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, 3 August 2015

1. Bay Area BizTalk: UC system's research generated 86 startups last year alone
San Francisco Business Times (*requires registration)

UC research led to 86 new startups last year, 10 of which originated at Berkeley. A new report on the topic indicates the system’s research led to 1,769 new inventions -- nearly five a day -- and patent income for the year totaled $118.2 million.
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2. Ultrafast DNA Diagnostics Results from Heating, Cooling with Light
Controlled Environments Magazine

An essential genomics lab test that replicates DNA sequences will be faster, cheaper and more portable now, thanks to new technology co-developed by bioengineer Luke Lee. The technology uses light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, to heat and cool genetic samples. “PCR is powerful, and it is widely used in many fields, but existing PCR systems are relatively slow,” Professor Lee says. “It is usually done in a lab because the conventional heater used for this test requires a lot of power and is expensive. Because it takes an hour or longer to complete each test, it is not practical for use for point-of-care diagnostics. Our system can generate results within minutes.”
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3. Sungevity + UC Berkeley Partnering For 10-Year Program
Clean Technica

UC Berkeley has initiated a 10-year partnership with the energy company Sungevity to work with students in a wide range of fields. The partnership will help the campus reach its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025, and will offer students opportunities for internships.
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4. Forum with Michael Krasny: Federal Wildfire Legislation Sparks Debate on Salvage Logging
KQED Radio

The debate over how best to manage forests to prevent wildfire has reached Congress, prompted by record-breaking wildfires in recent years and a worsening drought. Bill Stewart, co-director of the UC Berkeley Center for Fire Research and Outreach, joins a discussion of the legislation. Link to audio.
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5. Popular UC Davis-run wildlife reserve closed due to Wragg fire
Sacramento Bee

“It’s convenient for us to think that threatened species will pop right up and get on with their lives,” Berkeley wildlife conservation specialist Thomas Scott says about the impact of wildfires on animals. “That is something that’s being called more into question now with all the fires we’re having now.” He says that most animals recover quickly after forest fires, but combined urban encroachment and increasing fire activity are posing a greater threat.
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6. UC Berkeley Game of Thrones Summer Class
Sierra Sun Times

Game of Thrones has been a popular theme on campus this summer, with a Summer Sessions course on the intricately plotted show and a biology lab’s investigation of fossilized remains, including some from the extinct dire wolf featured in the program. The class is taught by Justin Vaccaro, a doctoral candidate in film and media studies, and it has attracted a record number of students for his summer sessions fare. The dire wolf investigations were led by integrative biologist Leslea Hlusko, who had her students clean and curate more than 50 skulls that had been found at the La Brea Tar Pits.
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7. Carla Hesse : «Cette passion publique pour l’histoire est le signe d’une démocratie en pleine vigueur»
Libération (France)

“This public passion for history is a sign of democracy in full force,” says history professor Carla Hesse in a discussion of the significance of writing and teaching history in democratic societies. Article is in French.
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8. ‘There Is Blood, a Lot of Blood, Very Red Blood’: The death penalty in crisis
Chronicle of Higher Education (*requires registration)

According to this report on the extreme racial disparities of U.S. incarceration rates, sociologist Loïc Wacquant believes that America is not just a society with prisons but a "prison society," and the racial divide should be understood in continuity with the institution of slavery that preceded it.
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9. Maddy Middleton murder: Youth advocates decry trying teen as adult in girl's death
San Jose Mercury News (*requires registration)

“There is no way on earth that a 15-year-old could have fully comprehended what he was doing," law lecturer Barry Krisberg says of a California boy charged as an adult with raping and killing his 8-year-old neighbor. "He might be able to recount the events that resulted, but the notion that he comprehended the consequences of his action flies in the face of all the science we know," Krisberg said.
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10. China Real Time Blog: After Crackdown on Rights Lawyers, China’s Legal Reform Path Uncertain
Wall Street Journal Online (*requires registration)

“China’s current nationwide crackdown on ‘rights defense’ (weiquan) lawyers is the strongest assault to date on a small number of pioneers who have struggled to advance the rule of law,” law lecturer Stanley Lubman writes. “Lawyers, activists and ordinary citizens who assert legal rights against agencies and officials now risk suppression in the name of ‘stability maintenance.’ The crackdown increases uncertainty about the future of law reform in China as long as Xi Jinping leads the party-state.”
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11. 13.7 Cosmos & Culture Blog: In Science Headlines, Should Nuance Trump Sensation?
NPR Online

Conflicting headlines on a study about the cognitive impact of coffee consumption illustrate “that the path from scientific discovery to media sound bite can be perilous, and that it should be traversed with care,” psychology professor Tania Lombrozo writes. She concludes: “It's nice to see diversity in how a story is covered. But, as with coffee, you can have too much of a good thing. ... Sometimes science is nuanced, and the corresponding headlines should be, too.”
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12. 13.7 Cosmos & Culture Blog: A Social Media Rumor That Nearly Broke Some Hearts
NPR Online

A rumor fueled by social media disrupted a Mets-Padres game on Wednesday, and philosophy professor Alva Noë weighs in on the incident. In the end, he says, Mets manager Terry Collins was the “hero of the story,” simply because he is not “plugged in.” Professor Noë concludes: “The announcers and the reporters and the fans and the tweeters can play their game up there in the cloud. The work of baseball happens on the field.”
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