University of California at Berkeley

Research Highlights

  • Professor of Immunology James Allison and colleagues discovered a neat trick to stimulate a full-bore immune system attack against tumor cells, and are now working with doctors to develop ways to treat a variety of cancers.

  • A nine-member team of scientists led by Nuclear Engineering Professor William Kastenberg concluded that the government's planned underground storage site for high-level radioactive waste in Yucca Mountain, Nevada can be designed to create minimal risk to surrounding areas.

  • Adjunct Professor of Astronomy Geoffrey Marcy and colleague Paul Butler, also of San Francisco State University, have discovered six new planets outside our solar system in the past year, exciting astronomers and making headlines around the world.

  • Six sociology professors published a detailed critique of genetic justifications for racial inequality, and also concluded that class inequality is greater in this country than in any other industrialized nation, mostly because of recent corporate and political decisions.

  • Professor of Social Welfare Steven Segal led a five-year investigation at three county hospitals in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas that found that far stronger medication is being given to many black mentally ill patients in county emergency rooms than to other patients with the same condition.

  • A team of researchers led by Henry Brady, head of the UC Data Archive and Technical Assistance project, told the National Academy of Sciences that setting up a data system to track millions of welfare recipients for 10 to 20 years is "daunting" but can be done.

  • Berkeley astronomers launched or dedicated three big projects this year: the FAST Explorer satellite to study the Northern lights; the BIMA radio array to obtain detailed pictures of cool gas and dust in space; and a robotic telescope at Lick Observatory to conduct an automated search for supernovas.

  • Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration helped dedicate The National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research, a multi-university group based in the Institute of Transportation Studies that will focus on problems of air traffic management and air traffic safety for the 21st century.

  • Assistant Anthropology Professor Laurie Wilkie led her students in a dig at the new Boalt Hall addition construction site that unearthed a fascinating slice of life from the early 1900s at Zeta Psi, the oldest fraternity west of the Mississippi River.

  • Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Alexander Horne conducted a study in the Santa Ana River showing that artificial wetlands can help purify river water, reducing pollutants such as nitrates and chlorinated organic compounds.

  • A study by Public Policy Professor Eugene Smolensky concluded that denying public education to undocumented immigrant children in California doesn't pay off in tax dollars.

  • Using a simple assumption -- that the Earth's mantle gets more viscous with depth -- Professor of Geology and Geophysics Mark Richards and colleague Hans-Peter Bunge have finally found a model of the mantle that predicts the size and shape of the tectonic plates.

  • As global warming heats the Earth's surface, soils worldwide will release carbon dioxide into the air and intensify environmental problems, reports Ronald Amundson, associate professor of Ecosystem Sciences, and colleagues at UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara.


    Copyright 1996, The Regents of the University of California.
    Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
    Comments? E-mail