The Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate has named Marye Anne Fox of UC San Diego for the 2014 Clark Kerr Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education. UCSD's chancellor emerita and a distinguished professor there in chemistry and biochemistry, Fox is being honored for working "tirelessly and effectively to strengthen science education and science policy."
The Bakar Fellows Program, which supports innovative research by young UC Berkeley faculty whose work has commercial applications, is inviting professors in the sciences to apply for its its 2104-15 cohort. Read a profile of Bakar Fellow Lydia Sohn and her research on breast cancer metastasis here.
Virginia Tech and UC Berkeley researchers discover that thioredoxin, a critical protein in photosynthesis, likely developed on Earth long before oxygen became available. Thioredoxin, the researchers found, plays an important role in methanogens, an ancient type of microbe found in deep-sea hydrothermal vents.
Biochemist Jennifer Doudna, who discovered a revolutionary gene snipping technique that is having a major impact on genetics and gene therapy, has discovered the source of the technique's amazing efficiency and specificity. She and Samuel Sternberg discovered that the molecular scissors, adapted from bacteria, home in on bits of DNA unique to higher organisms.
Physics professor Alex Zettl is the winner of the 2013 Feynman Prize for Experiment, announced Jan. 23, 2014, by the Foresignt Institute. The prize, honoring the late physicist Richard Feynman, is given annually to honor those working toward one of the physicist's dreams for nanotechnology: an atomic scale molecular manufacturing system.
UC Berkeley researchers Brandon Brooks & Jill Banfield found that premature infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) have the same microbes in their guts as are found on sterilized surfaces in the NICU. These microbes carry antibiotic resistance genes, which may mean they are less healthy than the microbes newborns would normally receive from their mothers.
John Bonnell of UC Berkeley and Marilia Samara of the Southwest Research Institute in Arizona are planning to launch a sounding rocket into the night sky over Alaska to study curls in the Northern Lights. The NASA-funded Ground-to-Rocket Electron-Electrodynamics Correlative Experiment could reveal how these curls form as ionized particles from the sun strike the atmosphere.
Researchers from Cal State-Long Beach, Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have launched “Kelp Watch 2014,” a scientific campaign to determine the extent of radioactive contamination of the state’s kelp forest from Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.