This is my ninth issue with the Berkeley Science Review over the course of more than four years. With every issue, I am more impressed by the talent and diverse skill set of our team. None of us are professional writers or graphic artists. We are all scientists. But we want to make our world available to our community and strive to make science accessible to anyone who picks up the BSR. That’s what motivates a team of graduate students to set aside time to create a beautiful magazine every semester.
This is also the first BSR issue that was produced completely remotely, as the cover art by Santiago Yori Restrepo reminds us. While all of us here at the BSR have gone through our ups and downs adapting to a new way of life, I think it’s also given us a chance to step back, take stock of what’s important to us, and tackle changes that the BSR has been meaning to implement for a while. Stay tuned in the coming year for some exciting new updates, especially on our website.
Of course, we aren’t the only ones who have been working against the odds in 2020. The scientists doing the work described in the following pages have also had to get creative with their research. This is highlighted in the three articles related to the science behind SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: “Putting corona on ice,” “Uncovering the pandemic divide,” and “PPE to the PPEople.” Other creative scientific solutions can be found throughout this issue. Researchers make breakthroughs in gene therapy in “First Cas gene delivery.” A graduate student searches for bats in abandoned mines in this issue’s “From the field.” And old frog DNA finds a new use for frog conservation in “Leaping to a bright new future.”
Here at the BSR, we have also been having more conversations about how we can better represent all of the scientists at UC Berkeley. We live and work in a diverse community and want to highlight the accomplishments of scientists from many different backgrounds. In this issue, the faculty profiles highlight three new UC Berkeley faculty members: Zak Al Balushi, Samantha Lewis, and Rediet Abebe, who are changing the long-held ideas of what a scientist should look like and how they should approach their work.
Before you read through this issue of the BSR and enjoy the accompanying illustrations, I’d like to thank a few members of the BSR team for their hard work on this issue. Our Art Director, Santiago Yori Restrepo, rose to the occasion at his new post as head of our design team to produce the beautiful magazine in your hands. Andrew Saintsing, our Managing Editor, juggled the nuts and bolts of the BSR this semester. And a huge thanks to our new Blog Editor in Chief, Maiko Kitaoka, who is revamping the blog and working to create a greater online presence for the BSR.
I would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who contributed financially to the BSR for this issue. Every donation received from individuals and campus departments helps us maintain our operating costs and make improvements. And of course, thank you to the Karmon family. We are incredibly grateful for your support every year.
Enjoy Issue 39 of the Berkeley Science Review!
Editor in Chief
An earlier version of this article incorrectly listed the title of “PPE to the PPEople” as “Preparing for the next surge”