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.

Monday, 2 May 2016

1. Will emotions be hackable? Exploring how cybersecurity could evolve
Christian Science Monitor

In a report released by UC Berkeley's Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity, researchers present five scenarios that explore how cybersecurity will have changed by 2020. "We're beginning to isolate the most critical uncertainties that will impact cybersecurity," said Steven Weber, director of the cybersecurity center and co-author of the report. "We're trying to get people to plan for the landscape." Weber says that in just a few years, wearables could track and collect a person's deepest secrets, recording a real-time profile of the user's feelings. "In 2020, a presidential candidate isn't going to release her tax returns, she's going to release her emotional decisions," he said. "You're going to be able to audit that."
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2. Can An Online Game Help Create A Better Test For TB?

Scientists think that video gamers can help create a better diagnostic test for tuberculosis. A new online puzzle "EteRNA Medicine" was released to players, who will use the game to design a sensor molecule that could potentially make TB as easy as taking a home pregnancy test. The game has attracted more than 100,000 players so far. "You can start out not knowing any of the science," said Jeff Anderson-Lee, a computer systems manager at UC Berkeley. In early rounds, EteRNA guides players through small tasks that teach the rules of the game. "You start to get a sense for what things go together to make an RNA design fold the way you want," said Anderson-Lee. "While you're doing that, you're gaining points and rising in rank."
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3. Opinion: What Can Stop Kids From Dropping Out
New York Times (*requires registration)

David Kirp, a professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, says that although expanding college access and reducing student debt is important, there's an even bigger problem that's gone largely ignored: college dropouts. Only 53 percent of college freshmen earn a bachelor's degree within six years, he says, and just 39 percent of community college students obtain a credential from a two- or four-year institution in that time. An American Institute for Research study from 2011 estimates the cost of dropping out, measured in lost earnings and taxes, at $4.5 billion. "Invariably, the impetus for reform comes from academic leaders who insist that student success be regarded, not as an afterthought, but as a practical imperative and a moral obligation," said Kirp. "Higher education institutions should receive public dollars based not only on how many students they enroll, but also on how effectively they help students earn a degree."
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4. Why You Should Have More Empathy
Wall Street Journal (*requires registration)

"If all you ever saw was people running away or suppressing their feelings that will seem like a very sensible thing to do," said Emiliana Simon-Thomas, science director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. "But if you saw people respond in a generous and responsive way to other people that will seem like the thing to do." Our ability to express empathy is partly genetic, but most of our ability to correctly read and respond to other's emotions comes from childhood and what we learned from parents, our families and others.
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