Today at Berkeley Lab

Archives for February 2018

Lab Scientist James Harris Played Key Role in Discovering New Elements

February is Black History Month. Today we celebrate James Harris, a Berkeley Lab scientist and the first African American to play a key role in the search for new elements. He is credited with helping to discover rutherfordium and dubnium. To learn more about Harris, go here, or see recent Berkeley Lab posts on Twitter and Facebook.

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Postdoc Resources Webpage Now Available

As part of its commitment to the growth and development of early career researchers in pursuit of becoming next-generation scientists and engineers, the Lab has created a new Postdoc Resources Webpage for up-to-date career development workshops, benefits information, and all things related to postdocs.

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Using Nature’s Blueprint for Sustainable Indigo Dyeing Process

Researchers from the Biosciences Area and UC Berkeley have developed a promising sustainable indigo dyeing process that relies on genetically engineered bacteria, mimicking the natural biochemical protecting group strategy employed by the Japanese indigo plant Polygonum tinctorium. The new strategy offers a much-needed update to the historic, but unsustainable, process currently relied on to produce blue denim. More>

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UC Forms Working Group to Study Retiree Health Benefits

The University of California has formed a Retiree Health Benefits Working Group to explore options that will ensure the long-term financial viability of the retiree health benefits program and the quality of the benefits offered. The project only pertains to retiree health benefits; it does not affect UC Retirement Plan (UCRP) pension benefits. More>

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EESA’s Javier Ceja-Navarro to Give Spanish-Language Talk on Feb. 24

Javier Ceja-Navarro of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area will give a Spanish-language presentation about his scientific career path, and the opportunities that led him to work with microbes, critters, and the environment, on Feb. 24, from 1 to 3:15 p.m., at the Kapor Center for Social Impact, in Oakland. The event will be livestreamed on Facebook. More>

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JGI, JBEI See First Outcome From Large-Scale Aspergillus Fungi Project

A study led by researchers at the Technical University of Denmark, the Joint Genome Institute, and the Joint BioEnergy Institute — and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences — reports the first results of a long-term plan to sequence, annotate, and analyze the genomes of 300 Aspergillus fungi, which promise to be important sources of enzymes for the production of sustainable biofuels. More>

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Lab Researchers Evaluate Path Toward Artificial Photosynthesis

Artificial photosynthesis is a promising technology for turning sunlight into low-carbon fuels, but electrochemical systems typically yield product mixtures that must be separated, increasing both system and process complexity as well as energy requirements. Jeffery Greenblatt of the Energy Technologies Area and co-authors from the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis discuss these issues in a study published in Joule.

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UC Webinar Tomorrow on Ending Stigma of Mental Illness

Stephen Hinshaw, professor of psychology at UC Berkeley, and professor of psychiatry at UC San Francisco, will present a system-wide UC webinar on Feb. 22 about the social and personal costs of the stigma surrounding mental illness, and what can be done to ensure patients have access to needed treatments. More>

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Celebrate Chinese New Year With Lab’s Asian Association on Feb. 25

The Berkeley Lab Asian Association (BLAA) will host its annual Chinese New Year Festival on Sunday, Feb. 25, from noon to 3 p.m., at Perseverance Hall inside the cafeteria building (Bldg. 54, Room 130). Lab employees and affiliates are welcome to bring their family and friends to the celebration; email BLAA President Larry Li Guo if you’re planning to attend.

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Webinar on Feb. 22 to Highlight Hawaii’s Experience With ‘Cool Walls’

Learn about key results from the Lab’s research on the energy and environmental co-benefits of cool walls, and Hawaii’s experience in adopting this technology into their state codes, during a webinar conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency on Feb. 22, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. Go here to register. More>

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