Could Poop Power Our Cars?

Is brown the new green? UCLA researchers are using waste matter (yes, including poop) to make a new generation of advanced biofuels. The U.S. alone annually produces over 1 billion tons of manure from agriculture, which produces nitrous oxide methane emissions, greenhouse gases 325 times more potent than carbon dioxide. But what if all this … Read moreCould Poop Power Our Cars?

The influence of fatherhood on the science of Charles Darwin

There are drawings in Charles Darwin’s manuscripts that defy explanation — until we remember that Darwin and his wife Emma had a huge family of ten (rambunctious) children. Scholars believe that a young Francis Darwin —the naturalist’s son— drew this on the back of Darwin’s manuscript for On the Origin of Species. UC Berkeley psychologist … Read moreThe influence of fatherhood on the science of Charles Darwin

Make The Best Pie Ever Using Science

One of the staples of the holiday season is pie and while you may have Grandma’s recipe for the perfect crust, do you really know what goes on at a molecular level? UCLA biophysicist Amy Rowat shares some of the scientific aspects of apple pie and explains how you can apply these insights in the … Read moreMake The Best Pie Ever Using Science

We are built to be kind

Greed is good. Competition is natural. War is inevitable. Whether in political theory or popular culture, human nature is often portrayed as selfish and power hungry. UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner challenges this notion of human nature and seeks to better understand why we evolved pro-social emotions like empathy, compassion and gratitude. We’ve all heard … Read moreWe are built to be kind

Do gut bacteria rule our minds?

It sounds like science fiction, but it seems that bacteria within us — which outnumber our own cells about 100-fold — may very well be affecting both our cravings and moods to get us to eat what they want, and often are driving us toward obesity. In an article published this week in the journal … Read moreDo gut bacteria rule our minds?

Universitium ofium Californium Berkelium…?

  UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Labs have discovered a total of 22 elements on the periodic table. Scientific American just recently published a great interactive version of the periodic table of elements.  When clicking on each element the user can learn obscure facts about each element’s discovery.  “Berkelium” reads: In 1950 The New Yorker … Read moreUniversitium ofium Californium Berkelium…?

Using weather to shape architecture

When Hirsuta, a small architecture firm run by UCLA Professor Jason Payne, took the task of renovating an old Utah schoolhouse, they noticed that the south side had been nearly weathered away from exposure to the elements while the north side remained untouched.  Payne thought they could use this to their advantage: “We’re looking at … Read moreUsing weather to shape architecture

The visual linguistics of a comic book page

Inside Science recently wrote about the study by UCSD’s Neil Cohn, Navigating Comics, which looks at the underlying structure of the comics language: People who read the English written word scan text from left to right. Once our eyes hit the end of the page, we stop. Then ding!, like an old-time typewriter, our eyes … Read moreThe visual linguistics of a comic book page

The science of piano playing cats…?

An Animal Planet segment ponders how and why this cat seems to be playing the piano.  Animal behaviorist and UC Davis alumna Dr. Sophia Lin says that cats can hear and understand different tones played on instruments such as the piano.  Additionally these animals are born imitators and so this cat could very well be … Read moreThe science of piano playing cats…?

The “Pope of Foam” and the science behind beer

UC Davis brewing science professor Charles Bamforth is known as the “pope of foam.” His lab delves into the science behind creating the perfect beer foam, which is essential to a great tasting brew. That’s because most of the flavor of beer is detected by smell, which is why Bamforth says you must drink beer … Read moreThe “Pope of Foam” and the science behind beer