Berkeley Online has a new home
Check out the new page for Berkeley Online, where you can find the latest issue, an archive of past issues, social media links, and options to subscribe.
Scientists decode brain waves to eavesdrop on what we hear
Stroke victims or paralyzed people unable to speak may someday be able to communicate via synthesizers that decode their internal speech and play it back. That hope comes from research by UC Berkeley neuroscientists Brian Pasley and Robert Knight, who have successfully decoded brain waves to predict what a person heard. Read a report on this and hear an interview with Prof. Knight on BBC News or watch a segment on Canadian TV (@3:51 minutes).
Students going beyond the campus in service of public needs
Urban forester Lara Roman, a Berkeley grad student, is conducting multi-year research designed to help a Sacramento tree-planting program maximize cooling shade for the area’s hot summers. “Engaged scholarship” like Roman’s, increasingly popular with students, is part of the campus’s DNA. New forms of institutional support are helping it flourish.
Breakthrough in designing cheaper, more efficient catalysts for fuel cells
UC Berkeley chemists Chris Chang, Jeff Long, and Marcin Majda have redesigned catalysts in ways that could have a profound impact on the chemical industry as well as on the growing market for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Professors’ innovations benefit society, economy
Cutting-edge research is a hallmark of UC Berkeley, and it should come as no surprise that faculty members are eager to see their discoveries put to use. Many, such as chemistry dean Richard Mathies, have formed start-ups to develop their inventions to a point where they become viable in the marketplace, benefiting not only society but the university as well.
Everyone’s talking about gossip
A new study by UC Berkeley social psychologists Matthew Feinberg and Robb Willer about the upside of gossip is receiving considerable press. Hear Willer and author Joseph Epstein discuss whether gossip can be good on KQED’s Forum radio show.
Lost passport in Paris connects med student to ’49 Berkeley alumna
Betty Werther made a beeline for Paris after graduating from UC Berkeley in 1949 and embarked on a life of travel, romance and adventure. Somewhere along the road, she lost her passport. More than 60 years later, a young Portuguese medical student is heading to Paris to return the tattered, 1950-issued passport to Werther. The episode has inspired Werther to write about her youthful adventures in New York, Berkeley, Paris, and the Middle East.
Sweet news about chocolate
Several recent large-scale research reviews have provided the best evidence yet that chocolate is good for your heart. The UC Berkeley Wellness letter sums up the research, but adds a few caveats about chocolate’s pitfalls.
Cal basketball in first place tie in Pac-12
The men’s basketball team wraps up the home season this weekend with a game against Oregon State on Saturday. Cal is in a first-place tie for the Pac-12 lead with Washington. The women’s basketball team makes its final regular-season road trip, with a match at Oregon State on Saturday.