Science on the SPOT: Preserving the Forest of the Sea 

The University Herbarium at the University of California - Berkeley boasts one of the largest and oldest collections of seaweed in the United States, dating back to the time of the U.S. Civil War. Kathy Ann Miller, a curator at the herbarium, is leading a massive project to digitize nearly 80,000 specimens of seaweed collected from the west coast of North America. When the project is finished, researchers from around the world will be able to go online and see the digital photographs along with collection information and a map of where the seaweeds were originally collected.

Learn more here about this extraordinary collection. 

UC Berkeley Botanical Garden art work attracts right-wing attacks
“The right-wing attacks focused on the use of materials from Solyndra to create an artwork, leading the House committee, for example, to claim that SOL Grotto had become the world’s most expensive work of art. Greg Gutfeld on Fox News — a Cal grad — sputtered with rage at the art: “Our loss is someone else’s hip, pretentious art.” He suggested someone should take a sledgehammer to the work and call it performance art, before adding, “I’m kidding, of course that would be wrong.”
“We were totally taken by surprise,” said Paul Licht, Director of the Botanical Garden. “We weren’t making any political statements. It’s an attempt to create news.” 
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UC Berkeley Botanical Garden art work attracts right-wing attacks

The right-wing attacks focused on the use of materials from Solyndra to create an artwork, leading the House committee, for example, to claim that SOL Grotto had become the world’s most expensive work of art. Greg Gutfeld on Fox News — a Cal grad — sputtered with rage at the art: “Our loss is someone else’s hip, pretentious art.” He suggested someone should take a sledgehammer to the work and call it performance art, before adding, “I’m kidding, of course that would be wrong.”

“We were totally taken by surprise,” said Paul Licht, Director of the Botanical Garden. “We weren’t making any political statements. It’s an attempt to create news.” 

The Great Cockroach Escape: How Those Dirty Bugs Make Tricky Tracks

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have uncovered a previously overlooked way cockroaches evade us. The bugs have an amazing ability to run fill-tilt to the edge of a countertop, table or bookshelf, flip to the other side and keep going without missing a beat.

Roaches use hook-like claws on their hind legs to grab at the edge of the surface, such as a shelf, as they run away. Then, in a blink of an eye, the bugs swing over the edge and land upside down on the bottom of the surface, skittering away out of sight.

The biomechanical details of the gymnastic maneuver are explained in a paper published in the online journal PLoSONE. But the embedded video, with slow-motion footage, tells the tale.

You can watch the roaches making what look almost like swimmers’ flip turns. After the researchers removed the hooks on the roaches’ back legs, the bugs fell flat on their backs when they tried the flip stunt. You can watch that, too.”

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