News

March 17, 2020

Henry Rapoport

Professor of Chemistry

By James K. Cason, John E. Hearst, J. Clark Lagarias, Walter H. Moos, and Donald S. Noyce

March 16, 2020

film review of 'Human Nature

How many newspaper stories, magazine features and TV segments have been produced so far that marvel at the revolutionary capabilities of CRISPR while giving almost no idea at all how the gene-editing discovery actually works? Those who lament the state of science journalism should take note of 'Human Nature', in which Adam Bolt and helpful scientists offer an easily understood introduction to techniques often described with head-scratching phrases like "it's a word processor for DNA!" A cogent, wide-ranging look at both the discovery and the nascent, soon-to-be-giant fights humans are having over it, the documentary should be welcomed in its limited theatrical release and will be even more useful on video.

new CRISPR based test for coronavirus

A potential solution to speeding up the diagnostics of coronavirus may have presented itself in the form of the gene editing molecular tool called CRISPR. Combined with high-scale advances in automation and computation, CRISPR promises to be a real game-changer in the field of synthetic biology, impacting everything from chemicals and materials to food and health. CRISPR’s precision has an uncanny ability to find a specific sequence within a sample, and one startup has a way to test for coronavirus in 30 minutes (the whole process including sample preparation will take about 4 hours).

March 12, 2020

George Ernest Gibson

By W. F. Giauque, J. H. Hildebrand, and G. T. Seaborg

George Jura

Chemistry Professor 

By Paul A. Bartlett, Rollie J. Myers, and Andrew Streitwieser, Jr.

William Dulaney Gwinn

By Robert E. Connick Rollie J. Myers Richard J. Saykally

March 11, 2020

Richard Edward Powell

By George Jura, R. E. Connick, A. E. Hutson, and G. A. Somorjai

Rollie John Myers

By David E. Wemmer

Alan S. Foss

Professor of Chemical Engineering

By  C. Judson King, Simon L. Goren, and P. Henrik Wallman

March 10, 2020

James Cason

By Jane Scheiber, College of Chemistry

James Cason, an emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, died Nov. 3 at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley after a short illness. He was 91.

 Charles B. Harris

It is with tremendous sadness that I write to share the news that Charles Harris, respected colleague and dedicated champion of the College, passed away at his home this morning; he was 79 years old. Charles was born in New York in 1940 but spent most of his youth in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, a suburb just outside of Detroit. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in 1963 and his Ph.D. degree from MIT in 1966. Charles joined the Berkeley faculty in the Department of Chemistry in 1967.

March 9, 2020

women trailblazers

Guided by CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna, a formidable entrepreneur in her own right, C&EN profiled 15 women working in the Chemical industry in academics and startups in C&EN's 2020 Trailblazers. Four of them are affiliated with UC Berkeley's College of Chemistry. They have collectively launched more than 30 start-ups aimed at developing treatments for rare diseases, building better batteries, and more. They’re chemical scientists at the top of their game. They’re role models building and mentoring teams. And yes, they’re badasses. They live by the motto “Nobody ever got anywhere by listening to no.”

March 5, 2020

Charles Robert Wilke

Professor of Chemical Engineering

By John Prausnitz and Harvey Blanch

March 4, 2020

Gabor Somorjai

Gabor A. Somorjai, Professor of the Graduate School and Emeritus Chemistry Professor has been awarded the Helmholtz Medal by the members of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (formerly the Prussian Academy of Sciences.) The award honors his outstand­ing scientific achievements in the field of surface chemistry and catalysis, and especially the catalytic effects of metal surfaces. The Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities contin­ues the tradition established by the Prussian Academy of Sciences of awarding the Helmholtz Medal which was established in 1892.

Omar Yaghi

Omar Yaghi has been awrded the the 2020 August-Wilhelm-von-Hofmann-Denkmünze. The German Chemical Society bi-annually presents this prestigious award to an outstanding national and international chemists in a wide range of fields. Among the oldest chemistry awards, the August-Wilhelm-von-Hofmann-Denkmünze gold medal was first awarded in 1903. The award is intended to recognize outstanding achievements in chemistry; in particular by scientists working outside of Germany.

Leo Brewer

By Rollie J. Myers, Gerd M. Rosenblatt, and Herbert L. Strauss

March 3, 2020

Gerald Eyre Kirkwood Branch Portrait

By G. E. Gibson, M. Calvin, J. H. Hildebrand, and  J. E. Tippett

Frederick Richard Jensen

By James Cason, Bruce Rickborn, and Andrew Streitwieser

George Claude Pimentel

By Robert E. Connick, Frederick C. Crews, C. Bradley Moore, Kenneth S. Pitzer, and Loy L. Sammet

plastic recycling

Plastic is a certainly versatile element. There is much we can do with it. Utensils, tools, parts for cars, technological devices. There is only one thing we do not know how to do with plastic: disappear when it is no longer useful. There the real headache begins and the enormous challenge of obtaining a circular or fully recyclable plastic is posed. Plastics contain various additives, such as dyes, fillers or flame retardants and very few of them can be recycled without loss of performance or aesthetics. The most recyclable plastic, PET (ethylene polyterephthalate), is only recycled at a rate of 20-30%. The rest generally goes to incinerators or landfills where it takes centuries to decompose.