Today at Berkeley Lab

Archives for November 2012

DOE Batteries and Energy Storage Hub Includes Berkeley Lab

Berkeley Lab is part of the team that will receive up to $120 million over five years to advance next-generation battery and energy storage technologies for electric and hybrid cars and the electricity grid. The hub, to be known as the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), will combine the R&D firepower of five DOE national laboratories, five universities, and four private firms in an effort aimed at achieving revolutionary advances in battery performance. Venkat Srinivasan (pictured) of EETD will lead the Lab’s involvement with the hub. More>

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Celniker and Leemans Named 2012 AAAS Fellows

Susan Celniker of the Life Sciences Division and Wim Leemans of the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for 2012. Celniker was cited for her “distinguished contributions to the fields of genomics and genetics, particularly for pioneering genomic analysis of Drosophila and discovering novel gene structures and transcript complexity,” and Leemans for his “outstanding contributions to plasma-based laser wakefield acceleration and dynamic leadership at the forefront of laser-plasma particle beam research.” A Fellows Forum will honor all 702 of the 2012 Fellows at the AAAS Boston meeting next February. More>

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Climate Change Study Strengthens Link to Human Activities

New research shows some of the clearest evidence yet of a discernible human influence on atmospheric temperature. “We are far more certain of this finding than we are of the existence of the Higgs-Boson,” said the Computational Research Division’s Michael Wehner, a study coauthor. Published online in the Nov. 29 early edition of the Proceedings of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the research compares data from climate models and satellite observations over a 33-year period. More>

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Foundry Spinoff Wins NOVA Competition With Electrochromic Window Coatings

Heliotrope Technologies, a Molecular Foundry spinoff company, has been declared the winner of the 2012 NOVA Innovation Competition. An Oakland, CA based start-up, Heliotrope works to develop energy-efficient electrochromic window coatings that can switch reversibly between three states: solar transparent, heat blocking, and heat and light blocking. More>

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Next LBNL Integrated Bioimaging Initiative Seminar on Dec. 5

The next LBNL Integrated Bioimaging Initiative seminar will be held Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 4 p.m. at 717 Potter Street, room 141. The talk will feature Sylvain Costes of the Life Sciences Division, who will speak on “High-throughput Cell Tracking Reveals DNA Repair Centers in Human Cells,” and Vikram Bajaj of the Materials Sciences Division, speaking on “Extending the Limits of Sensitivity and Resolution in NMR and MRI.” Seminars are held the first Wednesday of the month and cover diverse topics in the area of bioimaging.

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Some Like It Hot: Thermophiles Clean Up Biofuel Production

In the hunt for more sustainable biofuels, microbes derived directly from crop environments are heating up the chase. Recent research led by John Taylor of the Energy Biosciences Institute and Physical Biosciences Division has shown that fungal and yeast strains taken from hot decomposing plant matter will thrive at high temperatures, enabling higher yielding industrial processes for cellulosic ethanol production. More>

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Phase-1 of New Edison Supercomputer Arrives at NERSC

Phase-1 of NERSC’s newest supercomputer, named Edison, was delivered on November 27, 2012. The architecure is a Cray XC30 (“Cascade”) and it will be installed in two-phases. When it is fully installed in 2013, Edison will have a peak performance of more than two petaflops (1015 floating point operations) per second (2 PF). The integrated storage system will have more than six petabytes (6 PB) of storage with an I/O bandwidth of 140 GB per second. The system is named after U.S. inventor and businessman Thomas Alva Edision. More>

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A Better View: Lab Windows Technology Takes Hold

Soladigm, a startup based on Berkeley Lab smart window technology has launched a new product, a dynamic glass that continually adjusts to external conditions. In a typical commercial installation, annual HVAC and lighting energy consumption is reduced by 20 percent while HVAC peak load is reduced by 25 percent, says the company. The new glass allows users to set their preferences. Want more light but less heat? No problem. How about less light but let’s keep the heat coming? Easy as pie. The idea is to not use blinds or shades and to keep the view — and the comfort. More>

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Chemical Scientist Rich Saykally Receives Faraday Lectureship Prize

Rich Saykally of the Chemical Sciences Division received the 2012 Faraday Lectureship Prize, awarded by the United Kingdom’s Royal Society of Chemistry, for “the development of powerful new spectroscopic technology and its application in pioneering studies of molecular ions, water clusters, liquid water and aqueous solutions and their surfaces.” Saykally joins previous Berkeley Lab winners Alex Pines and Nobelist Y.T Lee of the prize that is considered the UK’s top honor for physical chemistry. Saykally’s work has produced groundbreaking studies of hydronium, hydroxide and ammonium and other molecular ions, and helped resolve a long-standing controversy regarding the microscopic structure of liquid water. More>

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Solar Photovoltaic Prices Continue Rapid Price Decline in U.S.

The installed price of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the United States fell substantially in 2011 and through the first half of 2012, according to the latest edition of “Tracking the Sun,” an annual PV cost-tracking report produced by Berkeley Lab. The median installed price of residential and commercial PV systems completed in 2011 fell by roughly 11 to 14 percent from the year before, depending on system size, and, in California, prices fell by an additional 3 to 7 percent within the first six months of 2012. More>

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