Berkeley in the News Archive

The links to the stories summarized on this page are time sensitive, so stories might no longer be online at that URL. We also include links to the original source publication itself.

Monday, 28 April 2014

1. Blood-pressure drug prevents epilepsy after brain injury, BGU research finds
Jerusalem Post

An international team co-led by associate integrative biology professor Daniela Kaufer has determined for the first time how brain injury caused by a blow to the head, stroke or infection can lead to epilepsy. The researchers also discovered that a commonly used prescription drug for high blood pressure can prevent epileptic attacks after concussion, as well as forestall further brain damage caused by seizures in those who already have epilepsy. The study was conducted on rats, and human trials could start within a few years. Full Story

2. The Search for Our Inner Lie Detectors
International New York Times (*requires registration)

Research co-authored by social psychologist Leanne ten Brinke, of Berkeley's business school, is described for its insight into lie detection. The study suggests that people have good instincts for detecting liars, but that they are subconscious and not readily accessed. “Perhaps our own bodies know better than our conscious minds who is lying,” she says. Full Story

3. Pressure builds for bills to garner a first hearing
Los Angeles Times

Public policy professor Robert Reich expresses support for proposed legislation that would limit CEO salaries to no higher than 100 times the average salary of the company's workers. "This growing divergence between CEO pay and that of the typical American worker isn't just wildly unfair," he says. "It's also bad for the economy." Full Story

4. Healthcare options for undocumented immigrants
Los Angeles Times

Laurel Lucia, a policy analyst at Berkeley's Center for Labor Research and Education, reports that many undocumented immigrants "say fear of deportation for themselves or family members is a barrier in terms of signing up for coverage and accessing healthcare services." She notes that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has established that any information submitted by immigrants -- both documented and undocumented -- for Medicaid or private insurance will not be used to enforce immigration law against those applying or their family members. Full Story

5. White House looks at how 'Big Data' can discriminate

President Barack Obama's senior counselor, John Podesta, participated in a big data workshop at Berkeley earlier this month. While noting advances that big data has contributed to climate science, medical treatment and research, he said he believes updates are needed for the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. "It's easy to imagine how big data technology, if used to cross legal lines we have been careful to set, could end up reinforcing existing inequities in housing, credit, employment, health and education," he said. "The lesson here is that we need to pay careful attention to what unexpected outcomes the use of big data might lead to, and how to remedy any unintended discrimination or inequality that may result." Full Story

6. Tunnel partner known to fight tough with public agencies
Seattle Times

Civil engineering professor William Ibbs remarks on the reputation of construction company Tutor Perini, a contractor on a troubled tunnel project in Seattle. He says that in spite of the company's reputation for being difficult with public agencies, it is very competent and successful, having taken on a variety of challenging projects — some with great success. “Yes, they are tough. ... By the same token, the government agencies that they work for aren’t going to just give money away needlessly.” Full Story

7. Toyota cements its Southern strategy with move to Dallas suburb
Los Angeles Times

Labor professor Harley Shaiken comments on Toyota's plan to move its sales and marketing headquarters from California to Texas. He says California has long played a pivotal role in the new auto industry, and that Toyota and other companies located their marketing, management and design here because the state was seen as a national trendsetter. “Having your headquarters in California would put you close to all those social and cultural factors that were setting the trends across the country,” he said. “And you were in the largest single market for cars in the U.S.” The southern shift, he says, could put the company less in touch with California consumers, which could in turn hurt sales. Full Story

8. Peacock mantis shrimp’s swift, deadly punch inspires superstrong composite materials
Washington Post

Integrative biology professor Roy Caldwell is quoted in a story about studies of the peacock mantis shrimp. The creature has club-like appendages that it uses to kill or crack the shells of prey, and its punch reaches the speed of a .22-caliber slug. Professor Caldwell says: “The mantis shrimp has evolved this extreme weapon, which for its size is probably the most potent in the animal kingdom,” In more than 30 years of studying the creatures, Professor Caldwell has been battered by his little subjects “many, many times.” He says: "I keep a file of my injuries. ... While I haven’t lost any appendages, I have had deep and serious wounds." Full Story

9. Bay Area BizTalk Blog: University of California's Napolitano to Senate: More cash means more innovation
San Francisco Business Times Online (*requires registration)

UC President Janet Napolitano testified before the Senate's appropriations committee on Tuesday, saying that federal budget sequestration and stalled appropriations bills are threatening research and education, thereby harming the nation's economy. She said: "To compete successfully in an increasingly innovative world economy, the U.S. will have to choose to lead in key technology sectors, and to do a better job of training an American workforce that will tackle the technical challenges ahead of us and be capable of operating in a more technology-driven workplace. This will require an increased federal commitment to investment in research and innovation." Full Story

10. Essay: The Soul of the Research University
Chronicle of Higher Education (*requires registration)

An essay about the state of higher education in the U.S. discusses former UC president Clark Kerr's influential role in developing California's master plan for higher education. Full Story

11. Forum with Michael Krasny: Racist Comments Attributed to L.A. Clippers Owner
KQED Radio

Sociology Professor Emeritus Harry Edwards joins a discussion of the controversy over a recording released by TMZ on Friday, which purportedly exposes Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist comments to his girlfriend. Link to audio. Full Story

12. Lebowski role model for California today
San Francisco Chronicle

A columnist asks, "Are we becoming a state of Lebowskis?" Referring to the 1998 cult film "The Big Lebowski," the writer says that many proclivities of the main character are mainstream in California now. Regarding the Dude's penchant for philosophical discussion, he says: "And while few Californians do battle with German nihilists like Lebowski did, it should be noted that the number of UC Berkeley undergraduates majoring in philosophy increased 74 percent in the last decade." Full Story

13. Public memorial at UC Berkeley for Henry Ramsey Jr. expected to draw Willie Brown, others
San Jose Mercury News (*requires registration)

A public memorial for former judge and law professor Henry Ramsey Jr. is scheduled for May 3 in Wheeler Auditorium. Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and state Attorney General Kamala Harris are expected to deliver remarks. The memorial is scheduled for 1 - 3 p.m., with a reception afterwards at Memorial Stadium. Ramsey was a pioneering African-American politician, lawyer, judge, professor and dean. He taught at Berkeley's Boalt Hall from 1971 to 1980. Full Story

14. Berkeley’s People’s Park marks its 45th anniversary

The 45th anniversary of People's Park was celebrated on Sunday, April 27, with a day of live music, food, and tributes. Created by community members in the 1960s, the park is owned, managed and maintained by the campus. Full Story

15. Review: Mark Morris melds music with myth seamlessly in 'Acis and Galatea'
San Jose Mercury News (*requires registration)

The world premiere last Friday night of Mark Morris' setting of Handel's "Acis and Galatea" is reviewed. While noting that Morris' "musical methods aren't for everyone," he says that few would dispute that he is "on the side of love and the good, despite knowing how fragile they are." He concludes: "No other choreographer so explicitly holds fast to these ideals quite as Morris does, nor uses such boyish imagination to embody them. He transforms his dancers into trotting sheep, frolicking sprites and a stepping giant, knowing that delight and optimism are forces that lure us out of bed in the morning." Other reviews appeared in the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle. Full Story

16. Joana Carneiro has proven herself at Berkeley podium
San Francisco Chronicle

Portuguese conductor Joana Carneiro is profiled as she concludes her fifth season as music director of the Berkeley Symphony. She says: "In Berkeley and the Bay Area, anything is possible, really. ... For a young artist to come here and try out a lot of ideas that in other communities might not be possible -- that's something I don't take for granted. We really do live in a sort of paradise here." The symphony will perform at Zellerbach Hall on Thursday, May 1, at 8 p.m. Full Story

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