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, 1 July 2014

1. UC system aiming to reduce world hunger, improve food research
Los Angeles Times

UC President Janet Napolitano is announcing a University of California Global Food Initiative this morning. It will involve the participation of all ten of the system's campuses, its large agricultural programs, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. According to a statement, the initiative will work "toward putting the world on a path to sustainability and nutritiously feed itself." Part of the program will include funding of three $2,500 student fellowships for undergraduate or graduate students at each campus. Other stories on this topic appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle (AP) and on KQED Radio's California Report -- link to audio. Full Story

2. Letters to the Editor: Beyond ‘Foodie’: It’s About Our Values
New York Times (*requires registration)

In response to Mark Bittman's column “Rethinking the Word ‘Foodie’ ” (June 25), linguistics and cognitive science professor George Lakoff writes: "As a linguist, I know that the '-ie' suffix is a diminutive marker. It is added to children’s names, serves a trivializing function, and otherwise indicates nonserious pursuits (Barbie, Baggie, birdie, hoodie, selfie and so on). The word 'foodie' has this element of English grammar built in and cannot be rescued as a term for a serious food advocate. … As Mark Bittman points out, food is a moral concern, affecting health, soil, water, global warming and foreign policy as well as providing a powerful demonstration that the environment is inside us. … Preparing, cooking and enjoying food connects us to all living things, to the wonders of life, and to the very serious responsibilities of a food advocate." Full Story

3. Mobile Microscopes: Snapping The Future Of Health Care

Bioengineering professor Daniel Fletcher's pioneering research is discussed in a story about the smartphones' new healthcare applications. “As soon as cameras started appearing on phones, I began wondering how they differ from the scientific cameras that we use in lab and whether they could be converted into microscopes,” he says. He went on to develop a semester project for his students with the goal of having them design a mobile phone microscope. That research became a startup, CellScope, which has redesigned the otoscope, a tool doctors have long used to examine your ear canals. Professor Fletcher and his students are looking at other applications of the mobile microscope around the world, including testing for malaria and Tb. Full Story

4. Well Blog: Flame Retardants Are Everywhere
New York Times Online (*requires registration)

Asa Bradman, associate director of Berkeley's Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health, weighs in on the problem of flame retardants, which are ubiquitous in our indoor environments. In 2012, a study he led found that most American households contain dust contaminated by flame retardants. He notes that the dust may be especially risky for young children, since they crawl on the floors and often put their hands in their mouths. An earlier study he conducted measured flame retardant levels in children’s blood, finding that they were highest in those who play indoors most often, notably in poor neighborhoods where parents hesitated for safety reasons to let them play outside. At the moment, there’s not much you can do limit your exposure, he says, recommending frequent hand washing and vacuuming, as well as looking for products labeled as free of flame retardants. More effective steps, he says, will require national policy changes, including laws that require better assessment of these chemicals and funding for studies of alternative strategies to protect against fire. Full Story

5. In a first, Indian-origin scholar becomes dean of top US law school
Times of India

Sujit Choudhry, a comparative constitutional law scholar, takes office Tuesday as the new dean of Berkeley's law school. He came to Berkeley from New York University, where he founded its Center for Constitutional Transitions. The deanship is a first for an Indian-origin academic at a U.S. law school. Other stories on this topic appeared in the American Bazaar and SiliconIndia. Full Story

6. UC Berkeley Breeds Data Scientists Online: $60K, 18 Months

Berkeley's new Master of Information and Data Science program is profiled as an expensive but very promising 18-month route to a "pretty much guaranteed" job with a high salary. "If you can claim those skills right now in the Bay Area, you can work for any company you want and basically write your own salary," information professor Steve Weber says. The program is completed entirely online, an idea for which Weber credits the school's dean, AnnaLee Saxenian. "Since it's a data science degree, the kind of people we're going to appeal to may be more comfortable than the average person with doing a Master's degree online," he says. "Many [students] are working professionals, so we can offer this degree in a flexible way, and they can take their classes in the late afternoons or evenings." Full Story

7. The Athlete: Missy Franklin
Diablo Magazine

Swimmer Missy Franklin, a four-time gold medalist at the 2012 Summer Olympics, is preparing for this summer's Nationals and going into her second year at Berkeley this fall. She's briefly interviewed here. Full Story

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