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Add water and ‘resurrection plants’ spring to life in seconds

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 11:30
KQED's "Deep Look" team visited UC Berkeley's University and Jepson Herbaria to learn about so-called "resurrection plants" from one of the world's moss experts, Brent Mishler, director of the herbaria and a professor of integrative biology.

Chemist Christopher Chang receives $250,000 Blavatnik Award

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 10:14
Christopher Chang, the Class of 1942 Chair in the College of Chemistry, was one of three University of California recipients of the 2015 Blavatnik Award, given yearly to exceptional young scientists and engineers. Chang was honored for his discoveries in chemistry that span both neuroscience and energy science and will receive an unrestricted prize of $250,000.

Botanical Garden celebrates 125 years of research, romance

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 13:00
Celebratory events starting this Sunday will highlight the outdoor attractions and research contributions of the UC Botanical Garden, which is the spectacular home of one of the country's oldest, largest and most diverse plant collections.

Meet the SAGE Trainees!

News from the GreenChemBlog - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 11:35
The SAGE IGERT Fellowship at BCGC supports UC Berkeley graduate students conducting research related to green chemistry and green energy. The fellowship began in 2013 and now, two years later, there are fifteen trainees and alum doing amazing green work on campus. We went out to speak to them about their research…and a few other […]

UC Berkeley, Sungevity launch solar partnership

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 14:48
Striking another blow for sustainability, UC Berkeley has selected Sungevity, Inc., a leading global solar service based in Oakland, as its official solar energy partner for the next decade, campus officials announced today.

Streamlined cockroaches inspire highly maneuverable robots

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 10:53
Outfitting a robot with a rounded shell helps it scoot through clutter as easily as a cockroach, UC Berkeley researchers have found.

Environment takes big hit from water-intensive marijuana cultivation

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 09:00
The debate over the legalization of marijuana has focused primarily on questions of law, policy and health. But a new paper co-authored by UC Berkeley researchers shines a spotlight on the environmental damage caused by illegal marijuana plantations in sensitive watersheds.

Doudna and Charpentier share $500,000 Gruber Genetics Prize

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 06/22/2015 - 14:48
UC Berkeley biochemist Jennifer Doudna and microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Germany and of Umeå University in Sweden have received the 2015 Gruber Genetics Prize for their invention of a gene-editing technology known as CRISPR/Cas9, which has revolutionized the field of molecular genetics.

Controversial ‘Kennewick Man’ was an 8,500-year-old Native American

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 10:00
The discovery of an ancient human skeleton on the banks of the Columbia River in 1996 ignited a controversy when local Native Americans claimed the remains for reburial and scientists protested that they should first be studied. A new analysis of DNA from the bones by a team that includes IB professor Rasmus Nielsen concludes that the man probably was an ancestor of local tribes.

Humans’ built-in GPS is our 3-D sense of smell

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 11:00
Like homing pigeons, humans have a nose for navigation because our brains are wired to convert smells into spatial information, new research shows. Similar investigations have been conducted on birds and rodents, but this is the first time smell-based navigation has been field-tested on humans. The results evoke a GPS-like superpower one could call an “olfactory positioning system.”

Oh Joy! Berkeley consults on ‘Inside Out’ emotions

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 09:00
UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner consulted on the new Pixar movie, 'Inside Out,' explaining the physiology and purpose of such emotions as joy, sadness, anger,fear and disgust that team up in the head of the main character, 11-year-old Riley.

Scientists use molecular ‘lock and key’ for potential control of GMOs

UC Berkeley Science News - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 05:00
UC Berkeley researchers have developed a way to put bacteria under a molecular lock and key as a way to contain its accidental spread. The method involves a series of genetic mutations that render the microbe inactive unless the right molecule is added to enable its viability.

Why anti-depressants can make you itch

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 06/15/2015 - 08:48
Anti-depressants, which prevent serotonin from being broken down, can also make people itch. UC Berkeley's Diana Bautista and Buck Institute investigators think they know why: at least in mice, there are itch receptors in the skin triggered by serotonin. The finding could lead to new anti-itch drugs.

Newfound groups of bacteria are mixing up the tree of life

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 06/15/2015 - 08:00
Jill Banfield, professor of EPS and ESPM, and grad student Christopher Brown discovered a large number of new groups or phyla of bacteria, suggesting that the branches on the tree of life need some rearranging. The more than 35 new phyla equal in number all the plant and animal phyla combined.

World’s science journalists are coming to Berkeley in 2017

UC Berkeley Science News - Fri, 06/12/2015 - 08:58
The 2017 meeting of the World Federation of Science Journalists will be held in San Francisco, co-hosted by UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco.

Three campus researchers named 2015 Pew scholars

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 06/11/2015 - 12:39
Three UC Berkeley early-career researchers — Polina Lishko, Ke Xu and Juan-Pablo Castillo — have been selected as this year's Pew scholars, for those showing outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health

Three campus researchers named 2015 Pew scholars

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 06/11/2015 - 12:39
Three UC Berkeley early-career researchers — Polina Lishko, Ke Xu and Juan-Pablo Castillo — have been selected as this year's Pew scholars, for those showing outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health

Exiled stars explode far from home

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 06/04/2015 - 03:00
Astronomers usually discover supernovae in large galaxies, where a star explodes perhaps once a century. UC Berkeley astronomer Melissa Graham and her colleagues discovered four exploding stars in the regions between galaxies in a cluster, three of which seem to be lonely supernovae unattached to any galaxy at all.

Exiled stars explode far from home

UC Berkeley Science News - Thu, 06/04/2015 - 03:00
Astronomers usually discover supernovae in large galaxies, where a star explodes perhaps once a century. UC Berkeley astronomer Melissa Graham and her colleagues discovered four exploding stars in the regions between galaxies in a cluster, three of which seem to be lonely supernovae unattached to any galaxy at all.

Get the giggles often? It may be in your DNA

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 06/03/2015 - 08:00
Researchers have found that a gene involved in the regulation of serotonin makes some of us more prone to spontaneous smiles and bursts of laughter. People with the short version of the gene were more likely to smile and laugh while looking at Far Side and New Yorker cartoons and humorous clips from the movie Strangers in Paradise.