Science


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Through enzyme testing, researchers sharpen CRISPR gene-editing tool

One of the biggest scientific advances of the last decade is getting better thanks to researchers at The University of Texas at Austin; the University of California, Berkeley; and Korea University. The team has developed a new tool to help scientists choose the best available gene-editing option for a given job, making the technology called CRISPR safer, cheaper and more efficient. The tool is outlined in a new paper in Nature Biotechnology.
Tags: Science, University Of California Berkeley, The University of Texas at Austin, Korea University


Prior Zika virus infection increases risk of severe dengue disease

A new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, finds that people who have antibodies to the mosquito-borne Zika virus are more vulnerable to developing dengue disease. This immune interaction, called antibody-dependent enhancement, could complicate the search for a safe and effective vaccine that protects against Zika without also increasing the risk of dengue.
Tags: Science, University Of California Berkeley, Zika


Distributed Sensors

Yet another use for the tricorders everyone carries around these days:"The University of California-Berkeley, along with funding from the state of California, built an app called "MyShake" and a cheap, effective earthquake detection network was born, at least, it was born for people who installed the app.What if you didn't need to install the app? What if earthquake detection was just built in to the operating system? That's the question Google is going to answer, with today's announcement of th...
Tags: Google, Science, Guns, California, University Of California Berkeley, Gadgetry, Tam, Geekery


Historical redlining linked to premature births, lower birth weight babies

Adverse birth outcomes -- including premature births, low birth weight babies and babies who are small for their gestational age -- are more likely to occur in neighborhoods that were once redlined, finds a new study by University of California, Berkeley, researchers. The results indicate that past discriminatory housing practices may be partly to blame for the disparities in infant and maternal health faced by people of color in the US.
Tags: Science, University Of California Berkeley


Lack of females in drug dose trials leads to overmedicated women

Women are more likely than men to suffer adverse side effects of medications because drug dosages have historically been based on clinical trials conducted on men, suggests new research from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Chicago.
Tags: Science, University Of California Berkeley


$75M in federal grants will fund a new trio of quantum institutes

Quantum science is just getting started, and although we’ve already hit some important milestones in both theory and practice, basic research is still needed in just about every nook and cranny of the field. To that end the National Science Foundation has dedicated $75M to the establishment of three brand new scientific institutes. “Through the Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes, NSF is making targeted investments. Within five years, we are confident these institutes can make tangible advances...
Tags: Science, Government, Tech, University Of California Berkeley, Quantum Physics, National Science Foundation, NSF, Quantum Computers, Quantum Science, Sethuraman Panchanathan, Through the Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes NSF


Pesticides speed the spread of deadly waterborne pathogens

Widespread use of pesticides can speed the transmission of the debilitating disease schistosomiasis, while also upsetting the ecological balances in aquatic environments that prevent infections, finds a new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. The infection, which can trigger lifelong liver and kidney damage, affects hundreds of millions of people every year and is second only to malaria among parasitic diseases, in terms of its global impact on human health.
Tags: Science, University Of California Berkeley


Diluting blood plasma rejuvenates tissue, reverses aging in mice

A new study by University of California, Berkeley, researchers reveals that replacing half of the blood plasma with a mixture of saline and albumin reverses signs of aging and rejuvenates muscle, brain and liver tissue in old mice. The research team is currently finalizing clinical trials to determine if a modified plasma exchange in humans could be used to treat age-associated diseases and improve the overall health of older people.
Tags: Science, University Of California Berkeley


COVID-19 tests compared

In an important, comprehensive, and timely review, an expert team from the University of California Berkeley details the methodologies used in nucleic acid-based tests for detecting the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. They show that these tests vary widely in applicability to mass screening and urge further improvements in testing technologies to increase speed and availability.
Tags: Science, University Of California Berkeley


Saving livestock by thinking like a predator

Humans have struggled to reduce the loss of livestock to carnivores for thousands of years, and yet, solutions remain elusive. According to a new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, solving this ancient puzzle requires going back to Ecology 101. Simply put, getting in the mind of predators -- considering how they hunt, how their prey behaves and the landscape -- will help wildlife managers discourage wild carnivores from preying on valuable livestock.
Tags: Science, University Of California Berkeley


To prevent antimicrobial resistance, vaccinate the world's kids

Childhood vaccination may be a powerful tool in the fight against antimicrobial resistance in low- and middle-income countries, finds a new analysis led by researchers University of California, Berkeley. The study found that immunization with two common vaccines -- the pneumococcal conjugate and rotavirus vaccines -- significantly reduces the rates of acute respiratory infections and diarrhea among small children in these settings. And, with fewer children getting sick or severely sick, fewer ar...
Tags: Science, University Of California Berkeley


The evolution of color: Team shows how butterfly wings can shift in hue

A selective mating experiment by a curious butterfly breeder has led scientists to a deeper understanding of how butterfly wing color is created and evolves. The study, led by scientists at University of California, Berkeley, and the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, is published today in eLife.
Tags: Science, University Of California Berkeley, Marine Biological Laboratory Woods Hole


Reanalysis of global amphibian crisis study finds important flaws

Last year in the journal Science, a research review concluded that the chytrid fungus caused the decline of at least 501 amphibian species, of which 90 have gone extinct. A team of University of California, Berkeley, scientists has reanalyzed a study, finding that the paper's main conclusions lack evidence and are unreproducible. The authors argue that transparent data collection and analysis are crucial -- both for science and conservation efforts.
Tags: Science, University Of California Berkeley


Can YouTube Quiet Its Conspiracy Theorists?

Climate change is a hoax, the Bible predicted President Donald Trump's election and Elon Musk is a devil worshipper trying to take over the world.All of these fictions have found life on YouTube, the world's largest video site, in part because YouTube's own recommendations steered people their way.For years, it has been a highly effective megaphone for conspiracy theorists, and YouTube, owned and run by Google, has admitted as much. In January 2019, YouTube said it would limit the sp...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Elon Musk, Science, Youtube, Wikipedia, Research, Earth, Fbi, Noah, Frankfurt, New York Times, George Bush, Antarctica, Silicon Valley, Mars


Algorithms 'consistently' more accurate than people in predicting recidivism, study says

In a study with potentially far-reaching implications for criminal justice in the United States, a team of California researchers has found that algorithms are significantly more accurate than humans in predicting which defendants will later be arrested for a new crime. The researchers -- from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley -- found that risk assessment tools approached 90% accuracy in predicting which defendants might be arrested again, compared to about 60% for ...
Tags: Science, California, United States, University Of California Berkeley, Stanford University


Huge bacteria-eating viruses found in DNA from gut of pregnant women and Tibetan hot spring

University of Melbourne and the University of California, Berkeley, scientists have discovered hundreds of unusually large, bacteria-killing viruses with capabilities normally associated with living organisms. The findings provide new insight into the constant warfare between phages and bacteria. They also have implications for human disease.
Tags: Science, University Of California Berkeley, University of Melbourne


Molecular 'switch' reverses chronic inflammation and aging

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have identified a molecular 'switch' that controls the immune machinery responsible for chronic inflammation in the body. The finding, which appears this week in the journal Cell Metabolism, could lead to new ways to halt or even reverse many age-related conditions, from from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's to diabetes and cancer.
Tags: Science, University Of California Berkeley, Cell Metabolism


What's in your water?

Mixing drinking water with chlorine, the United States' most common method of disinfecting drinking water, creates previously unidentified toxic byproducts, says Carsten Prasse from Johns Hopkins University and his collaborators from the University of California, Berkeley and Switzerland.
Tags: Science, United States, University Of California Berkeley, Johns Hopkins University, Carsten Prasse


California unveils early warning earthquake app

The app, created by the University of California, Berkeley, and unveiled on the 30th anniversary of the deadly Loma Prieta quake, uses ground motion sensors located across the state to detect the start of earthquakes before humans can feel them. "Nothing can replace families having a plan for earthquakes and other emergencies," Governor Gavin Newsom said in unveiling the warning system.
Tags: Science, California, University Of California Berkeley, Gavin Newsom, Loma Prieta


Watching Nature Documentaries Can Produce “Real Happiness,” Finds a Study from the BBC and UC-Berkeley

Hollywood science fiction films imagine future humans in worlds that are no longer green, or never were—from Soylent Green’s dying Earth to that of Interstellar. And from Soylent Green to Ad Astra, humans in the future experience plant and animal life as simulations on a screen, in hyperreal photography and video meant to pacify and comfort. Maybe we live in that world already, to some extent, with apocalyptic films and science fiction expressing a collective mourning for the extinctions...
Tags: Google, Hollywood, Science, Television, Australia, Washington Post, College, Singapore, India, Environment, Earth, Bbc, Nature, Atlantic, South Africa, University Of California Berkeley


With a hop, a skip and a jump, high-flying robot leaps through obstacles with ease

First unveiled in 2016, Salto the jumping robot stands at little less than a foot, but can vault over three times its height in a single bound. Now, University of California, Berkeley researchers have equipped the robot with a slew of new skills, giving it the ability to bounce in place like a pogo stick and jump through obstacle courses like an agility dog. Salto can even take short jaunts outside, powered by radio controller.
Tags: Science, University Of California Berkeley


Scientists uncover 1,000-year-old shamanic pouch containing ancient hallucinogens

The remains of a fox-snout pouch believed to have been owned by a South American shaman a thousand years ago has revealed traces of powerful hallucinogenic drugs.The ancient find indicates people were not only using single plants known to produce hallucinations, but were blending various plants to create potent compounds which could result in lengthier and more powerful trips.Anthropologists made the rare find in the now-dry Sora River valley in southwestern Bolivia in 2010. The area has evidenc...
Tags: Amazon, Science, South America, University Of California Berkeley, Bolivia, Andes, Penn State University, Melanie Miller, University of Otago New Zealand, Capriles, south central Andes, Jose Capriles, Sora River


Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers faster and more efficiently than ever. This optical 'traffic cop' could one day revolutionize how information travels through data centers and high-performance supercomputers that are used for artificial intelligence and other data-intensive applications.
Tags: Science, University Of California Berkeley


Offerings to Supernatural Deities Discovered in Lake Titicaca in the Andes

A team of archaeological divers has uncovered dazzling treasures at the bottom of Lake Titicaca, including a puma carved out of the blue gemstone lapis-lazuli, gold medallions and a turquoise stone pendant.These riches were likely offered to supernatural deities hundreds of years ago by elite people from the Tiwanaku culture, which established the first large state in the Andes Mountains from about 500 to 1100, the researchers said.But these swanky goods weren't the only lavish aspect of the...
Tags: England, Science, America, Peru, University of Oxford, University Of California Berkeley, Bolivia, Lake Titicaca, Andes Mountains, Andes, Penn State University, Oxford Centre, Inca, Tiwanaku, Capriles, Christine Hastorf


Physicists May Have Found a Way to 'Untangle' Information Trapped in a Black Hole

Black holes are gravitational monsters, squeezing gas and dust down to a microscopic point like great cosmic trash compactors. Modern physics dictates that, after being consumed, information about this matter should be forever lost to the universe. But a new experiment suggests that there might be a way to use quantum mechanics to gain some insight into the interior of a black hole."In quantum physics, information cannot possibly be lost," Kevin Landsman, a physics graduate student at the Joint ...
Tags: Science, Stephen Hawking, University Of California Berkeley, UC Berkeley, Norman Yao, University of Maryland in College Park, Landsman, Joint Quantum Institute JQI, Untangle Information Trapped, Kevin Landsman, Raphael Bousso, Bousso, Times Quantum Particles


How a Distant Alien World Was Saved from an Interstellar Exile

A distant alien world that was potentially on its way into exile in interstellar space was rescued by the gravitational pull of a passing pair of stars, a new study argues.These findings support arguments that close stellar misses help sculpt planetary systems, the researchers said.Although Earth and most of its sibling planets have relatively circular orbits around the sun's equator, Pluto and many other dwarf planets have more elongated, tilted orbits. Previous research suggested these dis...
Tags: Science, Earth, European Space Agency, University Of California Berkeley, Jupiter, UC Berkeley, Pluto, Kalas, Paul Kalas, Oumuamua, Charles Q Choi


Solar Wind Leaves 'Sunburn' Scars on Lunar Surface, NASA Missions Reveals

People on Earth who've gotten sunburns are familiar with the sun's powerful rays -- but the moon suffers from sunburn, too. Some regions of the lunar surface exhibit a distinctive pattern of darker and lighter swirls. Using NASA's ARTEMIS mission -- which stands for Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of the Moon's Interaction with the Sun -- astronomers have revealed new clues about the origin of these swirls. The sun releases a constant flow of charged pa...
Tags: Science, Nasa, University Of California Berkeley, Artemis, Poppe, Andrew Poppe, Reiner Gamma, Samantha Mathewson


As the climate warms, there may be a slight increase in male newborns

Scientists have long theorized that temperature has some effect on the sex ratios of populations.Recent research shows links between rising temperatures and increases in the ratio of male newborns.Nobody can say exactly whether temperature causes changes in sex ratio, however it's likely that climate change will force humans to adapt in ways we can't yet anticipate. None The United Nations' top climate science panel warned, in October, of the disastrous consequences around the world if temperat...
Tags: Gender, Japan, Science, Climate Change, Cnn, Innovation, United Nations, Finland, Natural Disaster, University Of California Berkeley, University of Turku, Helle, Samuli Helle, Section of Ecology Department of Biology, Ray Catalano


Dengue virus immunity may protect children from Zika symptoms

Previous infection with dengue virus may protect children from symptomatic Zika, according to a study published Jan. 22 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Eva Harris of the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues.
Tags: Science, University Of California Berkeley, Zika, PLOS Medicine, Eva Harris


'Ambidextrous' robots could dramatically speed e-commerce

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley present a novel, 'ambidextrous' approach to grasping a diverse range of object shapes without training.
Tags: Science, University Of California Berkeley



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