Berkeley in the News

Berkeley in the News is a daily selection of articles and commentaries in the news media that mention UC Berkeley. The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of the campus.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

1. New Technique Captures Entire Fly Brain in 3D
The Scientist

A color-coded and fully searchable map of a fruit fly brain has been created by a team of neuroscientists including molecular and cell biology professor and Nobel Laureate Eric Betzig. The innovative and speedy technique the researchers used to take the super-resolution images of 40 million synapses in an object about the size of a poppy seed promises landmark breakthroughs in neuroscience. The strategy included a technique Professor Betzig had previously developed, called "lattice light sheet microscopy," in which tissues are 3D-scanned using only light and microscopes. Link to video. For more on this, see our press release at Berkeley News. Stories on this topic have appeared in dozens of sources around the world, including IFL Science.
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2. Top Colleges and The Pell Student, Part I

The Pell grant -- a federal financial aid program for lower-income students -- was introduced to make sure that all students could afford to pursue a college education. In 2018, roughly seven million students received the grants. According to this analysis of Pell students' admission and graduation rates at Forbes' top 25 private and public universities, Berkeley is among the five campuses with the highest rates of Pell student admissions. All five of the top campuses were in the UC system. Berkeley's graduation rate for Pell students was 88.9 percent.
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3. Op-Ed: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Tax Hike Idea Is Not About Soaking the Rich
New York Times (*requires registration)

Weighing in on "misplaced" debate over Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's proposal to raise the top marginal income tax rates, Berkeley economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman write that the proposal's objective is not just to raise needed revenue. They say: "Their root justification is not about collecting revenue. It is about regulating inequality and the market economy. It is also about safeguarding democracy against oligarchy. ... It has always been about that." Diving into the history of tax policy, they conclude: "Progressive income taxation cannot solve all our injustices. But if history is any guide, it can help stir the country in the right direction, closer to Japan and farther from Putin's Russia. Democracy or plutocracy: That is, fundamentally, what top tax rates are about." A story on this topic citing research by Professor Saez appeared in the Los Angeles Times.
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4. Sen. Kamala Harris's 2020 policy agenda: $3 trillion tax plan, tax credits for renters, bail reform, Medicare for all
Washington Post (*requires registration)

Sen. Kamala Harris's presidential campaign platform includes a proposal to give renters tax credits when they make less than $100,000 a year but spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent. The plan would help more than 13 million Americans. Berkeley's Terner Center for Housing Innovation wrote a similar plan that they estimated would cost $76 billion.
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5. A Tale of Two Companies -- and Two Countries
Wall Street Journal (*requires registration)

Comparing the post-Euro fortunes of two companies producing cooking tools -- one in Italy, and one in Germany -- economics professor Barry Eichengreen says: "It was the failure of Italian enterprises to reorganize themselves so as to capitalize on ... new information technologies that caused Italy to fall behind from the mid-1990s on." Family-owned Italian companies had close connections to banks and politicians, and they did well after World War II, he says, but their habit of importing technologies left them behind when the 1990s brought a climate of rapid innovation and change. "I wouldn't put the euro high up on the list of things that have created the Italian problem," he says.
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6. Kronos Quartet's new project aims to hook young music lovers around the world
Mercury News (*requires registration)

In its "Fifty for the Future" project to inspire young musicians, the Kronos Quartet solicited new works from 50 of their favorite composers. This Friday, January 25, the quartet will perform some of the works with local music students at Zellerbach Hall. The composers, whose new works will have their world premieres in the concert, include Misato Mochizuki, Mario Galeano Toro, Wu Man, Rhiannon Giddens, and Soon Yeon Lyuh. For more on this, visit Cal Performances.
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7. Violin star Nicola Benedetti in Berkeley to tackle new work by Wynton Marsalis
Mercury News (*requires registration)

Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti returns to Berkeley on Sunday, January 27, for Cal Performances' RADICAL initiative, "Women's Work." She will be performing works by Wynton Marsalis, Bach, Prokofiev, and Strauss, with pianist Alexei Grynyuk joining her on the Prokofiev and Strauss sonatas. For more on this, visit Cal Performances.
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8. Masako Miki's colorful sculpture, inspired by Japanese folklore, is at BAMPFA

Local artist and designer Masako Miki has created an installation for the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive's MATRIX Program for Contemporary Art. According to this critic: "These brightly colored, almost childlike, gently playful huge sculptures are based on shape-shifting spirits that arise out of Buddhist and Shinto traditions and early Japanese folklore. The immersive installation also includes accompanying abstract two-dimensional images on the floor and walls of the exhibition gallery, so that every sculpture has its own background wall and floor art with similar or contrasting colors." For more on this, visit BAMPFA.
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