Faculty

Poor sleep triggers viral loneliness and social rejection

August 14, 2018

UC Berkeley psychologists have found that sleep-deprived people feel lonelier and less inclined to engage with others, avoiding close contact in much the same way as people with social anxiety. Moreover, even well-rested people feel lonely after just a brief encounter with a sleep-deprived person, triggering a viral contagion of social isolation. The findings, published today in the journal Nature Communications, are the first to show a two-way relationship between sleep loss and becoming socially isolated, shedding new light on a global loneliness epidemic.

Environmental regulations drove steep declines in U.S. factory pollution

August 9, 2018

he federal Clean Air Act and associated environmental regulations have driven steep declines in air pollution emissions over the past several decades, even as U.S. manufacturers increased production, a study by two University of California, Berkeley, economists has shown. The study, forthcoming in the American Economic Review, found that polluting emissions from U.S.

Tying electrons down with nanoribbons

August 8, 2018

Scientists are experimenting with narrow strips of graphene, called nanoribbons, in hopes of making cool new electronic devices, but University of California, Berkeley scientists have discovered another possible role for them: as nanoscale electron traps with potential applications in quantum computers.

Space probe to plunge into fiery corona of the sun

August 6, 2018

On August 11, NASA plans to launch Earth’s first spacecraft to venture inside the orbits of Venus and Mercury to touch the very edge of the sun’s fiery corona. Outfitted with instruments designed and built at the University of California, Berkeley, the Parker Solar Probe will investigate questions that space scientists have pondered for decades.

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...

The Visible Invisible: Q&A with Stephanie Syjuco

July 5, 2018

Why is UC Berkeley Assistant Professor Stephanie Syjuco sewing American historical garments — all of them bright green — at her Richmond Field Station art studio while researching Hollywood Civil War movies? She’s preparing an eye-catching, thought-provoking exhibit that opens in November at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.