The radio show “Science Friday” profiled UC Berkeley graduate student Madeline Girard and her study of peacock spiders, using Girard’s amazing video of the rhythmic, disco-like courtship dances males employ to entice and placate females.
Threespine sticklebacks undergo rapid evolutionary change when they move from the ocean into freshwater, losing their armor and gaining more teeth in as little as 10 years. UC Berkeley biologist Craig Miller now shows that this rapid change results not from mutations in functional genes, but changes in regulatory DNA. He pinpoints a gene that could be responsible for jaw deformities in humans.
Why are human faces so variable compared to other animals? Berkeley biologists Michael Nachman & Michael Sheehan analyzed human faces and the genes that code for them and found a variability that could only be explained by selection for uniqueness, probably because of the importance of social interactions in human relationships and the need for all of us to be recognizable.
UC Berkeley researchers have found that the human brain is capable of a neural workaround that compensates for the buildup of beta-amyloid, a destructive protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The findings could help explain how some older adults with beta-amyloid deposits in their brain retain normal cognitive function while others develop dementia.
Sixteen faculty members from UC Berkeley’s Bakar Fellows Program recently took their research ideas to Sand Hill Road — the heart of Silicon Valley’s venture capital community — for a coveted meeting with some of the nation’s top angel investors.
Scientists estimate that fewer than 100 Devils Hole pupfish remain in their Mojave Desert home, but a conservation biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, is giving important guidance in the efforts to rescue them by establishing a captive breeding program.
Are humans programmed to tell the truth? Not when lying is advantageous, says a new study led by Assistant Professor Ming Hsu at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. The report ties honesty to a region of the brain that exerts control over automatic impulses.
A new argument has just been added to the growing case for graphene being bumped off its pedestal as the next big thing in the high-tech world by the two-dimensional semiconductors known as MX2 materials.