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.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

1. Obama's speech to focus on income inequality and social mobility
Los Angeles Times

President Obama is expected to discuss income inequality in his State of the Union address Tuesday night. It is a topic often discussed with citations of research by economics professor Emmanuel Saez. In this article, Professor Saez is mentioned for noting that it takes a $1.9-million annual income for a household to qualify for the top 0.1%. Other Saez citations appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Salon, and Bloomberg. Full Story

2. The real state of the union: Foreign policy
Al Jazeera America

In advance of President Obama's State of the Union Address Tuesday, a group of experts offer their assessments of the current state of U.S. foreign policy. Visiting scholars Dariush Zahedi, director of the Berkeley Program on Entrepreneurship and Development in the Middle East, and Scott Field, of Berkeley's Institute for International Studies, co-wrote a discussion of relations with Iran. They begin their commentary, saying: "So long as Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei remains in power, normalization of relations will remain unlikely. Although newly elected President Hassan Rouhani has sparked optimism about a potential breakthrough, the obstacles are formidable." Full Story

3. Water-Forestry Forum charts a new course for California
Calaveras Enterprise

The Calaveras County Water District held a Water-Forestry Forum Thursday to discuss the drought crisis in California. Environmental science, policy and management professors Kevin OíHara and Bill Stewart spoke. Professor O'Hara discussed the way the spacing of trees and arrangement of their foliage can have major impact on the amount of water used within the forest, in turn determining the amount of water available for human use. Professor Stewart described the economic implications of increasing water availability, saying that improved forest management policy would not only increase the amount of water thatís available to consumers, it would also increase the amount of water thatís available to generate power with hydro-turbines. Full Story

4. California Report: Earthquake Early Warning System Relies on Sensors Around the State
KQED Radio

An early earthquake warning system co-developed by Berkeley scientists, along with Caltech and the U.S. Geological Survey, is being tested in California, and the state is trying to find ways to fund its expansion. The system's sensors can detect the smallest vibrations, giving as much as a minute or more of warning before certain types of earthquakes strike. The sensors aren't cheap, costing as much as $17,000 apiece. State Sen. Alex Padilla hopes that roughly $80 million could be raised for the purpose through a combination of state money, federal grants and contributions from private companies. Link to audio. Full Story

5. Scratching Away at the Mystery of Itch

Assistant cell and developmental biology professor Diana Bautista has published an article summarizing what's currently understood about the phenomenon of itch. "When people hear about itch, they think about a mosquito bite or chicken pox, which is irritating but very temporary," she says, but many people suffer from chronic itch which has no direct cause and can be debilitating and difficult to treat. "It's an exciting time, because there have been a lot of basic discoveries in the last five years," she adds, saying some promising treatment approaches involve targeting receptors on immune cells. "As we learn more about the system, and which cell types we should target ... I think we're going to be able to treat chronic itch more effectively." Full Story

6. New, unusually large virus kills anthrax agent
Science Codex

An international team of researchers has discovered a new, unusually large virus (or bacteriophage) that infects the bacterium that causes anthrax. The bacteriophage could eventually open up new ways to detect, treat or decontaminate the anthrax bacillus and its relatives that cause food poisoning. Lead author Holly Ganz, a research scientist at the UC Davis Genome Center, began the study as a postdoctoral scientist on a team led by Berkeley environmental science, policy and management professor Wayne Getz. Full Story

7. Why You Should Reach Out And Touch Someone

A story about studies that have found light touches of the hand can have positive effects on both givers and receivers refers to a study conducted at Berkeley. Through a review of broadcasts of basketball games from the 2008-09 season, the researchers concluded that the teams whose players touched the most often (slaps, hugs, taps or bumps) were more cooperative, played better and won more games. Full Story

8. Honda makes history as car exports from U.S. beat imports from Japan
Los Angeles Times

After Honda Motor Co. announced that it exported more U.S.-made vehicles than it imported from Japan last year, labor professor Harley Shaiken said: "It is an important moment, particularly since manufacturing in the minds of many of the pundits is so yesterday. ... It underscores the possibilities of the U.S. in manufacturing and as a major exporter." Professor Shaiken was also quoted in about Ford Motor Co. and the rise of the 20th century middle class on NPR's All Things Considered--link to audio. Full Story

9. College textbook sticker shock causes students to leave books on the shelves
Oakland Tribune

The Student Public Interest Research Groups, a coalition of statewide student organizations, has issued a survey finding that students are saving money on increasingly expensive textbooks by occasionally not buying them -- a move that could jeopardize their grades. Berkeley junior Caroline O'Callahan is one such student. "I had to borrow from friends sometimes," she says. She hadn't bought a biology textbook last semester that cost about $120. "It was tricky because I was relying on lectures and notes of my own." Full Story

10. Stanford, UC Berkeley, houses top draws for China
San Francisco Chronicle

A study published Friday by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute found that China's biggest contributions to the Bay Area's economy are attributable to students, tourists, and real estate development. According to the article: "Science, technology and math grads continue to flock to Stanford and UC Berkeley, although more are returning home sooner after getting their advanced degrees. Reported endowments from Chinese donors to Berkeley and Stanford total more than $150 million. ... There's also been a surge of Chinese undergraduates, which couldn't come at a better time for cash-strapped state schools. An estimated 7,000 Chinese students from 'Greater' China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) studied here in 2012, bringing close to $220 million in state coffers." Full Story

11. UC Student Sexually Assaulted at University Village
Berkeley Patch

Campus police have reported an alleged sexual assault at University Village in Albany this past weekend. The report described a 40 year-old male, who invited a female student to an off-campus bar and afterwards took her to a student housing unit at University Village, where the assault occurred. Anyone with information about the case is urged to call UC Berkeley police at 510-642-0472 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., and 510-642-6760 at all other times. Another story on this topic appeared in the San Jose Mercury News. Full Story

12. Corrections: January 28, 2014
International New York Times (*requires registration)

A correction reads: "Because of an editing error, an obituary on Monday about Martin S. Bergmann, a psychoanalyst who portrayed a philosopher in the Woody Allen film 'Crimes and Misdemeanors,' misstated the point at which Mr. Bergmann began reading Freud. It was while he was a student at the University of California, Berkeley ó not while he was serving in the United States Army." Full Story

13. Pete Seeger, Folk Singer Who Led Social Activism, Dies at 94
San Francisco Chronicle

An obituary of iconic folk singer and activist Pete Seeger notes that his "Harvard-educated, left-wing" father, Charles Seeger, had resigned his music professorship at UC Berkeley in 1918, the year before Pete was born. His resignation was linked to his status as a conscientious objector during World War I. Another story mentioning the UC connection aired on NPR's Morning Edition--link to audio. Full Story

14. Wu Man review: Pipa prodigy educates, enthralls
San Francisco Chronicle

Wu Man's solo recital on the pipa, a Chinese lute, received a rave review. The concert, which was a tour through the history and repertoire of the instrument, was presented by Cal Performances on Sunday. Full Story

Today's Edition of UC Berkeley in the News