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.

150 years after last big East Bay quake, what have we learned?

October 19, 2018

We're due for a big quake - scientists think one happens along the Hayward Fault roughly every 150 years. But Roland Bürgmann, a UC Berkeley professor of earth and planetary science and a member of the UC Berkeley Seismology Lab, says that while there’s nothing we can do to prevent or predict big quakes, we understand the fault — and the risk — better than ever before.

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.

To track how students ace the LSAT, watch their eyes

October 18, 2018

A half-decade ago, UC Berkeley neuroscientists discovered that training for law school admission exams boosted brain connections that sharpen reasoning skills. Today, they’ve taken a major step closer to understanding how practicing the LSAT makes students smarter. They’re watching their eyes.

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: Cecilia Mo, political science and public policy

October 16, 2018

Priya Moorjani, who received her Ph.D. from Stanford, is joining the faculty as an assistant professor of political science and public policy.

Podcast: ‘White voice’ and hearing whiteness as difference, not the standard

October 16, 2018

In the 1940s and 50s, actors in major American films spoke with a kind of faux British accent as a way to sound “upper class.” But this way of talking left out nearly all actual American voices, says Tom McEnaney, a UC Berkeley professor who teaches a class called “Sounding American.” While the class talks about the generational differences of sound, they also discuss how today’s filmmakers are pushing back against the racial norms concealed in what we might say sounds American.

Will Hurricane Michael sprint or linger once it hits land?

October 10, 2018

As Hurricane Michael moves toward what will likely be a deadly interaction with the panhandle of Florida, one of the primary questions facing those who will be impacted is just how the storm will manifest itself. William Boos, an associate professor of earth and planetary sciences at UC Berkeley, is one of many researchers hoping to better understand storm systems to predict future damage.

Podcast: Why we think women sound shrill, immature

October 9, 2018

Comparative literature professor Tom McEnaney, who teaches a class called “Sounding American,” says the U.S. has a long history of men criticizing the way women speak. Sound technologies, starting with the gramophone and phonograph, he says, were developed for men’s voices — and distort women’s.