Divisions & Units - Biological Sciences

Defense department pours $65 million into making CRISPR safer

July 24, 2017

With one eye on potential bioterrorism threats, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency today announced $65 million in funding to seven projects around the country – including one led by UC Berkeley – to improve the safety and accuracy of gene editing.

Berkeley scientists explore how to create artificial skin using chicken feathers

July 19, 2017

Chicken skin may provide tips on how to grow artificial skin for grafts that looks like normal human skin, complete with hair follicles and sweat pores. Just the right tension on growing skin could set up these organized structures without the need to add chemicals to trigger them.

$21.6 million funding from DARPA to build window into the brain

July 14, 2017

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded UC Berkeley $21.6 million over four years to create a window into the brain through which researchers — and eventually physicians — can monitor and activate thousands to millions of individual neurons using light.

Anti-CRISPR proteins decrease off-target side effects of CRISPR-Cas9

July 12, 2017

Research now shows that the countermeasure viruses came up with — inhibitory proteins referred to as anti-CRISPRs — can be used to improve CRISPR-Cas9 as a gene-therapy tool, decreasing off-target gene editing that could cause unwanted side effects.

LA Times covers Berkeley research linking smelling food to weight gain

July 6, 2017

New findings suggest that the odor of what we eat may play an important role in how the body deals with calories. If you can’t smell your food, you may burn it rather than store it.

Berkeley biologists uncover how the dinosaurs’ extinction was frogs’ gain

July 5, 2017

A new study by Chinese and American biologists shows that if the calamity had not wiped the planet clean of most terrestrial life 66 million years ago, 88 percent of today’s frog species wouldn’t be here. Nearly nine out of 10 species of frog today have descended from just three lineages that survived the mass extinction.

Berkeley biologists map the world through a mouse’s whiskers

June 27, 2017

Mice, unlike cats and dogs, are able to move their whiskers to map out their surroundings, much as humans use their fingers to build a 3D picture of a darkened room. UC Berkeley researchers have for the first time reconstructed the whisker map a mouse creates of its surroundings in order to navigate its world, catch insects and avoid cats.

New gene-editing technique could drive out mosquito-borne disease

June 26, 2017

Scientists at UC Berkeley and UC Riverside have demonstrated a way to edit the genome of disease-carrying mosquitoes that brings us closer to suppressing them on a continental scale.

Two early career biology researchers awarded Pew grants

June 23, 2017

Two young UC Berkeley biomedical scientists received awards last week from the Pew Charitable Trusts to support their research on the brain.

Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Research Featured in LA Times

June 23, 2017

The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology is working to unravel why bird eggs come in different shapes.