Divisions & Units - Biological Sciences

Berkeley top U.S. public university in new ARWU rankings

August 16, 2018

The 2018 Academic Rankings of World Universities, an assessment of 500 top institutions around the globe by the ShanghaiRanking Consultancy, places UC Berkeley at the pinnacle of public universities on the U.S. and fifth overall in the world. Among 54 subject areas, Berkeley ranked second in physics and statistics, third in biotechnology and economics, fourth in sociology, and fifth in computer science.

How to Edit a Human

August 14, 2018

For decades scientists aspired to modify the code of life. Tom Whipple meets Jennifer Doudna, who succeeded. Read more...

Why we itch, and why it’s so hard to stop

August 1, 2018

Diana Bautista, an associate professor of Molecular & Cell Biology, at the University of California, Berkeley, says that in the last decade, our understanding of acute itch has skyrocketed. Read more...

Fertilizer destroys plant microbiome’s ability to protect against disease

July 26, 2018

A new study of the role microbial communities play on the leaves of plants suggests that fertilizing crops may make them more susceptible to disease.

UC Berkeley biologists found that spraying tomatoes with microbes from healthy tomatoes protected them from disease-causing bacteria, but that fertilizing the tomatoes beforehand negated the protection, leading to an increase in the population of pathogenic microbes on the plants’ leaves.

Flies meet gruesome end under influence of puppeteer fungus

July 31, 2018

"In their death throes, the infected flies – like puppets on a string – obligingly climb to a high point and spread their wings, exposing their abdomen and allowing the fungus to shoot its spores as widely as possible to infect new flies." Read more...

DNA repair after CRISPR cutting not at all what people thought

July 30, 2018

Despite high hopes and high investment in CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, scientists still have a lot to learn about how it works in humans. Read more...

Podcast: A biology prof on growing up gay in rural Minnesota

July 3, 2018

Noah Whiteman, an associate professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley, has always known how to survive. He grew up in a rural area in Minnesota, hiding that he was gay. When a boy he’d been friends with started to bully him at every chance he got, Noah knew it was time to get out.

Tiny fossils give clues to origins of human social structure

June 22, 2018

A new study suggests that our distant ancestors actually had such nails, known as grooming claws. Read more...

A new College of Natural Resources dean: David Ackerly

June 12, 2018

David Ackerly, a professor of integrative biology, has been named as the next dean of UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources (CNR). David joined the faculty of the Department of Integrative Biology in 2005, and has served as associate dean of the College of Letters and Science’s Biological Sciences Division since 2016. He will assume his new role as dean of CNR on July 1, 2018.