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Key process in photosynthesis likely evolved before oxygen

College of Natural Resources - Fri, 02/07/2014 - 16:26
Discovery opens up new areas of microbiology and evolutionary biology Scientists studying methane-producing microbes, like the ones found in deep-sea hydrothermal vents (pictured here), discovered that a process critical to contemporary photosynthesis likely developed on Earth long before oxygen became... Ann Guy

2014 Clark Kerr Award goes to UCSD’s Marye Anne Fox

UC Berkeley Science News - Fri, 02/07/2014 - 11:02
2014 Clark Kerr Award goes to UCSD’s Marye Anne FoxThe Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate has named Marye Anne Fox of UC San Diego for the 2014 Clark Kerr Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education. UCSD's chancellor emerita and a distinguished professor there in chemistry and biochemistry, Fox is being honored for working "tirelessly and effectively to strengthen science education and science policy."

Bakar Fellows Program seeks early-career faculty pursuing innovative research

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 02/06/2014 - 14:37
Bakar Fellows Program seeks early-career faculty pursuing innovative researchThe Bakar Fellows Program, which supports innovative research by young UC Berkeley faculty whose work has commercial applications, is inviting professors in the sciences to apply for its its 2104-15 cohort. Read a profile of Bakar Fellow Lydia Sohn and her research on breast cancer metastasis here.

Center targets ‘hidden health crisis’ of unhealthy workplaces

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 02/06/2014 - 11:00
Center targets ‘hidden health crisis’ of unhealthy workplacesUC Berkeley's Interdisciplinary Center for Healthy Workplaces is connecting researchers in a variety of fields with businesses, agencies and nonprofits in a concerted effort to target what its director calls a "national health crisis."

Key protein in photosynthesis likely evolved before oxygen

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 02/05/2014 - 15:47
Key protein in photosynthesis likely evolved before oxygenVirginia Tech and UC Berkeley researchers discover that thioredoxin, a critical protein in photosynthesis, likely developed on Earth long before oxygen became available. Thioredoxin, the researchers found, plays an important role in methanogens, an ancient type of microbe found in deep-sea hydrothermal vents.

Harold Lecar has Died

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Wed, 02/05/2014 - 12:03

It is with sadness that we announce the Professor Emeritus of Neurobiology Harold Lecar passed away on February 4, 2014.

Harland Receives Conklin Medal

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 12:47

Department Co-Chair and C.H. Li Distinguished Professor Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development Richard Harland is the 2014 recipient of the Conklin medal from the Society of Developmental Biology.

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Running with genetic scissors: how a breakthrough technology works

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 01/30/2014 - 16:00
 how a breakthrough technology worksBiochemist Jennifer Doudna, who discovered a revolutionary gene snipping technique that is having a major impact on genetics and gene therapy, has discovered the source of the technique's amazing efficiency and specificity. She and Samuel Sternberg discovered that the molecular scissors, adapted from bacteria, home in on bits of DNA unique to higher organisms.

Zettl awarded Foresight Feynman Prize in experimental nanoscience

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 01/29/2014 - 09:10
Zettl awarded Foresight Feynman Prize in experimental nanosciencePhysics professor Alex Zettl is the winner of the 2013 Feynman Prize for Experiment, announced Jan. 23, 2014, by the Foresignt Institute. The prize, honoring the late physicist Richard Feynman, is given annually to honor those working toward one of the physicist's dreams for nanotechnology: an atomic scale molecular manufacturing system.

Researchers find drug-resistant ICU microbes in preemie guts

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 01/28/2014 - 16:00
Researchers find drug-resistant ICU microbes in preemie gutsUC Berkeley researchers Brandon Brooks & Jill Banfield found that premature infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) have the same microbes in their guts as are found on sterilized surfaces in the NICU. These microbes carry antibiotic resistance genes, which may mean they are less healthy than the microbes newborns would normally receive from their mothers.

Spring 2014 coming attractions: legacies of war, collaborative art, Cal Day and robots with heart

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 01/28/2014 - 12:40
 legacies of war, collaborative art, Cal Day and robots with heartThe gamut of events offered at UC Berkeley is a perennial feast for hungry minds, and this semester’s lineup is no exception.

Researchers open door to new HIV therapy

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 01/28/2014 - 09:10
Researchers open door to new HIV therapyUC Berkeley structural biologist James Hurley and NIH colleague Juan Bonifacino have identified a new target for possible anti-AIDS drugs that would complement the current cocktail of drugs used to keep HIV in check.

New data science master’s program kicks off

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 14:54
New data science master’s program kicks offThe School of Information this week welcomed 27 new students into its innovative new master's program in data science.

Berkeley, Arizona team to fire rocket into Northern Lights

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:17
Berkeley, Arizona team to fire rocket into Northern LightsJohn Bonnell of UC Berkeley and Marilia Samara of the Southwest Research Institute in Arizona are planning to launch a sounding rocket into the night sky over Alaska to study curls in the Northern Lights. The NASA-funded Ground-to-Rocket Electron-Electrodynamics Correlative Experiment could reveal how these curls form as ionized particles from the sun strike the atmosphere.

Why state’s water woes could be just beginning

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 01/21/2014 - 09:54
Why state’s water woes could be just beginningBerkeley paleoclimatologist B. Lynn Ingram, co-author of The West Without Water, says California faces what could be its most severe drought in half a millennium.

Turkeys inspire smartphone-capable early warning system for toxins

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 01/21/2014 - 08:00
Turkeys inspire smartphone-capable early warning system for toxinsUC Berkeley bioengineers looked to turkeys for inspiration when developing a new type of biosensor that changes color when exposed to chemical vapors. They mimicked the way turkey skin changes color to create easy-to-read sensors that can detect toxins or airborne pathogens.

What if robots had whiskers?

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 01/21/2014 - 07:58
What if robots had whiskers?Researchers with Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have created e-whiskers – highly sensitive tactile sensors made from carbon nanotubes and silver nanoparticles that should have a wide range of applications including advanced robotics, human-machine interfaces, and biological and environmental sensors.

Urging women in physics to stay in physics

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 01/16/2014 - 22:00
Urging women in physics to stay in physicsUC Berkeley, LBNL and LLNL are hosting the 2014 West Coast Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics, a three-day event designed to encourage attendees to pursue careers in a field where women are still a minority.

Eel River Observatory seeks clues to watershed’s future

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 01/15/2014 - 08:40
Eel River Observatory seeks clues to watershed’s futureUC Berkeley geologists, ecologists and engineers are embarking on a five-year, $5 million project to study the Eel River watershed. Their goal: to try to understand and predict how its vegetation, geology and topography affect water flow all along its path to the Pacific Ocean.

Scientists to monitor California kelp for Fukushima radiation

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 01/14/2014 - 14:51
Scientists to monitor California kelp for Fukushima radiationResearchers from Cal State-Long Beach, Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have launched “Kelp Watch 2014,” a scientific campaign to determine the extent of radioactive contamination of the state’s kelp forest from Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.