Five new faculty innovators have joined the ranks of the Bakar Fellows Program, which supports Berkeley faculty working to apply scientific discoveries to real-world issues in the fields of engineering, computer science, chemistry and biological and physical sciences. The 2015-16 fellows are computer scientists Pieter Abbeel and Michael Lustig, physicist Holger Müller, architect Ronald Rael and chemist Ke Xu.
Thanks to supercomputer models produced by Berkeley physicist Dan Kasen, astronomers were able to quickly find and study a distant Type Ia supernova, the kind used for calibrating the cosmos. These rare early measurements confirmed a theory that at least some Type Ia supernovae are produced when a white dwarf pulls mass from a binary companion until it explodes.
For 90 years, the embalmed corpse of Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin has been on public display in Moscow’s Red Square. But ever since the Soviet Union collapsed, a debate has raged over whether to move it - or bury him once and for all. UC Berkeley social anthropologist Alexei Yurchak, an expert on the science and politics surrounding the corpse, believes the body won't be moved anytime soon.
A research team led by UC Berkeley bioengineers has completed key steps needed to turn sugar-fed yeast into a microbial factory for producing morphine and potentially other drugs, including antibiotics and anticancer agents. The process could soon become as straightforward as making homebrewed beer, prompting calls for urgent regulation.
The United Arab Emirates announced last week a plan to send a satellite to Mars in 2021, partnering with the University of Colorado, Boulder, UC Berkeley and Arizona State to help build the instruments. The Emirates Mars Mission, the first interplanetary mission of the Arab world, is designed to observe weather phenomena like Martian clouds and dust storms.
Plant ecologist David Ackerly, a UC Berkeley professor of integrative biology, has calculated that some animals and plants would need to migrate as much as four miles a year to track their preferred temperature in a rapidly warming climate. He is one of the architects of the Berkeley Initiative in Global Change Biology, an ambitious research effort.
Based on measurements by NuSTAR's X-ray telescope, physicist Steve Boggs & colleagues found that a 1987 stellar explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud was lopsided, providing the best proof yet that core collapse supernovas - those that produce a neutron star or pulsar - are not symmetric. The outer layers are blown off in one direction, while the neutron star rebounds in the other.
Watch students who may have not have thought much about biology take their first plunge into the world of plants and wildlife on a three-day visit to the UC Natural Reserve System’s Hastings Natural History Reservation in Carmel Valley. They're in Berkeley's Biology Scholars Program, which supports underrepresented minority students pursuing the life sciences.
Chemical Footprinting: Identifying Hidden Liabilities in Manufacturing Consumer Products In an unassuming low-rise in the Boston suburbs, Mark Rossi tinkers with a colorful dashboard on his laptop screen while his border collie putters around his feet. Rossi is the founder of BizNGO and Clean Production Action, two nonprofit collaborations of business and environmental groups to […]
Efforts to predict the emergence and spread of sudden oak death, an infectious tree-killing disease, have gotten a big boost from the work of grassroots volunteers. A joint study led by researchers at UC Berkeley and NC State reveals that years of data from SOD Blitz, a survey project in which volunteers are trained to identify symptoms of sudden oak death, led to better predictive models of the disease's spread.
The asteroid that slammed into the ocean off Mexico 66 million years ago and killed off the dinosaurs probably rang the Earth like a bell, triggering volcanic eruptions around the globe, according to a team of UC Berkeley geophysicists. The impact may have re-ignited the eruptions at the Deccan Traps, initiating the largest lava flows on Earth.
Seth Finnegan, assistant professor of integrative biology, led an international study of marine extinctions over the past 23 million years to better understand the "natural" extinction risk in groups ranging from mammals to corals. Their findings can help guide conservation efforts in today's oceans.