Two and a half million years ago, our hominin ancestors in the African savanna crafted rocks into shards that could slice apart a dead gazelle, zebra or other game animal. Over the next 700,000 years, this butchering technology came to be a major evolutionary force.
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a new precision approach for synthesizing graphene nanoribbons from pre-designed molecular building blocks. Using this process the researchers have built nanoribbons that have enhanced properties—such as position-dependent, tunable bandgaps—that are potentially very useful for next-generation electronic circuitry.
An analysis of 727 studies reveals that there have been more instances of rapid, catastrophic animal die-offs over the past 75 years. These mass kills appear to have hit birds, fish and marine invertebrates harder than other species.
UC Berkeley researchers found that exposure to cold temperatures increases levels of a newly discovered protein, Zfp516, that is critical for the formation of brown fat, the type of fat in our bodies that generates heat.
UC Berkeley psychologist Fred Theunissen's work on songbirds could help improve hearing aids to allow people to home in on specific sounds in noisy environments, a particular problem for the hard of hearing.