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UC Science Today is produced by the University of California and covers the latest and greatest research throughout the system. From breakthroughs in medicine, agriculture and the environment to insights into the world around us, Science Today covers it all.

UC Science Today is produced by the University of California and covers the latest and greatest research throughout the system. From breakthroughs in medicine, agriculture and the environment to insights into the world around us, Science Today covers it all.
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United States

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UC Science Today is produced by the University of California and covers the latest and greatest research throughout the system. From breakthroughs in medicine, agriculture and the environment to insights into the world around us, Science Today covers it all.

Language:

English


Episodes

What we can learn from the "dinosaurs of marriage"

2/9/2018
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In 1989, UC Berkeley psychologist Robert Levenson began to study a group of people who had been married at least 15 years or 35 years, depending on age, to get a better sense of what fairly successful marriages are like. This was not purely a behavioral study, as they also managed to collect genetic samples from many of these 156 couples. In this interview excerpt, Levenson explains the implications for future couples. Robert Levenson: "Well, one of the things that motivated us to do this...

Duration:00:02:45

Why nutrition studies can't be one-size-fits-all

2/4/2018
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If you’ve been around awhile, chances are you’ve experienced foods that were once touted to be good for you, suddenly becoming the worst thing you could possibly eat. Or at least that’s how it feels when there’s a lot of media coverage about the latest scientific studies. Take eggs, for example. Over the years, these nutrient-rich orbs have gone from what’s for breakfast, to heart-attacks waiting to happen … only to be redeemed again as a healthy choice. Of course, moderation is key – for...

Duration:00:01:58

There are benefits to letting your mind wander

1/27/2018
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It's a workday, just after lunch. You have a deadline and there's plenty of time left in the day to get the task done. If only you could stop thinking about other things. One thought can lead to your mind just...wandering away. This can't be good, right? You've probably been scolded as a kid for daydreaming in class. But in recent years, neuroscientists and psychologists have found that there are some very redeeming qualities to this mental state - in fact, it could be an essential cognitive...

Duration:00:04:36

Are we close to curing glaucoma?

1/23/2018
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Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, might be close to finding a drug that could cure glaucoma, which is the world’s second-leading cause of blindness. Karsten Gronert, a professor of optometry, says it has been a long process of trial and error. "With decades worth of research there have been several approaches to try to develop neuroprotective drugs that somehow can stop once you see neurodegenerartion. And there have been several approaches and none of them actually were...

Duration:00:01:02

Cataloging the brain to make sense of functionality and cure disease

1/17/2018
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How does one make a brain atlas? John Ngai, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley explains. “You can think of it as a taxonomy. You might think about what are all the species of birds that there are on Earth, you might think of it as needing to first identify those types.” So, just like with a bird encyclopedia, UC Berkeley neurologists are trying to find and organize brain cells into a catalogue of sorts. “We know there are many different types of neurons in the brain....

Duration:00:01:00

An over-the-counter drug that may help in the fight against MS

1/11/2018
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Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, affects over two million people worldwide. The neurodegenerative disease strikes when the immune system attacks myelin, layers of a fatty insulating membrane that surround nerve fibers and help send nerve signals faster. Ari Green, a neurologist at the University of California, San Francisco, has found an over the counter allergy drug called Clemastine that could possibly help repair damaged myelin. “It was originally designed back in the 1970s as an antihistamine...

Duration:00:01:03

Mapping the great unknown of our brain

1/9/2018
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Believe it or not, neuroscience is still considered a relatively new field of medical research. That’s because there’s still a lot of the unknown about our brain. For instance, how do brain cells wire up and function? To answer this question, John Ngai, a professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, is creating a brain catalogue or - as researchers call it – an atlas. “So the idea behind this brain atlas project is to identify all the cell types in the...

Duration:00:01:01

How exposure to PBDEs affect a child's IQ

1/9/2018
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Exposure to flame retardant chemicals or PBDEs during pregnancy can affect children’s neurodevelopment. Environmental health scientist Tracey Woodruff of the University of California, San Francisco, found ten-fold increases in a mother's PBDE levels could lead to a drop of 3.7 IQ points in her child. While that may sound like a small number… "If you look at it over a population, it becomes very significant, because you have everybody exposed to PBDEs at a smaller risk. The small risk over a...

Duration:00:01:03

Could the progression of glaucoma be halted?

1/8/2018
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Glaucoma is the world’s second-leading cause of blindness, and it affects about 80 million people worldwide and has no cure. But vision scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have discovered molecules that could probably halt the progression of the disease. Gronert: “We identified a novel factor, a new factor that potentially protects the optic nerve against damage, which is one of the underlying causes of glaucoma. That’s Karsten Gronert, a professor of optometry at UC...

Duration:00:01:03

The ambition Brain Atlas Project

1/1/2018
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Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have started an ambitious project to build a brain atlas. According to neuroscientist John Ngai, the goal is to create a catalogue of different brain cells. "The human brain contains about 80 billion neurons, nerve cells. And of the neurons we suspect there could be hundreds, if not thousands of types of distinct types of those cells, but until recently we really haven’t had a way of categorizing or classifying those cells in a...

Duration:00:00:58

How to improve your social connections and boost happiness

12/4/2017
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Social connections are important and can make you happier, according to psychologist Iris Mauss of the University of California, Berkeley. But how can those who are, shall we say, not so easy going build such a network? Mauss says – just be yourself, and open up to others. “People who are perceived to be more authentic are better liked by others and have better social connections. And we have found that if you hold in your emotions, you stifle them, then others tend to perceive that as.. on...

Duration:00:00:58

A new approach to figuring out which diets are pro or anti-inflammatory

11/26/2017
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It seems there’s more to high-density lipoproteins, or HDLs, than we previously thought. Nutrition researcher Angela Zivkovic of the University of California, Davis, led an analyses of how the composition of complex sugars attached to HDLs called glycans are linked to the body’s inflammatory response. Traditional markers like LDL cholesterol, body mass index and blood pressure are not able to predict whose HDL is pro- or anti-inflammatory. "That’s something that had not really been looked at...

Duration:00:01:03

Will software engineers ever completely outsmart hackers?

11/26/2017
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Will software engineers ever be able to outsmart hackers and build an unbreakable wall of defense? Dawn Song, a computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley says it’s possible, but don’t expect results in the near future. Part of the reason is due to artificial intelligence, or AI. “On one hand AI – these techniques can really help us to enhance our capabilities for defenders to build stronger defenses, but also on the other hand unfortunately it could be misused by...

Duration:00:01:03

The pros and cons of anatomy class in virtual reality

11/25/2017
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Medical students at the University of California, San Francisco, are learning about the human body in a new, experimental setting. Anatomy professor Derek Harmon is piloting a virtual reality class. But as exciting as it sounds - not every student is thrilled about the 3D experience. "I think one potential negative with virtual reality is that some studies quote that something like 20 percent of people or 1 out of 5 have this motion sickness." So, Harmon says for that reason some of his...

Duration:00:01:01

Dealing with moody people starts with your attitude

11/19/2017
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When you accept your own negative emotions – you will likely have a more positive outlook on mood swings than people around you have. That’s according to Iris Mauss, a psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley. “If you have an accepting attitude for other people’s emotions that tend to make those other people feel better and it helps you respond to their distress in a more constructive way.” Mauss says this mindset is invaluable for parents who often deal with their little ones’...

Duration:00:01:02

How to protect artificial intelligence technology from hackers

11/19/2017
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Artificial Intelligence has been developing fast – and it’s making more and more decisions on humans’ behalf. From simple web searches to e-commerce to self-driving cars. But researchers like Dawn Song, a computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, are struggling to find the best ways to protect this technology from hackers. “One thing we are looking at how we can use AI and deep learning techniques to develop stronger security capabilities to enable us to build better...

Duration:00:01:05

A digital intervention program to help moms-to-be get better sleep

11/15/2017
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Sleep disorders during pregnancy can lead to a preterm birth. To improve sleeping patterns of mothers-to-be, Jennifer Felder, a clinical psychologist at the University of California, San Francisco, is running an intervention research. “So we are doing a research on expecting moms and it is a digital intervention for sleep during pregnancies, so we are able to recruit women across the nation and in Canada. So we are hoping to have a really broad reach with that." Besides pre-term birth...

Duration:00:01:03

Virtual reality becomes a reality in medical research

11/10/2017
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Virtual Reality becomes a reality in medical research. Derek Harmon, a professor of anatomy at the University of California, San Francisco, is working with software companies to develop 3D brain scan visualization tools. “With your two hand-held controllers of the virtual space you can slice with one axes and then the other and see a view of a head CT scan. In real time you can see all these different angles and again, build on special arrangement of the body, which I don’t know where else...

Duration:00:01:04

Anatomy students use virtual reality to get a different view of the human body

11/1/2017
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Medical students at the University of California, San Francisco, are learning about human anatomy not only on cadavers, but also in virtual reality. This is part of a new pilot curriculum led by anatomy professor Derek Harmon. "The students, as soon as they learn the material on actual cadavers, on skeletons, or in the lab itself, they could go into the space where we had virtual reality set up and they could do the exact same type of lesson, but they could take it piece-by-piece off of the...

Duration:00:01:02

Toxic flame retardants are still ubiquitous in our homes

11/1/2017
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A couple of decades ago flame retardants – or PBDEs - were widely used in furniture because of the fire safety standards. But that policy has since changed in many states, including California. “Because of concern about increasing exposures as well as the facts that people were concerned about in terms of how they may be affecting neurodevelopment, PBDE were phased out for use.” That’s Tracey Woodruff, an environmental health scientist at the University of California, San Francisco. She has...

Duration:00:00:59