Divisions & Units - Biological Sciences

A floating classroom for L&S students

August 19, 2016
Liu and fellow undergraduate Xiao Fu applied to join this team through Berkeley’s Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (URAP). The program is designed to give students experience working on innovative research projects in the field with UC Berkeley faculty.

Berkeley scientists and engineers team up to build the first dust-sized, wireless sensors

August 4, 2016

UC Berkeley engineers have built the first dust-sized, wireless sensors that can be implanted in the body, bringing closer the day when a Fitbit-like device could monitor internal nerves, muscles or organs in real time.

Berkeley neuroscientist goes inside the heroic snout of a rescue dog

August 17, 2016

Search-and-rescue dogs are prized for their ability to sniff out a hiker buried in deep snow. But how exactly do their noses work? UC Berkeley neuroscientist Lucia Jacobs is exploring the smell navigation mechanics of tracking dogs as well as smaller animals who use a similar olfactory GPS. Her research was featured on the PBS NewsHour Aug. 16, and is highlighted in the video below.

CRISPR-Cas9 breaks genes better if you disrupt DNA repair

August 18, 2016

CRISPR-Cas9 is the go-to technique for knocking out genes in human cell lines to discover what the genes do, but the efficiency with which it disables genes can vary immensely. UC Berkeley researchers have now found a way to boost the efficiency with which CRISPR-Cas9 cuts and disables genes up to fivefold, in most types of human cells, making it easler to create and study knockout cell lines and, potentially, disable a mutant gene as a form of human therapy.

The New York Times Profiles Berkeley Immunology Research

August 1, 2016

The New York Times profiles immunology research and the discovery made by Dr. Jim Allison during his tenure at the UC Berkeley.

 

When targeting cancer genes, Berkeley scientists zero in on the 1 percent

July 28, 2016

Most cancer drugs are designed to halt cell growth, the hallmark of cancer, and one popular target is the pathway that controls the production of a cell’s thousands of proteins. UC Berkeley researchers have now found a promising new drug target within that pathway that is appealing, in part, because it appears to control production of only a few percent of the body’s many proteins, those critical to regulating the growth and proliferation of cells.

Berkeley biologists home in on paleo gut for clues to our evolutionary history

July 22, 2016

A new comparison of the gut microbiomes of humans, chimps (our closest ancestor), bonobos and gorillas shows that the evolution of two of the major families of bacteria in these apes’ guts exactly parallels the evolution of their hosts.

Berkeley Scientists map out how the Zika virus gets into the developing fetus

July 22, 2016

UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley researchers have mapped out how the Zika virus infects the developing fetus, and have found an antibiotic that blocks these routes of infection, at least in human tissue culture and placental explants.

Paleontologists link changes in primate teeth to rise of monkeys

July 12, 2016

UC Berkeley paleontologists have identified distinctive features of primate teeth that allow them to track the evolution of our ape and monkey ancestors, shedding light on a mysterious increase in monkey species that occurred during a period of climate change 8 million years ago.

Biologists discover how weird pupils let octopuses see their colorful gardens

July 7, 2016

Octopuses, squid and other cephalopods are colorblind – their eyes see only black and white – but their weirdly shaped pupils may allow them to detect color and mimic the colors of their background, according to a father/son team of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and Harvard University.