Play with your food
UC has been part of so much research related to food so we’re celebrating with peppermint trucks and garlic-and-bean dragons. Make a delightfully delicious collage entirely from local produce. If your collage is selected as a favorite, you can win a $75 LocalHarvest gift certificate.
Get started on your collage here →
Collaboration between different disciplines in the research setting can often lead to breakthroughs. And now buildings are even being designed to encourage greater interaction between researchers. The University of California, San Francisco’s Mission Bay Campus is no exception. Dr. Ari Green, an assistant clinical director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center, says it’s a big change from his previous office in a clinical setting.
I was actually the only person in that group doing translational medicine, and I didn’t have the kind of time that I have to spend with laboratory neuroscientists and geneticists and immunologists that I have today. And so this is a complete transformation. It’s just an opportunity for not just me but my whole team. Everyone who works — you know I have a team of about 10 people and the 10 people who work with me meet with the 10 people who work on another project and 10 other people who work on a different set of projects and all of them have conversations with each other that percolate back to our lab meetings and help to bring us all together for projects that are collaborative and conjoined and focused on a broader and larger goal.
uofcalifornia’s photo on Instagram
Scott Simon of UC Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute, with an elementary school student during the pilot presentation of Robert Ballard’s Nautilus Live program. The program uses a live video feed from a research vessel to show kids in real time what its like to explore the ocean.
Imagine one of these coming you way?
Evolutionary biologist Robert Dudley of the UC Berkeley says that newborn birds exhibit the same types of asymmetric movement that these animals create to glide and maneuver in mid-air, which he says supports the hypothesis that birds developed flight by falling from trees.
Gliding snakes in Southeast Asia, gliding lizards - they’re all highly maneuverable. These are not like paper airplane, launch and glide to target. No, they can take off and land on the same tree that they jumped off of. They can do 180s in midair. They can avoid things. So from day one, all of these gliders actually are highly maneuverable and they carry out those maneuvers by moving their aerodynamic structures asymmetrically, not symmetrically. So it’s another very important argument in support of aerial hypotheses for the origins of bird flight is that basically everything that’s going aerial is maneuverable from day one.
Being honest, even when it may be advantageous to lie, takes more self-control. Those were the findings of a new study led by Ming Hsu of UC Berkeley. They linked damage to the brain’s prefrontal cortex, a region that controls impulses, to an inability to control self-interests.
Hsu says the study involved a money-splitting game between participants with damage to their prefrontal region and those with healthy brains.
So, you tell them either option A is better than option B for you or option B is better than option A for you. So essentially this will be like saying, car A is really good for you, even though when I know car B is really the better one for you. What we found is that people who don’t have damage to this brain region are willing to sacrifice quite a bit of material interest in order to not have to be dishonest.
This research supports the hypothesis that humans are inherently self-interested.
People like economists and behavioral ecologists have long argued that self-interest is the basic impulses of human behavior.
No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess.Sir Isaac Newton
We have been covering how Berkeley Lab researchers are actually driving in traffic in New Delhi, India to get a better sense of the air pollution. But there’s nothing like actually seeing what it’s like (about a minute into the video, check out the truck on the left). Yikes.
…because sometimes you just need to look at something like this (or kittens) to brighten up your day. Keep smiling.
UCSB’s Shuji Nakamura wins Nobel Prize in physics for the blue LED
From the cell phones of protesters in Hong Kong to the energy-efficient lightbulbs at the hardware store, there’s a pretty good chance that this year’s physics Nobel prize-winning invention is in your everyday life. The blue light-emitting diode (LED) is found in the screens of millions of phones as well as a cost saving replacement for incandescent light. Today, the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to the three scientists who made this revolutionary discovery.
Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and UCSB’s Shuji Nakamura were all working on the a blue LED in Japan back in the 1990s. At that time, red and green LEDs had already existed for decades, but blue proved elusive. Remember that red, green and blue light together create white light, so for lightbulbs and full-color screens, the missing blue LED was crucial.
To get LEDs to glow blue, the researchers had to create a new material. LEDs emit light when electrons pass through layers of semiconducting material—the color of light depends on the composition of that material. Akasaki, Amano, and Nakamura ended up making blue LEDs out of the element gallium.