UC Berkeley Science News
News from the University of California, Berkeley
Updated: 1 hour 59 sec ago
Scientists have reversed the decline of a New Hampshire watershed by gradually adding calcium back into the soil over 15 years. The experimental forest had suffered depletion of key soil nutrients due to acid rain. The study not only illustrates the impact of acid rain, but a potential treatment to help reverse the damage.
Infection with the toxoplasma parasite makes mice fearless in the presence of cats. But how? UC Berkeley scientists looked at the effects of three common strains of toxoplasma and found that they remove the fear of cat urine for as long as four months, apparently making permanent changes in the mouse brain's neurons.
Legless lizards are rarely seen; there's only one species in the U.S. West and it lives underground. Hence the surprise when UC Berkeley and Cal State-Fullerton biologists found four new species in California, living in marginal areas like downtown Bakersfield, San Joaquin Valley oil fields and west of the runways at LAX.
A research team including UC Berkeley computational biologist Steven Brenner has received a $6 million NIH grant to study whether it makes sense to implement genetic sequencing as part of, or instead of, the current newborn-screening protocol. The researchers will also look at questions of ethics and public interest.
Eight talented UC Berkeley students are being rewarded for their hard work in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), a new scholarship program by Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
Gibor Basri, UC Berkeley professor of astronomy, has co-authored a study that reveals a clever new way of analyzing the flickering light from distant stars to determine the strength of gravity at its surface. The new technique, developed by a Vanderbilt University-led team of astronomers, provides an easier, faster way to assess a star's mass, size and other physical properties.