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, 17 June 2014

1. Genes and gambling: UC Berkeley study shows genes affect how people bet
San Francisco Business Times (*requires registration)

A study co-authored by business professor Ming Hsu, also a member of Berkeley's Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, has found that betting and strategy decisions are affected by genes. The researchers focused on 12 genes that regulate the neurotransmitter dopamine and studied how students with different variants of the genes competed in a simple computer betting game. Professor Hsu says the business implications of the research are potentially significant, and studies of the social interaction of gambling could also help scientists understand disorders like schizophrenia and autism. Stories on this topic appeared in more than a dozen sources worldwide, including Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Channel News Asia, Science 2.0, ABC News (Australia), and Las Vegas Blog (AFP). Full Story

2. Op-Ed: Teacher training needed
San Francisco Chronicle

Public policy professor David Kirp writes about a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge's ruling on a recent teacher tenure lawsuit, arguing that "the legal reasoning is unconvincing, and the ruling won't help the disadvantaged youngsters." Instead of making it easier to fire teachers, which would also hinder recruitment and collaboration, he says that teachers need more training. "Many teachers never learned to teach students with special needs or English language learners who are now in their classrooms. Ordering them to do better or risk being fired doesn't help -- they need support in acquiring the skills that are essential now." Full Story

3. US Deploys troops in response to Iraq crisis
KTVU Online

Political science professor Steven Weber weighs in on the crisis in Iraq, saying there are many reasons all Americans should be concerned about the escalating violence. "We've spent possibly trillions of dollars, untold numbers of American, U.S. and other lives to create a government which is probably not going to last the decade. May not even last a year," he says. "I don't know how this is going to play out, but it may very well be that Iraq in 2020 looks a lot like Afghanistan did in 2000 just before 9/11." Full Story

4. U.S. Edges Closer to Europe in Attitude Toward Capital Punishment, Experts Say
New York Times (*requires registration)

Law professor Franklin Zimring describes the usual process by which nations move toward ending the death penalty, as the U.S. may be doing now. He says: “The first thing that happens is a radical downsizing in the scale of the use of capital punishment." Through most of the last century, “there was a strategic withdrawal from capital punishment as business-as-usual in European nations, long before abolitions started to spread.” Full Story

5. How Data Beats Intuition at Making Selection Decisions
Scientific American

A Harvard professor writes about research indicating that using algorithms to interpret objective data yields selection decisions that are superior to intuition – by far. He mentions a study he conducted with associate business professor Don Moore, of Berkeley, which demonstrated some of the errors that occur in intuitive decision-making. Full Story

6. Giving increases for some sectors, not for others
Contra Costa Times (*requires registration)

An article about high-end philanthropy mentions an analysis of tax data by economics professor Emmanuel Saez. He found that nearly all the income gains from 2009 to 2012 in the U.S. went to the top 1 percent of earners. Full Story

7. What Sotomayor Gets Wrong About Affirmative Action
Chronicle of Higher Education (*requires registration)

A commentary on the case Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action discusses race-neutral admissions efforts to increase diversity at Berkeley and other highly selective public universities following affirmative action bans. Full Story

8. Berkeley: Police investigate sexual battery in Cal parking lot
Contra Costa Times (*requires registration)

Police have reported that a man on a bicycle groped a woman walking in the University Health Services Tang Center parking lot at 10:49 a.m. on Sunday. The assailant fled, and police are investigating the incident as a sexual battery. According to police, the woman was not a student at Berkeley. Full Story

9. UC Berkeley Hosts Panel Tonight on Bee Declines and Our Food System
East Bay Express

Environmental science, policy, and management professor Claire Kremen, faculty co-director of the Berkeley Food Institute, and other experts on bees and pesticides met on campus Monday night to discuss the threats facing bees and other pollinators and what this means to our food supply. Full Story

10. M.B.A.s Dive Into ‘Shark Tank’
Wall Street Journal (*requires registration)

The ABC reality show "Shark Tank" holds casting calls at several elite universities, including Berkeley, looking for M.B.A. students and graduates interested in pitching well-known business leaders -- sharks -- for investments in their business ideas. The show's new season airs in the fall. Full Story

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