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Berkeley Science Review - Spring 2009

Berkeley Science Review - Spring 2009

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Published by: The Berkeley Science Review on May 23, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Lab on a chipGreen chemistryArtifcial leaves
Spring 2009 Issue 16
Born to Be Good
Rachel Bernstein
 Art Director
Tim De Chant
 Assistant Art Director
Victoria Wojcik
Copy Editor
Katie Peek
Greg AlushinDan GillickHania KöverFrankie MyersRobin PadillaAnna Wiedmann
Layout Editors
Merredith Carpenter Jacqueline ChretienMarek JakubowskiRobin PadillaOrapim TulyathanTerry Yen
Niranjana Nagarajan
 Web Editor
 Jesse Dill
Sundance Press
Chemists, engineers, physicists, and other experts are cracking the secrets of photosynthesis to harvest the sun’s power to meet our increasing de-mands for energy. Painting by Micheal Hagleberg.
© 2009 Berkeley Science Review.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form without the express permission ofthe publishers. Financial assistance for the 2008-2009 academic year was generously provided by the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Research, the Officeof University Relations, the UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly (GA), the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), and the Eran KarmonMemorial Fund.
Berkeley Science Review 
is not an official publication of the University of California, Berkeley, the ASUC, or the GA. The views expressedherein are the views of the writers and not necessarily the views of the aforementioned organizations. All events sponsored by the
are wheelchairaccessible.
For more information
Letters to the editor
story proposals
are encouraged and should beemailed to
or posted to the Berkeley Science Review, 10 Eshleman Hall #4500, Berkeley, CA 94720.
or visit
Spring has arrived in Berkeley: the grass is growing, seasonal allergies are blooming, and a newissue of the
Berkeley Science Review
is here. This springtime weather has me thinking green (alongwith the rest of the country), and thus I’m happy to unofficially dub this issue of the
“TheGreen Edition.” Politicians are focusing on new plans for carbon taxes and caps, but here at Berke-ley researchers are thinking about green in more creative ways. Photosynthesis, the original greentechnology, produces a tremendous amount of energy, and Tracy Powell explores how researchers areinvestigating its mechanisms and applying those lessons to a new generation of solar energy panels(p. 16). Other groups are working to create power from more unlikely sources. One project is turn-ing up the efficiency for converting heat energy into electricity, as Jasmine McCammon describes onpage 6, and Susan Young’s brief, “Poo Power,” will tell you all about how microbial fuel cells can turnorganic waste into electricity (p. 13). With Berkeley’s own Steven Chu as President Obama’s Secre-tary of Energy, it probably comes as no surprise that Berkeley researchers are working on alternateenergy sources, but going green also means decreasing the footprint of toxic chemicals we leave onthe planet. On page 27 Lee Bishop and Mitch Anstey write about a new green chemistry movementtaking shape on Berkeley’s campus. Even Hanadie Yousef’s archaeology feature uncovers sustainablefarming techniques from Hawaii (p. 41).Does it sound like we’ve got green on the brain? Well, there are researchers looking into howour minds work, too. Colin Brown writes about a controversial technique that can induce temporarybrain lesions for both research and patient treatment (p. 23), and if you’ve ever wondered how allthose video games affect your intelligence, it turns out that some games can actually train your brainand improve your IQ—Katie Hart has the full story on page 12. Finally, on our back page Louis-Benoit Desroches debunks the myth that we only use 10% of our brain. And, although this may bethe green edition, you can also read about materials that bend light backwards (p. 8), the deluge of spam that shows up in your email inbox (p. 49), and what a canyon in Idaho might tell us aboutwater on Mars (p. 7).Speaking of green, we have an almost entirely new editorial staff for this issue. While it was sadto see so many of our seasoned veterans leave us for greener pastures (or, in some cases, to focus moreon their research) and daunting to think about training a new editorial board, it has been exciting tohave so many fresh faces and new ideas. I’d like to thank the entire editorial staff for their enthusiasmand willingness to commit precious hours to this magazine, and also the former members of the staff who have provided so much support during this transition. Finally, without our dedicated layout edi-tors and our wonderful Art Director, Tim De Chant, the magazine would never have come togetherso beautifully. If you’re interested in getting involved, or if you loved—or hated—one of our articles,we’d love to hear from you at sciencereview@gmail.com.Enjoy the issue,Rachel Bernstein

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