Berkeley in the News

Berkeley in the News is a daily selection of articles and commentaries in the news media that mention UC Berkeley. The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of the campus.

Friday, 17 October 2014

1. New Solution For Repairing Misfolded Proteins in Alzheimer’s
Alzheimers News Today

A new study led by molecular and cell biology Andrew Dillin, the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Distinguished Chair of Stem Cell Research at Berkeley and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, offers surprising new insights into how proteins become unraveled in diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's. Professor Dillin says the research "provides a whole other outlook on protein-folding diseases; a new way to go after them."
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2. Are You At Risk of Catching Ebola on Public Transportation?
Yahoo! Health

Dr. Art Reingold, public health professor and head of epidemiology at Berkeley, comments on the risk posed by a Dallas nurse who flew from Cleveland to Dallas on a commercial jet before being diagnosed with Ebola. "In retrospect, I think she should have been told to stay home,” he says. “But I would be extremely surprised if there turns out to be any individuals who acquired Ebola as a result of [her] flying on an airplane. I would be astonished.” Responding to a question about why officials are urging potential Ebola patients to avoid public transportation, he says: "I think it’s really an abundance of caution more than it is a true need -- we really don’t think that simply sitting on the same airplane would result in transmission. ... But this is such a deadly virus, and there is so much public and political concern that I think people are going to err on the side of caution, rather than be perceived as under-responding.”
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3. Trees vs. Humans: In California Drought, Nature Gets to Water First
NBC News

Fire science professor Scott Stephens is studying ways of thinning forests as a method of increasing water availability in California, since denser forests are using more of the state's water. "This is a critical area but we need more time to get the work done," he says.
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4. Newshour: Free speech, and what came after
PBS Online

Newshour correspondent and producer Spencer Michels writes about the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement on the Berkeley campus. Reflecting on the movement and reporting he had done for NBC during the Vietnam protests, he concludes: "I got rid of my gas mask and helmet decades ago, but the era of student protests and what they evolved into remain part of this country’s history and my own involvement in it." A segment on this topic also aired on the Newshour (link to video).
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5. UC Berkeley students respond to citywide minimum wage increases
USA Today

Mia Shaw, a Berkeley junior, writes about campus views of the city of Berkeley's approval of an ordinance that will raise the city's minimum wage to $12.53 by 2016. Aidan Clark, a sophomore, says: “In a perfect world, a decent wage would be forced upon companies in order to keep their employees. ... But in a world where such an abundance of jobs does not exist, companies pay their employees less than adequate wages because they know that their employees don’t have the choice to simply walk out and go somewhere else. Minimum wage legislation ought to be passed and often raised because of the postulate that our job market is far from that utopia.” Caitlin Quinn, external affairs vice president of the Associated Students, calls the wage increase a victory for students working off-campus and for recent graduates staying in the East Bay. Claire Chiara, a junior and president of the Berkeley College Republicans, says: “This increase in Berkeley’s minimum wage is really dramatic, to say the least. ... I think it’s absurd to believe raising the minimum wage this much will have no impact on student employment in a college town.”
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6. Is It the Market Going Crazy? Or Is It Traders?

An article about this past week's turmoil in the stock market highlights a study written in 1987 by then un-tenured Berkeley economics professor Janet Yellen and her husband and Berkeley colleague George Akerlof. “Economists have accorded the assumption of rational, self-interested behavior unwarranted ritual purity, while alternative assumptions -- that agents follow rules of thumb, that psychological or sociological considerations matter, or that, heaven forbid, they act downright irrationally at times -- have been accorded corresponding ritual impurity,” they wrote. “If agents really behave according to impure assumptions, is it not likely that the best models to fulfill that agenda will mirror that behavior?” Today, Janet Yellen is professor emeritus and chair of the Federal Reserve, and Akerlof is a Nobel Laureate. The paper is discussed as a possible clue to her thinking and how she may deal with the current turmoil.
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7. Emma Goldman: Still too hot to handle? UC Berkeley set to pull plug on anarchist’s archive

Over 34 years and more than $1.2 million in funding, the Emma Goldman Papers Project appears to be nearing its end due to lack of further funding. Emma Goldman was a Russian-born Jewish anarchist who was imprisoned in 1917 for speaking out against the U.S. entry in into World War 1.
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8. Here: In Berkeley, botanical garden a haven for Hawaiian flora
San Francisco Chronicle

Paul Licht, director of the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, and curator Holly Forbes talk about the wide variety of plants in the garden. “We have the biggest native California plant collection -- 28 percent of all native California plants, roughly 1,600 different kinds out of the 5,600 recognized -- and 12,000 different kinds of plants from around the world,” Licht says. A highlight in the garden right now is the currently blooming Puya raimondii, an endangered plant known as Queen of the Andes. It is 28 feet tall and about 24 years old, and in the wild, they don't tend to bloom until they are 80 or older. He also boasts: "We are the only botanical garden with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge.” On Oct. 28, the installation of a 1911 Julia Morgan building will be celebrated. Relocated from another part of the campus, the building will be used to host garden club meetings and wedding.
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