Divisions & Units - Biological Sciences

Acrobatic geckos can even race on water’s surface

December 6, 2018

Geckos are renowned for their acrobatic feats on land and in the air, but a new discovery that they can also run on water puts them in the superhero category, says a University of California, Berkeley, biologist. The study was conducted by U.C. Berkeley graduate students Jasmine Nirody, now a biophysicist at Oxford and Rockefeller University, and Judy Jinn.

Meet our new faculty: Sabeeha Merchant, biology

November 26, 2018

Sabeeha Merchant, who received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is joining the faculty as a professor of biochemistry, biophysics, and structural biology.

CRISPR co-inventor responds to claim of first genetically edited babies

November 26, 2018

In response to claims that the world’s first genetically edited babies have been born in China, Dr. Jennifer Doudna of UC Berkeley issued the following statement. Doudna is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair in Biomedical and Health Sciences and Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology at Berkeley. She is co-inventor of CRISPR-Cas 9 gene editing.

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

Patent awarded for DNA-targeting complex at heart of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing

October 30, 2018

The University of California announced today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted U.S.

CRISPR opens door to new type of medicine: ‘genome surgery’

October 25, 2018

UC San Francisco doctors working closely with UC Berkeley scientists plan to edit their genomes to correct rare genetic mutations and slow or halt progression of their diseases. If successful, the trials will inaugurate a new era of “genome surgery” — the precision targeting of genetic defects in the genome, using CRISPR-Cas9 customized to individual patients. Such “bespoke” therapies can benefit small groups of individuals or families with particular genetic defects that would never be addressed by large pharmaceutical companies.

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.

Doudna receives Medal of Honor from American Cancer Society

October 18, 2018

The American Cancer Society will bestow its highest honor, the Medal of Honor, on Jennifer Doudna and four others — including former Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. The medal is awarded to distinguished individuals who have made valuable contributions in the fight against cancer through basic research, clinical research and cancer control.

National Academy of Medicine elects three faculty members to its ranks

October 17, 2018

Three UC Berkeley faculty members were elected this week to the National Academy of Medicine, considered one of the highest honors in health and medicine. Among them are John Kuriyan, a professor of molecular and cell biology and of chemistry; and Barbara Meyer, a professor of molecular and cell biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator;

Meet our new faculty: Priya Moorjani, molecular and cell biology

October 9, 2018

Priya Moorjani, who received her Ph.D. from Harvard, is joining the faculty as an assistant professor of genetics, genomics, and development.