Berkeley, CA, United States
Berkeley, CA, United States

The University of California, Berkeley , is a public research university located in Berkeley, California. According to the 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities, the University of California, Berkeley is the fourth best university in the world. It is the most selective – and highest ranked in U.S. News and ARWU – public university in the world for undergraduate education. Aside from its academic prestige, UC Berkeley is also well known for producing a high number of entrepreneurs.The university occupies 1,232 acres on the eastern side of the San Francisco Bay with the central campus resting on 178 acres . Berkeley is the flagship institution of the 10 campus University of California system and one of only two UC campuses operating on a semester calendar, the other being UC Merced.Established in 1868 as the result of the merger of the private College of California and the public Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College in Oakland, Berkeley is the oldest institution in the UC system and offers approximately 350 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. The University of California has been charged with providing both "classical" and "practical" education for the state's people. Cal co-manages three United States Department of Energy National Laboratories, including the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy.Berkeley faculty, alumni, and researchers have won 72 Nobel Prizes , 9 Wolf Prizes, 7 Fields Medals, 18 Turing Awards, 45 MacArthur Fellowships, 20 Academy Awards, and 11 Pulitzer Prizes. To date, UC Berkeley scientists have discovered 6 chemical elements of the periodic table . Along with Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley researchers have discovered 16 chemical elements in total – more than any other university in the world. Berkeley is a founding member of the Association of American Universities and continues to have very high research activity with $730.7 million in research and development expenditures in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. Berkeley physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer was the scientific director of the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bomb in the world, which he personally headquartered at Los Alamos, New Mexico, during World War II. Faculty member Edward Teller was the "father of the hydrogen bomb". Former United States Secretary of Energy and Nobel laureate Steven Chu , was Director of Berkeley Lab, 2004–2009.The athletic teams at UC Berkeley are known as the California Golden Bears and are members of both the Pacific-12 Conference and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in the NCAA. Wikipedia.


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Kishida T.,University of California at Berkeley
Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering | Year: 2017

Prediction models of normalized modulus reduction curves (G/Gmax) for clays and silts have been proposed by several researchers in the past decades. However, model uncertainties have been recognized in these studies. This study compares five prediction models of G/Gmax from previous studies, which use common predictor variables of cyclic shear strain amplitude, effective confining stress, and plasticity index. The relative differences between these models are described against these predictor variables. Then the model biases are evaluated through residual analyses using the modulus reduction database. Modulus reductions of G are also discussed by combining the prediction models of G/Gmax and Gmax to illustrate the importance of these combinations. Correlations among the residuals of ln(G) are calculated, and the correction factors of the G/Gmax model are presented conditioned on the Gmax and shear strength measurements. © 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers.


Cate J.H.D.,University of California at Berkeley | Cate J.H.D.,Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2017

Translation in eukaryotes is highly regulated during initiation, a process impacted by numerous readouts of a cell’s state. There are many cases in which cellular messenger RNAs likely do not follow the canonical ‘scanning’ mechanism of translation initiation, but the molecular mechanisms underlying these pathways are still being uncovered. Some RNA viruses such as the hepatitis C virus use highly structured RNA elements termed internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) that commandeer eukaryotic translation initiation, by using specific interactions with the general eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF3. Here, I present evidence that, in addition to its general role in translation, eIF3 in humans and likely in all multicellular eukaryotes also acts as a translational activator or repressor by binding RNA structures in the 50-untranslated regions of specific mRNAs, analogous to the role of the mediator complex in transcription. Furthermore, eIF3 in multicellular eukaryotes also harbours a 50 7-methylguanosine cap-binding subunit—eIF3d—which replaces the general cap-binding initiation factor eIF4E in the translation of select mRNAs. Based on results from cell biological, biochemical and structural studies of eIF3, it is likely that human translation initiation proceeds through dozens of different molecular pathways, the vast majority of which remain to be explored. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Perspectives on the ribosome’. © 2017 The Authors.


Falconi A.M.,University of California at Berkeley
Biodemography and Social Biology | Year: 2017

Studies using the sensitive periods framework typically examine the effects of early life exposures on later life health, due to the significant growth and development occurring during the first few years of life. The menopausal transition (i.e., perimenopause) is similarly characterized by rapid physiological change, yet rarely has been tested as a sensitive window in adulthood. Cohort mortality data drawn from three historic populations, Sweden (1751–1919), France (1816–1919), and England and Wales (1841–1919), were analyzed using time series methods to assess whether conditions at midlife significantly influenced or “programmed” later life longevity. Results indicated a significant inverse association between mortality at ages 45–49, the average age range in which perimenopause occurred, and life expectancy at age 60 among females in all three countries. Study findings suggest a degree of plasticity associated with women’s aging and, in particular, the age group correlated with perimenopause. © 2017 Society for Biodemography and Social Biology.


Geological sequestration in deep underground repositories is the prevailing proposed route for radioactive waste disposal. After the disposal of radioactive waste in the subsurface, H2 may be produced by corrosion of steel and, ultimately, radionuclides will be exposed to the surrounding environment. To evaluate the potential for microbial activities to impact disposal systems, we explored the microbial community structure and metabolic functions of a sediment-hosted ecosystem at the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory, Hokkaido, Japan. Overall, we found that the ecosystem hosted organisms from diverse lineages, including many from the phyla that lack isolated representatives. The majority of organisms can metabolize H2, often via oxidative [NiFe] hydrogenases or electron-bifurcating [FeFe] hydrogenases that enable ferredoxin-based pathways, including the ion motive Rnf complex. Many organisms implicated in H2 metabolism are also predicted to catalyze carbon, nitrogen, iron and sulfur transformations. Notably, iron-based metabolism is predicted in a novel lineage of Actinobacteria and in a putative methane-oxidizing ANME-2d archaeon. We infer an ecological model that links microorganisms to sediment-derived resources and predict potential impacts of microbial activity on H2 consumption and retardation of radionuclide migration.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 28 March 2017; doi:10.1038/ismej.2017.39. © 2017 The Author(s)


Zohdi T.I.,University of California at Berkeley
Journal of Computational Physics | Year: 2017

A key part of emerging advanced additive manufacturing methods is the deposition of specialized particulate mixtures of materials on substrates. For example, in many cases these materials are polydisperse powder mixtures whereby one set of particles is chosen with the objective to electrically, thermally or mechanically functionalize the overall mixture material and another set of finer-scale particles serves as an interstitial filler/binder. Often, achieving controllable, precise, deposition is difficult or impossible using mechanical means alone. It is for this reason that electromagnetically-driven methods are being pursued in industry, whereby the particles are ionized and an electromagnetic field is used to guide them into place. The goal of this work is to develop a model and simulation framework to investigate the behavior of a deposition as a function of an applied electric field. The approach develops a modular discrete-element type method for the simulation of the particle dynamics, which provides researchers with a framework to construct computational tools for this growing industry. © 2017 Elsevier Inc.


A distinct advantage of nanosensor arrays is their ability to achieve ultralow detection limits in solution by proximity placement to an analyte. Here, we demonstrate label-free detection of individual proteins from Escherichia coli (bacteria) and Pichia pastoris (yeast) immobilized in a microfluidic chamber, measuring protein efflux from single organisms in real time. The array is fabricated using non-covalent conjugation of an aptamer-anchor polynucleotide sequence to near-infrared emissive single-walled carbon nanotubes, using a variable chemical spacer shown to optimize sensor response. Unlabelled RAP1 GTPase and HIV integrase proteins were selectively detected from various cell lines, via large near-infrared fluorescent turn-on responses. We show that the process of E. coli induction, protein synthesis and protein export is highly stochastic, yielding variability in protein secretion, with E. coli cells undergoing division under starved conditions producing 66% fewer secreted protein products than their non-dividing counterparts. We further demonstrate the detection of a unique protein product resulting from T7 bacteriophage infection of E. coli, illustrating that nanosensor arrays can enable real-time, single-cell analysis of a broad range of protein products from various cell types. © 2017 Nature Publishing Group


Sherman J.,University of California at Berkeley
Proceedings of the Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms | Year: 2017

We present a nearly-linear time approximation algorithm for uncapacitated minimum-cost ow in undirected graphs, along with a more general framework for approximately solving problems of the form: find x satisfying Ax = b with minimal norm kxk, where the norm is generally non- Euclidean. For most of the extensive applications of the latter problem, the exact constraints are essential, so an x satisfying Ax = b with almost-minimal norm is acceptable, while relaxing Ax = b to Ax b significantly beyond numerical precision is not. On the other hand, existing nearly-linear time solvers for non-Euclidean norms use dual or penalty methods, yielding the opposite notion where kxk is minimal while kb Axk t(1) after t iterations. We show that by composing solvers of the latter type, we may obtain solvers of the more-useful former type. Convergence of the composed solvers depends strongly on a generalization of the classical condition number to general norms. Following our framework, the task of the algorithm designer for such problems is reduced to that of designing a generalized preconditioner for A. Applying the framework to uncapacitated minimum- cost ow, we present an algorithm that, given an undirected graph with m edges labelled with costs, and n vertices la- belled with demands, takes 2m1+o(1)-time and outputs a ow routing the demands with total cost at most (1 + ) times larger than minimal, along with a dual solution proving near-optimality. The generalized preconditioner is obtained by embedding the cost metric into 1, and then con- sidering a simple hierarchical routing scheme in 1 where de- mands initially supported on a dense lattice are pulled from a sparser lattice by randomly rounding unaligned coordinates to their aligned neighbors. Analysis of the generalized con- dition number for the corresponding preconditioner follows that of the classical multigrid algorithm for lattice Laplacian systems. Copyright © by SIAM.


Wong S.C.-W.,University of California at Berkeley
Proceedings of the Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms | Year: 2017

In this paper we give a f-approximation al- gorithm for the minimum unweighted Vertex Cover problem with Hard Capacity constraints (VCHC) on f-hypergraphs. This problem gen- eralizes standard vertex cover for which the best known approximation ratio is also f and cannot be improved assuming the unique game conjecture. Our result is therefore essentially the best possible. This improves over the previous 2.155 (for f = 2) and 2f approximation algorithms by Cheung, Goemans and Wong (CGW). At the heart of our approach is to apply iterative rounding to a natural LP relaxation that is slightly different from prior works which used (non-iterative) rounding. Our algorithm is significantly simpler and offers an intuitive expla- nation why f-approximation can be achieved for VCHC. We also present faster implementations of our method based on iteratively rounding the solution to certain CGW-style covering LPs. Copyright © by SIAM.


Coughlin E.R.,University of California at Berkeley
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2017

We present the exact solutions for the collapse of a spherically symmetric cold (i.e., pressureless) cloud under its own self-gravity, valid for arbitrary initial density profiles and not restricted to the realm of self-similarity. These solutions exhibit a number of remarkable features, including the self-consistent formation of and subsequent accretion onto a central point mass. A number of specific examples are provided, and we show that Penston's solution of pressureless self-similar collapse is recovered for polytropic density profiles; importantly, however, we demonstrate that the time over which this solution holds is fleetingly short, implying that much of the collapse proceeds non-self-similarly. We show that our solutions can naturally incorporate turbulent pressure support, and we investigate the evolution of overdensities - potentially generated by such turbulence - as the collapse proceeds. Finally, we analyze the evolution of the angular velocity and magnetic fields in the limit that their dynamical influence is small, and we recover exact solutions for these quantities. Our results may provide important constraints on numerical models that attempt to elucidate the details of protostellar collapse when the initial conditions are far less idealized. © 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..


Belyaev M.A.,University of California at Berkeley
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2017

We present an instability for exciting incompressible modes (e.g., gravity or Rossby modes) at the surface of a star accreting through a boundary layer. The instability excites a stellar mode by sourcing an acoustic wave in the disk at the boundary layer, which carries a flux of energy and angular momentum with the opposite sign as the energy and angular momentum density of the stellar mode. We call this instability the acoustic Chandrasekhar-Friedman-Schutz (CFS) instability, because of the direct analogy to the CFS instability for exciting modes on a rotating star by emission of energy in the form of gravitational waves. However, the acoustic CFS instability differs from its gravitational wave counterpart in that the fluid medium in which the acoustic wave propagates (i.e., the accretion disk) typically rotates faster than the star in which the incompressible mode is sourced. For this reason, the instability can operate even for a non-rotating star in the presence of an accretion disk. We discuss applications of our results to high-frequency quasi-periodic oscillations in accreting black hole and neutron star systems and dwarf nova oscillations in cataclysmic variables. © 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

A solar-powered water harvester can pull water molecules directly from the air – making drinkable water available even in the desert, according to a new proof-of-concept study in the journal Science. The new technology, a collaboration between scientists at the University of California at Berkeley and the Massachusetts of Technology, is based on a passive system that draws moisture into a foam-like material and condenses the water even at humidity levels as low as 20 percent, according to the scientists. The concept is similar to an electric dehumidifier found in many homes – but this one can work without using the extra energy that’s not available in extreme environments, said Omar Yaghi, one of the senior authors, a chemist at UC Berkeley and faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “I call it personalized water,” said Yaghi, in a school statement. “One vision for the future is to have water off-grid, where you have a device at home running on ambient solar for delivering water that satisfies the needs of a household.” Or it could be used to provide life-saving water in the most inhospitable deserts of the world, they added. Yaghi and the team in California developed the foundational technology at work in the new tool. Metal-organic frameworks employ magnesium, aluminum or other metals in a complex arrangement with organic molecules. The particular MOFs capture different molecules. Three years ago, they developed a combination of zirconium and adipic acid that captures water vapor. The concept was picked up by collaborators Evelyn Wang at MIT and her team of mechanical engineers, and funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Department of Energy. The MIT engineers developed two pounds of miniscule MOF crystals, which were compressed between a solar absorber and a condenser plate. The air diffuses through the porous MOF. Water molecules bind to the structure. The solar energy drives the captured water vapor toward the condenser, where the liquid collects and drips down, they explain. The device was able to pull 2.8 liters of water from the air over 12 hours using the 2 pounds of MOF material. The tool was also tested in a real-world scenario: on an MIT rooftop, they said. Yaghi said it could collect 12 ounces of water – about a Coke can’s worth – in under an hour. Further engineering could refine the tool for use in particular environments. For instance, a technique of fog harvesting near 100 percent humidity is already employed in select areas like Chile and Morocco. The refinement of the MOF and its collection methods could be key, said Hyunho Kim, a graduate student at MIT and one of the authors. “By carefully designing this material, we can have surface properties that can absorb water very efficiently at 50 percent humidity, but with a different design, it can work at 30 percent,” said Kim. “By selecting the right materials, we can make it suitable for different conditions. Eventually we can harvest water from the entire spectrum (of water concentrations).” The technology could be refined for the world’s harshest deserts, they added. For instance, the average humidity of the Sahara Desert, the biggest desert on Earth, is 25 percent. Slightly before dawn this morning, the humidity in Death Valley, the most arid place in the United States, is 19 percent.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Conservative political commentator and author Ann Coulter lost the backing of the Young America's Foundation for her talk at University of California, Berkeley (AFP Photo/PAUL J. RICHARDS) Los Angeles (AFP) - Two conservative groups filed a lawsuit against the University of California at Berkeley claiming that a decision to cancel an appearance by the firebrand pundit Ann Coulter violated their right to free speech. The Berkeley College Republicans and Young America's Foundation, which had invited Coulter to speak on April 27, accused the university of seeking to silence conservative viewpoints and stifle political discourse at the famously progressive campus by imposing unreasonable demands on campus events involving certain "high-profile" speakers. "Defendants' discriminatory imposition of curfew and venue restrictions has resulted in the cancellation of two speaking engagements featuring prominent conservative speakers in the month of April, 2017," read the lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco. University officials said last week that Coulter's scheduled appearance at Berkeley to discuss illegal immigration was scrapped because of security concerns after several recent protests in the city turned violent. Following a firestorm over the decision, the school offered a new venue and date -- May 2 -- which were rejected by the right-wing commentator as well as the student group. The lawsuit said that the new proposed date falls during a period known as a "dead week," when no classes are held and fewer students are on campus due to final exams the following week. It added that while heavy restrictions were being imposed on conservative speakers, liberal figures addressing the same contentious topic as Coulter had freely spoken at the school in recent weeks. They include former Mexican leader Vincente Fox and Maria Echaveste, a former advisor to ex-president Bill Clinton. "It is unfortunate that the very school that is considered the 'birthplace of the Free Speech Movement' is now leading the charge to censor thoughts, ideas, and debate," said Ron Robinson, president of Young America's Foundation. A spokesman for the university, a public institution, said a response to the suit would be issued later Monday. The decision to shelve Coulter's appearance at the campus came days after opponents and supporters of President Donald Trump clashed in the city. It also follows a similar cancellation in February of a planned speech at the university by right-wing provocateur and former Brietbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, following violent protests. University officials said they had learned that some of the groups that took part in recent clashes planned to target Coulter's appearance. They said security concerns mounted last week after posters appeared on the walls of campus buildings threatening disruptions.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: news.mit.edu

Severe water shortages already affect many regions around the world, and are expected to get much worse as the population grows and the climate heats up. But a new technology developed by scientists at MIT and the University of California at Berkeley could provide a novel way of obtaining clean, fresh water almost anywhere on Earth, by drawing water directly from moisture in the air even in the driest of locations. Technologies exist for extracting water from very moist air, such as “fog harvesting” systems that have been deployed in a number of coastal locations. And there are very expensive ways of removing moisture from drier air. But the new method is the first that has potential for widespread use in virtually any location, regardless of humidity levels, the researchers say. They have developed a completely passive system that is based on a foam-like material that draws moisture into its pores and is powered entirely by solar heat. The findings are reported in the journal Science by a team including MIT associate professor of mechanical engineering Evelyn Wang, MIT postdoc Sameer Rao, graduate student Hyunho Kim, research scientists Sungwoo Yang and Shankar Narayanan (currently at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), and alumnus Ari Umans SM ’15. The Berkeley co-authors include graduate student Eugene Kapustin, project scientist Hiroyasu Furukawa, and professor of chemistry Omar Yaghi. Fog harvesting, which is being used in many countries including Chile and Morocco, requires very moist air, with a relative humidity of 100 percent, explains Wang, who is the Gail E. Kendall Professor at MIT. But such water-saturated air is only common in very limited regions. Another method of obtaining water in dry regions is called dew harvesting, in which a surface is chilled so that water will condense on it, as it does on the outside of a cold glass on a hot summer day, but it “is extremely energy intensive” to keep the surface cool, she says, and even then the method may not work at a relative humidity lower than about 50 percent. The new system does not have these limitations. For drier air than that, which is commonplace in arid regions around the world, no previous technology provided a practical way of getting water. “There are desert areas around the world with around 20 percent humidity,” where potable water is a pressing need, “but there really hasn’t been a technology available that could fill” that need, Wang says. The new system, by contrast, is “completely passive — all you need is sunlight,” with no need for an outside energy supply and no moving parts. In fact, the system doesn’t even require sunlight — all it needs is some source of heat, which could even be a wood fire. “There are a lot of places where there is biomass available to burn and where water is scarce,” Rao says. The key to the new system lies in the porous material itself, which is part of a family of compounds known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). Invented by Yaghi two decades ago, these compounds form a kind of sponge-like configuration with large internal surface areas. By tuning the exact chemical composition of the MOF these surfaces can be made hydrophilic, or water-attracting. The team found that when this material is placed between a top surface that is painted black to absorb solar heat, and a lower surface that is kept at the same temperature as the outside air, water is released from the pores as vapor and is naturally driven by the temperature and concentration difference to drip down as liquid and collect on the cooler lower surface. Tests showed that one kilogram (just over two pounds) of the material could collect about three quarts of fresh water per day, about enough to supply drinking water for one person, from very dry air with a humidity of just 20 percent. Such systems would only require attention a few times a day to collect the water, open the device to let in fresh air, and begin the next cycle. What’s more, MOFs can be made by combining many different metals with any of hundreds of organic compounds, yielding a virtually limitless variety of different compositions, which can be “tuned” to meet a particular need. So far more than 20,000 varieties of MOFs have been made. “By carefully designing this material, we can have surface properties that can absorb water very efficiently at 50 percent humidity, but with a different design, it can work at 30 percent,” says Kim. “By selecting the right materials, we can make it suitable for different conditions. Eventually we can harvest water from the entire spectrum” of water concentrations, he says. Yaghi, who is the founding director of the Berkeley Global Science Institute, says “One vision for the future is to have water off-grid, where you have a device at home running on ambient solar for delivering water that satisfies the needs of a household. … To me, that will be made possible because of this experiment. I call it personalized water.” While these initial experiments have proved that the concept can work, the team says there is more work to be done in refining the design and searching for even more effective varieties of MOFs. The present version can collect water up to about 25 percent of its own weight, but with further tuning they think that proportion could be at least doubled. “Wow, that is an amazing technology,” says Yang Yang, a professor of engineering at the University of California at Los Angeles, who was not involved in this work. “It will have a tremendous scientific and technical impact on renewable and sustainable resources, such as water and solar energy.” The work was supported in part by ARPA-E, a program of the U.S. Department of Energy.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: phys.org

The new CRISPR enzymes are variants of a CRISPR protein, Cas13a, which the UC Berkeley researchers reported last September in Nature could be used to detect specific sequences of RNA, such as from a virus. They showed that once CRISPR-Cas13a binds to its target RNA, it begins to indiscriminately cut up all RNA, easily cutting RNA linked to a reporter molecule, making it fluoresce to allow signal detection. Two teams of researchers at the Broad Institute subsequently paired CRISPR-Cas13a with RNA amplification, and showed that the system, which they dubbed SHERLOCK, could detect viral RNA at extremely low concentrations, detecting the presence of dengue and Zika viral RNA, for example. Such a system could be used to detect any type of RNA, including RNA distinctive of cancer cells. While the original Cas13a enzyme used by the UC Berkeley and Broad teams cuts RNA at one specific nucleic acid, uracil, three of the new Cas13a variants cut RNA at adenine. This difference allows simultaneous detection of two different RNA molecules, such as from two different viruses. "We have taken our foundational research a step further in finding other homologs of the Cas13a family that have different nucleotide preferences, enabling concurrent detection of different reporters with, say, a red and a green fluorescent signal, allowing a multiplexed enzymatic detection system," said first author Alexandra East-Seletsky, a UC Berkeley graduate student in the laboratory of Jennifer Doudna, one of the inventors of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool. East-Seletsky was also a co-first author of the September Nature paper. East-Seletsky, Doudna and their UC Berkeley colleagues will report their findings May 4 in the journal Molecular Cell. The CRISPR-Cas13a family, formerly referred to as CRISPR-C2c2, is related to CRISPR-Cas9, which is already revolutionizing biomedical research and treatment because of the ease of targeting it to unique DNA sequences to cut or edit. While the Cas9 protein cuts double-stranded DNA at specific sequences, the Cas13a protein - a nucleic acid-cutting enzyme referred to as a nuclease - latches onto specific RNA sequences, and not only cuts that specific RNA, but runs amok to cut and destroy all RNA present. "Think of binding between Cas13a and its RNA target as an on-off switch—target binding turns on the enzyme to go be a Pac-Man in the cell, chewing up all RNA nearby," East-Seletsky said. This RNA killing spree can kill the cell. In their September Nature paper, the UC Berkeley researchers argued that the Pac-Man activity of CRISPR-Cas13a is its main role in bacteria, aimed at killing infectious viruses or phages. As part of the immune system of some bacteria, it allows infected cells to commit suicide to save their sister microbes from infection. Similar non-CRISPR suicide systems exist in other bacteria. The UC Berkeley researchers subsequently searched databases of bacterial genomes and found 10 other Cas13a-like proteins, which they synthesized and studied to assess their ability to find and cut RNA. Of those, seven resembled the original Cas13a, while three differed in where they cut RNA. RNA, which serves many functions inside the cell, including as messenger RNA - working copies of DNA - consists of four different nucleotides: adenine, cytosine, guanine and uracil. "Building on our original work, we now show that it is possible to multiplex these enzymes together, extending the scope of the technology," East-Seletsky said. "There is so much diversity within the CRISPR-Cas13a family that can be utilized for many applications, including RNA detection." Doudna, a professor of molecular biology and of chemistry and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, noted that detection of infectious RNA may or may not require amplification, which is a complicated step. "Our intention is to develop the Cas13a family of enzymes for point-of-care diagnostics that are robust and simple to deploy", Doudna said.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: co.newswire.com

​​​​​​In May 2013, eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez died after months of abuse at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend. Gabriel’s teacher and others reported the abuse multiple times but social workers left the child in the home where he later died. In March 2017, an L.A. County judge ruled that social workers should stand trial on charges related to Gabriel’s death. Advokids, a California legal non-profit, is launching a statewide “Protect California Children” campaign (protectCAchildren.org) to educate California mandated reporters and the general public about action they can take when first-line defenses to protect children, such as the child abuse hotline, are ineffective. The campaign will coincide with National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April and will include media, social media and other educational outreach to teachers organizations, caregiver groups and the general public. Specifically, the legal tools available to escalate abuse and neglect concerns include a two-page JV-210 form, which triggers an immediate investigation by the Department of Social Services, and the JV-215 which automatically elevates a case to the juvenile court for review. Anyone in California who has concerns about a child is permitted to submit these forms and Advokids provides guidance on how to complete them. “Gabriel’s death is a rare, horrific example of how first-line-of-defense systems meant to protect our children failed,” Margaret Coyne, Executive Director of Advokids said. “Gabriel’s ongoing abuse and death could have been prevented if those reporting the abuse had known about these available forms, which were designed to prevent children like Gabriel from slipping through the cracks. Unfortunately training for mandated reporters does not include information about these critical advocacy tools.” According to the Administration for Children & Families, instances of reported child abuse in the United States are on the rise. Nearly 500,000 children were reported abused or neglected in California in 2016. (University of California at Berkeley California Child Welfare Indicators) “The number of children entering foster care is increasing and our social workers are overburdened. We all need to take responsibility for protecting vulnerable children, and these forms can be used by anyone—teachers, relatives, neighbors, caregivers—who has heightened concerns that abuse and neglect claims are not receiving the attention they deserve,” Coyne explained. For more information on how to get involved in the Protect California Children statewide campaign, contact Advokids at advocate@advokids.org. Advokids is the only legal non-profit that operates a telephone hotline (877.238.4543) providing free legal information and support  to anyone concerned about the well-being of a child in foster care or at risk of entering foster care in California. The organization is committed to protecting children from abuse, neglect and trauma by improving access to the juvenile courts and making sure that potentially life-saving information about children at risk is brought to the court’s attention. For more information, visit Advokids.org.


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

Dow Chemical is pushing the Trump administration to scrap the findings of federal scientists who point to a family of widely used pesticides as harmful to about 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species. Lawyers representing Dow, whose CEO also heads a White House manufacturing working group, and two other makers of organophosphates sent letters last week to the heads of three Cabinet agencies. The companies asked them "to set aside" the results of government studies the companies contend are fundamentally flawed. The letters, dated April 13, were obtained by The Associated Press. Dow Chemical chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris is a close adviser to President Donald Trump. The company wrote a $1 million check to help underwrite Trump's inaugural festivities. Over the last four years, government scientists have compiled an official record running more than 10,000 pages showing the three pesticides under review — chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion — pose a risk to nearly every endangered species they studied. Regulators at the three federal agencies, which share responsibilities for enforcing the Endangered Species Act, are close to issuing findings expected to result in new limits on how and where the highly toxic pesticides can be used. The industry's request comes after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced last month he was reversing an Obama-era effort to bar the use of Dow's chlorpyrifos pesticide on food after recent peer-reviewed studies found that even tiny levels of exposure could hinder the development of children's brains. In his prior job as Oklahoma's attorney general, Pruitt often aligned himself in legal disputes with the interests of executives and corporations who supported his state campaigns. He filed more than one dozen lawsuits seeking to overturn some of the same regulations he is now charged with enforcing. Pruitt declined to answer questions from reporters Wednesday as he toured a polluted Superfund site in Indiana. A spokesman for the agency later told AP that Pruitt won't "prejudge" any potential rule-making decisions as "we are trying to restore regulatory sanity to EPA's work." "We have had no meetings with Dow on this topic and we are reviewing petitions as they come in, giving careful consideration to sound science and good policymaking," said J.P. Freire, EPA's associate administrator for public affairs. "The administrator is committed to listening to stakeholders affected by EPA's regulations, while also reviewing past decisions." The office of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Natural Marine Fisheries Service, did not respond to emailed questions. A spokeswoman for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service, referred questions back to EPA. As with the recent human studies of chlorpyrifos, Dow hired its own scientists to produce a lengthy rebuttal to the government studies showing the risks posed to endangered species by organophosphates. The EPA's recent biological evaluation of chlorpyrifos found the pesticide is "likely to adversely affect" 1,778 of the 1,835 animals and plants accessed as part of its study, including critically endangered or threatened species of frogs, fish, birds and mammals. Similar results were shown for malathion and diazinon. In a statement, the Dow subsidiary that sells chlorpyrifos said its lawyers asked for the EPA's biological assessment to be withdrawn because its "scientific basis was not reliable." "Dow AgroSciences is committed to the production and marketing of products that will help American farmers feed the world, and do so with full respect for human health and the environment, including endangered and threatened species," the statement said. "These letters, and the detailed scientific analyses that support them, demonstrate that commitment." FMC Corp., which sells malathion, said the withdrawal of the EPA studies will allow the necessary time for the "best available" scientific data to be compiled. "Malathion is a critical tool in protecting agriculture from damaging pests," the company said. Diazinon maker Makhteshim Agan of North America Inc., which does business under the name Adama, did not respond to emails seeking comment. Environmental advocates were not surprised the companies might seek to forestall new regulations that might hurt their profits, but said Wednesday that criticism of the government's scientists was unfounded. The methods used to conduct EPA's biological evaluations were developed by the National Academy of Sciences. Brett Hartl, government affairs director for the Center for Biological Diversity, said Dow's experts were trying to hold EPA scientists to an unrealistic standard of data collection that could only be achieved under "perfect laboratory conditions." "You can't just take an endangered fish out of the wild, take it to the lab and then expose it to enough pesticides until it dies to get that sort of data," Hartl said. "It's wrong morally, and it's illegal." Originally derived from a nerve gas developed by Nazi Germany, chlorpyrifos has been sprayed on citrus fruits, apples, cherries and other crops for decades. It is among the most widely used agricultural pesticides in the United States, with Dow selling about 5 million pounds domestically each year. As a result, traces of the chemical are commonly found in sources of drinking water. A 2012 study at the University of California at Berkeley found that 87 percent of umbilical-cord blood samples tested from newborn babies contained detectable levels of chlorpyrifos. In 2005, the Bush administration ordered an end to residential use of diazinon to kill yard pests such as ants and grub worms after determining that it poses a human health risk, particularly to children. However it is still approved for use by farmers, who spray it on fruits and vegetables. Malathion is widely sprayed to control mosquitoes and fruit flies. It is also an active ingredient in some shampoos prescribed to children for treating lice. A coalition of environmental groups has fought in court for years to spur EPA to more closely examine the risk posed to humans and endangered species by pesticides, especially organophosphates. "Endangered species are the canary in the coal mine," Hartl said. Since many of the threatened species are aquatic, he said they are often the first to show the effects of long-term chemical contamination in rivers and lakes used as sources of drinking water by humans. Dow, which spent more than $13.6 million on lobbying in 2016, has long wielded substantial political power in the nation's capital. There is no indication the chemical giant's influence has waned. When Trump signed an executive order in February mandating the creation of task forces at federal agencies to roll back government regulations, Dow's chief executive was at Trump's side. "Andrew, I would like to thank you for initially getting the group together and for the fantastic job you've done," Trump said as he signed the order during an Oval Office ceremony. The president then handed his pen to Liveris to keep as a souvenir. Rachelle Schikorra, the director of public affairs for Dow Chemical, said any suggestion that the company's $1 million donation to Trump's inaugural committee was intended to help influence regulatory decisions made by the new administration is "completely off the mark." "Dow actively participates in policymaking and political processes, including political contributions to candidates, parties and causes, in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws," Schikorra said. "Dow maintains and is committed to the highest standard of ethical conduct in all such activity."


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: www.biosciencetechnology.com

Dow Chemical is pushing a Trump administration open to scrapping regulations to ignore the findings of federal scientists who point to a family of widely used pesticides as harmful to about 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species. Lawyers representing Dow, whose CEO is a close adviser to Trump, and two other manufacturers of organophosphates sent letters last week to the heads of three of Trump's Cabinet agencies. The companies asked them "to set aside" the results of government studies the companies contend are fundamentally flawed. Dow Chemical wrote a $1 million check to help underwrite Trump's inaugural festivities, and its chairman and CEO, Andrew Liveris, heads a White House manufacturing working group. The industry's request comes after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced last month he was reversing an Obama-era effort to bar the use of Dow's chlorpyrifos pesticide on food after recent peer-reviewed studies found that even tiny levels of exposure could hinder the development of children's brains. In his prior job as Oklahoma's attorney general, Pruitt often aligned himself in legal disputes with the interests of executives and corporations who supported his state campaigns. He filed more than a dozen lawsuits seeking to overturn some of the same regulations he is now charged with enforcing. Pruitt declined to answer questions from reporters Wednesday as he toured a polluted Superfund site in Indiana. A spokesman for the agency later told AP that Pruitt won't "prejudge" any potential rule-making decisions as "we are trying to restore regulatory sanity to EPA's work." The letters to Cabinet heads, dated April 13, were obtained by The Associated Press. As with the recent human studies of chlorpyrifos, Dow hired its own scientists to produce a lengthy rebuttal to the government studies. Over the past four years, government scientists have compiled an official record running more than 10,000 pages indicating the three pesticides under review - chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion - pose a risk to nearly every endangered species they studied. Regulators at the three federal agencies, which share responsibilities for enforcing the Endangered Species Act, are close to issuing findings expected to result in new limits on how and where the highly toxic pesticides can be used. "We have had no meetings with Dow on this topic and we are reviewing petitions as they come in, giving careful consideration to sound science and good policymaking," said J.P. Freire, EPA's associate administrator for public affairs. "The administrator is committed to listening to stakeholders affected by EPA's regulations, while also reviewing past decisions." The office of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Natural Marine Fisheries Service, did not respond to emailed questions. A spokeswoman for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service, referred questions back to EPA. The EPA's recent biological evaluation of chlorpyrifos found the pesticide is "likely to adversely affect" 1,778 of the 1,835 animals and plants accessed as part of its study, including critically endangered or threatened species of frogs, fish, birds and mammals. Similar results were shown for malathion and diazinon. In a statement, the Dow subsidiary that sells chlorpyrifos said its lawyers asked for the EPA's biological assessment to be withdrawn because its "scientific basis was not reliable." "Dow AgroSciences is committed to the production and marketing of products that will help American farmers feed the world, and do so with full respect for human health and the environment, including endangered and threatened species," the statement said. "These letters, and the detailed scientific analyses that support them, demonstrate that commitment." FMC Corp., which sells malathion, said the withdrawal of the EPA studies would allow the necessary time for the "best available" scientific data to be compiled. "Malathion is a critical tool in protecting agriculture from damaging pests," the company said. Diazinon maker Makhteshim Agan of North America Inc., which does business under the name Adama, did not respond to emails seeking comment. Environmental advocates said Wednesday that criticism of the government's scientists was unfounded. The methods used to conduct EPA's biological evaluations were developed by the National Academy of Sciences. Brett Hartl, government affairs director for the Center for Biological Diversity, said Dow's experts were trying to hold EPA scientists to an unrealistic standard of data collection that could only be achieved under "perfect laboratory conditions." "You can't just take an endangered fish out of the wild, take it to the lab and then expose it to enough pesticides until it dies to get that sort of data," Hartl said. "It's wrong morally, and it's illegal." Organophosphorus gas was originally developed as a chemical weapon by Nazi Germany. Dow has been selling Chlorpyrifos for spraying on citrus fruits, apples, cherries and other crops since the 1960s. It is among the most widely used agricultural pesticides in the United States, with Dow selling about 5 million pounds domestically each year. As a result, traces of the chemical are commonly found in sources of drinking water. A 2012 study at the University of California at Berkeley found that 87 percent of umbilical-cord blood samples tested from newborn babies contained detectable levels of chlorpyrifos. In 2005, the Bush administration ordered an end to residential use of diazinon to kill yard pests such as ants and grub worms after determining that it poses a human health risk, particularly to children. However it is still approved for use by farmers, who spray it on fruits and vegetables. Malathion is widely sprayed to control mosquitoes and fruit flies. It is also an active ingredient in some shampoos prescribed to children for treating lice. A coalition of environmental groups has fought in court for years to spur EPA to more closely examine the risk posed to humans and endangered species by pesticides, especially organophosphates. "Endangered species are the canary in the coal mine," Hartl said. Since many of the threatened species are aquatic, he said they are often the first to show the effects of long-term chemical contamination in rivers and lakes used as sources of drinking water by humans. Dow, which spent more than $13.6 million on lobbying in 2016, has long wielded substantial political power in the nation's capital. There is no indication the chemical giant's influence has waned. When Trump signed an executive order in February mandating the creation of task forces at federal agencies to roll back government regulations, Dow's chief executive was at Trump's side. "Andrew, I would like to thank you for initially getting the group together and for the fantastic job you've done," Trump said as he signed the order during an Oval Office ceremony. The president then handed his pen to Liveris to keep as a souvenir. Rachelle Schikorra, the director of public affairs for Dow Chemical, said any suggestion that the company's $1 million donation to Trump's inaugural committee was intended to help influence regulatory decisions is "completely off the mark." "Dow actively participates in policymaking and political processes, including political contributions to candidates, parties and causes, in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws," Schikorra said. "Dow maintains and is committed to the highest standard of ethical conduct in all such activity."


News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Political commentator Ann Coulter speaks during the "Politicon" convention in Pasadena, California, U.S. June 25, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon BERKELEY, Calif. (Reuters) - Conservative commentator Ann Coulter said she had scrapped plans to speak on Thursday at the University of California at Berkeley in defiance of campus officials, who had barred her original engagement this week out of concerns about inciting violent protests. Coulter, one America's best-known and most polarizing pundits on the political right, cast blame on conservative student organizers who withdrew their invitation following their dispute with university officials. "There will be no speech," Coulter wrote in an email to Reuters on Wednesday. "I looked over my shoulder and my allies had joined the other team. "I have no sponsor, no lawyer, no court order," she said. "I can't vindicate constitutional rights on my own." Coulter is the second right-wing speaker whose Berkeley appearance was scrubbed over security concerns. In February protesters started fires, broke windows and clashed with police, forcing Milo Yiannopoulos, then a senior editor for the conservative Breitbart News website, to call off his appearance. Coulter said she might still visit Berkeley, long a bastion of liberal student activism, to meet with supporters on Thursday, the day she was originally slated to speak, but would not deliver an address on campus. Social media feeds of militant left-wing and right-wing activists remained abuzz with vows to proceed with the demonstrations and counter-demonstrations that had been expected to accompany a Coulter appearance. Campus officials said they were continuing to brace for unrest they see as likely on Thursday. "Many of the individuals and organizations which planned to protest Ann Coulter's appearance or support it still intend to come to campus," UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said. He said the Berkeley College Republicans erred by inviting Coulter without notifying campus officials in advance, as is required of all student groups, and failing to submit to a "security assessment" to determine a suitable time and place for the event. He denied that Coulter was unwelcome because of her political positions. University officials last week rejected the original Coulter date on grounds they lacked a safe campus venue to host her speech on that day, citing the violence by left-wing protesters over Yiannopoulos' scheduled appearance. The university later proposed that Coulter's speech be moved to next Tuesday. Coulter said she could not make it then and accused the school of trying to limit her audience by choosing a date that fell in a study week ahead of final exams. After insisting she would go through with her speech on Thursday, with or without university approval, Coulter changed her mind as support from student organizers collapsed. College Republicans spokesman Naweed Tahmas accused university officials of "refusing to ensure the safety of all students" and thus infringing on free-speech rights, as claimed in a lawsuit that sponsors of the event filed in federal court on Tuesday.


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

A talk by right-wing commentator Ann Coulter at the University of California at Berkeley has been scrapped as her safety could not be assured by the university (AFP Photo/Alberto E. Rodriguez) Los Angeles (AFP) - The University of California at Berkeley appears headed for a showdown with right-wing commentator Ann Coulter after her planned appearance at the school was canceled over security concerns. The decision to shelve her April 27 talk at the famously progressive campus came days after opponents and supporters of President Donald Trump clashed in the city. It also echoed a similar cancellation in February of a planned speech at the university by a right-wing provocateur and former Brietbart editor, Milo Yiannopoulos, following violent protests. For more news videos visit Yahoo View, available now on iOS and Android. Coulter reacted angrily to the cancellation on Wednesday, saying in a series of tweets that it amounted to censorship and vowing nonetheless to show up at Berkeley as scheduled. "I am! At Berkeley next Thursday," she said in one tweet. She added in another post that she had instructed the Republican student group that invited her "to spare no expense in renting my speaking venue - part of my legal damages." A spokesman for the university told AFP the school's College Republicans were informed late Tuesday that the event with Coulter had to be scrapped as the safety of the firebrand conservative commentator and the public could not be assured. "Unfortunately, (campus police) determined that, given currently active security threats, it is not possible to assure that the event could be held successfully," according to a letter sent to the student group. University spokesman Dan Mogulof said concern about security during the event mounted last week after posters appeared on the walls of campus buildings threatening disruptions. He added that "targeted threats" on two websites had also been discovered. Last weekend, Berkeley was the scene of fights between pro- and anti-Trump demonstrators that led to at least 21 people being arrested. Mogulof said campus police had learned that some of the groups that took part in those clashes "planned to target the appearance of Ann Coulter on campus." The recent unrest has put the spotlight on the university, known as the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s. The Washington Post quoted Coulter as saying that the university had tried to pressure her to cancel her speech by "imposing ridiculous demands" and that she had agreed to all their "silly" requirements. She told the paper that her speech was to focus on immigration, the subject of one of her books. "They just up and announced that I was prohibited from speaking anyway," she was quoted as saying. "I feel like the Constitution is important, and that taxpayer-supported universities should not be using public funds to violate American citizens’ constitutional rights." Mogulof said the university hoped to be able to reschedule Coulter's appearance some time in September, after identifying an appropriate venue and working out security arrangements. University officials said although the student organization that invited Coulter was independent and was free to welcome whoever they wished at Berkeley, the campus was responsible "for ensuring safety and security during such events." "In the wake of events surrounding the planned appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos in February, as well as several riots which have occurred in recent weeks in the city of Berkeley, we have increased our scrutiny regarding the time and location of high-profile speakers so that these events can go forward unimpeded," the letter sent to the group said. Members of the student organization could not be reached for comment.


News Article | May 2, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

Schnur comes to AJC after a career in communications and advocacy in California and national politics, and, more recently, teaching at the University of Southern California and the University of California – Berkeley. "I am honored to head the AJC Los Angeles office, to work with leaders in our community to build and strengthen relationships with those who share our core principles," said Schnur. "I have spent years building support for the causes and issues that are most important to me, but nothing is more vital than the values that form the pillars of the Jewish community." Since 2004, Schnur has taught politics, communications and leadership at the University of Southern California. He has been Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, founder of the USC/LA Times statewide political poll, and faculty advisor to the Trojans for Israel and SC Students for Israel organizations. In addition to his position at USC, Schnur is an Adjunct Instructor at the University of California at Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies. He also has held the post of Visiting Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government's Institute of Politics at Harvard University and taught an advanced course in political campaign communications at George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management. Earlier in his career, Schnur spent nearly 20 years in state and national politics, working on four presidential campaigns and three campaigns for governor of California. He served as chairman of the California Fair Political Practice Commission, communications director for Governor Pete Wilson, and for Senator John McCain's 2000 presidential campaign. In 2011, Schnur changed his party registration to No Party Preference. In recent years, he has been involved with AJC Los Angeles, serving on its Board of Directors and Executive Committee. AJC, a non-partisan organization founded in 1906, has headquarters in New York, 22 offices across the U.S, 10 around the world, and 34 international partnerships with overseas Jewish communities and student organizations. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dan-schnur-named-director-of-ajc-los-angeles-300449705.html


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: co.newswire.com

TFC Financial Management (TFC), an independent, majority employee-owned registered investment advisory and financial planning firm founded in 1980, has announced its next generation of leadership. Renée Kwok, CFP®, who joined the firm in 1991 and became president in 2005, will also serve the firm as Chief Executive Officer. James L. Joslin, co-founder of TFC, from whom Kwok takes the CEO mantle, will remain as the firm’s Chairman. Daniel S. Kern, CFA®, CFP®, who joined TFC in 2015 as Chief Investment Strategist, becomes the Chief Investment Officer and is also now a shareholder. TFC provides fee-only financial advisory and investment management services for high-net-worth individuals, couples and families, as well as strategic planning and endowment asset management services for boards of non-profit entities. The firm has been serving many of the same families since its inception and is continuing on with 2nd generation and even 3rd generation family members. TFC has nearly four decades of experience advising clients successfully through transitions such as career changes, retirement, divorce, death of a family member, and sales of closely held businesses. The firm has also guided its first generation of clients through the challenges of aging and cognitive decline. Recognizing that the next generation – the children and grandchildren of current clients – may feel more comfortable developing a long-term relationship with their peers, the firm continues to add and develop younger financial advisors. “Regardless of the outcome of the debate and ultimate legislation of the DOL Fiduciary Rule, we have always served our clients as fiduciaries, ensuring that their best interests come first,” said Kwok. “As a truly independent firm, we are free to recommend strategies that we believe will help meet our clients’ long-term financial goals. Our clients know that we will provide them the most objective advice and direct, personal attention. Quite simply, that is our client retention strategy.” Kwok began her financial career as an investment analyst at Asian Oceanic Limited, a Hong Kong-based merchant bank. She later served as a security analyst for the Putnam Companies and immediately prior to joining TFC was a consultant for a fee-based planning and investment company that served health care professionals. Her interest in joining TFC was based, in large part, on a professional desire to serve as a fiduciary, fee-only financial advisor to clients and their families. Kwok holds a BA from Middlebury College, is fluent in Chinese and serves on the Family Advisory Council of Cradles to Crayons. Prior to joining TFC, Kern was president and CIO of a California-based boutique asset management firm that manages equities and asset allocation for advisors, financial institutions and family offices. He is the former head of asset allocation for Charles Schwab Investment Management, where he managed approximately $3.5 billion of assets, and was a Managing Director/Principal at Montgomery Asset Management. Kern has a BA in economics from Brandeis University and MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. He is a Trustee for Green Century Funds. He has been widely quoted on market and investment topics in a wide range of both industry and consumer publications and is currently a regular contributor to US News & World Report. TFC has been recognized as a leading independent registered investment advisor by both Financial Planning magazine (included among 2016 Top Registered Investment Advisors*) and by the Financial Times (included among 2015 Top 300 Registered Investment Advisors**).  Kwok has been named by Boston Magazine as a Five Star Wealth Manager*** in four of the past six years. Both Kwok and Kern speak frequently on a variety of wealth management and investment topics for both industry and professional groups, including the Massachusetts Association of Women Lawyers, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., Wellesley College, the Financial Planning Association, and the Tiburon CEO Summit. For more information on the firm’s services, or to engage Renée Kwok or Dan Kern as a speaker, visit www.tfcfinancial.com or call 617-210-6700 to speak with them directly. TFC Financial Management is an independent, fee-only, registered investment advisory firm in Boston, MA, that manages approximately $890 million in client assets and provides comprehensive personal financial advice.  Founded in 1980 by a group of financial professionals including James Joslin, CFP®, and Frederick Pryor, the firm serves high-net-worth individuals, couples and families, and also provides strategic consulting and asset management to nonprofit organizations. Registration with the SEC should not be construed as an endorsement or an indicator of investment skill, acumen or experience.  Investments in securities are not insured, protected or guaranteed and may result in loss of income and/or principal. * The Financial Planning rankings are based upon the total discretionary and nondiscretionary assets under management listed on Form ADV. The rankings list comprises only independent, fee-only advisory firms, excluding firms with broker/dealer and insurance company affiliations as well as those with substantial outside ownership. In order to capture firms that provide financial advice to individuals, only advisory firms that maintain a client base that consists of at least 50 percent “individual clients” are included. ** The formula the FT uses to grade advisers is based on six broad factors and calculates a numeric score for each adviser. Areas of consideration include adviser AUM (based on SEC ADV reported assets greater than $300 million), asset growth, the company’s age, industry certifications of key employees, SEC compliance record, and online accessibility. *** Boston magazine and Five Star Professional partnered to find wealth managers who satisfy 10 objective eligibility and evaluation criteria.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

Gary loved and took great joy in his family. He and his wife, Kathleen "Cab" Rogers, were married for 52 years and watched their four sons Andy, Matt, Brian and John, marry and have children of their own. His eleven grandchildren will dearly miss their Bwana, the name they called him which means 'headman' in Swahili. Gary is also survived by his mother, Virginia, and brothers, Don and Jim. "The joy in life is in the journey." Gary Rogers passed away doing what he loved, playing tennis at his home in Oakland, California, on May 2, 2017. Gary was the chairman and CEO of Oakland-based Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, Inc., for 30 years. He also served as a former chairman of Safeway Inc., the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and Levi Strauss & Co. Gary was born in Stockton, California, in 1942 and spent his youth in Marin County. A distinguished Eagle Scout, he attributed much of his personal character to his experiences as a Boy Scout, as an oarsman on the crew at UC Berkeley, and his family's deeply-held values of integrity and honor. In 1963, he graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He was named UC Berkeley All University Athlete that same year and rowed in the 1964 U.S. Olympic Trials. In the summer of 1964, Gary married Kathleen "Cab" Tuck, whom he met while working on staff at the UC Berkeley Alumni Association Tahoe Alumni Center. Gary spent the mid-sixties serving a two-year term in the Army as a Lieutenant in the Air Defense Artillery based on Mount Tamalpais. In 1968, he earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and was honored as a George F. Baker Scholar. At 34, Gary and his business partner William F. "Rick" Cronk purchased Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream a small regional ice cream company based in Oakland, California. For the next 30 years, Gary served as Chairman and CEO of Dreyer's, and together with Rick, built Dreyer's into the best-selling ice cream company in the United States. Gary often said the building of the Dreyer's corporate culture was "the best thing we ever did at the company." It was a culture based on empowerment; respecting and trusting in the abilities of each individual. Every person felt a personal responsibility to "make a difference." It made Dreyer's a coveted place to work. In 2002, Dreyer's was sold to Nestle. Gary also served as Chairman of Levi Strauss & Co., the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and Safeway Inc. He was also a director of Shorenstein Properties, Stanislaus Food Products and the University of California San Francisco Medical Center. He founded and chaired the Oakland Dialogue, a group of East Bay political, educational, and business leaders. Gary was inducted into the Bay Area Business Hall of Fame, was named Harvard Business School Business Leader of the Year, and received the Wharton Business School Joseph Wharton Award. He has also received the University of California Bear of the Year Award. Gary was the primary benefactor of the University of California Cal Crew Forever Endowment Fund, the T. Gary Rogers Rowing Center, and the California Rowing Club for elite post-graduate oarsmen.  He was also a member of the High Performance Olympic Committee of U.S. Rowing. He held numerous public service leadership positions and was the benefactor of the Rogers Family Foundation, which supports the University of California, education and activities for youth in Oakland and the East Bay, Bay Area hospitals, and bioscience research and innovation organizations. Gary lived "The Spirit of Adventure." His passion for travel took him all over the world – to both the North and South Poles, the plains of the Serengeti, and the Amazon jungle. He sought out challenges and fought fiercely to overcome them, living by the motto, "There is no such thing as can't; there is only won't." Gary loved and took great joy in his family. He and his wife, Kathleen "Cab" Rogers were married for 52 years and they watched their four sons Andy, Matt, Brian and John, marry and have children of their own. His eleven grandchildren will dearly miss their Bwana, the name they called him which means 'headman' in Swahili. Gary is also survived by his mother, Virginia, and brothers, Don and Jim. "The joy in life is in the journey." Gary is survived by his wife, Kathleen "Cab" Rogers; mother Virginia Rogers (age 102); brothers Don (Judy) and Jim (Sandy) Rogers; sons Andy Rogers (Janine), Matt Rogers (Amy), Brian Rogers (Katie), and John Rogers (Lynnsay); and eleven grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that Gary's legacy be recognized through donation to these worthy organizations: An outdoor memorial service will be held at the T. Gary Rogers Rowing Center on Monday, May 15 at 11:00 AM. T. Gary Rogers Rowing Center, 2999 Glascock St., Oakland, California. More information will be available on the Rogers Family Foundation website: www.rogersfoundation.org To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/rogers-family-statement-on-the-passing-of-t-gary-rogers-300451801.html


News Article | April 15, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — If Arkansas succeeds in executing multiple inmates by the end of the month, despite several setbacks in court, it will show that states have found an effective way of repelling some legal challenges that have thwarted or delayed executions in recent years. Arkansas and at least a dozen other states with the death penalty have been keeping secret how and where they are getting the lethal drugs for their death chambers — information that had long been publicly available. The secrecy has helped blunt legal challenges over the lethal injection drugs, which states have had trouble obtaining in recent years because manufacturers don't want their drugs used in executions. In recent rulings, state and federal courts across the country have upheld the legality of the new secrecy laws, despite opponents' complaints. "These secrecy statutes are extremely effective at preventing challenges to execution procedures," said Megan McCracken, an attorney at the University of California at Berkeley Law School's Death Penalty Clinic. With its new secrecy law, approved in 2015, Arkansas will be able to resume executions, which had been blocked since 2005 by legal obstacles and drug shortages. In 2011, the state lost a source of sodium thiopental, a sedative then used, disrupting the process. Arkansas had hoped to execute eight inmates in 11 days, starting with two on Monday, because its supply of one of the three drugs it uses in executions will expire at the end of the month. Whether it will be able to execute anyone is uncertain, though. Courts granted stays to two of the eight inmates before a federal judge ordered a halt to all of them Saturday, leading the state to quickly appeal. Also unclear is whether the secrecy will make it easier long-term to obtain the lethal drugs needed, as states hope. Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the secrecy law helped Arkansas find its new supplies, but officials won't say how. It was not known whether a supplier provided drugs confidentially or, as one medical supplier claimed, whether the state might have diverted drugs that were intended for medical purposes. Three pharmaceutical companies have also objected to their products being used in Arkansas' planned executions. "I don't think we would have acquired the drugs that we have without that confidentiality agreement," Hutchinson said. The American Pharmacists Association has discouraged its members from providing drugs for executions. Numerous executions have been placed in legal limbo in recent years after challenges based on the source of the drugs. Information about the drug's supply chain and handling is essential to ensure that inmates won't be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, said Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes capital punishment. Details about production and transportation of drugs "are vitally relevant to the execution process," Dunham said. But the states argued that the difficulty didn't come from problems revealed in the drugs' handling, but from public protests directed at manufacturers and suppliers for assisting executions. They said secrecy is needed to protect suppliers from threats or retaliation. State courts have also upheld secrecy laws in Arkansas, Georgia and Oklahoma, and the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Arizona's drug secrecy in a 2014 case. A media advocacy group and the American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday asked Missouri's highest court to settle whether the state's prison system must reveal its execution drugs. "At this juncture, plaintiffs have failed to present a persuasive case for the proposition that source knowledge is necessary to mount a meaningful, much less comprehensive, challenge to Ohio's execution protocol," U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost wrote in his 2015 ruling upholding Ohio's drug secrecy efforts. Arkansas set such a crammed execution schedule because its supply of one of its three execution drugs, midazolam, expires at the end of the month. The sedative has been used in botched executions in other states. Although Arkansas found sources for its three execution drugs, it took 12 days to obtain a new supply of vecuronium bromide and 67 days to replace its potassium chloride supply.


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

GFAA President and CEO Judy Holm states, "This is an exciting period of growth for our program, and I am honored to introduce an exceptional new Judge and launch the Executive Committee of our Advisory Board. The Executive Committee includes sixteen extremely diverse, talented and experienced individuals- ensuring the future success of GFAA." The Global Fine Art Awards program welcomes Savita Apte as a new GFAA Judge. She is an Art Historian specializing in Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art and has been actively involved in South Asian art since 1989. She holds a postgraduate diploma in Asian Art and a Masters in Post War and Contemporary Art and her doctoral thesis is on the Progressive Artists Group and Modernism in India. In 1995 she joined Sotheby’s as their consultant expert for Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art, for their auctions in London and New York and was instrumental in setting up the Sotheby’s Prize for contemporary Indian art. In 2009, she was the co respondent for the 53rd Venice Biennale, responsible for curating South Asian and Middle Eastern artists at the Arsenale. Also in 2009 she was an associate of the Serpentine Gallery for the show Indian Highway that toured around Europe and China. Ms. Apte is a founder director of Art Dubai and is on the advisory board of the Asia Art Archive, AlSerkal Avenue and Para Site; in addition to being on the board of Khoj. In 2009, Apte formulated The Abraaj Group Art Prize, which helped focus international attention on art production, curation and art writing from the MENASA region. Until 2016 she served as the Chair of the Prize. This year’s returning GFAA judges are Dean Phelus (American Alliance of Museums, Washington, D.C.); James M. Bradburne (Pinacoteca di Brera and Biblioteca Braidense, Milan); Joe Lin-Hill (Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo) and Gina Costa (independent art historian and curator, Director for marketing and public relations at the Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, Chicago). To further the leadership scope of the GFAA Advisory Board, GFAA introduces its Executive Committee, comprised of sixteen distinguished individuals who are highly dedicated to the future growth of the program. New additions to the GFAA team, also serving key Committee Chair positions include: Kimberly Lin, GFAA Art Research Committee Chair Ms. Lin received a BA in Art History with an emphasis on modern and contemporary art from the University of California at Berkeley. In addition, she has a degree in fashion design from the Los Angeles campus at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and completed the program in Post War Contemporary Art at Sotheby's in London. She worked at Art Network Services in Tokyo for Japanese corporate and private clients and helped to bring live art auctions to Tokyo via satellite. A native and current resident of Palo Alto, California, Ms. Lin also lived in New York, London and Tokyo. Bill Peters, GFAA Finance Committee Chair Mr. Peters is Managing Director with Jones Lang LaSalle’s New York Corporate Services group, previously Managing Director at the Staubach Company. He is a thirty year veteran of the financial and commercial real estate industries, with areas of expertise that include a focus on technology firms and the financial services industry. Prior, Mr. Peters worked in the investment management sector, with positions as Financial Consultant at Merrill Lynch, Lebenthal & Co., and Drexel Burnham Lambert. He is a New York native, and holds a BA in Business and Economics from Gettysburg College. About the GFAA Program The GFAA program honors innovation and excellence in exhibition design, historical context, educational value, and public appeal. The program’s mission is to develop interest and passion for fine art, and to further its educational role in society. GFAA is the first annual program ever created to recognize the best curated art and design exhibitions and installations worldwide. This program includes exhibitions in museums, galleries, art fairs and biennials, as well as public installations. The Mission The mission of GFAA is to elevate the importance and relevancy of fine art in the world today: economically, socially, and culturally. GFAA endeavors to be world renowned as the premier art and design award program. The Research and Nominating Process A broad set of criteria is utilized to research and assess prospective nominees, with continuous review of over 50 sources of print and online art editorial and critiques. Through these sources, more than 200 museums and 2,000 exhibitions are vetted each year as well as extensive exhibition viewing around the world. In addition to research-based nominations, GFAA accepts open calls from museums, biennials, fairs, galleries and other art organizations. Individual patrons may nominate their favorite exhibitions as well. Open Call Nominations will be accepted via Submittable from May 1 through Jun 10, 2017. Any individual or institution may submit exhibition(s) for consideration by the GFAA Judges. The timeframe for eligibility this year was for exhibitions and installations opening between Aug 1, 2016 and Jul 31, 2017. The basic criteria for eligibility is that each nominated exhibit or installation must be curated. The Nominating Committee reviews the slate prepared by the Art Research Committee, and presents their recommendations for final approvals by the Judges. The Judges review, modify and select the final slate of Nominees, then vote on the Finalists and Winners. The Judging Process and Award Categories The GFAA Judges will select the winners in 13 award categories: Contemporary and Post-War Art (solo artist and group/theme); Impressionist and Modern Art (solo artist and group/theme); Renaissance, Baroque, Old Masters and Dynasties (solo artist and group/theme); Ancient Art; Public Art; Design; Photography; Fringe; Global Planet (new in 2017) and Global Humanity (new in 2017). In addition to the juried awards, “Youniversal,” recognizes the best exhibition of the year as determined by public vote from people across the globe, which all nominees are eligible to win. Voting takes place in the fall. To expand the digital presence of GFAA further, a second public award was added in 2016: YOU-2. The Top 10 Nominees, based on the Youniversal votes, are eligible for this Twitter-based award. Media, Arts, Educational & Cultural Partners The program is flourishing with the continued support and partnership of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), other important arts organizations, educational and media partners including: Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), Family Office Elite Magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, Fractured Atlas, Frieze London and Frieze Masters, Traveling Exhibits Network, Vastari. Corporate Sponsors Aon/Huntington T. Block Insurance Agency, Inc., ARIS Title Insurance Corporation, Baccarat Hotel, Crowell & Moring LLP, Galerie LeLong, Galleria Farina, Goihman Group of Douglas Elliman, K&L Gates LLP, Pryor Cashman LLP, Kwittken Communications, Vastari Group, Wiggin and Dana LLP


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

In the last decade, the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, one of the world’s most powerful telescopes, has spent hours staring at the night sky in search of exoplanets and accumulating huge amounts of data about potential new worlds elsewhere in the Milky Way. But maybe, Nate Tellis wondered, Keck might have picked up something else along the way. Somewhere in all that data, could there be a signal from an intelligent civilization trying to reach Earth? Tellis is a scientist at the University of California at Berkeley, where, as his LinkedIn biography puts it, he spends his days “trawling” astronomy datasets for statistical deviations, trying to figure out whether they’re actually extraterrestrial pings. He searches particularly for laser light, powerful pulses of photons that could be as short as a nanosecond. Tellis, along with astronomer Geoff Marcy, recently dug into the Keck archives for data from 5,600 stars, observed between 2004 and 2016. Tellis and Marcy built a laser-detecting computer algorithm to comb through all that recorded starlight—and the result, detailed in a recent study in the Astronomical Journal, is the largest survey of its kind in the field of optical-based searches for extraterrestrial life. Recommended: America Can’t Do Much About North Korea It didn’t find anything. So far, this has been par for the course when it comes to the search for extraterrestrial life, better known by the shorthand SETI. Astronomers first began using telescopes to look for potential alien communication in 1960, and they have been met with silence ever since. “I think when you’re doing a SETI project, it’s very important not to get discouraged by a null detection,” Tellis said. “SETI has been in process for about 60 years, and it’s been non-detection after non-detection after non-detection.” Astronomers and engineers have spent that time developing more powerful technology to conduct SETI surveys. The majority of SETI searches have relied on radio telescopes, which scour the skies for signals in the radio and microwave parts of the light spectrum. In the 1960s, “lasers were new, tricky, low-power devices; by contrast, radio technology had been developing for decades and was relatively mature,” according to a history from the SETI group at Harvard. These days, lasers can outshine the sun, albeit in tiny pulses. But a tiny pulse—preferably more than one, to prove it’s not a fluke—is all it would take for a distant, advanced civilization to tell Earth “hey, we’re here!” If humans can get really good at sending radio and laser signals, the reasoning goes, maybe intelligent civilizations beyond Earth can, too—and then send them our way. Unlike radio SETI, optical SETI looks for signals in the visible portion of the light spectrum. Lasers travel well over galactic distances. The light, concentrated into a narrow beam that can be 10 times as bright as the sun, would experience less interference from interstellar dust and gas than radio waves might. Laser emissions are also capable of carrying massive amounts of information. The network of cables at the bottom of the ocean is a collection of pulses of light, firing at high frequencies to transmit digital data and bring us the internet. The dataset Tellis used for his study contained thousands of observations of stars as young as 200 million years and stars as old as nearly 10 billion years. Keck’s instruments collected millions of photons of light from these stars. What Tellis and his algorithm looked for were brief surges in photons. The first run of the data reported 5,000 potential candidates for mysterious laser beams, but they were eventually ruled out, explained away as emissions from stars’ outer layers, cosmic rays from our sun, or internal reflections from telescope instruments. Tellis got some firsthand Keck time to observe at least one target, KIC 8462852, a star about 1,500 light-years from Earth. In 2015, astronomers announced the Kepler space telescope had observed an unusual dimming of its light, which some believe could be caused by structures built by an advanced civilization around the star. The light emission observed from KIC 8462852 was the best candidate for an alien laser beam in the survey before it was ruled out. The results may not have been surprising, but the method is noteworthy, says Jason Wright, an astronomer at Penn State University who contributed to some of the software code Tellis and Marcy used in the study. Recycling astronomical datasets that were produced for another purpose is pretty unusual, but it makes sense. There is strong competition among astronomers for observation time on the world’s best telescopes, and SETI proposals are usually low on the priority list. “If you proposed to do a laser SETI study on Keck with thousands of hours, there’s nobody that will let you do it,” Wright said. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of astronomical datasets sitting around, waiting for a second look. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, even in the search for life in the universe. Tellis, Wright said, “was digging through all the trash in case someone threw out a diamond.” Tellis’s survey, like all SETI surveys, has its limitations. The data examined only some types of stars, in a specific wavelength range, and in Earth’s cosmic neighborhood. The telescope may not have been able to detect signals that were too faint or too bright, and too far away. Optical SETI also depends on something beyond our control: a laser beam must first be aimed at Earth for it to be detected. Imagine another life-form on a distant world conducting the same kind of search, Tellis said. “If we had pointed our telescope at Earth at sort of the distance that we’ve been doing here, we wouldn’t have seen us,” he said, because Earth is not firing a laser beam into the universe as a beacon of its existence. Other worlds may not be, either. “Every single one of those stars could have a New York City, a Paris, a London, and we would have no idea,” Tellis said. Read more from The Atlantic: The Easter Egg Roll and the Bygone Era of White House Openness Will Tesla Do to Cars What Apple Did to Smartphones? This article was originally published on The Atlantic.


Wang I.J.,University of California at Berkeley | Bradburd G.S.,University of California at Davis
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2014

The interactions between organisms and their environments can shape distributions of spatial genetic variation, resulting in patterns of isolation by environment (IBE) in which genetic and environmental distances are positively correlated, independent of geographic distance. IBE represents one of the most important patterns that results from the ways in which landscape heterogeneity influences gene flow and population connectivity, but it has only recently been examined in studies of ecological and landscape genetics. Nevertheless, the study of IBE presents valuable opportunities to investigate how spatial heterogeneity in ecological processes, agents of selection and environmental variables contributes to genetic divergence in nature. New and increasingly sophisticated studies of IBE in natural systems are poised to make significant contributions to our understanding of the role of ecology in genetic divergence and of modes of differentiation both within and between species. Here, we describe the underlying ecological processes that can generate patterns of IBE, examine its implications for a wide variety of disciplines and outline several areas of future research that can answer pressing questions about the ecological basis of genetic diversity. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Raulet D.H.,University of California at Berkeley | Gasser S.,National University of Singapore | Gowen B.G.,University of California at Berkeley | Deng W.,University of California at Berkeley | Jung H.,University of California at Berkeley
Annual Review of Immunology | Year: 2013

NKG2D is an activating receptor expressed by all NK cells and subsets of T cells. It serves as a major recognition receptor for detection and elimination of transformed and infected cells and participates in the genesis of several inflammatory diseases. The ligands for NKG2D are self-proteins that are induced by pathways that are active in certain pathophysiological states. NKG2D ligands are regulated transcriptionally, at the level of mRNA and protein stability, and by cleavage from the cell surface. In some cases, ligand induction can be attributed to pathways that are activated specifically in cancer cells or infected cells. We review the numerous pathways that have been implicated in the regulation of NKG2D ligands, discuss the pathologic states in which those pathways are likely to act, and attempt to synthesize the findings into general schemes of NKG2D ligand regulation in NK cell responses to cancer and infection. © Copyright 2013 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 36.32K | Year: 2016

This project will put in place a new network of scholars and policy-makers who will explore innovations in theory and practice that recover the research methods of the Arts and Humanities and encourage their use by Political Scientists, Area Studies scholars and policy-makers in the UK and beyond. The network will investigate examples of blurring genres, or crossing boundaries, between the disciplines in pursuit of insight into making and remaking theory, policy and practice in modern government. It will consider the practicalities of government policy-making in the United Kingdom, and beyond, seeking to apply the insights in, for example, narrative policy analysis. The network will bring together international scholars working on interpretive approaches to Political Science, with experts on Area Studies, to investigate what added value interdisciplinary research teams can bring to traditional research approaches when exploring modern governance. Particularly significant will be the study of the use of narratives and meta-narratives (narratives about narratives) for Historians, Political Scientists, Sociologists, Anthropologists and Philosophers, as well as for policy-makers. The network together will contemplate the kind of stories created, evolved and recounted in the implementation of everyday policy-making in the practice of modern government. The aim of the project will be to recover methodologies from the Arts and Humanities for the use of Political Scientists and interdisciplinary Area (or country) Studies specialists. Furthermore, the Blurring Genres Network will encourage sharing of best practice necessary to inform future policy-making and innovative scholarly work; for example, by developing narrative policy analysis. The new network will encourage interdisciplinary research between scholars in the United States, the UK, China, Australia, Canada, Brazil and elsewhere with an international and comparative approach involving policy-makers. The Blurring Genres Network will organize a research field that, to date, has been unstructured, lacking regional conferences, publications or directly relevant professional associations. It will assist scholars in the United Kingdom to lead the world in this emerging field of international and interdisciplinary research. It will bring together a number of learned societies (UK Council of Area Studies Associations, Political Studies Association UK and the Western Political Science Association USA) internationally with senior UK policy-makers which have not worked together before so creating a new, unique and practical network.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 4.16M | Year: 2012

Over the last decade, the creative industries have been revolutionised by the Internet and the digital economy. The UK, already punching above its weight in the global cultural market, stands at a pivotal moment where it is well placed to build a cultural, business and regulatory infrastructure in which first movers as significant as Google, Facebook, Amazon or iTunes may emerge and flourish, driving new jobs and industry. However, for some creators and rightsholders the transition from analogue to digital has been as problematic as it has been promising. Cultural heritage institutions are also struggling to capitalise upon new revenue streams that digitisation appears to offer, while maintaining their traditional roles. Policymakers are hampered by a lack of consensus across stakeholders and confused by partisan evidence lacking robust foundations. Research in conjunction with industry is needed to address these problems and provide support for legislators. CREATe will tackle this regulatory and business crisis, helping the UK creative industry and arts sectors survive, grow and become global innovation pioneers, with an ambitious programme of research delivered by an interdisciplinary team (law, business, economics, technology, psychology and cultural analysis) across 7 universities. CREATe aims to act as an honest broker, using open and transparent methods throughout to provide robust evidence for policymakers and legislators which can benefit all stakeholders. CREATe will do this by: - focussing on studying and collaborating with SMEs and individual creators as the incubators of innovation; - identifying good, bad and emergent business models: which business models can survive the transition to the digital?, which cannot?, and which new models can succeed and scale to drive growth and jobs in the creative economy, as well as supporting the public sector in times of recession?; - examining empirically how far copyright in its current form really does incentivise or reward creative work, especially at the SME/micro level, as well as how far innovation may come from open business models and the informal economy; - monitoring copyright reform initiatives in Europe, at WIPO and other international fora to assess how they impact on the UK and on our work; - using technology as a solution not a problem: by creating pioneering platforms and tools to aid creators and users, using open standards and released under open licences; - examining how to increase and derive revenues from the user contribution to the creative economy in an era of social media, mash-up, data mining and prosumers; - assessing the role of online intermediaries such as ISPs, social networks and mobile operators to see if they encourage or discourage the production and distribution of cultural goods, and what role they should play in enforcing copyright. Given the important governing role of these bodies should they be subject to regulation like public bodies, and if so, how?; - consider throughout this work how the public interest and human rights, such as freedom of expression, privacy, and access to knowledge for the socially or physically excluded, may be affected either positively or negatively by new business models and new ways to enforce copyright. To investigate these issues our work will be arranged into seven themes: SMEs and good, bad and emergent business models; Open business models; Regulation and enforcement; Creators and creative practice; Online intermediaries and physical and virtual platforms; User creation, behaviour and norms; and, Human rights and the public interest. Our deliverables across these themes will be drawn together to inform a Research Blueprint for the UK Creative Economy to be launched in October 2016.


Guarnieri M.,University of California at San Francisco | Guarnieri M.,University of California at Berkeley | Balmes J.R.,University of California at San Francisco | Balmes J.R.,University of California at Berkeley
The Lancet | Year: 2014

Traffi c and power generation are the main sources of urban air pollution. The idea that outdoor air pollution can cause exacerbations of pre-existing asthma is supported by an evidence base that has been accumulating for several decades, with several studies suggesting a contribution to new-onset asthma as well. In this Series paper, we discuss the effects of particulate matter (PM), gaseous pollutants (ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and sulphur dioxide), and mixed traffi c-related air pollution. We focus on clinical studies, both epidemiological and experimental, published in the previous 5 years. From a mechanistic perspective, air pollutants probably cause oxidative injury to the airways, leading to infl ammation, remodelling, and increased risk of sensitisation. Although several pollutants have been linked to new-onset asthma, the strength of the evidence is variable. We also discuss clinical implications, policy issues, and research gaps relevant to air pollution and asthma.


Fedorenko A.,University of California at San Francisco | Lishko P.V.,University of California at San Francisco | Lishko P.V.,University of California at Berkeley | Kirichok Y.,University of California at San Francisco
Cell | Year: 2012

Mitochondrial uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) is responsible for nonshivering thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue (BAT). Upon activation by long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs), UCP1 increases the conductance of the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) to make BAT mitochondria generate heat rather than ATP. Despite being a member of the family of mitochondrial anion carriers (SLC25), UCP1 is believed to transport H+ by an unusual mechanism that has long remained unresolved. Here, we achieved direct patch-clamp measurements of UCP1 currents from the IMM of BAT mitochondria. We show that UCP1 is an LCFA anion/H+ symporter. However, the LCFA anions cannot dissociate from UCP1 due to hydrophobic interactions established by their hydrophobic tails, and UCP1 effectively operates as an H+ carrier activated by LCFA. A similar LCFA-dependent mechanism of transmembrane H+ transport may be employed by other SLC25 members and be responsible for mitochondrial uncoupling and regulation of metabolic efficiency in various tissues. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 203.68K | Year: 2014

Development of new instrumentation for measuring volatile organic compounds (VOC) and intermediate volatility organic compounds (IVOC) that may react to form secondary organic aerosols (SOA) has been identified as a vital need by DOE. Revealing the detailed mechanisms leading to SOA formation from gas phase precursors is best achieved by measuring both phases with sufficient temporal resolution to track the rapidly changing chemical composition and atmospheric conditions that directly affect these reactions. Owing to the enormous range of volatility encompassed by VOCs and OA no single instrument currently exists that can measure both precursors and their SOA products at the molecular level. Proposed is expanding the capability of the Semi-Volatile Thermal desorption Aerosol Gas chromatograph (SV-TAG) instrument to add the measurement of I/VOCs via in-situ thermal desorption GC/MS with online derivatization. Both the precursor and resulting SOA products will be measured by a single detector providing consistent quantification. Further, using an aerosol collector ahead of the I/VOC measurement provides a regenerating filter to avoid a current limitation on stand-alone gas phase instruments when dealing with semi-volatile or polar compounds. Phase I work will focus on adapting our aerosol sampling and GC/MS interface to the collection of gas phase compounds and demonstrate the improved detection capabilities of TOFMS compared to QMS for analysis of ambient air. Key elements of the dual system will be tested during Phase I before fully integrating the two sides during Phase II work. Additionally, we will optimize the derivatization method for use on highly polar ambient I/VOCs without perturbing analysis of the non-polar components. Compounds to be tested will include previously identified SOA tracer compounds, including high polarity multifunctional organics. Phase II efforts will produce an in-situ instrument capable of hourly comprehensive organic speciation of the full range of I/VOCs through non-volatile aerosols employing a pair of miniature gas chromatographs. The expanded measurement system will remain compatible with the TAG-AMS currently under commercialization by Aerodyne Research Inc. and offers expanded capabilities for an important segment of the atmospheric research community. Besides elucidating crucial atmospheric processes, this in-situ instrument could (1) provide insights into atmospheric toxins affecting human health, (2) identify contributions to urban pollution from different combustion fuel types, and (3) yield information on compounds that affect the hygroscopicity and optical properties of aerosols.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Training Grant | Award Amount: 4.26M | Year: 2014

The Oxford-Warwick Statistics Programme will train a new cohort of at least 50 graduates in the theory, methods and applications of Statistical Science for 21st Century data-intensive environments and large-scale models. This is joint project lead by the Statistics Departments of Oxford and Warwick. These two departments, ranked first and second for world leading research in the last UK research assessment exercise, can provide a wonderful stimulating training environment for doctoral students in statistics. The Centres pool of supervisors are known for significant international research contributions in modern computational statistics and related fields, contributions recognised by over 20 major National and International Awards since 2008. Oxford and Warwick attract students with competitively won international scholarships. The programme leaders expect to expand the cohort to 11 or 12 per year by bringing these students into the CDT, and raising their funding up to CDT-level using £188K in support from industry and £150K support from donors. The need to engage in large-scale highly structured statistical models has been recognized for some time within areas like genomics and brain-imaging technologies. However, the UKs leading industries and sciences are now also increasingly aware of the enormous potential that data-driven analysis holds. These industries include the engineering, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, financial, e-commerce, life-science and entertainment sectors. The analysis bottleneck has moved from being able to collect and record relevant data to being able to interpret and exploit vast data collections. These and other businesses are critically dependent on the availability of future leaders in Statistics, able to design and develop statistical approaches that are scalable to massive data. The UK can take a world lead in this field, being a recognized international leader in Statistics; and OxWaSP is ideally placed to realize the potential this opportunity. The Centre is focused on a new type of training for a new type of graduate statistician in statistical methodology and computation that is scalable to big data. We will bring a new focus on training for research, by teaching directly from the scientific literature. Students will be thrown straight into reading and summarizing journal papers. Lecture-format contact is used sparingly with peer-to-peer learning central to the training approach. This is teaching and learning for research by doing research. Cohort learning will be enhanced via group visits to companies, small groups reproducing results from key papers, student-orientated paper discussions, annual workshops and a three-day off-site retreat. From the second year the students will join their chosen supervisors in Warwick and Oxford, five in each Centre coming together regularly for research group meetings that overlap Oxford and Warwick, for workshops and retreats, and teaching and mentoring of students in earlier years. The Centre is timely and ambitious, designed to attract and nurture the brightest graduate statisticians, broadening their skills to meet the new challenge and allowing them to flourish in a focused, communal, research-training environment. The strategic vision is to train the next generation of statisticians who will enable the new data-intensive sciences and industries. The Centre will offer a vehicle to bring together industrial partners from across the two departments to share ideas and provide an important perspective to our students on the research challenges and opportunities within commercial and social enterprises. Students training will be considerably enhanced through the Centres visits, lectures, internships and co-supervision from global partners including Amazon, Google, GlaxoSmithKline, MAN and Novartis, as well as smaller entrepreneurial start-ups Deepmind and Optimor.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.39M | Year: 2015

Organic chemicals comprise the dominant fraction of particulates found in atmospheric aerosols, and the largest proportions of these are secondary products formed in the atmosphere from oxidation of volatile organic compounds. Often these chemical transformations result from complex pathways involving species from different sources. To understand these processes, we need to be able to trace the transformation pathways from the emitted vapor species to the oxygenated, less volatile organic matter that comprises the organic aerosol. Proposed is expanding the capability of the Semi-Volatile Thermal desorption Aerosol Gas chromatograph (SV-TAG) instrument to add the measurement of more volatile VOCs which are important secondary organic aerosol (SOA) precursors. Both the VOC precursor and resulting SOA products will be measured by a single detector providing consistent quantification over 15 orders of magnitude of volatility in the comprehensive TAG (c-TAG) instrument. Phase I work developed a VOC collector compatible with the existing SV-TAG system and capable of measuring, identifying, and quantifying organic compounds within the volatility range equal to that of C5 to C16 alkanes. This range spans the dominant biogenic emissions of isoprene and monoterpenes, as well as many important anthropogenic alkanes and aromatics from fossil fuel use. In our Phase II effort we aim to combine these VOC and SVOC channels into a single instrument with a common mass spectrometer, to provide a fully automated, field-deployable instrument with on-line calibration. The proposed instrument will be the very first to comprehensively measure C5- C33 species hourly in-situ, including essentially all the major known primary precursors to secondary organic aerosols from biogenic and anthropogenic sources, along with many of their oxidation products. Combining these measurements in the proposed single comprehensive c-TAG instrument offers many compelling, practical advantages, including consistency through use of a common detector, lower costs, and a smaller footprint. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: This instrument will be of practical use to the atmospheric research community, especially those now using aerosol mass spectrometers to measure bulk aerosol composition. The molecular level speciation from this instrument will provide insights into chemical transformation processes in the atmosphere that are important to particle formation, and indirectly to cloud characteristics and climate.


Fletcher D.A.,University of California at Berkeley | Fletcher D.A.,Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Mullins R.D.,University of California at San Francisco
Nature | Year: 2010

The ability of a eukaryotic cell to resist deformation, to transport intracellular cargo and to change shape during movement depends on the cytoskeleton, an interconnected network of filamentous polymers and regulatory proteins. Recent work has demonstrated that both internal and external physical forces can act through the cytoskeleton to affect local mechanical properties and cellular behaviour. Attention is now focused on how cytoskeletal networks generate, transmit and respond to mechanical signals over both short and long timescales. An important insight emerging from this work is that long-lived cytoskeletal structures may act as epigenetic determinants of cell shape, function and fate. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Colby D.A.,Gilead Sciences | Tsai A.S.,Scripps Research Institute | Bergman R.G.,University of California at Berkeley | Ellman J.A.,Yale University
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2012

Over the last several decades, researchers have achieved remarkable progress in the field of organometallic chemistry. The development of metalcatalyzed cross-coupling reactions represents a paradigm shift in chemical synthesis, and today synthetic chemists can readily access carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bonds from a vast array of starting compounds. Although we cannot understate the importance of these methods, the required prefunctionalization to carry out these reactions adds cost and reduces the availability of the starting reagents. The use of C-H bond activation in lieu of prefunctionalization has presented a tantalizing alternative to classical cross-coupling reactions. Researchers have met the challenges of selectivity and reactivity associated with the development of C-H bond functionalization reactions with an explosion of creative advances in substrate and catalyst design. Literature reports on selectivity based on steric effects, acidity, and electronic and directing group effects are now numerous. Our group has developed an array of C-H bond functionalization reactions that take advantage of a chelating directing group, and this Account surveys our progress in this area. The use of chelation control in C-H bond functionalization offers several advantages with respect to substrate scope and application to total synthesis. The predictability and decreased dependence on the inherent stereoelectronics of the substrate generally result in selective and high yielding transformations with broad applicability. The nature of the chelating moiety can be chosen to serve as a functional handle in subsequent elaborations. Our work began with the use of Rh(I) catalysts in intramolecular aromatic C-H annulations, which we further developed to include enantioselective transformations. The application of this chemistry to the simple olefinic C-H bonds found in r, β-unsaturated imines allowed access to highly substituted olefins, pyridines, and piperidines. We observed complementary reactivity with Rh(III) catalysts and developed an oxidative coupling with unactivated alkenes. Further studies on the Rh(III) catalysts led us to develop methods for the coupling of C-H bonds to polarized p bonds such as those in imines and isocyanates. In several cases the methods that we have developed for chelation-controlled C-H bond functionalization have been applied to the total synthesis of complex molecules such as natural products, highlighting the utility of these methods in organic synthesis. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Roberts P.H.,University of California at Los Angeles | King E.M.,University of California at Berkeley
Reports on Progress in Physics | Year: 2013

Few areas of geophysics are today progressing as rapidly as basic geomagnetism, which seeks to understand the origin of the Earth's magnetism. Data about the present geomagnetic field pours in from orbiting satellites, and supplements the ever growing body of information about the field in the remote past, derived from the magnetism of rocks. The first of the three parts of this review summarizes the available geomagnetic data and makes significant inferences about the large scale structure of the geomagnetic field at the surface of the Earth's electrically conducting fluid core, within which the field originates. In it, we recognize the first major obstacle to progress: because of the Earth's mantle, only the broad, slowly varying features of the magnetic field within the core can be directly observed. The second (and main) part of the review commences with the geodynamo hypothesis: the geomagnetic field is induced by core flow as a self-excited dynamo. Its electrodynamics define 'kinematic dynamo theory'. Key processes involving the motion of magnetic field lines, their diffusion through the conducting fluid, and their reconnection are described in detail. Four kinematic models are presented that are basic to a later section on successful dynamo experiments. The fluid dynamics of the core is considered next, the fluid being driven into motion by buoyancy created by the cooling of the Earth from its primordial state. The resulting flow is strongly affected by the rotation of the Earth and by the Lorentz force, which alters fluid motion by the interaction of the electric current and magnetic field. A section on 'magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) dynamo theory' is devoted to this rotating magnetoconvection. Theoretical treatment of the MHD responsible for geomagnetism culminates with numerical solutions of its governing equations. These simulations help overcome the first major obstacle to progress, but quickly meet the second: the dynamics of Earth's core are too complex, and operate across time and length scales too broad to be captured by any single laboratory experiment, or resolved on present-day computers. The geophysical relevance of the experiments and simulations is therefore called into question. Speculation about what may happen when computational power is eventually able to resolve core dynamics is given considerable attention. The final part of the review is a postscript to the earlier sections. It reflects on the problems that geodynamo theory will have to solve in the future, particularly those that core turbulence presents. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Matzke N.J.,University of California at Berkeley | Matzke N.J.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Systematic Biology | Year: 2014

Founder-event speciation, where a rare jump dispersal event founds a new genetically isolated lineage, has long been considered crucial by many historical biogeographers, but its importance is disputed within the vicariance school. Probabilistic modeling of geographic range evolution creates the potential to test different biogeographical models against data using standard statistical model choice procedures, as long as multiple models are available. I re-implement the Dispersal-Extinction-Cladogenesis (DEC) model of LAGRANGE in the R package BioGeoBEARS, and modify it to create a new model, DEC+J, which adds founder-event speciation, the importance of which is governed by a new free parameter, j. The identifiability of DEC and DEC+J is tested on data sets simulated under a wide range of macroevolutionary models where geography evolves jointly with lineage birth/death events. The results confirm that DEC and DEC+J are identifiable even though these models ignore the fact that molecular phylogenies are missing many cladogenesis and extinction events. The simulations also indicate that DEC will have substantially increased errors in ancestral range estimation and parameter inference when the true model includes +J. DEC and DEC+J are compared on 13 empirical data sets drawn from studies of island clades. Likelihood-ratio tests indicate that all clades reject DEC, and AICc modelweights show large to overwhelming support for DEC+J, for the first time verifying the importance of founder-event speciation in island clades via statistical model choice. Under DEC+J, ancestral nodes are usually estimated to have ranges occupying only one island, rather than the widespread ancestors often favored by DEC. These results indicate that the assumptions of historical biogeography models can have large impacts on inference and require testing and comparison with statistical methods. [BioGeoBEARS; cladogenesis; extinction; founder-event speciation; GeoSSE; historical biogeography; jump dispersal; LAGRANGE.] © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists. All rights reserved.


Luntz A.C.,SLAC | McCloskey B.D.,University of California at Berkeley | McCloskey B.D.,Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2014

The major issue confronting complete electrification of road transport is simply a battery problem. While both metrics are undoubtedly important, which of the two is the most important for EV applications is somewhat debated, even among the different EV manufacturers. Traditional car companies emphasize more the importance of energy density, while Tesla emphasizes more the specific energy since they tend to design a car around the battery pack. The history of rechargeable non-aqueous Li-air batteries at this stage is so short that the field must be considered a work in progress. In fact, even the basic mechanisms and rationale for many of the fundamental properties of Li-air are still in dispute among many of the researchers in the field.


Burch-Smith T.M.,University of California at Berkeley | Zambryski P.C.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Annual Review of Plant Biology | Year: 2012

Plant cells are surrounded by cellulosic cell walls, creating a potential challenge to resource sharing and ormation exchange between individual cells. To overcome this, plants have evolved channels called plasmodesmata that provide cytoplasmic continuity between each cell and its immediate neighbors. We first review plasmodesmata basics their architecture, their origin, the types of cargo they transport, and their molecular components. The bulk of this review discusses the regulation of plasmodesmata formation and function. Historically, plasmodesmata research has focused intensely on uncovering regulatory or structural proteins that reside within or immediately adjacent to plasmodesmata. Recent findings, however, underscore that plasmodesmata are exquisitely sensitive to signals far removed from the plasmodesmal channel itself. Signals originating from molecules and pathways that regulate cellular homeostasis such as reactive oxygen species, organelle-organelle signaling, and organelle-nucleus signaling lead to astonishing alterations in gene expression that affect plasmodesmata formation and function. © 2012 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Harland R.M.,University of California at Berkeley | Grainger R.M.,University of Virginia
Trends in Genetics | Year: 2011

Research using Xenopus takes advantage of large, abundant eggs and readily manipulated embryos in addition to conserved cellular, developmental and genomic organization with mammals. Research on Xenopus has defined key principles of gene regulation and signal transduction, embryonic induction, morphogenesis and patterning as well as cell cycle regulation. Genomic and genetic advances in this system, including the development of Xenopus tropicalis as a genetically tractable complement to the widely used Xenopus laevis, capitalize on the classical strengths and wealth of achievements. These attributes provide the tools to tackle the complex biological problems of the new century, including cellular reprogramming, organogenesis, regeneration, gene regulatory networks and protein interactions controlling growth and development, all of which provide insights into a multitude of human diseases and their potential treatments. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Vafek O.,Florida State University | Vishwanath A.,University of California at Berkeley
Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics | Year: 2014

Understanding Dirac-like fermions has become an imperative in modern condensed matter sciences: All across the research frontier, from graphene to high Tc superconductors to the topological insulators and beyond, various electronic systems exhibit properties that can be well described by the Dirac equation. Such physics is no longer the exclusive domain of quantum field theories and other esoteric mathematical musings; instead, physics of real condensed matter systems is governed by such equations, and important materials science and practical implications hinge on our understanding of Dirac particles in two and three dimensions. Although the physics that gives rise to the massless Dirac fermions in each of the above-mentioned materials is different, the low-energy properties are governed by the same Dirac kinematics. The aim of this article is to review a selected cross-section of this vast field by highlighting the generalities and contrasting the specifics of several physical systems. © Copyright 2014 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Casida J.E.,Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology Laboratory | Durkin K.A.,University of California at Berkeley
Annual Review of Entomology | Year: 2013

Neuroactive insecticides are the principal means of protecting crops, people, livestock, and pets from pest insect attack and disease transmission. Currently, the four major nerve targets are acetylcholinesterase for organophosphates and methylcarbamates, the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor for neonicotinoids, the γ-aminobutyric acid receptor/chloride channel for polychlorocyclohexanes and fiproles, and the voltage-gated sodium channel for pyrethroids and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane. Species selectivity and acquired resistance are attributable in part to structural differences in binding subsites, receptor subunit interfaces, or transmembrane regions. Additional targets are sites in the sodium channel (indoxacarb and metaflumizone), the glutamate-gated chloride channel (avermectins), the octopamine receptor (amitraz metabolite), and the calcium-activated calcium channel (diamides). Secondary toxic effects in mammals from off-target serine hydrolase inhibition include organophosphate-induced delayed neuropathy and disruption of the cannabinoid system. Possible associations between pesticides and Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases are proposed but not established based on epidemiological observations and mechanistic considerations. © 2013 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Canfield D.E.,University of Southern Denmark | Glazer A.N.,University of California at Berkeley | Falkowski P.G.,Rutgers University
Science | Year: 2010

Atmospheric reactions and slow geological processes controlled Earth's earliest nitrogen cycle, and by ∼2.7 billion years ago, a linked suite of microbial processes evolved to form the modern nitrogen cycle with robust natural feedbacks and controls. Over the past century, however, the development of new agricultural practices to satisfy a growing global demand for food has drastically disrupted the nitrogen cycle. This has led to extensive eutrophication of fresh waters and coastal zones as well as increased inventories of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). Microbial processes will ultimately restore balance to the nitrogen cycle, but the damage done by humans to the nitrogen economy of the planet will persist for decades, possibly centuries, if active intervention and careful management strategies are not initiated.

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