Science archive

Two new projects will search for dark matter axions

Two new projects will search for dark matter axions March 16, 2015:

Is the mysterious dark matter that makes up 26 percent of the universe composed of a hypothetical particle called an axion, instead of the formerly popular WIMP? The Heising-Simons Foundation gave UC Berkeley physicist Dmitry Budker and nuclear engineering Karl van Bibber funds to look for axions with two different experimental techniques.

Saturn expert and science popularizer Carolyn Porco joins astronomy department

Saturn expert and science popularizer Carolyn Porco joins astronomy department March 13, 2015:

Carolyn Porco, a veteran planetary scientist and leader of the imaging team on NASA’s Cassini mission at Saturn, has accepted dual invitations to be a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco and a Distinguished Scholar within UC Berkeley’s Department of Astronomy. Porco is known for her work on the Voyager and Cassini missions and her award-winning efforts to engage the public in appreciation of the scientific enterprise.

Monkeys for equal pay (and every cat for itself)

Monkeys for equal pay (and every cat for itself) March 11, 2015:

In a campus appearance hosted by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, primatologist Frans de Waal discussed his research on “the emotional side of animal behavior” — behavior, he insists, more like our own than some humans admit.

Probing bacterial immune system could help improve human gene editing

Probing bacterial immune system could help improve human gene editing March 3, 2015:

Jennifer Doudna and James Nuñez are probing the CRISPR/Cas9-based immune system that bacteria have developed to prevent viruses from killing them, and have discovered how they “steal” genetic information from these foreign invaders to remember and attack them in the future. Doudna hopes this information will help to improve targeted gene editing in human and animal cells.

First detailed look at the guts of world’s smallest lifeforms

First detailed look at the guts of world’s smallest lifeforms February 27, 2015:

UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab scientist Jill Banfield and colleagues have for the first time snapped detailed microscopic photos of what may be the smallest forms of life on Earth: common bacteria that appear to pack their DNA very tightly. The team also sequenced the genomes of these strange bacteria.

Google gives Lick Observatory $1 million

Google gives Lick Observatory $1 million February 10, 2015:

Google Inc. has given $1 million to the UC’s Lick Observatory in what astronomer Alex Filippenko hopes is the first of many private gifts to support an invaluable teaching and research resource for the state. The funds will augment the $1.5 million the UC Office of the President gives annually to operate the mountaintop observatory for the 10-campus UC system.

Launch of new genomics initiative draws enthusiastic industry, academic partners with video

Launch of new genomics initiative draws enthusiastic industry, academic partners February 5, 2015:

UC Berkeley and UCSF scientists joined colleagues from the biopharmaceutical industry on Feb. 4 to celebrate the launch of the Innovative Genomics Initiative, which aims to perfect gene editing technology discovered at Berkeley and apply it to the development of new drugs to fight disease globally.

Bakar Fellows Program seeks early-career faculty pursuing innovative research

Bakar Fellows Program seeks early-career faculty pursuing innovative research February 4, 2015:

The Bakar Fellows Program, now entering its fourth year, is inviting applications from other early career professors interested in innovative research that hold commercial promise.