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Shining light on brain circuits to study learning, memory

UC Berkeley Science News - Fri, 09/05/2014 - 07:05
Shining light on brain circuits to study learning, memoryNSF has given Ehud Isacoff, director of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, $300,000 over two years to develop a new technology that uses light to tweak the synapses of brain cells to determine how they process information during learning and memory.
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Can UC’s Lick Observatory be saved?

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 13:55
Can UC’s Lick Observatory be saved?"I’m fighting in part for the next generation," says UC Berkeley Professor of Astronomy Alex Filippenko in a Daily Californian feature on the future of UC's Lick Observatory, near San Jose. UC Office of the President recently announced it plans to phase out funding for the facility by 2018.
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New book from Sanjay Kumar

Department of Bioengineering - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 15:02

Kumar book coverBioE professor Sanjay Kumar has edited a new book with Professor Adam Engler, of UC San Diego. Titled  Mechanotransduction, the book is Volume 126 in the Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science series. 

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Biochip research in the Daily Cal

Department of Bioengineering - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 14:56
Pioneering research by Professors Kevin Healy and Luke Lee, aimed at recreating human heart and liver tissues on "biochips", was featured in the Daily Cal.
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BioE receives computational biology curriculum enrichment grant

Department of Bioengineering - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 14:53

UC Berkeley has awarded a 2014-2015 Presidential Chair Fellows Curriculum Enrichment Grant to the Department of Bioengineering for revision of the undergraduate computational biology concentration.

The program provides the opportunity for faculty teams to transform core areas of the undergraduate curriculum. Monies awarded through the program provide support and a pathway for graduate student researchers to refine and hone skills in conducting evaluation and participating in program-level curriculum dialogue. 

The project will be led by Professors Kimmen Sjölander, Professor of Bioengineering and Plant & Microbial Biology; Mohammad Mofrad, Professor of Bioengineering and Mechanical Engineering; Teresa Head-Gordon, Chancellor’s Professor of Chemistry, Bioengineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; and Rasmus Nielsen, Professor of Integrative Biology and Center for Computational Biology.

Fellows will revamp the computational biology track in the Department of Bioengineering through (1) review, revision, broadening and strengthening of the computational biology track in the Department of Bioengineering undergraduate curriculum, (2) development of two new courses in foundational concepts from computer science, math and statistics to improve the effectiveness of advanced computational biology algorithms courses offered in the department, and (3) creation of an online repository for Computational Biology and Data Science curricula and tools which other departments can use in developing their own tracks.

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Chemist and Manhattan Project alum Robert Connick has died at 97

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 10:00
Chemist and Manhattan Project alum Robert Connick has died at 97Chemistry professor emeritus Robert E. Connick, who studied the chemistry of plutonium while working on the Manhattan Project during World War II, died peacefully at his home in Kensington on Aug. 21. He was 97.
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M. Wake Receives Henry S. Fitch Award

Department of Integrative Biology - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 04:28

At the plenary session of the annual meeting of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, July 30-August 3, 2014, in Chattanooga, TN, Professor of the Graduate School Marvalee Wake was awarded this year’s Henry S. Fitch Award for Excellence in Herpetology.

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Flapping baby birds offer clues to origin of flight

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 10:30
Flapping baby birds offer clues to origin of flightThe origin of flight is a contentious issue: Some argue that dinosaurs climbed trees and learned to fly in order to avoid hard falls, others that birds ran along the ground and pumped their forelimbs to gain lift, eventually taking off. New evidence from UC Berkeley biologists favors the tree-dweller hypothesis.
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CRS Junior Wins World Food Prize Fellowship

College of Natural Resources - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 08:51
Nicole Wong, a Conservation and Resource Studies major starting her junior year, completed a prestigious World Food Prize fellowship this summer at the U.S. Department of Agriculture ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, California. Wong was one... Ann Guy

Healy Lab in Wired News

Department of Bioengineering - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 10:09
New research on "organs-on-a-chip" in Professor Kevin Healy's lab is featured on this week!
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John Harte: A whole-Earth approach

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 11:58
 A whole-Earth approachSymmetry magazine profiles John Harte, professor of energy and resources, who applies his physics background to deep questions of ecology and work to save the planet.
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BioE research on Danish TV

Department of Bioengineering - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 09:26
Danish TV program, "Tech and City" filmed an episode at UC Berkeley featuring technology from two bioengineering faculty laboratories. They showcased Professor Seung-Wuk Lee's virus-electric energy work, and the CellScope project from Professor Dan Fletcher's lab, explained by PhD alum and lecturer Frankie Myers.
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10-second alert: the view from the Berkeley Seismo Lab

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 10:10
 the view from the Berkeley Seismo LabScientists at the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory were alerted 5-10 seconds before Sunday morning's 6.0 magnitude temblor on the Napa Fault, courtesy of the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system.
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Faculty Recruitment

Department of Integrative Biology - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 14:36

The Department of Integrative Biology (IB) is seeking applications for a tenure-track faculty position for a biologist studying adaptation. The research areas we are specifically considering include: [1] the genetics of adaptation, [2] genomics, [3] organismal evolution, [4] physiological adaptation, and [5] adaptation in a changing environment. We are particularly interested in candidates whose research spans various sub-disciplines within our broad department.

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IB Grad Student in the News

Department of Integrative Biology - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 04:15

Lindsey Dougherty, a graduate student in Roy Caldwell's lab, and her research on disco clams is the focus of a NY Times article.

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Seven tiny grains captured by Stardust likely visitors from interstellar space

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 09:58
Seven tiny grains captured by Stardust likely visitors from interstellar spaceUC Berkeley physicist Andrew Westphal led a team of scientists and citizen-scientists — through Stardust@home — in analyzing dust collected by the Stardust spacecraft in 2004, and reports finding seven dust particles that probably came from interstellar space. These may be the first confirmed visitors from another star.
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First shipment of malaria drug heads to Africa

Department of Bioengineering - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:10
The first 1.7 million treatments of semi-synthetic artemisinin, engineered by Professor Jay Keasling's lab using synthetic biology, has been shipped to malaria-endemic countries in Africa.
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Berkeley Faculty Offer Trainings on Critical Environmental Content

College of Natural Resources - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:56
Climate Change Course Launches New Professional Education Program By Ann Brody Guy | August 12, 2014 BERKELEY — With the environmental, social, and economic impacts of climate change at the forefront of the global dialogue, UC Berkeley is launching professional... Ann Guy

Antimalarial drug based on Berkeley technology shipped to Africa

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:09
Antimalarial drug based on Berkeley technology shipped to AfricaThe road from lab bench to market can be long, but UC Berkeley's Jay Keasling has been patient. Thirteen years after he discovered how to make an antimalarial drug in microbes, the product - the world's first semisynthetic antimalarial drug - has been shipped from Italy to Africa to bolster the fight against this killer disease.
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Report checks health claims of popular sports, vitamin drinks

College of Natural Resources - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 11:35
By Sarah Yang | UC Berkeley Media Relations BERKELEY — A new report by UC Berkeley researchers questions the health claims of popular energy, sports, tea and fruit drinks on the market. In a report released today (Wednesday, Aug. 6),... Ann Guy