Today at Berkeley Lab

Archives for March 2014

Human-Induced Climate Change Reduces Chance of Flooding in Okavango Delta

Researchers at the University of Cape Town, Berkeley Lab, and the United Nations Development Programme have analyzed how human-induced climate change has affected recent flooding in an ecologically and geographically unique river basin in southern Africa — the Okavango River. After running a number of simulations, they found that greenhouse gas emissions have substantially reduced the chance of the floods in the region. More>

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Lab Hosts ‘Proposer Day’ for Tri-Institute Neurotechnology Project

As part of the recently announced tri-institutional partnership between Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley, and UC San Francisco, the Lab earlier this month hosted more than 90 researchers from these organizations to discuss the partnership’s seed collaborative project in neurotechnology and the opportunities provided by President Obama’s BRAIN initiative. More>

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Help the Lab Save Water; Conserve and Report Leaks

We are experiencing an exceptional drought. You can help the Lab and California get through the drought by conserving water and reporting any water leaks. On the main Berkeley Lab site, report leaks to the Work Request Center online or by telephone (x6274). For off-site facilities, contact the building manager or landlord. Common leaks include leaking faucets in labs, restrooms and common areas, and toilets or urinals that won’t stop running. More information about water and actions being taken by the Lab to respond to the drought and meet longer-term water use reduction goals is available here.

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Wednesday Bioimaging Seminar on Tools, Techniques for Imaging Living Cells

The next LBNL Integrated Bioimaging Seminar, focused on Tools and Techniques for Imaging Living Cells, will be held Tuesday, April 2, at 4 p.m. at 717 Potter Street, Room 141. The talk will feature Mustafa A. H. Mir, of UC Berkeley (Sohn Lab), who will speak on “Quantitative Phase Imaging for Characterizing Living Biological Systems” and Bruce Cohen, of The Molecular Foundry, speaking on “Non-Luminescent Nanocrystals that Make Exceptional Single-Molecule Imaging Probes.” Seminars are held the first Wednesday of the month and cover diverse topics in the area of bioimaging. More>

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ALS’s Dula Parkinson Gives Wednesday Talk at East Bay Science Café

Dula Parkinson, a researcher with the Advanced Light Source’s Experimental Systems Group, will present a talk at the East Bay Science Café on Wednesday, April 2, from 7 to 9 p.m. He will discuss “What I Saw With High-Definition, 3D, X-Ray Vision.” The event — sponsored by the Berkeley Natural History Museums — takes place at 1403 Solano Ave.

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Workshop Helps Staff Share Engaging Science Activities With Students

Participate in an upcoming volunteer workshop for the Berkeley Lab Adventure Zone in Elementary Science (BLAZES) program. Learn to guide visiting fifth graders as they investigate properties of matter through hands-on science activities related to states of matter, electricity, and thermal conductivity of metals. BLAZES is an on-site program and volunteers are needed daily from October until mid-May. You choose the date(s) when you can volunteer. The time commitment is from 10:30 a.m. to noon on the day(s) that you are volunteering. The workshop will be held, Monday, April 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Bldg. 7-211. Registration required.

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Submit 2013 Flexible Spending Account Claims by April 15, 2014

Do you still have FSA funds left over in your account from the 2013 plan year? If so, reimbursement requests for services received during the plan year (Jan. 1, 2013 through March 15, 2014) must be received by the April 15, 2014 filing deadline. Submit your reimbursement requests for eligible expenses by April 15. All claims and supporting documentation must be submitted online, faxed, or postmarked by this date. IRS rules state that 2013 plan year funds left in your FSA after April 15 will be forfeited. Check your balance and review your 2013 claims to confirm that they are approved and no additional documentation is needed. Access your online account and find helpful FSA information here.

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Twist Solves Bilayer Graphene Mystery

Researchers have discovered a unique new twist to the story of graphene and, in the process, appear to have solved a mystery that has held back device development. Working at the Advanced Light Source, scientists applied angle-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy (ARPES) to bilayer graphene. Through direct band-structure measurements and calculations, they discovered that in the stacking of graphene monolayers, subtle misalignments arise, creating an almost imperceptible twist in the final bilayer graphene. Tiny as it is—as small as 0.1 degree—this twist can have surprisingly strong effects on the bilayer graphene’s electronic properties. More>

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PBD Researchers Give Photosynthesis Talks at Swedish Renewable Energy Meeting

Physical Bioscience Division researchers Yan Kern (left) and Gary Moore (right) were among the invited speakers to the 2014 Umeå Renewable Energy Meeting held in the Chemical and Biological Centre at Umeå University, Sweden. The meeting brought together an international group of researchers at the forefronts of natural and artificial photosynthesis to strengthen and display efforts towards research in the renewable energy field. Kern’s presentation on taking snapshots of photosynthetic water oxidation was in the Natural Photosynthesis session. Moore’s lecture on molecular and nanoscale approaches to solar energy transduction, was in the Artificial Photosynthesis session.

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Latest Equipment a Must for Engineering Grad Students

[U.S. News & World Report] Robotics is just one of the many mushrooming or emerging engineering fields that absolutely require engineering students to be familiar with cutting-edge technology. Universities are scrambling to make sure the necessary training is available through a variety of partnerships with companies, government laboratories or other schools – or by making sizable investments in their own research facilities. Uncle Sam is clearly a serious and well-endowed research partner, and the government offers myriad opportunities for future engineers to build their know-how. At the UC Berkeley, engineering students and professors routinely take advantage of precision instruments made available to them at the nearby Lawrence Berkeley Lab. More>

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