Berkeley in the News Archive

The links to the stories summarized on this page are time sensitive, so stories might no longer be online at that URL. We also include links to the original source publication itself.

Friday, 10 January 2014

1. Engineers create light-activated “curtains”
R&D Magazine

A team led by associate electrical engineering and computer science professor Ali Javey has created a material that moves quickly in response to light. The material is made with carbon nanotubes layered onto a plastic polycarbonate membrane. The nanotubes can, within fractions of a second, absorb light, convert it into heat and transfer the heat to the plastic surface. The plastic expands in response to the heat, while the nanotube layer does not, causing the material to bend. “The advantages of this new class of photoreactive actuator," Professor Javey says, are that "it is very easy to make, and it is very sensitive to low-intensity light.” He adds that even a flashlight can cause a response. Other stories on this topic appeared in the Nanowerk and GigaOm. Full Story

2. The Great Energy Challenge Blog: When Seeking the City Solution on Climate, Don’t Forget the Suburbs
National Geographic Online

Energy professor Daniel Kammen writes about research conducted in his Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL). He says the study found: "Population-dense cities indeed are contributing fewer greenhouse gas emissions per person than other areas of the country, but these cities’ extensive suburbs essentially 'take back' the climate benefits of their cores. We are not talking just about commuting, either." Full Story

3. Men are here to stay: DNA analysis reveals that the Y chromosome is not dying out
Daily Mail (UK)

A study led by postdoctoral evolutionary geneticist Melissa Wilson Sayres has dispelled theories that the Y chromosome, which has lost more than 90% of its genes over millions of years of evolution, is doomed to extinction. She concludes: "Our study demonstrates that the genes that have been maintained, and those that migrated from the X to the Y, are important, and the human Y is going to stick around for a long while." Stories on this topic appeared in dozens of sources around the world, including Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, GenomeWeb, Nursing Times, Business Standard, News Tonight Africa, and the French Tribune. Full Story

4. Historic Julia Morgan building to be moved across Berkeley

A landmarked Julia Morgan building on campus will be moved on Sunday to a new location at the UC Botanical Garden in Strawberry Canyon. Girton Hall, as it is known, was built by the pioneering woman architect and Cal alum in 1911 to serve as the Associated Women Students' building, at a time when women were not permitted access to most men's facilities. Its latest purpose will be as a venue for conferences, exhibits, alumni events, and weddings. Among its aesthetic features are an open, vaulted ceiling with wood trusses, built-in benches, and a monumental brick fireplace. Full Story

5. As season worsens, doctors urge people to get flu shots
KTVU Online

Large Bay Area institutions, including UC Berkeley, are preparing for a potentially severe flu season. The Tang Center is currently seeing seven to 10 flu patients a day, but Pam Cameron, of University Health Services, says: "When flu actually hits that will probably double, and if it's a really bad year it could triple. ... We are seeing some flu cases, you know, it's still a relatively low volume compared to when the masses of students come back, but clearly the trend is on the up." She recommends frequent hand washing and other flu avoidance methods, but says a vaccine is the best bet. The spring semester begins January 21st. Full Story

6. Why American Women Aren't Living as Long as They Should
The Atlantic

A new study using data from two sources, including Berkeley's Human Mortality Database, has found that while life span has been on a positive overall trajectory for mankind, it has not been so positive for Americans. While life expectancies in the U.S. may be increasing, those of other nations are increasing much faster, particularly among women. Full Story

7. Robert Reich: GOP’s divide-and-conquer strategy is backfiring!

Public policy professor Robert Reich begins his commentary: "For almost forty years Republicans have pursued a divide-and-conquer strategy intended to convince working-class whites that the poor were their enemies. … The big news is it’s starting to backfire." He concludes: "The new economy has been especially harsh for the bottom two-thirds of Americans. It’s not hard to imagine a new political coalition of America’s poor and working middle class, bent not only on repairing the nation’s frayed safety nets but also on getting a fair share of the economies’ gains." Full Story

8. The 7 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

A study co-authored by business professor Ross Levine found that incorporated entrepreneurs often present a characteristic combination of "smarts" and "aggressive, illicit, risk-taking activities." The traits often become apparent in their youth, with rebellious behavior, such as pot-smoking. Full Story

9. Best Values in Public Colleges, 2014
Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Kiplinger's Personal Finance has issued a new college ranking, placing UC Berkeley ninth among the 10 best values in public colleges. The report indicates: "Berkeley’s $29,280 is the highest in-state total cost in our top ten, but its average need-based aid brings it to a much more doable $12,651. Students who borrow graduate with less than $18,000 in average debt." This story was also reported at KGO Online. Full Story

10. Bank On It: New Fed Chair Vital Role Model For Girls
Berkeley Patch

When Professor Emeritus Janet Yellen was confirmed as the next chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, The Atlantic called her "the most powerful woman in world history." This commentator, a mother of two daughters, writes: "I’m thrilled to have a new female role model to point to, especially when discussing career fields not typically responsive to women." She acknowledges, however, that she is "poised to clench my pearls … in preparation for the progress reports she may garner." Full Story

11. Absurd Creature of the Week: Ferocious, Fearless Mantis Shrimp Is the Honey Badger of the Sea

The mantis shrimp is profiled for its brutality. Integrative biology professor Roy Caldwell, an expert on this type of shrimp, says the crustaceans can emerge from their burrows in a flash and “certainly can take shrimp and crabs, even fish, and disable them with a single strike. … Then they almost always will bring the body of the prey back to their cavity and process it and break it up into pieces and pull out the meat.” He adds: "They’ve evolved monogamous mating systems, and pairs form and spend a lifetime together, which can be 30 to 40 years." Full Story

12. Cal has a surprise for high-flying Ducks
San Francisco Chronicle

Freshman basketball player Jordan Mathews made 32 points, a career high, in a game against Oregon Thursday night, helping Cal win its 12th game in a row over that team. The final score was 96-83. It was Cal's best game of the season, giving the team a 2-0 start in Pac-12 play and an overall record of 11-4. "Pretty good stuff," head coach Mike Montgomery said. The game brought his Cal record against Oregon up to 12-0. Full Story

13. At Berkeley: Interview with documentarian Frederick Wiseman
KALW Radio

Documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman is interviewed about his latest film, At Berkeley. As Wiseman describes the film: "It’s an opportunity to observe a large number of people working together by certain rules and to see what the relationship is between the rules and their behavior. It’s an opportunity to look at a vast array of human behavior. And it’s an opportunity to have a look at contemporary American life through institutions that are important for the functioning of a democratic society, and which exist in most communities." Link to audio. Full Story

14. Leah Garchik Column
San Francisco Chronicle

Cal Performances Artistic Director Matias Tarnopolsky attended Monday's San Francisco Symphony tribute to Gordon Getty. He said Getty has a "long history with Cal Performances … and gives with great generosity of spirit as well as musical generosity. It's done with real heart." Full Story

15. Bay Area dance highlights for 2014
San Francisco Chronicle

Four Cal Performances presentations are highlighted as dance picks for 2014. They are the Martha Graham Dan Company (Jan. 31-Feb. 1); Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (March 25); Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (April 1-6); and the Mark Morris Dance Group "Acis and Galatea" (April 25-27). All the performances will take place at Zellerbach Hall. Another dance round-up in the San Francisco Chronicle highlights flamenco dancer Eva Yerbabuena's date at Zellerbach on March 12. Full Story

16. Classical music highlights in 2014
San Francisco Chronicle

Cal Performances' presentation of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (March 7-9, Zellerbach Hall) is highlighted as a classical music pick for 2014. The weekend will feature a triple-header conducted by Daniele Gatti, Andris Nelsons and Franz Welser-Möst. Full Story

17. Bay Area art highlights in 2014
San Francisco Chronicle

The "Forrest Bess: Seeing Things Invisible" exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum (June 11-Sept. 14) is highlighted as an art pick for 2014. Full Story

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