Today at Berkeley Lab

Archives for June 2013

Potential for BART Strike Starting Monday; Staff Should Monitor News Over the Weekend

As of this morning, BART unions have given strike notice, so it is still possible that a strike could happen on Monday, July 1. The Lab is encouraging all employees who may be impacted to begin making alternate commuting plans or to consult with line management about permission to work from home. Staff should monitor local news over the weekend for any updates on the potential strike. Refer to transit.511.org for alternative means of transportation.

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New Ribosome Research Could Lead to Better Antibiotics

Berkeley Lab scientists have created an atomic-scale structure of a bacterial ribosome attached to a molecule that controls its motion. The image is also a possible roadmap to better antibiotics. Somewhere in its twists and turns could be a weakness that a new antibiotic can target. The research, led by Jamie Cate of the Physical Biosciences Division and involving the Advanced Light Source, appears in the journal Science. More>

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Industry @ ALS: Enabling Thin Silicon Solar Cell Technology

The effort to shift U.S. energy reliance from fossil fuels to renewable sources has spurred companies to reduce the cost and increase the reliability of their solar photovoltaics (SPVs). However, thinner silicon is more susceptible to stress and cracking, leading one researcher from SunPower Corporation to mount a fundamental approach to systematically find stress and enable solutions for next-generation crystalline silicon SPV systems. More>

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Remember, Wild Turkeys Are Just That…Wild

Recently, a Lab employee got too close to a wild turkey, and the bird flew up and brushed against her. The incident serves as an important reminder that the Lab’s turkeys are untamed animals and need to be given space. Allow at least 10–15 feet of clearance, try not to turn your back on the birds if they are close, and do not feed them. Follow these tips to prevent conflicts.

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Paper on Efficiency for ORNL’s Jaguar Supercomputer Wins Gauss Award

A paper titled “TUE: A New Energy-Efficiency Metric Applied at ORNL’s Jaguar” won the Gauss Award of the German Gauss Center for Supercomputing. The award is presented at the International Scientific Computing Conference in Leipzig, Germany. Members of the Energy Efficient High Performance Computing Working Group (EE HPC WG) wrote the paper, including William Tschudi and Henry Coles of EETD. The EE HPC WG was conceived and is led by Berkeley Lab to promote energy-efficient green computing best practices. The paper can be downloaded here.

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Potential BART Strike Could Affect Commute on July 1

With a BART strike appearing increasingly possible starting Monday, July 1, the Lab is encouraging all employees who may be impacted to begin making alternate commuting plans or to consult with line management about permission to work from home.

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Partial Lab Evacuation Exercise on July 11 Affects All Employees

On Thursday, July 11, beginning at 2:30 p.m., the Lab will evacuate all employees in Zone 1 buildings — 50, 50A, 50B, 50C, 50E, 50F, 55, 56, 56A, 56W, 60, 63, 64, 65, 65A, 65B, 70, 70A, 88, and 90. Directed by Building Emergency Team (BET) members, employees must move offsite for the remainder of the day. All staff, regardless of evacuee status, must check in either online or with their supervisors through e-mail, text, or voice mail, after 2:30 p.m. and no later than COB on July 11. Contact your supervisor for information on how your group will be conducting this portion of the exercise. Those participating in the evacuation component must take their personal belongings (i.e., car and home keys, wallets, etc.).

Go here for complete details.

For further information, contact Jan McClellan at x7570.

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ALS Helps Explore Why Sea Life in the Southern Ocean is Less Abundant

The Southern Ocean, circling the Earth between Antarctica and the southernmost regions of Africa, South America, and Australia, is notorious for its high-nutrient, low-chlorophyll areas, which are rich in nutrients—but poor in essential iron. Sea life is less abundant in these regions because the growth of phytoplankton—the marine plants that form the base of the food chain—is suppressed. A study by scientists from South Africa’s Stellenbosch University, Princeton University, and the Advanced Light Source (ALS) suggests that it is not just a lack of iron, but a lack of iron in an easy-to-use form, that is affecting the ecosystems. More>

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Interactive Map of 17 DOE Labs Created

The Department of Energy has nurtured hubs of innovation in the United States for more than eight decades. Discoveries made at national laboratories have saved lives, solved mysteries of nature, improved products, transformed industries and served as a training ground for students who go on to pursue careers in science and technology. Use symmetry’s interactive map to learn more about what goes on at the national laboratories, or print the map in poster form to hang on your wall — or bring along on a cross-country national laboratory road trip. Access the map here.

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Joseph Cerny, Distinguished Nuclear Scientist, Retires

Joseph Cerny is retiring after more than half a century of research and leadership at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley. Cerny is the former head of the Nuclear Science Division and Associate Laboratory Director at Berkeley Lab, and Professor of Chemistry, former Chemistry Department chair, Graduate Division Dean, and Provost and Vice Chancellor for Research at UC Berkeley. His investigation of the limits of stability in light elements and discoveries of proton emission as a mode of radioactive decay and beta-delayed two-proton emission have brought many distinguished honors, as has his service, including the prestigious Berkeley Citation. More>

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