UC Berkeley Science News
News from the University of California, Berkeley
Updated: 1 hour 55 min ago
UC Berkeley physicist Janet Luhmann & former postdoc Ying Liu report that a rapid succession of coronal mass ejections – the most intense eruptions on the sun – sent a pulse of magnetized plasma barreling into space & through Earth’s orbit on July 23, 2012. Had it hit Earth, it could have disrupted the electrical grid, satellites, GPS & our increasingly electronic lives.
UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco are launching the Innovative Genomics Initiative (IGI) to lead a revolution in genetic engineering based on a new technology already generating novel strategies for gene therapy and the genetic study of disease. The leader of the initiative, Berkeley professor Jennifer Doudna, is one of the discoverers of the new technology, called CRISPR/Cas9.
In a world where children are learning to use smartphones before they can even tie their shoelaces, it may not be surprising to learn that preschoolers can outperform college students in certain learning tasks because they are more flexible and less biased in their ideas about cause and effect. UC Berkeley psychologists show this in a game they call "Blickets."
James Hurley, professor of molecular and cell biology, received the 2014 Hans Neurath Award from The Protein Society for his "ground-breaking contributions to structural membrane biology and membrane trafficking." The award for basic research in protein science comes from the only international society promoting research on proteins.
Graphene is the new frontier when it comes to speeding up the transmission of electrical pulses far beyond what silicon can do. Feng Wang, assistant professor of physics and a Bakar Fellow at UC Berkeley, is working to develop novel integrated graphene-based optoelectronics for next-generation computing and high-sensitivity infrared imagers.
BERKELEY — A research team from the Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley appeared on Capitol Hill Thursday (Feb. 27) to show off their innovation in energy efficiency: a backpack-mounted system for quickly mapping energy use throughout a building and identifying ways to reduce it. The project was selected to be part of a tech showcase called Energy Innovation on the […]
The U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the U.K. Royal Society released a joint report on Feb. 27 presenting the evidence and causes of global climate change. U.S. lead and UC Berkeley professor Inez Fung appeared at a public briefing in Washington, D.C., to launch the report, which is meant to be a guide for policymakers and educators.
When supernova SN2014J was first noticed in January 2014, astronomers called it the closest and brightest supernova in decades. Berkeley astronomer Alex Filippenko and his team found that it is also weird: it brightens faster than expected for Type Ia supernovae, which are used to measure cosmic distances. The finding may reveal unsuspected new physics inside these exploding stars.
Powdery mildew can eat its way through an acre of grapes, among other valuable crops, in no time. UC Berkeley biologist Mary Wildermuth has identified plant genes that feed the destructive fungus and, as a Bakar Fellow, is working to apply her discovery to protect commercially viable crops through selective breeding.
The Feb. 27-28 exhibit, “Art-in-Science: The intersection of image and research,” drew record crowds to see sculpture, painting, photography, origami, multi-media and digital art by scientists and artists — now or formerly at UC Berkeley — whose works portray the artistic face of science. The exhibit was sponsored by Science@Cal and the EBI.
Jennifer Doudna, professor of molecular and cell biology, is the 2014 recipient of the Lurie Prize in the Biomedical Sciences from the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. Doudna, who studies what she calls “the secret life of RNA,” will receive a medal and $100,000 honorarium on May 20 in Washington, D.C.
Scientists spend a lot of time crunching numbers to draw conclusions from data. And so it's hardly surprising that Ph.D. students and postdoctoral researchers at last week's "Beyond Academia" career conference were doing just that. "The likelihood that we will land tenure-track positions is about 10 percent," said molecular biology postdoc Magda Strzelecka. “It would be great to have an academic job, but I want to be prepared in case it doesn’t work out.”
Richard Kramer, a professor of molecular and cell biology who developed a technique to get undamaged eye cells to take over the function of dead rods and cones, has found a new and better chemical that may one day restore sight to those with degenerative eye diseases. He and Ivan Tochitsky showed that the chemical could temporarily restore light-sensitivity to blind mice.
As a grad student at the Hebrew University, after serving in the Israeli army, Daniela Kaufer showed that extreme stress can break down the physiological barriers that normally protect the brain. The finding would eventually lead Kaufer, now a Bakar Fellow at Berkeley, to uncover a change in brain chemistry that triggers epileptic seizures.