Today at Berkeley Lab

New Theory Says Dark Matter Acts Like Well-Known Particle

An international group of researchers — including Berkeley Lab physicist Hitoshi Murayama — has proposed a theory that dark matter is very similar to pions, which are responsible for binding atomic nuclei together. More>

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Ultra-Low-Cost Solution to a Big Water Problem

Katya Cherukumilli of the Energy Technologies Area won first place in the Designing Solutions for Poverty contest for her super-low-cost approach to groundwater purification in India. Her technology uses use slightly processed bauxite, an aluminum-rich ore, to remove the excess fluoride. More>

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Implicit Bias, Slow Turnover, Other Issues Impede Diversity at UC

In 1989, a group of graduate students found that 28 UC Berkeley departments had no underrepresented minority faculty. In 2015, 20 of those 28 departments still exist. The Graduate Assembly passed an April bill endorsing the election of grad students to participate in the hiring process as full voting members of faculty search committees. More>

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Wednesday Summer Fun Days at Lawrence Hall of Science

July 22 features high-flying stunts by the troupe Les Aerielles, who will perform aerial acrobatics, with performances at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. The Big Bug Bonanza takes place on July 29. August events include Space: The Final Frontier, Real-Life Robotics, and Fizzy Foamy Science. More>

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Bats Do It, Dolphins Do It, Now Humans Can Too

Berkeley physicists, including Alex Zettl, have used graphene to build lightweight ultrasonic loudspeakers and microphones, enabling people to mimic bats or dolphins’ ability to use sound to communicate and gauge the distance and speed of objects around them. More>

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Enhanced Microscopic Resolution for Improved Diagnostics

Simple, low-cost techniques developed by ALS affiliate Laura Waller are giving standard optical microscopes — and even smartphones — powerful new ways to see the minuscule. LED lights in a custom-built device boost resolution by making several microphotographs of a cell sample while changing only the angle of the lighting. More>

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Can Electric Bikes Kick-Start the Future of Transportation

“I think today we’re on the cusp of a second revolution,” ETA’s Marca Doeff predicted, as the steady gains in battery technology enable a shift into electrification on the roads. “I’m seeing it start to happen already,” she said. “We have choices now.” More>

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Moving Towards a Body-on-a-Chip

Scientists around the world — including materials scientist Anurag Mathur — are creating new drug-testing devices that put cells from human organs onto chips. The medical breakthroughs could greatly speed drug testing, reduce the use of laboratory animals, and allow for experiments that would be too risky for human volunteers. More>

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Lab Researchers to Aid Preservation of Native American Voices

This summer, Carl Haber and Earl Cornell are partnering with the UC Berkeley Linguistics Department and Libraries to start scanning and extracting sound from the 2700 wax cylinders stored in the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology that document the culture, language and music of dozens of Native American tribes from California. More>

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Botanical Garden Hosts Thursday Concerts This Summer

The shows, which feature a variety of music styles, run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the newly remodeled stage and amphitheater in the garden’s Redwood Grove. Concerts run from June through August. Go here for complete schedule and ticket information.

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