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, 27 February 2015

1. Bay Area Scientists Find First Direct Evidence of Human Activity Affecting Climate Change
CBS San Francisco Online

A Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study co-authored by Berkeley faculty has confirmed -- for the first time -- that rising surface temperatures on Earth are directly triggered by the atmosphere's increasing load of carbon dioxide, attributable to human activity. Scientists have long blamed global warming on this particular gas, primarily emitted from burning fossil fuels, but had lacked direct measurement of the effect. Stories on this topic appeared in dozens of sources around the world, including Popular Science, Forbes,, International Business Times (UK), and Green Energy News.
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2. Common Birds May Be Spreading Lyme Disease In California More Than Known, Study Shows
CBS SF Bay Area Online

A study co-authored by environmental science, policy and management professor Robert Lane and graduate student Erica Newman has found that common birds in California suburbs, including the American robin, golden-crowned sparrow, dark-eyed junco, and oak titmouse, are carriers of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Another story on this topic appeared in Environment News Service.
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3. Green Jeans? UC Berkeley Researchers Working On Environmentally-Friendly Indigo Dye
CBS SF Bay Area Online

A team led by bioengineering professor John Deuber is working to develop a more environmentally friendly way of dyeing blue jeans. The chemically intense process commonly used today can be toxic to fish and other aquatic life, and it severely corrodes piping when the waste is sent to treatment plants. Professor Deuber's team discovered a key enzyme in Indigo-producing plants, and they believe they could develop a new process that employs bacteria to extract the dye.
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4. U.C. Berkeley senate passes bill condemning anti-Semitism
J Weekly

Berkeley's student senate -- the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) -- unanimously passed a bill condemning anti-Semitism on Thursday. “It’s extremely important for the ASUC and student governments to actively fight anti-Semitism and make sure all Jewish students feel safe on campus,” ASUC senator Ori Herschmann said in a statement. “Today, we have taken a big step in making sure the Jewish people of all U.C. campuses, not just Berkeley, can live safely without fear of anti-Semitism throughout their time at college."
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5. What is the superbug that has killed 3 people?
ABC Baltimore Online

Public health professor Lee Riley, an epidemiology and infectious diseases specialist, comments on a "superbug" that has now killed three people in the U.S. “Right now we really don't have good effective antibiotics to treat them," he says. "If it becomes more widespread then it’s going to become a huge problem.” Infection is most common with patients who have undergone medical procedures with invasive devices like endoscopes. Professor Riley notes that the manufacturer of endoscopes used in LA is under investigation for possibly contaminated equipment, but Professor Riley says: "My feeling is it’s the other way around, that the instrument is getting contaminated from the patients.”
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6. China Real Time Blog: A Shot at Solving China’s Angry Worker Problem
Wall Street Journal Online (*requires registration)

Law lecturer Stanley Lubman writes about growing labor unrest in China and the government's wrestling with "a dangerous combination of an economic slowdown and the lack of effective institutions to cope with worker unrest."
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7. South Korea Legalizes Adultery
Wall Street Journal (*requires registration)

In a story about South Korea's decriminalization of adultery, law professor Melissa Murray notes that 20 U.S. states allow civil or criminal prosecution for extramarital affairs but enforcement is rare.
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8. Fresh Air: The World Loves The Smartphone. So How About A Smart Home?

Alexis Madrigal, a visiting scholar at Berkeley's Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society, writes about the proliferation of smart household appliances. He concludes: "Internet-connected things make your phone feel like a controller for the world -- and if the utility each appliance adds is small, the collective convenience of all those things gathered into little rows of icons is startling. From bed, in 10 taps, I can make coffee, turn up the heat, call a car, turn on my stereo and record a television show with my cable box. ... All I have to do is push a button on a screen and something happens out there in the physical world. And that action, funny as it might be in the current forms of Internet-connected toilets and Wi-Fi-enabled coffee makers, really is the future."
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9. The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Two campus events are highlighted as things to do in Berkeley this weekend. The first is a 3D printing workshop at the Lawrence Hall of Science on Sunday, from 1 to 3 p.m. Visitors will learn how 3D printers work, experiment with modeling software, learn some materials science, and take home a 3D model. It is part of a “techtorial” workshop series for adults and kids 10 and older currently ongoing at the museum. There is limited ticket availability for this. The second event is a performance of mezzo-soprano Susan Graham on Sunday at 3 in Hertz Hall. Malcolm Martineau will accompany her on the piano.
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