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UC Berkeley

This jury-rigged, lab-built graphene speaker is already delivering better sound quality th...

Graphene is frankly just showing off at this point. Not content with breezing in and smashing records in solar efficiency, kicking the butt of lithium-ion batteries, being the strongest known material in the Universe, being 1,000 times more light-sensitive than any known camera sensor and a thousand other achievements, now this smug supermaterial is having a crack at audio. How’s it going? Well, with basically zero acoustic development, a graphene loudspeaker is already boasting a better frequency response curve than a set of Sennheiser MX-400s.  Read More

A rubber mat forms the 'carpet,' and sits atop a grid of hydraulic actuators, cylinders an...

Many organizations around the world are looking at ways to harness the power of waves as a renewable energy source, but none are covering quite the same ground as a team of engineers from the University of California (UC), Berkeley. The seafloor carpet, a system inspired by the wave absorbing abilities of a muddy seabed, has taken exploring the potential of wave power to some intriguing new depths.  Read More

The good ol' red, white and blue – turkeys show off their color-changing skin (Photo: Shut...

Turkeys may not be everyone's idea of beautiful birds, but they certainly have colorful skin on their heads. What's more, that skin changes color with the animal's mood. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have now copied the process by which those color changes occur, and used it to create a biosensor that could be used to detect airborne toxins.  Read More

Artist's concept of Kepler-62f, an Earth-like planet (Image: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/Tim Pyl...

Bookmakers may be revising their odds on the question of us being alone in the Universe after scientists revealed that our galaxy could hold billions of habitable worlds. University of California Berkeley and University of Hawaii (UH) astronomers carried out a study using data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope to provide part of the answer to the question, “How many of the 200 billion stars in our galaxy have potentially habitable planets?” The answer they got back was that one in five sun-like stars may have Earth-size planets that could support life.  Read More

The Nobel Prize medal is awarded to honor the highest contributions to the sciences (Photo...

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 2013 was awarded jointly today to James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman and Thomas C. Südhof "for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells."  Read More

Students at UC Berkeley have developed the STAR, a 3D-printed robot that flattens its legs...

Nature has been the source of inspiration for a variety of different forms of robotic locomotion. Yet another example is the STAR, a 3D-printed robot modeled after an insect's ability to squeeze into even the tiniest spaces. Developed by students at UC Berkeley's Biomimetic Millisystems Lab the STAR, which stands for Sprawl Tuned Autonomous Robot, is able to flatten its legs down to slip under a small gap and then raise them up again to climb over larger obstacles.  Read More

The VEPS sensor can detect signs of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that can result from blow...

Victims of penetrating head injuries usually seek immediate attention, as the hole in their skull is difficult to miss. However, people with closed-head injuries may show few immediate signs of the trauma, and appropriate diagnostic equipment (primarily a CAT scanner) is often not immediately available. A Mexican-US team of researchers has now developed a simple, easy to operate, and inexpensive electromagnetic sensor for traumatic brain injuries, suited to on site use by field personnel and paramedics.  Read More

A finger on the hydrogel hand bends in response to near-infrared laser light

For many people, the word “robot” is likely to conjure up images of metal, mechanical men not unlike Cygan. But instead of creating robots in our own image, the relatively new field of “soft robotics” takes inspiration from creatures such as octopuses, squids, starfish and caterpillars for soft, flexible robots that could squeeze through small spaces. Such robots could benefit from a new hydrogel developed at the University of California, Berkeley that flexes in response to light.  Read More

The first Dreambox 3D printing vending machine will be installed at UC Berkeley later this...

Back in November, we hoped that it wouldn't be too long before 3D printing vending machines broke out of university and made their way into the public domain. That day is getting closer, with the arrival of the Dreambox. Currently being readied for its first installation ahead of a wider rollout, users will be able to choose an existing design from an online catalog or upload their own via an online interface, set the machine in motion and then receive a text message when the object is ready for pickup. Upon arrival at the vending machine, a unique unlock code is entered and the 3D-printed object retrieved from a drawer.  Read More

The new software has already accurately reconstructed the Proto-Austronesian language, whi...

Imagine the wealth of knowledge we could uncover if it was possible to travel back in time and re-construct ancient languages. While that’s impossible right now, scientists at UC Berkley and the University of British Columbia reckon they’ve managed the next-best thing, by developing new software which uncovers existing fragments of “proto-languages” from languages still in use.  Read More

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