listening in crowded, noisy environments, and developed an algorithm for reducing distortion in hearing aids.
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Unique Sulawesi frog gives birth to tadpoles

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 12/31/2014 - 11:00
Unique Sulawesi frog gives birth to tadpolesAmid the amazing biodiversity of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi lives a 5-gram frog that gives direct birth to tadpoles, without ever laying eggs. This unique reproductive strategy, found in a group of fanged frogs endemic to the island, is described for the first time by UC Berkeley herpetologist Jim McGuire and colleagues from Indonesia and Canada.
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Berkeley gamma-ray experiment tests new balloon technology over Antarctica

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 12/29/2014 - 11:07
Berkeley gamma-ray experiment tests new balloon technology over AntarcticaBerkeley physicist Steve Boggs leads a new gamma-ray experiment launched over Antarctica on Dec. 28 aboard the first of NASA's new 'super pressure' balloons, which aim to keep experiments aloft for more than 100 days. The experiment, the Compton Spectrometer and Imager (COSI), searches for polarized gamma rays from exploding stars and other cosmic phenomena.
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UC Berkeley 2014: The year in pictures

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 12/23/2014 - 08:00
 The year in picturesMarked by a monthlong celebration of the Free Speech Movement and the unveiling of plans for an ambitious new Berkeley Global Campus, 2014 at UC Berkeley was both a year to remember and a time to reimagine the future.
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Berkeley researchers develop new standard for sharing neuroscience data

UC Berkeley Science News - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 08:15
Berkeley researchers develop new standard for sharing neuroscience dataBerkeley Lab researchers have developed a computational framework for standardizing neuroscience data to assist data sharing among neuroscientists worldwide, much as the jpeg and TIFF standards have made sharing digital images easy. The researchers are part of the UC Berkeley, Berkeley Lab and UCSF partnership called BRAINSeed.
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Patel Featured on KQED Science

Department of Integrative Biology - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 13:59

Research by Professor Nipam Patel on how butterflies can color their wings with pigmentless "structural color" is featured on KQED Science.

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Sensing distant tornadoes, birds flew the coop. What tipped them off?

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 09:00
Sensing distant tornadoes, birds flew the coop. What tipped them off?A UC Berkeley-led research team found that golden-winged warblers in Tennessee fled the path of tornado-generating storms one to two days ahead, well before any local signs of troubling weather. Signs point to the use of infrasound as Mother Nature's early warning system.
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Students show off ‘autonomous vehicles’ at L.A. Drone Expo

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 14:53
Students show off ‘autonomous vehicles’ at L.A. Drone ExpoUC Berkeley engineering students joined civil engineering professor Raja Sengupta at the first-ever Drone Expo in Los Angeles on Saturday, demonstrating their "unmanned autonomous vehicles" to a crowd of some 4,000 hobbyists and enthusiasts.
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Berkeley innovators named fellows of National Academy of Inventors

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 10:17
Berkeley innovators named fellows of National Academy of InventorsBiochemist Jennifer Doudna, chemical engineer Jay Keasling and chemist Richard Mathies were among 170 people named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors. The organization honors innovators who have file patents in the United States.
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Study reveals resilience of Roman architectural concrete

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 12:30
Study reveals resilience of Roman architectural concreteAn international research team studying the mortar used to build such Roman architectural marvels as the Pantheon, Trajan’s Markets and the Colosseum has found a secret to the material's resilience. Led by scientists at UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab, the team found that as the mortar cures, it forms a crystalline binding hydrate that prevents microcracks from propagating.
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Scientists measure speedy electrons in silicon

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 11:00
Scientists measure speedy electrons in siliconAttosecond lasers provide the shortest light pulses yet, allowing observation of nature’s most short-lived events. Berkeley researchers have used these lasers for the first time to take snapshots of electrons jumping from silicon atoms into the conduction band of a semiconductor, the key event behind the transistor.
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