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Soil engineering: Dr. Jill Banfield and crew analyzing microbes in California rice fields. (Andy Murdock, Innovative Genomics Institute)

What If We “Supercharged” Plants to Stop Climate Change?

By Margie Cullen

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has cited carbon dioxide removal as essential to limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, the Paris Agreement’s climate target. 

Lit: Diana Almendariz, of the Maidu-Wintun-Hoopa-Yurok tribes, sets fire to a redbud pile during a cultural burn in 2020. (Alysha Beck, UC Davis)

Indigenous Californians Long Prevented Forest Fires with Controlled Burning. Now We’re Learning from Them.

By Maia Nehme

Only we can prevent forest fires. That’s what Smokey Bear always said, his trusty shovel ready to snuff out burning embers. New Berkeley research suggests that, counterintuitively, setting small, purposeful fires can actually minimize the risk of major wildfires.

Adrift: NASA illustration of a black hole floating through the Milky Way galaxy. (NASA, FECYT, IAC)

Berkeley Astronomers Detect the First Known Free-Floating Black Hole

By Meher Bhatia

Berkeley astronomers, using the Hubble Space Telescope, have detected what may be the very first “free-floating” black hole ever recorded, about 2,200 to 6,200 light-years from Earth. Dubbed “stellar ghosts,” these black holes are invisible, left behind after a massive star—at least 10 times the mass of the sun—dies and collapses in on itself. 

Screen shot from video by Roxanne Makasdjian/Christian Brown

These Salamanders Skydive Sixty Feet and Live to Tell the Tale

By Krissy Waite

You’ve heard of flying squirrels, but what about flying salamanders?

(Kelley L Cox- KLC fotos)

Look Up

By Pat Joseph

Ask an astronomer and they’ll tell you we’re living in a kind of golden age.

Courtesy of the Science History Institute

The Man Who Loved DDT

By Elena Conis

Berkeley biochemist Tom Jukes was an ardent conservationist and life member of the Sierra Club, but he just didn’t get 1960s environmentalism. The thing that bugged him most about the movement was its “emotional binge” against the pesticide DDT.

( Shilpa Gupta)

Animals Drink Alcohol Too

By Margie Cullen

Humans have many things in common with monkeys: large brains, hands that can grasp objects, complex social groups. A new study published in the journal Royal Society Open Science confirms another commonality: a taste for alcohol.

Berkeley Loses the CRISPR War

By Meher Bhatia

In February, Berkeley was dealt a major legal blow over one of the most promising technologies to come out of the university. The tribunal of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ruled that the rights for CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing in human and plant cells belong to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, not to Berkeley, potentially ending a years-long battle between the academic institutions.


Mooooove Over, Meat

By Krissy Waite

Giving up hamburgers and ice cream in the next 15 years could save us from global climate catastrophe.

(NISARGMEDIA/Alamy Stock Photo)

Beware Second Hand Bong Smoke

By Krissy Waite

Most people today recognize the health risks of inhaling tobacco smoke, even secondhand. Fewer are aware of the dangers of cannabis smoke.

Illustrations by Patrick Welsh


By Krissy Waite

Berkeley's best in the fight against climate change.


By Anabel Sosa

Blind thinkers, scientists, and artists showing us the way.