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, 31 January 2014

1. UC Campanile's 'feast in the sky' 100 years ago recalled
Contra Costa Times (*requires registration)

One hundred years ago today, UC President Benjamin Ide Wheeler held a "feast in the sky" on the unfinished Campanile's observation deck 200 feet above the Berkeley campus. High-ranking guests were hoisted up in a construction box while others climbed shaky ladders and walked planks to get there. The celebrants included construction workers, architects and engineers, and they dined on roast turkey with cranberry sauce and pie à la mode. The campanile was completed in 1915, and the campus is currently planning events for the upcoming centennial. Full Story

2. UCSF study shows how the brain sorts sound to make language
San Francisco Chronicle

Studying patients with epilepsy, a team of scientists from UCSF and Berkeley have gained new insight into how the brain transforms meaningless sounds into language. The new study is among the first to offer physiological evidence of an old linguistic assumption, Berkeley linguistics professor and co-author Keith Johnson says. "We've had this notion that the brain must be organized this way, because language seems to pattern this way when we look at how it changes over time. ... So the finding that the brain is organized around (phonetic) features like that is significant. It's firming up theories about how language is organized in the brain." Stories on this topic appeared in more than a dozen sources, including Time Magazine Online, Medical Xpress, and the French Tribune. Full Story

3. ‘New blood’ is more than a figure of speech in aging research
San Francisco Business Times

Associate bioengineering professor Irina Conboy and her husband, Michael Conboy, also a Berkeley bioengineer, are applying for a $20 million-plus National Science Foundation grant to advance a tissue engineering center that would focus on tissue rejuvenation. A key part of the project would be the development of a drug that would regulate a molecule called TGF-beta. In earlier research, they had discovered that the molecule, which is more prevalent in older mice and people, retards muscle repair, reduces the power of the immune system, and can build up in the brain, inhibiting the generation of new neurons. Full Story

4. California schools could consider race, gender in admissions
Washington Post

The state Senate passed a proposed constitutional amendment on Thursday that would let voters decide this fall if they wish to repeal provisions in Proposition 209 that ban consideration of race and ethnicity in UC and California State University admissions. The goal is to reverse sharp declines in the percentages of minority students attending the systems' schools since the proposition's enactment in 1996. Other stories on this topic appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Contra Costa Times, and Chronicle of Higher Education Online. Full Story

5. Op-Ed: Is religion losing ground to sports?
Washington Post

An article about the growing numbers of sports communities and the concurrent decline of church attendees cites a 2012 poll co-conducted by Berkeley researchers. The survey found that 20 percent of Americans expressed no religious preference, compared with an unaffiliated population of 8 percent in 1990. Full Story

6. Movers & Shakers: Marin native wins prestigious molecular nanotechnology award
Marin Independent Journal

Physics professor Alex Zettl has been named the winner of the 2013 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize for Experimental Molecular Nanotechnology. The award recognizes his work in nanoscale electromechanical systems. Full Story

7. News Fix Blog: Napolitano Taking UC Values to Sochi Olympics
KQED Online

UC President Janet Napolitano has been asked by President Obama to lead the U.S. Olympics delegation to Sochi, Russia. Napolitano, who left her position as Secretary of Homeland Security to take her job at UC, acknowledged in an interview that she was “a little bit” surprised by the invitation, but added: “As the leader of the nation’s largest public research university, where openness and tolerance and intellectual achievement are celebrated and practiced every day ... I think that’s a huge set of American values that the university represents (and) that I will be able to represent. ... The delegation represents the diversity of America ... and I think that sends a powerful message, too.” Another interview with President Napolitano appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Full Story

8. Magician Dynamo shoots TV show on UC Berkeley campus

A BBC television crew was on the Berkeley campus yesterday, shooting an episode of Dynamo: Magician Impossible. Cal students were invited to participate in the show. The show airs in 183 countries, and the Berkeley episode is scheduled for Sept. 12. Full Story

9. Seahawks' Lynch Is Elusive With Super Bowl Media
Wall Street Journal (*requires registration)

Former Cal football star Marshawn Lynch, a Seattle Seahawks running back, will be playing in the Super Bowl this weekend against the Denver Broncos. The press-shy player ranked sixth in the league during the regular season with 1,257 rushing yards, and tied for first with 12 touchdowns. His nickname is "Beast Mode." Full Story

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