News

November 16, 2016

An international team of researchers who are reporting three new species of the world’s smallest salamander from the remote mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico, warn that the rare creatures are already in danger of dying out.

November 15, 2016

Breakthrough Listen, the UC Berkeley-led 10-year, $100 million search for intelligent life beyond Earth, inaugurated its observations with the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia by homing in on our nearest extrasolar planet, Proxima b, the main destination for a sister project called Breakthrough Starshot.

November 8, 2016

Solar cells made from an inexpensive and increasingly popular material called perovskite can more efficiently turn sunlight into electricity using a new technique to sandwich two types of perovskite into a single photovoltaic cell.

November 2, 2016

UC Berkeley NewsCenter

A review of brain imaging studies led by researchers at UC Berkeley and the University of British Columbia offers a new way of looking at spontaneous versus controlled thinking, challenging the adage that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind.

It suggests that increased awareness of how our thoughts move when our brains are at rest could lead to better diagnoses and targeted treatments for such mental conditions as depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

October 28, 2016

UC Berkeley NewsCenter

 UC Berkeley is the fourth-best university in the world, according to new global rankings from U.S. News & World Report.

October 26, 2016

One of the most detailed genomic studies of any ecosystem to date has revealed an underground world of stunning microbial diversity, and added dozens of new branches to the tree of life.

The Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship Awards supports early career neuroscientists whose research may help us understand neurological and psychiatric disorders. Three of the eleven 2016 Klingenstein-Simons Fellowships were awarded to Berkeley Neuroscience Faculty! Congratulations to Stephen Brohawn, Evan Miller, and Michael Yartsev.

Tabby’s star has provoked so much excitement over the past year, with speculation that it hosts a highly advanced civilization capable of building orbiting megastructures to capture the star’s energy, that UC Berkeley’s Breakthrough Listen project is devoting hours of time on the Green Bank radio telescope to see if it can detect any signals from intelligent extraterrestrials.

Jupiter’s moon Io continues to be the most volcanically active body in the solar system, as documented by the longest series of frequent, high-resolution observations of the moon’s thermal emission ever obtained.

Using near-infrared adaptive optics on two of the world’s largest telescopes — the 10-meter Keck II and the 8-meter Gemini North, both located near the summit of the dormant volcano Maunakea in Hawaii — UC Berkeley astronomers tracked 48 volcanic hot spots on the surface over a period of 29 months from August 2013 through the end of 2015.

October 21, 2016

California Magazine

“It’s not a coincidence that returns have been exceptionally low during the drought,” says Drekmeier, a Cal undergraduate alumnus in political science and a former mayor of Palo Alto. “Low water levels correlate with poor salmon returns. Chinook salmon typically return to spawn on two year cycles. A couple years after the extremely wet winter of 1997-1998, when the rivers ran exceptionally high, 18 thousand fish returned to the Tuolumne. And two years after the 1982-1983 winter, which marked one of the wettest years on record, 40 thousand salmon returned.”

October 19, 2016

Physicist Marvin Cohen, a University Professor and a faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is the newly announced recipient of the 2017 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics.

Berkeley Library

Students working in the revamped fourth and fifth floors of Moffitt Library will find fresh inspiration in the original artwork adorning the walls. Some of the artists will be on hand at the Nov. 2 opening to talk with attendees about their work.

October 18, 2016

Four UC Berkeley scientists have been recognized as innovators in their fields through new research grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

October 17, 2016

Four UC Berkeley research teams will share $1.7 million from the federal government’s BRAIN initiative, part of $70 million in new grants announced Thursday, Oct. 13, by the National Institutes of Health.

October 12, 2016

A team of physicians and laboratory scientists has taken a key step toward a cure for sickle cell disease, using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to fix the mutated gene responsible for the disease in stem cells from the blood of affected patients.

October 11, 2016

UC Berkeley NewsCenter

With Nov. 8 just around the corner and some voters still straddling the fence about whether to even cast a ballot, a team of behavioral economists from UC Berkeley, the University of Chicago and Harvard University report some interesting findings about the much debated question of why people vote.

October 6, 2016

UC Berkeley NewsCenter
Calcium, the main constituent of bone, turns out to play a major role in regulating the cells that orchestrate bone growth, a finding that could affect treatment for conditions caused by too much collagen deposition, such as fibrosis and excessive scarring, as well as diseases of too little bone growth. The finding by Michael Rape, the Dr. K. Peter Hirth Chair in Cancer Biology in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, and his colleagues at UC Berkeley came from study of the signals that tell undifferentiated stem cells in the very early embryo to mature into bone cells.

October 3, 2016

A new study co-authored by UC Berkeley professor Michael Manga confirms that earthquakes in America’s oil country — including a 4.8 magnitude quake that rocked Texas in 2012 — are being triggered by significant injections of wastewater below the surface of the Earth.

A new dark matter detector, which will be at least 100 times more sensitive than its predecessor, has cleared another approval milestone and is on schedule to begin its deep-underground hunt for theoretical particles known as WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles, in 2020. WIMPs are among the top prospects for explaining dark matter, the unseen stuff that scientists have observed only through gravitational effects.

October 2, 2016

California Magazine
The swarm of small temblors just off Bombay Beach in the Salton Sea on September 26 isn’t a sign that Palm Springs is about to become beachfront property, but it does point to the inevitability of the “Big One” hitting the South State, say seismologists. “The southern portion of the San Andreas Fault hasn’t ruptured in more than 300 years, and it’s significantly overdue for a major event,” says Roland Bürgmann, a professor in the earth and planetary science department at UC Berkeley and a participating faculty member at the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory.