Faculty

Puzzling new supernova may be from star producing antimatter

November 9, 2017
An exploding star that continued to shine for nearly two years — unlike most supernovae, which fade after a few weeks — is puzzling astronomers and leading theorists, including UC Berkeley astrophysicist Daniel Kasen, to suggest that the event may be an example of a star so hot that it produces antimatter in its core.

New technology meets ancient instruments in 'Audible Numbers'

November 1, 2017
“My work has always been interested in how emerging technology influences the way music is made,” said Edmond Campion, chair of UC Berkeley’s Department of Music, during an interview with California magazine. Campion’s latest piece, “Audible Numbers,” inspired by and written for instruments that were already ancient when China started building the Great Wall, made its debut October 28 in a performance by the Korean National Gugak Center’s Creative Traditional Orchestra in Zellerbach Hall.

Berkeley economist leads petition drive to fight pervasive misogyny

October 31, 2017
A senior thesis by a UC Berkeley student raised eyebrows recently when the New York Times shared her findings that a popular website for those posting and seeking jobs in economics was rife with sexist and crude terminology. And Alice Wu’s work continues to reverberate, following word last week that more than 1,000 economics professors, lecturers and graduate student instructors across the country who teach economics signed a petition urging the American Economic Association (AEA) to institute a fact-based and moderated wiki to provide up-to-the-minute job market information.

Highlighting a brain scientist’s thought-provoking legacy

Berkeley brain scientist Marian Diamond may be best remembered by the general public for carrying a real human brain around in a hat box during her 55 years on campus. Alumnus Ron Hammer, however, remembers Diamond for sparking his lifelong interest in neurobiology and for mentoring him as a student researcher in her lab.

Saguaro and other towering cacti have a scrambled history

October 23, 2017
According to Noah Whiteman, a UC Berkeley associate professor of integrative biology who is a coauthor of a paper appearing this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the cactus family tree and the giant cacti in particular – the giant saguaro, organ pipe, senita and cardón, also called the Mexican giant cactus – have been very difficult to trace.

$65.5 million from NIH to create brain atlas

October 23, 2017
UC Berkeley is partnering with the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle on a $65.5 million, five-year effort to count, catalog and connect the many different cell types in the mouse brain, as a foundation for doing the same for the human brain.

Biostatistics professor elected to National Academy of Medicine

October 17, 2017
UC Berkeley statistics professor Nicholas Jewell has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, one of the highest honors possible in the fields of health and medicine.

A mosquito's secret weapon: a light touch and strong wings

October 18, 2017
Scientists have found the key to mosquitoes’ stealth takeoffs: They barely push off when making a fast getaway, but instead rely on strong and rapid wing beats to quickly get aloft without anyone noticing.

Everything you need to know about sleep, but are too tired to ask

October 17, 2017
Ask neuroscientist Matthew Walker, author of the new book, Why We Sleep, about the downside of pulling an all-nighter, and he’ll rattle off a list of ill effects that range from memory loss and a compromised immune system to junk food cravings and wild mood swings.

Astronomers strike cosmic gold

October 16, 2017
The first detection of gravitational waves from the cataclysmic merger of two neutron stars, and the observation of visible light in the aftermath of that merger, finally answer a long-standing question in astrophysics: Where do the heaviest elements, ranging from silver and other precious metals to uranium, come from?