University of California

5 Magazines | 6,606 Articles | 7,969 Followers | 1 Like | @ucfiatlux | UC provides the sparks that fire imaginations, industries, California and the world. We shine a light on what is possible.

Survival of the Smartest

One might safely assume that Philip Stark is a genuine apocalypticist. Although he’s known for his urban foraging project—where he scours the “food …

Hybrid cancer drug could be resistance-resistant

A team of cancer researchers led by scientists at UC San Francisco and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center demonstrated in human cells and mouse models that a first-of-its-kind hybrid drug can outsmart drug-resistant cancers.<p>The new drug physically yokes together two existing drugs against a …

Health

Spoiler alert: spoilers make you enjoy stories more

<b>This story is going to be spoiled right from the beginning, but don’t worry. According to research by UC San Diego psychology professor Nicholas Christenfeld, spoilers don’t ruin a story: They make you enjoy it even more.</b><p>One more spoiler: In the movie “The Usual Suspects,” Kevin Spacey is Keyser …

Storytelling

Deciphering the mysterious decline of honey bees

Honey bees are arguably our most important commercially available pollinator. They are responsible for pollinating numerous food plants that make our diets more exciting and nutritious, including many fruits, vegetables and nuts.<p>Beekeepers expect some of their bees to die off from season to season …

Agriculture

Solar power is already saving lives in the US. Here's how.

Solar power is still a fairly tiny portion of US electricity, but it is growing incredibly fast. This is exciting to people for all sorts of reasons …

Energy

Rising seas: A new look at resilient infrastructure

A team of researchers is studying the impacts that sea-level rise will have on the Bay Area<p>We know that our changing climate will bring rising sea …

Thermoelectrics: An old, new tech

Photos courtesy Alphabet Energy<p>A sprawling business park, near a patchwork of former salt ponds on the Hayward shoreline, houses more than its share …

Deciphering the mysterious decline of honey bees

Honey bees are arguably our most important commercially available pollinator. They are responsible for pollinating numerous food plants that make our …

Berkeley lab joins groundwater recharge study

One of the nation’s top centers for science will look at how stormwater seeps into almond orchards in the Modesto area and beyond.<p>Lawrence Berkeley …

This Bikini Of The Future Cleans The Ocean As You Swim

The creators hope to make an itsy-bitsy dent in the massive problem of ocean pollution.<p>Seventy-two hours after it rains, a "toxic cocktail" of pollutants from the land, including pesticides, herbicides and fecal-contaminated sewage runoff, makes its way into the ocean, according to the Surfrider …

Burning questions about what forest fires actually do

When wildfire ripped through two UC Davis natural reserves last summer, scientists conducting research there first took a pained look to see if their months or years of research just went up in flames. Then they did what one would expect from scientists: They began to study the effects.<p>Wildfires …

Science

Across the universe

Looking up at the night sky — expansive and seemingly endless, stars and constellations blinking and glimmering like jewels just out of reach — it’s impossible not to wonder: Are we alone?<p>For many of us, the notion of intelligent life on other planets is as captivating as ideas come. Maybe in some …

UC Berkeley

Better water quality for all, thanks to UC Santa Barbara grad students

A device designed to help scientists study water by making it easier and less dangerous to collect water samples was the winning technological innovation at the UC Santa Barbara Technology Management Program’s (TMP) New Venture Competition (NVC) Finals on May 19.<p>OSMO, a company started by UC Santa …

UC Berkeley

UCLA study identifies how brain connects memories across time

Using a miniature microscope that opens a window into the brain, UCLA neuroscientists have identified in mice how the brain links different memories over time. While aging weakens these connections, the team devised a way for the middle-aged brain to reconnect separate memories.<p>The findings, which …

Science

Sheryl Sandberg speaks from the heart at UC Berkeley commencement

“Many of you have already experienced the kind of tragedy and hardship that leaves an indelible mark,” said Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg to Berkeley’s 2016 graduating class. “What I want to talk about today is what you do next. About the things you can do to overcome adversity …

Sheryl Sandberg

Why does power make us lose our way?

Rarely in U.S. history has a presidential campaign given ambition a worse rap. But in his timely new book, The Power Paradox, UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner posits that our influence is based not on veiled or naked power grabs, but on virtues such as empathy, generosity and cooperation.<p>The …

Psychology

To reduce pre-Alzheimer’s cognitive impairment, get to the yoga mat

Inner peace and a flexible body may not be the most valuable benefits that yoga and meditation have to offer, suggests new research by a UCLA-led team of neuroscientists.<p>The team found that a three-month course of yoga and meditation practice helped minimize the cognitive and emotional problems …

Workouts

Sharks are incredibly powerful proton conductors, UC Santa Cruz finds

Sharks, skates, and rays can detect very weak electric fields produced by prey and other animals using an array of unusual organs known as the ampullae of Lorenzini. Exactly how these electrosensory organs work has remained a mystery, but a new study has revealed an important clue that may have …

UC Berkeley

Doctors go digital at UC Irvine

For the better part of the past 150 years, the basic diagnostic instruments of medicine, such as the stethoscope, have remained pretty much the same. But with the creation of the smartphone 10 years ago, that’s changing, and the University of California, Irvine’s School of Medicine is exploring how …

UC Berkeley

Could the mystery of the meow actually be solved by a new talking cat collar?

Imagine you’re a cat, and, every time you meowed, the loud voice of a snooty-sounding British gentleman kindly informed your human guardian of your every thought and feeling (well, the thoughts and feelings you had <i>before</i> you were terrified by the sound of the voice).<p>A new product called the …

Cats

Care about coral reefs? Protect the 'lawnmowers'

Coral reefs provide protection for islands, billions of dollars in economic value, and a dazzling array of biodiversity. Keeping reefs healthy is an important job, and one particular group of herbivorous fish and invertebrates is responsible for it.<p>Assistant professor at UC San Diego's Scripps …

Coral Reefs

President Obama honors 3 UC professors with national medals

President Obama presented the nation’s highest honors for advancing science and technology to three University of California faculty on May 19 at a special White House ceremony.<p><b>Paul Alivisatos</b>, the former director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a professor of chemistry at UC …

Science

Looking to change schools? These top universities take the most transfer students.

Nowhere in the country is it easier to move up the ladder of higher education than in California. The Golden State is home to several prominent universities that accept thousands of transfer students a year, with UCLA the national leader among top-tier schools.<p>UCLA enrolled 3,167 new transfer …

College & University

UC President Napolitano meets with Washington leaders

University of California President Janet Napolitano met with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and the cabinet secretaries for energy, education and agriculture this week to highlight how UC is helping to drive solutions to some of world’s most pressing challenges.<p>UC is an active …

UC Berkeley

Athletes’ stem cell use gaining wider appeal

When ailing hockey legend Gordie Howe received stem cells grown by the San Diego company Stemedica, the story attracted international attention. But …

Stem Cells

New nutrition label could help Americans curb their sugar habit

The Nutrition Facts label, which appears on the back of thousands of packaged foods, is getting a makeover to reflect new nutrition research. Medical experts say that its biggest change — a new call-out that lists the amount of added sugar in foods — will be a huge win for public health.<p>“It’s a …

Healthy Eating

Once Oiled Pelicans Tracked Hundreds of Miles After Refugio Spill

Pelicans with specially attached tracking devices are being followed electronically after rehabilitation from the devastating 2015 Refugio area oil …

Oil Spills

Does Your Food Define You? Sophie Egan Thinks So.

In her new book, <i>Devoured: From Chicken Wings to Kale—How What We Eat Defines Who We Are</i>, Sophie Egan invites readers to take a hard look at the …

Agriculture

The spectrum of sex development: Eric Vilain and the intersex controversy

The geneticist built a career studying aspects of sex that make some people uncomfortable. Now things are getting uncomfortable for him.<p>As a medical …

Psychology

Doctors’ storytelling evening the right kind of medicine

A 75-seat theater just off Union Square was filled with medical doctors on Thursday night, and thankfully everyone in attendance turned their pagers …

Storytelling