Today at Berkeley Lab

Director’s Message: Update on Federal Budget Process

The House and Senate Appropriations Committees have approved separate versions of the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that funds the Department of Energy.The House version of the FY 18 appropriations bill would fund the Office of Science at FY 17 levels, while the Senate version would increase funding by 3%. In broad summary, the total funding to the Lab next year will probably be close to what it is this year. More>

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NIH Awards $9.3M for Further Development of Structural Biology Software

PHENIX, a software suite launched 17 years ago at Berkeley Lab to automate the analysis of structural biology data, has received $9.3 million from the National Institutes of Health for continued development. The grant will support the use of PHENIX to build and refine models to solve three-dimensional macromolecular structures. More>

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DARPA Awards $21.6M to Develop Optogenetic ‘Read-Write’ Neural Interface

DARPA has awarded $21.6 million to a team led by Biosciences researcher Ehud Isacoff to develop a novel neural interface device that uses light to monitor and modulate the activity of millions of individual neurons in the cerebral cortex. The project is one of six funded this year by the agency’s Neural Engineering System Design program. More>

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Lab Researchers’ Infant Warmer a Finalist for Award; Cast Your Vote

ETA’s Ashok Gadgil and Vi Rapp are “Saving Lives at Birth People’s Choice Award” finalists for their non-electric infant warmer. Forty percent of the 2.9 million deaths of newborns globally each year is attributable to hypothermia. Winning the award would fund a study to bring the warmers to hospitals in Rwanda. Go here to vote (select “Children’s Hospital Corporation,” 7th from top).

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New Data Archive to Amplify Ecosystem Research Impact

As scientists move towards understanding earth systems at greater resolutions, access to needed data sets is critical. Yet much of these data are not archived, publicly available, or collected in a standardized format. With $3.6 million from DOE, Computing Sciences and the Earth & Environmental Sciences Areas are partnering on an archiving project. More>

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DOE Renews Funding for Joint BioEnergy Institute at Berkeley Lab

The Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute, led by Berkeley Lab, is one of four DOE Bioenergy Research Centers to receive funding in support of innovative research on biofuels and bioproducts. The awards total $40 million for the four centers, marking the next research phase at JBEI. More>

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New Project to Keep California’s Natural Gas System Safe

The massive natural gas leak at Aliso Canyon shined a light on California’s aging natural gas infrastructure. And five years of extreme drought also exacted its toll on transmission pipelines. Now EESA’s Yingqi Zhang and Jonny Rutqvist will lead projects to improve the system’s safety and reliability, thanks to $4.6 million in grants from the California Energy Commission. More>

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Update From Director on Federal Budget Process

The President’s Budget Request was submitted to Congress on May 23. I met with the leadership of the Office of Science last week to understand the details of the budget request and the next steps in the process. This week the leaders of the DOE program offices will engage in more detailed discussions about research programs with Associate Lab Directors and Division Directors both at Berkeley Lab and at the other national laboratories. More>

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Berkeley Lab Helps California Get to Zero Net Energy Homes

Two projects aimed at helping California meet its ambitious goals to reduce energy consumption in buildings are receiving $2 million from the California Energy Commission. The projects are led by Max Wei and Brett Singer of the Energy Technologies Area. More>

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Message From Director on Federal Budget

I know that the uncertainty associated with the FY 18 budget process concerns many of you. I understand this, and ask that you remember that this only the first step in a rather long process. The appropriations process can continue into October. During this extended period of uncertainty, I ask that we try to focus on what we do best…bringing science solutions to the world. More>

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