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Opinion: Making a brain map we can use

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 16:00
 Making a brain map we can useWhat is the brain, and how can we better understand how it works? On the NPR website "13.7 cosmos & culture," UC Berkeley philosopher Alva Noë thinks out loud about an ambitious project to map the brain's system of connections, cell by cell.
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Capstone team going to Clinton Global Initiative University

Department of Bioengineering - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 15:17

The senior capstone design team of Asad Akbany, Kasper Kuo, Nicholas Leung, and Karen Cheng has been selected to attend the 2015 Clinton Global Initiative University in Florida this March.

Each year, CGI U hosts a meeting where students, university representatives, topic experts, and celebrities come together to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges.

The capstone team worked on a project to detect the operational status of LPG stoves in developing countries, along with client sponsor Lisa Thompson, Assistant Professor at the Clinical and Translational Science Institute KL2 and Global Health Sciences Faculty Scholar in Family Health Care Nursing, UCSF.

Their project created an unobtrusive LPG stove usage monitor with wireless data collection capabilities, to help spread the adoption of low-pollution LPG stoves. Traditional cooking stoves can contribute to the high prevalence of respiratory disease due to their emission of carbon monoxide and particulate.

Congratulations team!

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Scientists set quantum speed limit

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 08:30
Scientists set quantum speed limitThe flip side of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, the energy time uncertainty principle, establishes a speed limit for transitions between two states. UC Berkeley physical chemists have now proved this principle for transitions between states that are not entirely distinct, allowing the calculation of speed limits for processes such as quantum computing and tunneling.
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Warmer, drier climate altering forests statewide

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 12:04
Warmer, drier climate altering forests statewideThanks to historical data preserved in UC Berkeley's libraries, campus botanists have been able to compare tree survey data from the 1920s and '30s with forest service data today. They find a decline in large trees and an increase in the density of small trees in forests throughout the state. The large tree decline seems to be caused by water stress.
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Was first nuclear test the start of new human-dominated epoch, the Anthropocene?

UC Berkeley Science News - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 12:57
Was first nuclear test the start of new human-dominated epoch, the Anthropocene?Is Earth at the dawn of a new geological epoch dominated by human-influenced geologic and environmental change? Anthony Barnosky is part of a group that proposes that this new era, called the Anthropocene, indeed began at the start of the nuclear era with the 1945 Trinity nuclear bomb test in New Mexico.
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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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