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2007 May June New Food and Farming

Finding The Bull’s-Eye in Targeting Tumors

Imagine being told that you have a tumor in your liver. Luckily, it hasn’t metastasized, and the doctor offers you options, including surgery to remove the tumor, followed by an uncomfortable recovery period, or a combination of radiation and drugs to shrink the tumor, which might harm the surrounding healthy tissue also, and compromise your […]

Selenium Sponges

Genetically modified mustard plants mop up toxins Genetically modified organisms have earned few fans among the Prius-driving, organic food–buying set, who say that messing with genomes will be disastrous for ecosystems and human health. But a recent study by Berkeley scientist Norman Terry and colleagues might encourage green-minded types to consider the possible benefits of genetic […]

An Arousing Scent

An exhausted star basketball player leaves the court and is mobbed by female fans who can’t resist him, or his soaked jersey. Is it his good looks, or a chemical and biological response to his musk that has attracted them? Claire Wyart and colleagues doing research for the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute tested the female […]

Image source: Michael Wertz

An Energy Idea that’s Heating Up

Anyone whose car has overheated has caught a glimpse of wasted energy. Arun Majumdar, a professor of mechanical engineering, sees such waste everywhere he goes. But he and other Berkeley researchers may have found a way to turn that loss into an opportunity that could help cut down on fossil fuel dependency. Researchers led by […]

Playing with Stats

After a season as a minor-league baseball play-byplay announcer for the Columbia Mules, biologist Michael Eisen moved on to his fallback career: science. Eisen posted impressive stats after being drafted by Berkeley, publishing widely, and co-founding the Public Library of Science—an online library of openaccess science and medical publications. But despite his success, some part […]

Food Reform

Food reform Pending: A federal Farm Bill that could transform public health and the health of our farmland. There’s still much I don’t understand about our farm policy, but let me start by telling you what I do know about the federal Farm Bill. What I do know is that this obscure piece of legislation that […]

Where Jalapeño Meets Star Anise

California cuisine has turned into crossroads cuisine. My sister and I were strolling down Larkin Street in San Francisco recently when there wafted a pungent, salty aroma from an open window above. I was about to name the dish, but the couple walking ahead of us beat me to it. “Hmm, I smell fish sauce,” said […]

The Yuppies of New China

Connecting the dots between Confucianism, the Cultural Revolution, and capitalism. I’ve been afraid to revisit those cities that are the economic engines of the renewed China, afraid to be affronted by masses of Shanghai and Beijing yuppies shooting Starbucks doppio espressos before heading into an excessively air-conditioned office to sell questionable stocks to China’s “to be […]

The Time is Ripe

California’s food production and distribution system is the root system of the state’s life. Its maintenance is fundamental for our health and our future sustainability—and it requires massive amounts of energy, water, labor, and capital to feed people each day. Consequently, it offers myriad challenges and opportunities: a healthy food system means better health for […]

Her Heroes Have Always Been Farmers: an Interview with Alice Waters

The queen of California says her ultimate fate may be to open another restaurant. When she opened the doors of Chez Panisse 36 years ago, Alice Waters had no idea how many guests would arrive or how the tiny staff of her modest neighborhood restaurant would get the food on the tables. Today, Chez Panisse is […]

Image source: Photograph by Anne Dowie

Breaking Culinary Tradition

Maverick chef Eric Gower throws kitchen convention to the wind. Eric Gower’s kitchen is small—cramped, even—and bears little resemblance to the chrome culinary laboratories made famous by the Food Network. Mismatched pots and skillets hang over his vintage Wedgewood stove, its top shelf crowded with brightly colored salts. The cartoon-bedecked refrigerator door can’t be opened without […]

Fernando Botero’s Terrible Beauty

The once predictable Colombian artist, known for lush rural scenes and curvaceous women, shocks audiences with portraits inspired by the horror of Abu Ghraib. The millionaire artist walks to a corner of his Paris studio, bends over, and picks up an illustration of what has become his instantly recognizable franchise. It is a still-life painting of […]