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2007 September October Green Tech

Image source: AP Photo/Obed Zilwa

Flash of Inspiration

Heat removes HIV from breast milk Each year 2.2 million HIV-infected women give birth. If these new mothers choose to breastfeed, they face a heartbreaking decision: Try to treat the milk using one of two problematic methods or risk transmitting the disease. In resource-poor regions like sub-Saharan Africa, which is home to almost two-thirds of all […]

The Upside of Erosion

Yes, it damages hillsides and streams, but erosion is not all bad In a simpler world, all the “good” environmental processes would wear white cowboy hats while all the villains would be off causing cancer, clubbing baby seals, and making people fat. In the real world, the bad guys—in this case, erosion—sometimes muddy the waters by […]

Start-Up U

With global warming breathing down our necks, energy is hot. And at Berkeley, green ideals are teaming up with that other green—money. Venture capitalists are not known to haunt Sproul Plaza, with its drummers and dreamers, but last spring Silicon Valley’s financiers showed up in force. On March 21 they filed across the flagstones and into […]

California Grid

The United States power grid is one of the engineering wonders of the world, a massive network of towers and cables that spiders the entire country and has the capacity to instantaneously deliver about a million megawatts of power to the lower 48 states. In California, that engineering wonder meets the wonder of nature: From […]

Image source: Scott Law

Cultural Tectonics

Yunnan’s ethnic multiplicity and spectacular setting make it a unique place to experience China’s transformation. On one of my last days in China, I woke to the sounds of marching feet and singing—loud, staccato, martial in tone. I lay in bed trying to imagine who could be outside my hotel window. Chanting monks? The government had […]

What’s Hot

1) Production/Supply Efficient energy production—including exploration, extraction, and refining—is a pillar of research on campus. Scientists also study renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, looking at the potential for nanoscale solar cells or ways to improve the efficiency of wind turbines. There’s an entire department devoted to nuclear engineering. And there are […]

Mud Pies in the Sky

Robert Bea has seen what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is doing Engineering Professor Rogert G. Bea brought unique bona fides to the academic team investigating the New Orleans levee failure. In addition to his 48 years as a civil engineer, including 19 as a Berkeley educator, he has the benefit of his father’s career […]

Image source: Photograph by Greg Miles

Patching a Broken City

Former Berkeley Professor Edward J. Blakely brings order to New Orleans’s hodgepodge bureaucracy, and urgency to its laissez-faire citizenry. It was just past seven on a balmy Tuesday morning last February, and the streets of New Orleans’s moribund Central City were temporarily bustling. Barbecues hissed as hip-hop throbbed from car stereos and the open windows of […]

Getting a Greenitude

It’s not easy being greener than thou. Let me make myself clear. I believe that global warming is real, that wetlands require preserving, that buying local produce is a good idea, and that Americans consume far too many things, items, devices, products, and other stuff-like entities while ignoring the environmental damage caused in the countries that […]

When Ants Can Fly

High in Panama’s rainforest, a field biologist made a discovery that has opened up a new branch of science and a new understanding of the evolution of flight. On Barro Colorado Island in Panama, at the turn of the new millennium, Stephen Yanoviak had the first half of his epiphany. He was high in a rainforest […]

What a Difference a Place Makes

Well-traveled memories of Bowles Hall. I approached archaeology as a solitary journey, drawn by the pleasure of exploring ruins where the imagination was free to dream of the glories of past civilizations. When I started working at the pre-Inca archaeological site of Tiwanaku in Bolivia, 13,000 feet above sea level on the south shore of Lake […]

A Campus Kyoto

These days , all the cool kids are “carbon neutral.” Presidential candidate Senator Chris Dodd is into it. So are the nation’s mayors. Even the Presbyterian Church says it will neutralize emissions. So it is only fair that the colleges and universities housing most global warming scientists take a stab at it, too. Following the […]