Research 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.

With a tug and a twist, new chameleon-like material changes color

With a tug and a twist, new chameleon-like material changes color March 13, 2015:

Taking inspiration from nature, UC Berkeley engineers have created an ultra-thin film that can shift colors as easily as a chameleon’s skin when pulled or twisted.

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.

New report documents progress in California health care quality

New report documents progress in California health care quality February 17, 2015:

California’s accountable care organizations are growing in size and number, serving more patients, and improving the quality of care—according to a report released today by the Berkeley Forum for Improving California’s Healthcare Delivery System.

Center for Built Environment wins $8 million in research grants

Center for Built Environment wins $8 million in research grants February 17, 2015:

The Center for the Built Environment at the College of Environmental Design has been awarded $8 million to fund core research in radiant systems and task/ambient approaches to workplace comfort, and R&D in new technologies for monitoring and control of commercial buildings.

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.