The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has donated $1.2 million to the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory to install a small network of earthquake sensors around the San Andreas Fault at Cholame to monitor faint tremors that have been discovered in the area.
Like the mute button on the TV remote control, our brains filter out unwanted noise so we can focus on what we’re listening to. But when it comes to following our own speech, a new brain study from UC Berkeley shows that instead of one homogenous mute button, we have a network of volume settings that can selectively silence and amplify the sounds we make and hear.
Across the nation, 25,000 high-risk prisoners are currently housed in "supermaximum" units designed for extreme sensory and social deprivation. Berkeley grad student Keramet Reiter — researching the rise of this harsh form of confinement — has pored through archives and listened to former prisoners' powerful accounts of near-total isolation and its psychological effects.
Jay Keasling, a leading authority on metabolic engineering, envisions a future in which microorganisms are tailor-made to produce specific chemical products, such as biofuels and pharmaceuticals, from inexpensive and renewable starting materials. He has written a paper on the subject for the journal Science.
The Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs has awarded Saba Mahmood, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, a three-year, $496,000 grant to study how law and politics are transforming religious freedom.Mahmood's “Politics of Religious Freedom” project will bring together key human rights and civil society organizations, along with jurists, policymakers and academics who have helped reshape the debate on religious freedom in the United States, the Middle East, South Asia and the European Union.
Just a few years ago, nearly all northern Ugandans were living in displacement camps as the Lord's Resistance Army terrorized the countryside. A new survey of northern Ugadans, conducted by the Human Rights Center, offers a rare snapshot of the relative calm that now prevails in the area, but also highlights widespread fears that the peace is only temporary.
Researchers at Berkeley Law and Georgetown Law have released a blueprint for a national insurance program — which would replace wages when people need to take time off for health and care-giving. The report says this need is no longer an issue for individual families or select industries, but a national priority with major social and economic implications.
Two online projects of the campus's Museum of Paleontology — "Understanding Evolution" and "Understanding Science" — have won Science's Prize for Online Resources in Education. The sites are one-stop shops for science teachers and get as many as 2.75 million page views per month during the school year.
Increasing the minimum wage does not lead to the short- or long-term loss of low paying jobs, according to a new study co-authored by UC Berkeley economics professor Michael Reich and published in the November issue of the journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature this year singled out the University of California's system of 36 natural reserves — a haven for the state's diverse ecosystems and species for nearly half a century — as one of the "20 best biodiversity success stories." Read more about the efforts by the reserves to reintroduce and foster the survival of endangered and threatened species.