Latest UC Berkeley Stories

2010-01-26 12:10:00

Most people know that diamond is one of the hardest solids on Earth, so strong that it can easily cut through glass and steel. Surprisingly, very little is known about the strength of diamond at extreme conditions. But new research by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists shows that diamond becomes even stronger during rapid compression. Using the Janus laser at LLNL and the Omega laser at the University of Rochester, Livermore scientists and Rochester and UC Berkeley colleagues...

2010-01-25 15:45:10

What would life be like without the laser? No DVDs, no precision laser surgery, no high-speed optical communication, no laser light shows over the pyramids at Giza. We have a lot for which to thank Charles Townes, UC Berkeley professor emeritus of physics and 1964 Nobel Laureate in physics. Fifty years ago, the first working laser was built to Townes's specifications, launching the fields of quantum electronics and photonics. In appreciation of the laser, and of Townes' role in stimulating...

2010-01-25 15:40:53

With seed money from the National Science Foundation (NSF), bioengineers from the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University are ramping up efforts to characterize the thousands of control elements critical to the engineering of microbes so that eventually, researchers can mix and match these "DNA parts" in synthetic organisms to produce new drugs, fuels or chemicals. Today, a single designer microbe can take years to create and cost tens of millions of dollars, since each...

2010-01-14 14:53:37

The Helios Energy Research Facility, originally proposed as a hillside headquarters for Berkeley-based alternative-energy research, appears close to finding a new home west of the Berkeley campus "” and to replacing a shuttered neighborhood eyesore with an eco-friendly building and public open space designed to spur downtown revitalization as it seeks solutions to global climate change. The brainchild of former Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory director Steven Chu "” now head...

2010-01-14 14:49:41

Contrary to scientists' predictions that, as the Earth warms, the movement of trees into the Arctic will have only a local warming effect, University of California, Berkeley, scientists modeling this scenario have found that replacing tundra with trees will melt sea ice and greatly enhance warming over the entire Arctic region. Because trees are darker than the bare tundra, scientists previously have suggested that the northward expansion of trees might result in more absorption of sunlight...

2009-12-23 14:50:00

Link to earthquakes unclear, but tremors seem to increase stress on shallower fracture zone The faint tug of the sun and moon on the San Andreas Fault stimulates tremors deep underground, suggesting that the rock 15 miles below is lubricated with highly pressurized water that allows the rock to slip with little effort, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley, seismologists. "Tremors seem to be extremely sensitive to minute stress changes," said Roland Brgmann, UC...

2009-12-20 08:55:00

The University of Tokyo and the University of California, Berkeley, formalized an agreement Dec. 17 to encourage research and educational exchanges between the campuses, which are considered to be among the top public universities in the world. The agreement was signed by UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau during a meeting with delegates from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, which will fund the exchanges. University of Tokyo (UT) President Jun'ichi Hamada signed the...

2009-12-19 09:19:38

If Earth is headed for a mass extinction like the previous five, in which more than 75 percent of all species were wiped out, then North American mammals are one-fifth to one-half the way there, according to a University of California, Berkeley, and Pennsylvania State University analysis. Many scientists warn that the perfect storm of global warming and environmental degradation - both the result of human activity - is leading to a sixth mass extinction equal to the "Big Five" that have...

2009-12-17 15:39:29

Mammals may be nearly half way toward mass extinction If the planet is headed for another mass extinction like the previous five, each of which wiped out more than 75 percent of all species on the planet, then North American mammals are one-fifth to one-half the way there, according to a University of California, Berkeley, and Pennsylvania State University analysis. Many scientists warn that the perfect storm of global warming and environmental degradation "“ both the result of human...

2009-12-09 10:05:00

Local schools, parks, and the campus itself benefit from public-works efforts of the 'Landscape Progress Administration' There are many ways to skin a state-budget crisis, and in the face of California's, Berkeley landscape architecture and environmental planning students came up with one of their own: a mini-version of the Great Depression's most enduring public-works program. For three days, the students of the Landscape Progress Administration applied their expertise and muscle to...

Latest UC Berkeley Reference Libraries

2009-07-14 16:50:21

Einsteinium is a metallic synthetic element with the symbol Es and atomic number 99. It became the seventh transuranic (atomic number higher than 99) element produced. It was named for Albert Einstein. It is an element found within the actinoid series which includes Actinium. Though it has only been produced in small amounts, it has been accurately determined to be silver in coloration. Like all synthetic elements, einsteinium isotopes are highly radioactive and are extremely toxic. Besides...

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Word of the Day
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.