Today at Berkeley Lab

Archives for August 2011

Lab Researchers Develop Inexpensive Nanowire Solar Cells

Peidong Yang of the Materials Sciences Division led the development of a solution-based technique for fabricating core/shell nanowire solar cells using the semiconductors cadmium sulfide for the core and copper sulfide for the shell. These inexpensive and easy-to-make nanowire solar cells hold great promise for future solar cell technology. Co-authoring with Yang a paper in Nature Nanotechnology on this work were Jinyao Tang, Ziyang Huo, Sarah Brittman and Hanwei Gao. More>

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Fast Tracking Seaweed Into Biofuels

Jamie Cate of the Physical Biosciences Division was part of a team funded by the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) that engineered a new strain of yeast that converts seaweed into biofuel in half the time it took just months ago. The key to speeding up the process is the unique ability of the new yeast strain to ferment cellubiose and galactose simultaneously. Much of the work was done at the University of Illinois, which is an EBI partner along with UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab. More>

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CC2.0 Seminar on Imaging Ceramic Matrix Composites

Alastair MacDowell of the Advanced Light Source will speak at the next CC 2.0-LDRD seminar on Thursday, Sept. 1, at 2 p.m. in Building 15-253. MacDowelll will discuss “Ceramic Matrix Composites Imaged by High Temperature X-Ray Micro-Tomography.” MacDowell has worked at the Advanced Light Source for the past 14 years building, operating, and developing various beamlines and x-ray techniques. His current area of interest is the development of the x-ray micro tomography and x-ray diffraction high-pressure technique. More>

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Keep Your Contact Information Current

It is important for employees to ensure their correct home address, phone number and emergency contacts information is on file at the Lab. Updates can be made at the Employee Self Service website. Any updates to home addresses will be sent electronically to the benefit plan providers and will be used for mailing information and to verify eligibility for some UC medical plans. For more information, contact HR Benefits (x6403).

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Registration Open for Lab’s ‘Cirque Des Sciences’ Open House on Oct. 15

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, and Lab employees are invited to experience amazing feats of cutting-edge science at “Cirque des Sciences,” the Lab’s Open House on Saturday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A three-ring circus under the Big Top, surrounded by nearly an acre of exciting exhibits, along with costumed stilt walkers and jugglers, will delight and entertain visitors. The event includes tours, lectures, entertainment, and food as well. Visit the Open House website for more information and to register.

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Tips on How Best to Manage Your Time

The Lab’s Health Care Facilitator wants to remind employees that the best way to manage time is to set goals and develop action plans to achieve them. With good time-management skills, you will be able to achieve a balance between your work, family and your personal life while giving all of those responsibilities the time they deserve. Getting organized and listing your priorities will help you in the management of your time. More>

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Lawrence Hall of Science Seeking Volunteers

Up the hill from Berkeley Lab, the Lawrence Hall of Science helps bolster lifelong learning and excitement for math and science. This learning experience is not possible without the aid of enthusiastic volunteers. Right now, the Hall is looking for volunteers to work with children and their families in our Ingenuity in Action exhibit. The exhibit focuses on the engineering design process, asking visitors to design, build, and test solutions to engineering challenges. Our next volunteer orientation is Saturday, Sept. 24, from 10 a.m. to noon. No engineering experience required. More>

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Lawrence Livermore Lab Creates Fast DNA Copy Machine

[ABC7/KGO] It’s a common scene in police dramas and in your doctor’s office: waiting for the test results to get back from the lab. Now a breakthrough at Lawrence Livermore Lab has dramatically cut the time to identify dangerous diseases — and other suspects — using DNA. Soon, a little black box could save you a trip to the doctor for lab results. It’s the fastest DNA copy machine yet. More>

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‘Instant Cosmic Classic’ Supernova Discovered

A supernova discovered last week is closer to Earth — approximately 21 million light-years away — than any other of its kind in a generation. Astronomers at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley who made the discovery believe they caught the supernova within hours of its explosion, a rare feat made possible with a specialized survey telescope and state-of-the-art computational tools. They predict that it will be a target for research for the next decade, making it one of the most-studied supernova in history. This popular story has already generated over 85,000 hits on the Lab’s News Center. More>

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80th Anniversary Event Update

The previously announced 80th anniversary celebration scheduled for Wednesday (Aug. 31) will be woven into the Open House festivities on Oct. 15.

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