Home Tags University of california berkeley

Tag: university of california berkeley

Researchers Crack Web Bot Security System

For every warm-blooded human who has ever taken an online poll or signed up for free web-based email, there are legions of computer-automated Internet robots, or "bots," trying to do the same thing. A clever security system designed to stop these bot programs - which contribute to the Internet equivalent of computer-generated telemarketing calls - has now been cracked by a pair of computer scientists from the University of California, Berkeley. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh created the security system, known as Gimpy, to thwart the bot programs that relentlessly scour cyberspace for opportunities to register new email addresses, stuff ballots for online polls and direct unwitting participants in Internet chat rooms to advertisements. Bot-produced email accounts are hard to block or trace, making them ideal vehicles for sending spam to legitimate email users.

Fossil fuels for cooking, heating may be best for world’s 2...

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the use of fossil fuels for household cooking and heating may make more environmental sense for the estimated 2 billion rural poor in the world, according to a researcher from the University of California, Berkeley. Because they contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuels have been largely dismissed as a viable alternative for the one-third of the world's population who now use coal and local biomass - including wood, crop residues and dung - for cooking and heating, said Kirk R. Smith, professor and chair of environmental health sciences at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health. Efforts have been focused on equipping the rural poor with renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power.

Scientists Detail Neural Circuit

Nearly 40 years ago scientists were startled to discover that the eye, far from being a still camera, actually has cells that respond to movement. Moreover, these cells are specialized to respond to movement in one direction only, such as left to right or right to left. Now, in a paper in this week's issue of the journal Nature, biologists at the University of California, Berkeley, have finally detailed the cellular circuit responsible for motion detection in the eye's retina.

Brain’s perception depends upon the source of cues, researchers find

When the human brain is presented with conflicting information about an object from different senses, it finds a remarkably efficient way to sort out the discrepancies, according to new research conducted at the University of California, Berkeley. The researchers found that when sensory cues from the hands and eyes differ from one another, the brain effectively splits the difference to produce a single mental image. The researchers describe the middle ground as a "weighted average" because in any given individual, one sense may have more influence than the other. When the discrepancy is too large, however, the brain reverts to information from a single cue - from the eyes, for instance - to make a judgment about what is true.

Magnetic processes in space can accelerate electrons to near light speed

A chance observation of high-energy electrons emanating from a tiny region of space where the sun and Earth's magnetic fields intertwine provides the first solid evidence that a process called magnetic reconnection accelerates electrons to near the speed of light in the Earth's magnetosphere and perhaps throughout the universe where magnetic fields entangle.

Popular weed killer feminizing America’s frogs

Bad news, guys. Native male leopard frogs throughout the nation's Corn Belt are being feminized by an herbicide, atrazine, used extensively to kill weeds on the country's leading export crops, corn and soybeans, according to a study at the University of California at Berkeley. The Berkeley biologists also report male frogs raised in laboratory tanks contaminated with atrazine develop egg cells in their testes and essentially turn into hermaphrodites.

Valium-like drug helps treat lupus

A cousin to the anti-anxiety drug Valium has been shown in mice to reduce some of the symptoms associated with lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the body's own tissues. "The best available therapies for lupus haven't changed for many, many years," says U-M's Gary D. Glick, Ph.D., one of the lead authors on the study. "It's a disease where the mechanisms that normally prevent the immune system from attacking components of one's own body are defective. Because we do not yet understand what triggers lupus, it has been very difficult to develop lupus-specific therapies."

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

From anti-aging to the search for alien life, we promise to never bore.