Science archive

Student has fun exploring disco clam’s underwater world with video

Student has fun exploring disco clam’s underwater world March 26, 2015:

Lindsey Dougherty’s love of the sea eventually led her to UC Berkeley, where she is now a graduate student focusing on one of the ocean’s more unusual critters: a clam that flashes in the deep. In a recent interview with Discovery Canada’s science show “Daily Planet,” Dougherty talked about her love of diving and her first encounter with these unusual mollusks.

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.