Challenging the idea that addiction is hardwired in the brain, a new UC Berkeley study of mice suggests that even a short time spent in a stimulating learning environment can rewire the brain’s reward system and buffer it against drug dependence.
Drought and the growing water demands of agriculture and a changing climate are creating a “knife edge” of survival for young salmon and steelhead, says UC Berkeley fish ecologist Stephanie Carlson. She is working to determine minimum water levels needed to sustain the fish.
When Pixar set about making Inside Out, animating the emotions an 11-year-old girl feels after her family moves across the country, the film’s director called psychologists Dacher Keltner of UC Berkeley and Paul Ekman of UCSF to consult on the film. The scientists wrote about their experience in the New York Times.
A powerful, interactive tool popular among academics and scientists who wrestle with large datasets in multiple formats is getting a big infusion of support to broaden its capabilities for collaborative data science and to reach ever wider audiences.
UC Berkeley physicists have used graphene to build lightweight ultrasonic loudspeakers and microphones, enabling people to mimic bats or dolphins’ ability to use sound to communicate and gauge the distance and speed of objects around them.
Researcher Grace O’Connell, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley, is advancing ways to grow human disc tissue — the spongy, protective material between vertebrae — and other engineered cartilage surfaces in a lab.
Humans can’t survive more than a few days without water, but some plants, in particular mosses, can survive drought for decades and suddenly revive with the first rain. KQED’s “Deep Look” team visited UC Berkeley’s University and Jepson Herbaria to learn about these so-called “resurrection plants.”
A new route to ultrahigh density, ultracompact integrated photonic circuitry has been discovered by researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley. The team has developed a technique for effectively controlling pulses of light in closely packed nanoscale waveguides, an essential requirement for high-performance optical communications and chip-scale quantum computing.
Philomathia Innovation Seed Fund recipients Catherine Wolfram and Meredith Fowlie carried out a rigorous study that found surprisingly low savings relative to costs in part of a nationwide effort to improve home energy-efficiency.
Chen Li, a Miller Postdoctoral Fellow, studied the maneuvering ability of cockroaches with rounded shells and saw that their simple streamlined shape allowed them to easily roll and slip through gaps in a clutter of objects, such as grass and leaves on a forest floor.