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Giving to L&S

The College of Letters and Science (L&S), one of the largest and most prestigious teaching and research entities in the nation, stands at the heart of Berkeley’s intellectual preeminence and comprehensive excellence.

Our continued leadership in education, research, and public service depends on private philanthropy from our alumni and friends, corporations, and foundations. Gifts to Berkeley play an essential role both in sustaining fundamental traditions of excellence and in moving the university forward decisively.

Sleep loss heightens pain sensitivity, dulls brain’s painkilling response

January 28, 2019

A new study led by Matthew Walker, a UC Berkeley professor of neuroscience and psychology, has identified neural glitches in the sleep-deprived brain that can intensify and prolong the agony of sickness and injury. The findings, published Jan. 28 in the Journal of Neuroscience, help explain the self-perpetuating cycles contributing to the overlapping global epidemics of sleep loss, chronic pain and even opioid addiction.

Recorded sounds that plagued U.S. diplomats in Cuba just crickets hard at work

January 10, 2019

A mysterious noise that allegedly sickened employees at the US embassy in Cuba in a suspected "sonic attack" was actually just noisy crickets, says Berkeley integrative biology Ph.D. student Alexander Stubbs. The results of the study were revealed at the annual meeting of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology.

Rare fossil bird deepens mystery of avian extinctions

November 13, 2018

A 75-million-year-old fossil from a bird about the size of a turkey vulture, discovered in Utah in 1992 by University of California, Berkeley, paleontologist Howard Hutchison, lay relatively untouched in the University of California Museum of Paleontology at Berkeley until doctoral student Jessie Atterholt learned about it in 2009 and asked to study it. Atterholt and Hutchison collaborated with Jingmai O’Conner, the leading expert on enantiornithines, to perform a detailed analysis of the fossil, which is deepening a mystery as to why only one family of birds survived the extinction o

Reaffirming our commitment to the transgender community

October 26, 2018

Chancellor Carol Christ and Vice Chancellors Oscar Dubón and Stephen Sutton announce a message of unequivocally support our transgender and non-binary students, staff, faculty, and alumni.

Smallest life forms have smallest working CRISPR system

October 18, 2018

An ancient group of microbes that contains some of the smallest life forms on Earth also has the smallest CRISPR gene-editing machinery discovered to date. The made by a group including Berkeley graduate student Lucas Harrington and Professor Jennifer Doudna of the Department of Molecular & Cell Biology.

Gut bacteria’s shocking secret: They produce electricity

September 12, 2018

"While bacteria that produce electricity have been found in exotic environments like mines and the bottoms of lakes, scientists have missed a source closer to home: the human gut." Read more...

AI helps track down mysterious cosmic radio bursts

September 10, 2018

Artificial intelligence is invading many fields. Recently, researchers at Breakthrough Listen, a SETI project led by the University of California, Berkeley, used machine learning to discover 72 new fast radio bursts from a mysterious source some 3 billion light years from Earth.

Why we stick to false beliefs: Feedback trumps hard evidence

September 4, 2018

Ever wonder why conspiracy theorists stick to their beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary? New findings from UC Berkeley psychologists suggest that feedback, rather than hard evidence, boosts people’s sense of certainty when learning new things or trying to tell right from wrong.

UC Berkeley leads new assessment of Bay Area climate impacts

August 27, 2018

California today issued its latest assessment of the many challenges the state faces from climate change — including wildfires like those still raging throughout the state – and highlighted for the first time the regional impacts with nine deep-dive reports spearheaded by University of California scientists. Read more...