Chancellor Carol Christ issued the following message on Monday, August 5, 2019.
August 5, 2019
The Maya of Central America are often thought to have been a peaceaful civilization, practicing limited ritual warfare until drought caused increased conflict and led to the collapse of its Classical civilization. However, new evidence unearthed by a researcher from the University of California, Berkeley, and the U.S. Geological Survey calls all this into question, suggesting that the Maya engaged in scorched-earth military campaigns — a strategy that aims to destroy anything of use, including cropland — even at the height of their prosperity and artistic sophistication.
July 30, 2019
Two indigenous dance groups — Mirki Performing Arts from Australia and the Northern Pomo Dancers from California — will perform Bayal Kaymanen on UC Berkeley’s Memorial Glade on Aug. 2. Hosted by the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies, the dancers will perform a series of stories that explore the relationship of fire between the Yidinji Nation from Cairns, Australia, and the Northern Pomo from the Redwood Valley Rancheria, in California — two of the world’s oldest living cultures.
July 25, 2019
University of California astronomers have tested Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity in the crucible of the monstrous black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy and found it rock solid. The team, led by UCLA astronomer Andrea Ghez, and with key analyses by UC Berkeley’s Jessica Lu, an assistant professor of astronomy, followed a star orbiting so close to the black hole that the light it gives off is affected by the black hole’s intense gravity. The effect, a gravitational redshift, matched exactly what Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity predict.
July 22, 2019
A total of 14,668 high school students have been offered freshman admission to the University of California, Berkeley, for the 2019-2020 admitted class, 8% more than the 13,561 admitted last year. In addition, 4,882 transfer students were admitted for the coming school year, up from 4,504 last year.
July 18, 2019
Tonika Sealy-Thompson, a PhD student in Global Urban Humanities, left Berkeley for the chance to serve her home country of Barbados as ambassador to Brazil. At 42, Sealy-Thompson is Barbados’ youngest-serving woman ambassador and one of the youngest ambassadors to Brazil. She credits her time at Berkeley as being integral to her readiness to take on the high-profile job.
July 17, 2019
For the fifth year in a row, UC Berkeley ranks sixth in the world when it comes to its reputation among academic researchers, according to new rankings from Times Higher Education. The U.K.
Latanya Tigner teaches a class at UC Berkeley called “African Dance in Hip-Hop” in the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies. It explores how African dance forms are found in hip-hop movement and African American social dance forms throughout the ages. In this photo, she’s performing “South African Can Dance,” choreographed by Dingani Lelokoane, at the 2012 Malcom X Jazz Festival.
A new collection of eight oral history interviews recounts little-known details of the Port Chicago disaster, a harrowing munitions explosion on July 17, 1944, at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine, a major shore-to-ship weapons distribution center near Concord, California.
July 16, 2019
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has awarded a new patent to the University of California (UC), University of Vienna, and Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier covering methods of producing a genetically modified cell through the introduction of the Cas9 protein, or a nucleic acid encoding the Cas9 protein, as well as a single molecule DNA-targeting RNA. This patent (U.S. 10,351,878) covers the use of this method in a cell.
June 26, 2019
People who report a declining quality of sleep as they age from their 50s to their 60s have more protein tangles in their brain, putting them at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life, according to a new study by psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley. “Insufficient sleep across the lifespan is significantly predictive of your development of Alzheimer’s disease pathology in the brain,” said lead author Matthew Walker, a sleep researcher and professor of psychology.
June 24, 2019
The Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive hosted Mildred Howard, a widely acclaimed artist and longtime Berkeley resident whose family has deep roots in the Bay Area’s African American community. In a conversation with Leigh Raiford, UC Berkeley associate professor of African American studies, and Lawrence Rinder, BAMPFA’s director and chief curator, she discussion touched on a range of topics, from South Berkeley’s ongoing struggles with gentrification, to the role of the university in supporting diverse communities, to Howard’s own work as an artist.
June 20, 2019
The rings of Uranus are invisible to all but the largest telescopes — they weren’t even discovered until 1977 — but they’re surprisingly bright in new heat images of the planet taken by two large telescopes in the high deserts of Chile. UC Berkeley astronomer Imke de Pater says the new images will allow scientists to determine how the planet's rings differ from other examples in the solar system.
“Scientific research shouldn’t sit behind a paywall,” writes UC Berkeley professor Randy Schekman in a new op-ed in Scientific American.
June 18, 2019
Immunologist Michel DuPage, an assistant professor of molecular and cell biology, was named one of Berkeley's two new Pew Scholars.
Scientists focused on anticipating and preventing the major impacts ofclimate change shouldn’t forget the effect on Earth’s microbes, says Britt Koskella, an evolutionary biologist and assistant professor of integrative biology at UC Berkeley. “Bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms support the existence of all higher lifeforms... but are rarely the focus of climate change research, education or policy.”
June 13, 2019
Jennifer Doudna, a professor of molecular and cell biology and chemistry at Berkeley, and UCSF's Jonathan Weissman are the key players in a new collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline to apply CRISPR techniques to the discovery of new drug targets, potentially leading to new therapies for genetic diseases.
June 12, 2019
An unprecedented analysis of 300 stars captured by the Gemini Planet Imager, or GPI, has discovered a "sweet spot" where Jupiter-like planets tend form in new galaxies. The analysis “is a milestone,” said Eugene Chiang, a UC Berkeley professor of astronomy and member of the collaboration’s theory group. “We now have excellent statistics for how frequently planets occur, their mass distribution and how far they are from their stars. It is the most comprehensive analysis I have seen in this field.”
June 11, 2019
For Martha Olney, a teaching professor of economics at UC Berkeley, coming out didn’t happen all at once. As a graduate student in 1980, she met her wife, Esther Hargis. A few of their friends knew they were together, but “it wasn’t something you told people.” Esther was a Baptist pastor, so she needed to be careful at the time to protect her career. It wasn’t until the couple decided to adopt their son, Jimmy, nearly two decades later, that they decided they had to live their lives fully out.
June 5, 2019
Louise George Clubb, professor emeritus of Italian studies and comparative literature, recalls her memories of learning that her father had taken part in the storming of Omaha Beach.