Research archive

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.

Study reveals how oxygen is like kryptonite to titanium with video

Study reveals how oxygen is like kryptonite to titanium February 5, 2015:

UC Berkeley scientists have found the mechanism by which titanium, prized for its high strength-to-weight ratio and natural resistance to corrosion, becomes brittle with just a few extra atoms of oxygen. The discovery could potentially lead to more practical, cost-effective use of titanium in a broader range of applications, including vehicles, buildings and bridges.

MacArthur Foundation awards $1 million to Human Rights Center with video

MacArthur Foundation awards $1 million to Human Rights Center February 5, 2015:

The MacArthur Foundation has honored the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center for its investigations and research on war crimes and human rights abuses with a 2015 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. The award, announced Thursday, Feb. 5, comes with $1 million, which the center will use to establish an endowment and to expand its sexual violence program.

Scientists take big step in making graphene a viable silicon substitute

Scientists take big step in making graphene a viable silicon substitute January 26, 2015:

New research moves the wonder material graphene a major step closer to knocking silicon off as the dominant workhorse of the electronics industry. While silicon is ubiquitous in semiconductors and integrated circuits, scientists have been eyeing graphene ­because of the ultrafast speed with which electrons can zip through the material.

Was first nuclear test the start of new human-dominated epoch, the Anthropocene?

Was first nuclear test the start of new human-dominated epoch, the Anthropocene? January 16, 2015:

Is Earth at the dawn of a new geological epoch dominated by human-influenced geologic and environmental change? Anthony Barnosky is part of a group that proposes that this new era, called the Anthropocene, indeed began at the start of the nuclear era with the 1945 Trinity nuclear bomb test in New Mexico.

Q&A: Alivisatos, Kavli directors explore future of nanoscience

Q&A: Alivisatos, Kavli directors explore future of nanoscience January 14, 2015:

In advance of the inaugural symposium Jan. 15-16 of the new Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute, Kavli ENSI director Paul Alivisatos joins Paul McEuen, director of the Kavli institute at Cornell, and Nai-Chang Yeh, director of the Kavli institute at Caltech, to discuss the future of nanoscience.

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.

UC Natural Reserve System gets $1.9 million for climate change research

UC Natural Reserve System gets $1.9 million for climate change research December 23, 2014:

An ambitious plan to use the UC Natural Reserve System to detect and forecast the ecological impacts of climate change in California has received a $1.9 million research award. The proposal will establish a UC-wide Institute for the Study of Ecological and Evolutionary Climate Impacts (ISEECI).

Berkeley researchers develop new standard for sharing neuroscience data

Berkeley researchers develop new standard for sharing neuroscience data December 19, 2014:

Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a computational framework for standardizing neuroscience data to assist data sharing among neuroscientists worldwide, much as the jpeg and TIFF standards have made sharing digital images easy. The researchers are part of the UC Berkeley, Berkeley Lab and UCSF partnership called BRAINSeed.

Students show off ‘autonomous vehicles’ at L.A. Drone Expo

Students show off ‘autonomous vehicles’ at L.A. Drone Expo December 16, 2014:

UC Berkeley engineering students joined civil engineering professor Raja Sengupta at the first-ever Drone Expo in Los Angeles on Saturday, demonstrating their “unmanned autonomous vehicles” to a crowd of some 4,000 hobbyists and enthusiasts.

Discovery advances ferroelectrics in quest for lower power transistors

Discovery advances ferroelectrics in quest for lower power transistors December 16, 2014:

A new study led by engineers at UC Berkeley and CITRIS describes the first direct observation of a long-hypothesized but elusive phenomenon called “negative capacitance.” The work describes a unique reaction of electrical charge to applied voltage in a ferroelectric material that could open the door to a radical reduction in the power consumed by transistors and the devices containing them.

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.”

Berkeley innovators driving Google technology

Berkeley innovators driving Google technology December 3, 2014:

An article in IEEE Spectrum is shining the spotlight on the UC Berkeley connection to two of Google’s most high-profile innovations: self-driving cars and Street View cameras.