Today at Berkeley Lab

Archives for January 2013

Lab Scientists Study the Human Side of the Energy Equation

If your utility company were to send you a letter challenging you to use less energy than your neighbors, would you respond? How would you decide whether to buy a refrigerator that is slightly more expensive but consumes significantly less energy? At Berkeley Lab scientists and engineers are pursuing a broad spectrum of technological solutions for using less energy. But a handful of researchers are also looking at human behavior and decision making as a key factor in reducing energy consumption. The payoff could be huge. “It has been estimated that changes in household behavior and personal transportation could save five to nine quads of energy per year in the United States,” says Rick Diamond. More>

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Computational Pipeline Analyzes Tumor Images to Help Predict Cancer Therapy Response

Berkeley Lab scientists led the development of an algorithm and a computational pipeline that analyzes large sets of tumor images. Their work will help scientists learn more about the genetic and molecular mechanisms that control tumor signatures. It will also shed light on whether tumor subtype can predict the effectiveness of therapies. The research was led by Hang Chang, Ju Han, Leandro Loss, and Bahram Parvin of the Life Sciences Division, as well as scientists from several other institutions. The scientists validated their pipeline by applying it to 377 whole-slide images from patients who have an aggressive brain cancer. More>

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Former Lab Researcher Jean Fréchet Wins Japan Prize

Jean Fréchet, former science director of the Molecular Foundry, is a winner of this year’s prestigious Japan Prize. Fréchet, who left the Foundry in 2011, shares the 2013 Japan Prize in the field of Materials and Production with Grant Wilson of the University of Texas. The two men were recognized for the “development of chemically amplified resist polymer materials for innovative semiconductor manufacturing.” Fréchet, still a UC Berkeley chemistry professor, is now with the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. He and Wilson will split a cash prize equivalent to $560,000. More>

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Find Out What’s Fresh From IT at Feb. 5 Presentation

Want to hear the latest developments in Google Apps? What about a preview of the Lab’s new publication system? Are you interested in where the Laboratory is going in areas like videoconferencing? Come by for a brownbag on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at noon in the Building 50 Auditorium and hear about these and other recent and upcoming developments.

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Revamped Process Improves Submission, Response to Safety Concerns

The new online EHSS Safety Concerns form simplifies the submission process for bringing attention to potential or actual hazardous situations. The redesigned form allows EHSS staff to collect more details, which allows them to respond more quickly. Typical concerns range from traffic and pedestrian safety to inadequate lighting in stairwells, to blocked access of safety equipment. Help make our workplace a safer place by being aware. When the issue is an emergency, call 7-911 from any Lab phone or 911 from any cell phone.

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Lab Scientists Help Map Molecular Architecture of Organelle Critical to Hearing

A team that includes Berkeley Lab scientists has identified and mapped the locations of many of the proteins that compose a hair bundle, which is an organelle that sprouts from hair cells in the inner ear. As recently published online in Nature Neuroscience, Manfred Auer and other scientists from the Life Sciences Division used three-dimensional electron tomography to image stereocilia, which make up hair bundles. Their work complements mass spectrometry data collected by Oregon Health & Science University scientists. Other Lab scientists involved in the research include Ahmed Hassan, Zoltan Metlagel, and Andrew Tauscher. More>

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MSD’s Yablonovitch Wins the Harvey Prize

Eli Yablonovitch, an electrical engineer with the Materials Sciences Division and director of the NSF Center for Energy Efficient Electronics Science at UC Berkeley, won the 2012 Harvey Prize in Science and Technology for his “pioneering discoveries in photonics, optoelectronics, and semiconductors that impacted our lives.” Presented annually by the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the Harvey Prize recognizes breakthroughs in science and technology that contribute to the progress of humanity. Yablonovich, a world authority on photovoltaics is considered the father of the photonic bandgap concept. Photonic crystals are ofetn referred to as “yablonovite.” More>

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DOE Photo of the Week Shows E.O. Lawrence’s Children With 60-Inch Cyclotron

In this 1939 photo, Eric and Margaret Lawrence are sitting inside the tank of something called the 60-inch cyclotron — a machine invented by their father, Ernest Lawrence. The cyclotron is a unique circular particle accelerator, which Lawrence himself referred to as a “proton merry-go-round.” In reality, the cyclotron specialized in smashing atoms. This cyclotron contained a magnet that weighed 220 tons, and experiments conducted on this very machine led to the discovery of plutonium and Nobel Prizes for researchers Glenn Seaborg and Melvin Calvin.

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Video Highlights Development of Lab Technologies to Combat Global Poverty

In this highlight version of the Nov. 26, 2012 Science at the Theater, scientists discuss the recently launched LBNL Institute for Globally Transformative Technologies (LIGTT) at Berkeley Lab. LIGTT is an ambitious mandate to discover and develop breakthrough technologies for combating global poverty. Technologies discussed include fuel efficient stoves for clean cooking, the ultra-low energy refrigerator, and the solar OB suitcase. Lab’s Ashok Gadgil, Shashi Buluswar and other LIGTT scientists discussed what it takes to develop technologies that will impact millions of people.

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Lab Co-Hosts Conference on State Energy Storage and ‘Battery University’

Venkat Srinivasan, head of the Lab’s Energy Storage and Resources Group, and U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman, are among the scheduled presenters at a briefing on developments in the state’s energy storage sector, the launch of Battery University, an education program developed by CalCharge and San Jose State, and the role of the recently announced Joint Center for Energy Research. The event takes place Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 6:30 p.m. in Santa Clara. More>

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