UC Berkeley Science News
News from the University of California, Berkeley
Updated: 1 hour 34 min ago
The 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.
UC 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.
The 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.
The American Society of Plant Taxonomists awarded Alan R. Smith, emeritus research botanist of the University Herbarium, its 2014 Asa Gray Award for outstanding lifetime achievement in the field of plant systematics. Smith is an expert on ferns from around the world and is widely recognized as the greatest living student of fern diversity and the undisputed expert of fern identification.
During a yearlong series of observations of Jupiter's volcanically active moon, Io, UC Berkeley astronomers Imke de Pater and graduate student Katherine de Kleer observed within a two week period three of the largest outbursts ever observed on the moon, all probably involving lava erupting through fissures in curtains of fire. They used the Keck and Gemini telescopes in Hawaii.
UC Berkeley, a partner in "Neurodata Without Borders," will host a neuroscience database to make the digital information more usable and accessible and accelerate the pace of discoveries about the brain in health and disease. The work is funded by the Kavli Foundation, GE, HHMI and the Allen Institute for Brain Science.
In a Congressional hearing July 29, Congressman Henry Waxman had a rare chance to speak to all five sitting members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concerning climate change. He urged them to read a recent UC Berkeley report on FERC's authority to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and placed the report into the Congressional Record.
We love to see giant dinosaur fossils in museums, but microfossils are everywhere, geoscientist Lisa White tells school kids. An African-American woman in one of the least diverse scientific fields, White directs education and public programs at the Museum of Paleontology. Read California Magazine's profile.
BERKELEY — UC Berkeley biologist Anthony Barnosky’s 2012 Nature paper warning of an impending tipping point in Earth’s climate resonated with California Governor Jerry Brown, who called Barnosky out of the blue to ask his help in spreading the message to politicians and policy makers. As reported in the July 24 issue of Nature, Barnosky, a professor of integrative biology and member […]
UC Berkeley researchers are developing ultra-sensitive bomb detectors using tiny laser sensors. Experiments showed that the nanoscale plasmon sensors could detect airborne explosives at concentrations below one part per billion, a result that is much more sensitive than published results to date for other optical sensors.