Today at Berkeley Lab

Archives for April 2014

NERSC Signs Deal for the Next-Generation Supercomputer

NERSC has signed a $70 million contract with Cray Inc. for its forthcoming XC supercomputer, which is slated for delivery in 2016 at the new Computational Research and Theory Facility now under construction at Berkeley Lab. The new system will be named “Cori” in honor of biochemist and Nobel Laureate Gerty Cori (left), the first American woman to receive a Nobel Prize in science. Berkeley Lab collaborated with the DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories to develop the technical requirements for the system. The next-generation Cray system features the new Intel “manycore” processor, code-named “Knights Landing,” and will deliver ten times the sustained computing capability of NERSC’s Hopper system. More>

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Kim Budil Tapped as UC Vice President for Laboratory Management

UC President Janet Napolitano has named Kimberly (Kim) Budil as Vice President for Laboratory Management in the Office of the President, effective May 1. A highly regarded scientist and program manager, Dr. Budil is a 27-year employee at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory with experience across a range of programs including Global Security, Weapons and Complex Integration, the National Ignition Facility, and Physical and Life Sciences. She succeeds Glenn Mara, who is stepping down today after 40 years of service. More>

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Poster Session Highlights Work by SULI & BLUR Interns

SULI imageThe work of 19 undergraduate students who have spent this spring participating in SULI and BLUR internship programs will be on display during a poster session on Thursday, May 1, from 3:30 pm–5 pm in the cafeteria. The internships provide an opportunity to work with world-class scientists and engineers on projects related to the Lab’s cutting-edge research programs. The event provides the rare opportunity to bring together examples of the breadth of research conducted at the Lab through the experience of the students taking part in the programs. The poster session is hosted by Workforce Development & Education.

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Operations All-Hands Meetings Next Month

Chief Operating Officer Glenn Kubiak will hold his next Operations All-Hands Meeting on Wednesday, May 14, in the Building 50 Auditorium. A morning meeting will take place from 7 am–8 am; and an afternoon session will take place 1 pm–2 pm. The afternoon meeting will also be available through live streaming. The link will be:
http://hosting.epresence.tv/LBL/1.aspx.

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Earth Sciences Talk on Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Dianne Newman of the California Institute of Technology will be the featured speaker on May 9 when the Earth Sciences Division hosts its Distinguished Scientist Seminar. Newman will give a talk entitled “Why Changing Color Matters to Pseudomonas aeruginosa.” The seminar begins at 10:30 am in the Building 66 auditorium and will be followed by a question and answer session. More>

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A Glassy Look for Manganites

Robert Schoenlein of Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division, and Yi-De Chuang at the Advanced Light Source, led a team of researchers who discovered a unique glass-like re-ordering of electron-spin states as manganite crystals recovered from a photo-excited conductor state back to an insulator state. Manganites — compounds of manganese oxides — show great promise as “go-to” materials for future electronic devices because of their ability to instantly switch from an electrical insulator to a conductor under a wide variety of external stimuli. Also on the discovery team from Berkeley Lab were Shuyun Zhou, Matthew Langner, Yuanyuan Zhu, Matteo Rini, Thornton Glover, Marcus Hertlein, Alejandro Cruz Gonzalez, Nadeem Tahir and Zahid Hussain. More>

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Pollan’s Dilemma: Ronald’s Scuba Rice and G.M.O. Papayas

Pam Ronald, a UC Davis plant geneticist who directs the Grass Genetics program for the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), is featured in New Yorker magazine about her participation in a classroom debate with famed author and UC Berkeley journalism professor Michael Pollan about the use of G.M.O.s (genetically modified organisms) as food. Pollan, a highly vocal skeptic, invited Ronald to make the case for G.M.O.s in his Edible Education class. As examples of G.M.O. success, Ronald could point to her own development of “scuba rice” that can grow in the often flooded fields of Bangladesh and India, and a banana resistant to a disease that has decimated crops in East Africa. “I’ll give you the papaya,” Pollan conceded on a G.M.O. papaya that saved Hawaii’s industry. More>

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Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute Opens: Alivisatos, Vetter Represent Berkeley Lab

Lab Director Paul Alivisatos and the Nuclear Science Division’s Kai Vetter recently returned from Koriyama City in the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan where they attended the opening of the Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute. This new laboratory will be part of a network of national laboratories operated by the Institute for Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). The decision to place the new institute in Koriyama reflects the desire to stimulate economic growth in the Fukushima area, which is still suffering from the effects of the 2011 earthquake. Alivisatos, Vetter and their Japanese counterparts discussed issues ranging from renewable energy to radiological resilience. They met with leadership of AIST as well as with scientists from other parts of Asia, Australia, and Europe. Following these discussions, a new and expanded MOU with AIST is being formulated focusing on geothermal and highly integrated renewable energy generation.

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Lab Studies on Thirdhand Smoke Help Prompt Legislation

As reported by the Associated Press, the California Assembly approved a bill last week that would ban smoking inside home day care centers even after the children have left, a regulation that targets lingering “thirdhand smoke” and has been adopted by 12 other states. Smoking already is banned in homes that function as day care centers during their operating hours to prevent kids from being exposed to secondhand smoke. But recent research shows even off-hour smoking places children at risk. Berkeley Lab has been at the forefront of research on thirdhand smoke, first reporting on the hazard in 2010 with studies led by Hugo Destaillats, Mohamad Sleiman, and Lara Gundel. Last year, a study led by Bo Hang confirmed that thirdhand smoke causes DNA damage. More>

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Photo Club Spring Showcase on Thursday

GGBridgeNiteThe Berkeley Lab Photography Club Spring Showcase will be held on Thursday, May 1, in Building 54, Perseverance Hall. The photo exhibition runs from 11:30 am through 6:00 pm. A reception with refreshments begins at 4 p.m. The festivities include a raffle and voting in the photo contest. All are welcome! More>

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