Posts byBSR Magazine Editors

Toolbox – Central Dogma and genetic engineering

How does DNA encode for everything that makes us “us”? In short, DNA contains the instructions our cells need to make proteins, and proteins run the biological processes required for life: from metabolizing food to transporting oxygen in our blood to fighting infection. They also dictate our most defining characteristics, such as eye, skin, and
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From the Editor

Dear Readers, Welcome to the 23rd issue of the Berkeley Science Review.  As you peruse your fresh copy, I encourage you to think small.  Today, perhaps more than ever, UC Berkeley is a hub for explorations of the miniature and miniscule, as reflected by the terrific articles we’ve collected for you in Issue 23. Zooming
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Toolbox – Monte Carlo method

Our physical world feels deterministic. A billiards player depends on this when she carefully lines up complex shots across several cushions. Make the billiard balls ten thousand times smaller and play underwater, however, and she would have a much tougher time predicting the shot’s outcome (let alone finding a very tiny pool cue). Indeed, the
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From the Editor

Dear Readers, There’s a lot of energy on campus, whether you’ve seen the new buildings to house research laboratories on the northwest side of campus, or attended the BERC symposium that brought together 700 members of the UC Berkeley community to talk about carbon emissions and clean technology. In this issue of the BSR we’re
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Incomplete Nature

Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter Terrence W. Deacon, W.W. Norton & Company, 624 pages, $29.95 When I first read “The Selfish Gene,” Richard Dawkins’s classic work on reducing living phenomena to “selfish” interactions between specialized molecules, I felt betrayed. I asked my high school teacher, how can this be it? How can we
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    False Positives

    Science aims for the truth. But could the way scientists approach empirical data be sabotaging their efforts? Leif Nelson at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and colleagues have recently suggested that common practices in data analysis are too flexible to be reliable: scientists may be unwittingly tricking themselves into reporting false results. The basic
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    Toolbox – Probability and Statistics

    Mathematics has a reputation for being exact. Consider the Pythagorean Theorem, which exactly relates the lengths of the three sides of a triangle. I didn’t know Pythagoras (c. 500 B.C.E.), but I like to imagine him scurrying back and forth around a giant marble triangle, measuring the sides with a piece of string and chiseling
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    The Instant Physicist

    I was eager to open my copy of The Instant Physicist when it arrived. It was hardbound, colorful, and best of all – skinny. With time always at a premium, a short volume that promises to help you “learn astonishing facts, win arguments with friends and relatives, make crazy-sounding bets and win money” in less
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