Science itself has been dealt a harsh blow, placing the epistemological fabric of the entire universe in peril. You hopefully ask, “What’s the cause?” expecting to get out of that 3 hour physics lab on Friday. read more »


Tree-sitting ninjas may be able to disappear, but new research by Cal scientists will make it possible for them to become truly invisible. The results of research into “metamaterials” (artificial materials that influence the path of electromagnetic radiation—in this case, visible light) are expected to be published in the science journals Nature and Science this week.

The findings, funded by the military, add to previous research that was able to create the same effect with microwaves. read more »


Tsinghua University

Remember the days when you could walk into a cafe, find a stranger to talk to and say, “isn’t it great how Cal produces more Ph.D. hopefuls for U.S. doctoral programs than any other university … in the WORLD?” Neither do we. But the point is that those days are over.

It’s not that we lost our No. 1 spot to Stanford or Harvard, which might be forgivable, but to two foreign institutions—Beijing and Tsinghua Universities, says The Mercury News. read more »


Cal biologists recently led a study that discovered how our immune systems are able to distinguish dead bacteria from living, harmful ones.

As we understand it, certain malevolent microbes replicate when inside the immune system’s cells and poop off molecules that somehow trigger the body’s defenses based on their quantity. The strength of the defense is measured by levels of a protein called an interferon, some of which are used to treat some forms of cancer, according to one of the study’s authors.

Does this mean we’ve found a panacea? Not yet. What about a cure for cancer? That, hopefully, is a little bit closer thanks to the science people who ran this study.

Image Source: Mussels under Creative Commons
New Study Sheds Light On How Intracellular Pathogens Trigger The Immune System [ScienceDaily]


Parking on a SF hill.

Okay, so the title might be a little misleading, but we’ll get to that in a bit. First, allow us to applaud San Francisco’s progress on new “smart parking” systems that will, it is hoped, significantly reduce parking problems and congestion.

“Parking problems in San Francisco? That’s ludicrous!” you might object. Yeah, we’re aware that the City has no traffic troubles, but there are good reasons to improve. Some are even statistical reasons.

read more »


BEWAREWOLF

Last week, The Daily Californian reported on the research of a group headed by Cal soil scientist Ronald Amundson into Mars’ history.

Of course, whenever the red planet is mentioned, we think of little green men. As it turns out, the group found heavy evidence that water seeped into the ground from above. And where there is water, there can be life.

Needless to say, there doesn’t seem to be any definite answer one way or the other to the life question in the foreseeable future, but we’ll keep our ears open. Speaking of Martians, whatever happened to that funky rock with the wonky name—ALH84001?

Soil Holds Key to Past Life of Mars [Daily Cal]


A group of scientists at Berkeley’s Space Sciences Lab are in an excited state over the discovery of ions and neutral atoms found in the gaping maw of the interstellar abyss. The machines responsible for penetrating the unfathomable nothingness are the STEREO pair of spacecraft (not to be confused with this Friday’s Stereopticon Ice Cream Social).

OK, to be fair to the science, it’s not technically interstellar—that would require all the little atoms to go through termination shocks, heliopause and various other flashy hot things.

read more »


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