Press Release archive

Warmer, drier climate altering forests statewide

Warmer, drier climate altering forests statewide

January 20, 2015:

Thanks to historical data preserved in UC Berkeley’s libraries, campus botanists have been able to compare tree survey data from the 1920s and ’30s with forest service data today. They find a decline in large trees and an increase in the density of small trees in forests throughout the state. The large tree decline seems to be caused by water stress.

Media Advisory: California 2014 election revisited at two-day forum

January 22, 2015:

Experts from a range of fields will assemble at a forum organized by the Institute of Governmental Studies to deconstruct California’s 2014 election and explore what may await in 2016.

Blocking hormone could eliminate stress-induced infertility

Blocking hormone could eliminate stress-induced infertility January 12, 2015:

Berkeley scientists show that the effects of chronic stress on fertility persist long after the stress is gone. This is because a hormone that suppresses fertility, GnIH, remains high even after stress hormone levels return to normal. In rats, they successfully blocked the hormone gene and restored normal reproductive behavior, suggesting therapeutic potential for stressed humans and animals in captive breeding programs.

Kids sleep less when smartphones are nearby, study finds

Kids sleep less when smartphones are nearby, study finds January 6, 2015:

A study led by a UC Berkeley researcher finds that children who slept in the same room as small screens such as smartphones got almost 21 fewer minutes of shuteye a night than those who didn’t. The findings contribute to a growing body of evidence that electronic gadgets in the bedroom interfere with sleep.

Unique Sulawesi frog gives birth to tadpoles

Unique Sulawesi frog gives birth to tadpoles December 31, 2014:

Amid the amazing biodiversity of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi lives a 5-gram frog that gives direct birth to tadpoles, without ever laying eggs. This unique reproductive strategy, found in a group of fanged frogs endemic to the island, is described for the first time by UC Berkeley herpetologist Jim McGuire and colleagues from Indonesia and Canada.

Media Advisory: UC Berkeley winter commencement to be held Dec. 20

December 12, 2014:

UC Berkeley will celebrate its annual December Commencement honoring all graduating seniors in the Class of 2014. More than 4,000 people, including graduating students and their guests, are expected to attend the event at Haas Pavilion.

New therapy holds promise for restoring vision

New therapy holds promise for restoring vision December 8, 2014:

A new genetic therapy developed by UC Berkeley scientists has not only helped blind mice regain light sensitivity sufficient to distinguish flashing from non-flashing lights, but also restored light response to the retinas of dogs, setting the stage for future clinical trials of the therapy in humans. The therapy involves inserting photoswitches into retinal cells that are normally “blind.”

Greater income inequality linked to more deaths for black Americans

Greater income inequality linked to more deaths for black Americans December 1, 2014:

Income inequality matters for everyone, but it matters differently for different groups of people, conclude the authors of a new UC Berkeley study. Researchers linked greater gaps in wealth to more deaths among black Americans, but fewer deaths among white Americans.

Obama to present National Medal of Science to three Berkeley faculty

Obama to present National Medal of Science to three Berkeley faculty November 19, 2014:

Tomorrow (Nov. 20) at 8:30 a.m. PST, President Barack Obama will present the National Medals of Science and National Medals of Technology & Innovation to 19 people, including three UC Berkeley faculty members who have made significant contributions in the fields of chemistry and mathematics.

Of rats and men: Tolman, behavior and academic freedom

Of rats and men: Tolman, behavior and academic freedom November 13, 2014:

Edward Tolman, whose groundbreaking insights laid the foundation for the discovery of what’s been called “the brain’s GPS,” also led the fight against the McCarthy-era UC loyalty oath. His life and work were remembered during a daylong celebration at the Faculty Club and, of course, Tolman Hall.

Study identifies effective communication strategies for voter ID laws

Study identifies effective communication strategies for voter ID laws November 5, 2014:

A new study examining impacts of voter ID requirements finds some effective communications tools to help inform and prepare voters to be prepared when going to the polls.