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Berkeley seismologists tie Louisiana sinkhole to gas-charged quakes

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 15:09
Berkeley seismologists tie Louisiana sinkhole to gas-charged quakesUC Berkeley seismologists Doug Dreger and Avinash Nayak looked at seismic records of quakes that preceded the formation of a massive sinkhole near Bayou Corne, La., in 2012, and determined that they came from strong underground gas discharges, which may have caused the collapse of a salt dome now flooded with water.
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Extinct human cousin gave Tibetans advantage at high elevation

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 07/02/2014 - 09:00
Extinct human cousin gave Tibetans advantage at high elevationTens of thousands of years ago, the common ancestors of Han Chinese and Tibetans interbred with a mysterious human-like group known as Denisovans and picked up a unique variant of a gene for hemoglobin regulation that later helped them adapt to a low-oxygen environment on the high Tibetan plateau, reports UC Berkeley professor of integrative biology Rasmus Nielsen.
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Worm, fly development surprisingly similar, Berkeley study finds

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 16:00
Worm, fly development surprisingly similar, Berkeley study findsGrad student Jingyi Jesscia Li, plant and microbial biology professor Steve Brenner and colleagues compared the genes activated during development in the early fruit fly and nematode (C. elegans) and found them to be surprisingly similar. Fruit flies actually use these genes twice, once during larval development and again during metamorphosis. The research is part of the modENCODE project.
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Berkeley a big part of new UC initiative on global food needs

College of Natural Resources - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 11:43
By the UC Berkeley Public Affairs team The University of California is launching an initiative to marshal resources across the UC campuses — including Berkeley’s 90 courses, 150 faculty and staff and multiple institutes and centers devoted to the study... Ann Guy

Drunken monkeys: what animals tell us about our thirst for booze

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 11:15
 what animals tell us about our thirst for boozeRobert Dudley, an evolutionary physiologist and professor of integrative biology, discusses his new book, "The Drunken Monkey, Why we drink and abuse alcohol" (UC Press 2014). Dudley talks about his motivations for writing the book, the evidence that our attraction to alcohol is an evolutionary adaptation, and what this means for efforts to prevent alcohol abuse.
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Berkeley a big part of new UC initiative on global food needs

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 09:45
Berkeley a big part of new UC initiative on global food needsThe University of California is launching an initiative to marshal resources across the UC campuses — including Berkeley's 90 courses, 150 faculty and staff and multiple institutes and centers devoted to the study of agriculture and food — to address global food challenges.
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Fact sheet on food/ag studies and research at UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 09:34
Fact sheet on food/ag studies and research at UC BerkeleyUC Berkeley offers a wide array of programs and initiatives related to food and agriculture systems, encompassing many disciplines, departments, academic program areas, institutes, centers, student initiatives and services spanning the campus and the community. A fact sheet.
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Blind lead the way in brave new world of tactile technology

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 08:00
Blind lead the way in brave new world of tactile technologyImagine feeling a slimy jellyfish, a prickly cactus or map directions on your iPad display. Virtual textured touchscreens are where tactile technology is headed. New research has found that people are faster at navigating tactile technology when using both hands and several fingers. Moreover, blind people in the study outmaneuvered their sighted counterparts.
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Don DePaolo honored for research on Earth’s geochemical structure

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 07:00
Don DePaolo honored for research on Earth’s geochemical structureDon DePaolo, professor of earth and planetary sciences and LBNL researcher, received the Harry Hess Medal of the American Geophysical Union for groundbreaking research on the geochemical structure of Earth’s mantle, the isotopic and trace element chemistry of oceanic volcanoes, and the origin of granitic igneous rocks.
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GSI's Honor Huntsinger with Mentorship Award

College of Natural Resources - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 09:11
Photos: Peg Skorpinski The UC Berkeley Graduate Division's Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship of GSIs was presented to Lynn Huntsinger, a professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, for providing GSIs with guidance and mentorship in... Ann Guy

Ahoy! Student video blogs from the Cascadia earthquake zone

UC Berkeley Science News - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 14:52
Ahoy! Student video blogs from the Cascadia earthquake zoneRichard Allen, professor of earth and planetary sciences and director of the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, is taking 10 students on a research cruise to study the Cascadia subduction zone, a major source of Northwest coast earthquakes. The students hope to send daily video blogs about their experiences and the science of subduction quakes @BerkeleySeismo.
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Puya powering up to flower

UC Berkeley Science News - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 14:40
Puya powering up to flowerThe Botanical Garden's Puya inches toward flowering, though just when is a puzzle.
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Ünal and Zoncu Named 2014 Pew Scholars

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 12:57

Assistant Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development Elçin Ünal has been selected as one of 22 2014 Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences. The award supports promising early-career scientists in the health sciences, particularly young researchers with innovative approaches and ideas. Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology Roberto Zoncu has been selected as a member of the inaugural class of Pew-Stewart Scholars for Cancer Research, which supports promising early career scientists whose research may accelerate discovery and advance progress to a cure for cancer.

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Three young researchers named 2014 Pew Scholars

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 12:26
Three young researchers named 2014 Pew ScholarsBERKELEY — Three young UC Berkeley researchers have been selected as 2014 Pew scholars, The Pew Charitable Trusts announced this week. The researchers are: Elçin Ünal, assistant professor of molecular and cell biology, who was selected as one of 22 2014 Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences. The award supports promising early-career scientists in the health sciences, particularly young researchers […]
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Berkeley physicists detect smallest force ever measured

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 11:10
Berkeley physicists detect smallest force ever measuredUC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab physicists have detected what is believed to be the smallest force ever measured: approximately 42 yoctonewtons. A yoctonewton is one septillionth of a newton and there are approximately 3 x 10^23 yoctonewtons in one ounce of force. They employed a combination of lasers to push and probe a cloud of ultracold atoms.
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Young researcher discovers source of disco clams’ light show

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 15:01
Young researcher discovers source of disco clams’ light showThe disco clam was named for the rhythmic, pulsing light that ripples along the lips of its mantle. UC Berkeley graduate student Lindsey Dougherty now reports that the mirror is actually a highly reflective, densely packed layer of silica spheres a mere 340 nanometers across never before seen in animals.
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Researcher calls report on economic impacts of U.S. climate change ‘like a flashlight at night’

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 13:00
Researcher calls report on economic impacts of U.S. climate change ‘like a flashlight at night’Solomon Hsiang, a Berkeley researcher on a study of economic impacts of U.S. climate change, reports that the South, the Midwest and the Great Plains will bear the largest economic burden, while states like Oregon and Washington are likely to benefit economically. The study examines climate impacts on mortality, crime, energy, agriculture and labor productivity down to a county-by-county level.
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Bruno Zumino, an architect of supersymmetry, dies at 91

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 12:43
Bruno Zumino, an architect of supersymmetry, dies at 91Bruno Zumino, a professor emeritus of physics who was best known for developing supersymmetry, a theory now considered as a leading candidate for explaining the fundamental forces of nature, died Sunday, June 22, at his home in Berkeley. He was 91.
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Doudna Win 2014 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 12:17

Howard Hughes Investigator, Li Ka Shing Chancellor's Chair in Biomedical and Health Sciences and Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology Jennifer Doudna and European colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier are the winners of the 2014 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research, awarded by Johnson & Johnson. Their collaboration led to the discovery of a new method for precisely manipulating genetic information in ways that should produce new insights in health and disease and may lead to new drug targets.

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Jennifer Doudna shares Janssen Award for Biomedical Research

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:46
Jennifer Doudna shares Janssen Award for Biomedical ResearchBerkeley's Jennifer Doudna and European colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier are the winners of the 2014 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research, awarded by Johnson & Johnson. Their collaboration led to the discovery of a new method for precisely manipulating genetic information in ways that should produce new insights in health and disease and may lead to new drug targets.
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