Today at Berkeley Lab

DESI Collaboration Meeting Draws a Crowd

The goal is to map all of the northern extra-galactic sky to depths never before possible. More>

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Lab Hosts Dark Matter Workshops

Earlier this month, Berkeley Lab hosted two gatherings of dark matter experts. More than 70 scientists attended the Institute for Nuclear and Particle Astrophysics Workshop on May 8, which featured talks on the latest in the hunt for dark matter, from theory to detector technology. The second workshop, May 9-10, hosted 26 members of the LUX collaboration, a group of scientists working on the Large Underground Xenon detector, the most advanced experiment yet in the search for dark matter. LUX is preparing for a new run this year, and the workshop set the tone for data processing and analysis to come. Here, members of the LUX collaboration gather outside Building 50C. (Photo by Carlo Faham)

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Birthday Symposium Honors Physicist David Nygren’s Research

Last week, more than 150 distinguished physicists from around the world gathered at Berkeley Lab’s ‘Art of Experiment’ symposium to honor the work of the Lab’s David Nygren on the occasion of his 75th birthday. Nygren (right, with retiree Bill Carithers) is known for many innovations in experimental physics, including his invention of the time projection chamber, a particle detector developed in the 1970s that enabled greater accuracy and 3-D analysis with unprecedented resolution of particle collisions. The symposium featured technical talks that ranged from rare-kaon decays and x-ray imaging for mammography to neutrino and dark matter detection.

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Retirement Center Hosts Conference on ‘Aging in America’

Lab employees are invited to attend a daylong conferences on “An Aging America: Challenges and Opportunities” on Thursday, May 15 at His Lordships restaurant in the Berkeley Marina. The keynote speaker will be former Michigan governor and current UC Berkeley professor Jennifer Granholm. Go here for more information. Cost for the event is $35. Payment and registration must be received by Tuesday, May 13. Mail the form and a check to Retirement Center, 1925 Walnut Street, Berkeley, 94720, or drop off at this location between 1 and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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Director Alivisatos Participates in Forbes ‘Reinventing America Summit’

Steve Forbes recently invited Lab Director Paul Alivisatos, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the governors of Indiana and Michigan, and the former governor of Virginia, to participate in a panel discussion moderated by Forbes at the recent 2014 Reinventing America Summit. In his comments, Alivisatos emphasized that Berkeley Lab and the DOE National Lab system are very successful in dual roles: continuing the great tradition of groundbreaking discovery science, while embracing a new role of enabling innovation for energy and the environment. He cited the SEMATECH consortium at the Advanced Light Source, the new FLEXLAB, and the Materials Project as examples, and invited entrepreneurs and industry representatives at the forum to seek partnerships with Berkeley Lab and other DOE National Labs.

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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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Bo Hang’s Thirdhand Smoke Research Highlighted at ACS

Researcher Bo Hang of the Life Sciences Division gave a talk at the American Chemical Society meeting in Dallas this week on his research into the genetic damage caused by thirdhand smoke, the residue that clings to surfaces long after the secondhand smoke from a cigarette has cleared out. Working with researchers from EETD as well as UCSF and other institutions, Hang found that some of the chemical compounds in thirdhand smoke can cause both DNA strand breaks and oxidative DNA damage, which can lead to gene mutation. His work was covered by many media outlets, including Fox News, the Daily Mail, and NPR.

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Earth Sciences Hosts ‘Complex Soil Systems’ Conference

Real soils can (and should be?) be studied as complex systems, by considering critical interactions and feedbacks between physical, geochemical, hydraulic and biological processes. The Sept. 3 to 5 “Complex Soil Systems” conference — hosted by the Earth Sciences Division — will make a unique contribution to integrated soil sciences by addressing fundamentals and bridging gaps in the current scientific knowledge. The conference will consist of oral and poster presentations and group discussions, abstract proceedings published online, and a welcome reception. A synthesis of the concepts discussed at the conference will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. Go here to request additional information.

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Call for Poster Abstracts for Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting

The Joint Genome Institute ninth annual Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting agenda has been posted. Register now and submit poster abstracts by March 3. Short talks will be selected from these submissions. Keynote speakers include Stephen Quake of Stanford University and Annalee Newitz of science news website io9. State-of-the-art presentations by invited speakers on microbial, fungal and plant genomics, as well as metagenomics. In addition, tutorials on genomic informatics, data management, and new genomic technologies. The meeting runs from March 18 to 20. More>

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Lab Scientists Present Research at Recent AAAS Annual Meeting

Can more accurate climate models help us understand extreme weather events? Can we use synthetic biology to create better biofuels? These questions, and the ongoing search for Dark Matter, were just some of the presentations by Berkeley Lab researchers at this year’s American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting held last week in Chicago. This year’s theme was “Meeting Global Challenges: Discovery and Innovation.” More>

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