UC Berkeley graduate student Jean-Michel Mongeau studied how cockroaches use their antennae to maneuver in the dark and discovered the crucial role of tiny hairs on each antenna. He is now putting this to use in designing antennae for cockroach-like robots that may help them maneuver better at high speed.
For more than two decades, UC Berkeley psychologist Robert Levenson has been tracking the marriages of more than 150 middle-aged and older couples, looking into everything from marital conflict to whether there's a happy marriage gene. Levenson discusses his findings with Larissa Branin of UCOP's "Science Today" radio show.
Berkeley biologist Cheryl Kerfeld videotaped the formation of compartments that fix carbon in cyanobacteria, and discovered a unique mechanism that could help in the design of synthetic nanoscale reactors. Kerfeld, an adjunct professor of environmental science, policy and management, was a researcher at DOE's Joint Genome Institute and currently is at Michigan State University.
The UC Natural Reserve System has established a network of climate monitoring stations at 26 protected natural places across California, including Berkeley's Sagehen, Angelo, Hastings, Chickering and Blue Oak reserves. Data from the network will complement a tremendous amount of natural science research throughout the state.
Research on the economic and human impacts of typhoons in the Philippines has produced stunning findings, including the greatly elevated risk of death for baby girls even two years out. The findings may prove valuable for post-disaster recovery efforts, such as those in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the islands Nov. 8.
NASA's newest Mars-bound mission, MAVEN, blasted off promptly at 10:28 a.m. PST Nov. 18, to oohs and aahs from the approximately 75 UC Berkeley staff assembled at the Space Sciences Laboratory to watch their handiwork head to the Red Planet. More than half of the instruments aboard the spacecraft were built at UC Berkeley.
The Moore and Sloan Foundations announced on Nov. 12 a new data science initiative to advance data-driven scholarship in the social and physical sciences. Their five-year, $37.8 million grant will be shared by UC Berkeley, the University of Washington and New York University to encourage collaboration on new ways of supporting researchers and students to mine today's data flood for new discoveries.
Berkeley genetics researcher Jennifer Doudna and her colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier discovered last year a gene-snipping technique that is now being hailed as the 'holy grail' of genetic engineering, a 'jaw-dropping' breakthrough in the fight against genetic disease. The Independent, a newspaper in the United Kingdom, discusses the implications in three articles, an editorial and a video.
Terry Speed, emeritus professor of statistics, has been awarded the 2013 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science for his contribution to making sense of genomics and related technologies. Speed is among three scientists and two teachers honored this year by Australia's Prime Minister. Speed currently works at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Australia.
The LUX dark matter detector, a collaboration involving UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab physicists, has been in operation for only three months at the mile-deep Sanford Lab in Lead, South Dakota, and already is the best dark matter detector in the world. Scientists are searching for dark matter candidates called weakly interactive massive particles, or WIMPs.
Physicist Carl Pennypacker, fire expert Scott Stephens and remote sensing specialist Maggi Kelly have designed a fire-spotting satellite that they believe could be built for a few hundred million dollars - a fraction of the nation's annual fire-fighting budget - and orbited to spot fires earlier and save lives and property.