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UC Berkeley

Science

Mapping the thesaurus of the human brain

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) have used MRI data to create what they call a "semantic atlas," using vivid colors in multiple dimensions to show how the brain organizes language. The greater understanding that the map provides could one day help patients suffering from conditions such as motor neuron diseases and strokes in making themselves understood.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Reining in sperm could lead to unisex contraceptive

Biologists at the University of California at Berkeley believe they have discovered the chemical interaction that gives sperm the kick they need to penetrate and fertilize a human egg. The discovery has the potential to be used to create a contraceptive that could work for both men and women, and treat male infertility.Read More

Robotics

Cockroach inspires robot that squishes down to crawl through cracks and crevices

For most people, the cockroach doesn't inspire anything but the shivers and a mild sense of revulsion. For scientists at the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley), however, the insect has inspired a whole new way of thinking about robots. After studying the way in which roaches squeeze through tiny cracks and crevices, the team developed a robot with similar capabilities.Read More

Wearables

Sweat-sensing wristband monitors the state of your health

Our sweat contains a bunch of useful information about our bodies, but diving in to retrieve it hasn't always been so straightforward. Eyeing a future where wearables not only track our heart rate and activity, but things like hydration and muscle fatigue as well, Berkeley engineers have developed a flexible sensor that can measure biochemicals in perspiration in real-time to build a more complete picture of our well-being. Read More

Space

Doomed Phobos will become a ring around Mars

According to NASA, the larger Martian moon, Phobos, is spiraling in toward the Red Planet and will eventually be destroyed in tens of millions of years, but it turns out that it may have a second career after its death. University of California, Berkeley Department of Earth and Planetary Science postdoctoral fellow Benjamin Black and graduate student Tushar Mittal have calculated that the doomed satellite will be so torn by tidal forces that its fragments will form a ring like those that encircle Saturn and the other gas giants of the outer Solar System.Read More

Physics

New invisibility cloak hides tiny three-dimensional objects of any shape

Scientists at UC Berkeley have developed a foldable, incredibly thin invisibility cloak that can wrap around microscopic objects of any shape and make them undetectable in the visible spectrum. In its current form, the technology could be useful in optical computing or in shrouding secret microelectronic components from prying eyes, but according to the researchers involved, it could also be scaled up in size with relative ease.Read More

3D Printing

UC Berkeley's smart cap can detect spoiled milk

Researchers at UC Berkeley and Taiwan's National Chio Tung University have created a low-cost electronic sensor that's able to wirelessly monitor the freshness of milk. The team created the electronic components for the sensor using a 3D-printing method, which it believes could have a big impact on the industry.

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Science

3-D ultrasonic fingerprint scanning could strengthen smartphone security

Researchers at the University of California, Davis and Berkeley have managed to miniaturize low-depth ultrasound technology to create a fingerprint sensor that can scan your finger in 3D. This low-power technology, which could improve on the robustness of current-generation capacitive scanners, could soon find its way to our smartphones and tablets.Read More

Robotics

Streamlined shell helps robo-roach slip past obstacles

Besides simply being fascinating to watch, insect-inspired robots may someday find use as scouts in search-and-rescue operations. In order for them to function in such scenarios, however, they'll have to be able to move through fields of debris. While some scientists have looked at using sensors and algorithms that let the bots scan their surroundings and then plot paths around obstacles, researchers at UC Berkley have developed a much less complex but still effective approach – they've outfitted a robotic cockroach with a streamlined shell, that lets it just push its way through.Read More

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