Today at Berkeley Lab

Jill Banfield Named V.M. Goldschmidt Medalist

Jill Banfield of the Climate & Ecosystems Division will receive the 2017 V. M. Goldschmidt Award this summer. The Goldschmidt Award recognizes major achievements in geochemistry or cosmochemistry consisting of either a single outstanding contribution or a series of publications that have had great influence on the field. More>

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Arctic May Be Less of a Carbon Sink Than Previously Thought

Lab scientists documented a spring pulse in northern Alaska in 2014 that included CO2 emissions equivalent to 46 percent of the net CO2 that is absorbed in the summer months. What’s more, recent climate trends may make such emissions more frequent, they say. The study, led by Naama Yaz-Raseef, has been published in Geophysical Research Letters. More>

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SpaceX Rocket Carries Chernobyl Fungi Into Space

The eight species of fungi on board, which are descended from microbes collected at Chernobyl, may one day lead the way to a “sunblock” that could protect human space travelers from the harmful radiation of space. The microbes were originally collected by the Lab’s Tamas Torok. More>

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Researcher Uses Her Expertise to Help Women Grow Food in Zimbabwe

The women in Mazvihwa grow their vegetables near the river to irrigate the crops, but they must carry buckets down the steep riverbanks to fill them and then back up 30-foot slopes with the buckets on their heads. Naama Raz-Yaseef of the Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division is helping them develop a more efficient watering system. More>

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Wealth of Unsuspected New Microbes Expands Tree of Life

The new tree, to be published in the journal Nature Microbiology, reinforces once again that the life we see around us — plants, animals, humans and other so-called eukaryotes — represent a tiny percentage of the world’s biodiversity. The work was led by Jill Banfield of the Lab’s Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division. More>

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NERSC Announces HPC Achievement Award Winners

The awards recognize NERSC users who have either demonstrated an innovative use of HPC resources to solve a scientific problem or whose work has had an exceptional impact on scientific understanding or society. Winners include Charles Koven and William Riley of the Lab’s Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division. More>

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Watch Bill Collins’ Science at the Theater Talk on Climate Change

In a conversation with Public Affair’s Jeff Miller, Bill Collins, an internationally recognized expert in climate modeling and climate change science, discusses what we know about climate change, how we know it, and what we can do about it. More>

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A Plastic-Eating Bacterium Might Help Deal With Waste One Day

Ideonella sakaiensis has been found growing on PET plastic in Japan. Normally, the large chain of repeating molecules that make up polymers is larger than the individual microbe, so “the organism can’t take it inside the cell to metabolize it,” says the Lab’s John Coates, but this organism has two enzymes that can slice and dice the polymer into smaller pieces. More>

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