Today at Berkeley Lab

Anya Nugent and Sai Prabhakar, Summer Interns in the News

Two recent stories highlighted Lab interns in the Berkeley Lab Undergraduate Research (BLUR) program: Nugent’s internship in the Physics Division was featured in Hamilton College news, and Sai Prabhakar’s work with the Joint Genome Institute was highlighted in The Independent. For more information about BLUR, go here.

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Improved Air Conditioners to Reduce Climate Change Pollutants

The New York Times recently featured a report by ETA’s Nihar Shah, which reviews the regulatory frameworks, energy efficiency standards, and labeling programs in 18 countries that account for roughly 65% of global AC demand. Shah previously found that improvements could roughly double the 89.7 gigatons of expected emissions savings from switching refrigerant alone. More>

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NERSC’s Shane Canon and Doug Jacobsen Discuss Shifter on Podcast

In this RCE (Research Computing and Engineering) podcast, Canon and Jacobsen of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) discuss Shifter, a prototype implementation that NERSC is developing and experimenting with as a scalable way to deploy containers in a high-performance computing environment. Go to the podcast here.

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The Fight to Rethink (and Reinvent) Nuclear Power

The latest in a series of Climate Lab videos produced by Vox Media and the University of California features the work of Berkeley Lab researcher Per Peterson. “When you look at how are we going to solve this problem of climate change, and ask how are we going to decarbonize? To not have nuclear energy on the table makes the job much harder,” he said. More>

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Heat Wave Leaves State Wondering How to Handle More Extreme Weather

On a recent KQED Forum episode, Lab researcher Travis O’Brien of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area discussed the recent heat wave and the likelihood of extreme heat becoming more common as the climate changes. More>

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Are We Living in a Giant Cosmic Void?

Voids, vast expanses of nearly empty space, account for about 80 percent of the observable universe. Researchers say the Milky Way may float near the center of one of these voids. The Lab’s Greg Aldering says the voids are “kind of like bubbles, they get bigger and bigger as the universe not only expands, but as more galaxies get pulled out over time.” More>

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Defrosting the World’s Freezer: Thawing Permafrost

DOE Office of Science researchers are visiting remote locations to study how permafrost thaws, which is essential for more accurately modeling terrestrial ecosystems and climate. Scientists studying this phenomenon include Charlie Koven and Jizhong Zhou of the Lab’s Earth and Environmental Sciences Area. More>

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A Race to Develop Pollution Sensing Tech Plays Out in Oakland

Google Street View cars with pollution sensors are mapping pollution in Oakland, block by block, joining another assortment of low-cost sensors monitoring a wider array of gases and particles from the roofs of schools, museums, and hospitals in the Bay Area. The latter effort, led by ETA’s Ronald Cohen, is called BEACO2N (BErkeley Atmospheric CO2 Observation Network). More>

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Mars Research by Pimentel Recognized With National Historic Landmark

The American Chemical Society honored George Pimentel’s development of the Mars Infrared Spectrometer with a plaque in the lobby of UC Berkeley’s Pimentel Hall. The spectrometers were used on the NASA spacecrafts Mariner 6 and 7. In addition to being an associate director at the Lab, Pimentel was a longtime Cal professor, teaching freshman chemistry until just before he died in 1989. More>

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Op-Ed From NERSC’s Bautista on WannaCry Attack; Talk on Cybersecurity

Elizabeth Bautista wrote an opinion piece for Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle urging people and companies to apply patches and updates immediately to guard against the spread of malicious code, such as the WannaCry ransomware that recently crippled systems worldwide. Read the opinion piece here. A noon talk on ransomware and targeted phishing at the Lab takes place June 1 in Wang Hall, room 3101.

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