Today at Berkeley Lab

Creating Buildings That Breathe Cleanly to Limit Indoor Air Pollution

The increase in indoor air pollution is an unfortunate side effect of well-meaning efforts to reduce energy use. As buildings are made more and more airtight to increase efficiency, they can trap dangerous chemicals and gases. “We need to make our buildings more energy efficient,” says ETA’s William Fisk, “but we need to do it in a way that protects our indoor environment.” More>

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Lab’s Weitekamp ‘Thanks’ Taxpayers for Being Angel Investors

Cyclotron Road’s Raymond Weitekamp recently contributed a post on the blogging platform “Medium” thanking American taxpayers for being his angel investor. In reference to polySpectra, the spin-off company he helped found, Weitekamp wrote, “You took a big risk and it’s paying off.” polySpectra uses light-activated catalysts to 3D print advanced functional materials. More>

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Sea-Level Rise Could Wreak Havoc on California Coast, Experts Warn

A new report, “Rising Seas in California: An Update on Sea-Level Rise Science,” stresses the potential for extreme sea-level rise because of uncertainties in projections of how ice sheets will melt due to their unique, hard-to-understand physics. Berkeley Lab’s BISICLES project has created maps outlining how the Antarctic ice sheet will retreat as it melts. More>

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The Scientist Profiles the Inspirational Work of Lab’s Mina Bissell

“The reason I still travel and give talks, meet young scientists, and do interviews is that I see young people are inspired by my story of how I have persisted,” says Bissell of the Biosciences Area. “I never wanted to quit. If you are passionate and you have ideas leading to rigorous proof, you need to trust yourself.” More>

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KQED’s QUEST Program To Air Program Featuring Ashok Gadgil

Gadgil, with the Energy Technologies Area, discusses how innovative engineering is improving the lives of refugee women via the Darfur Stove in a program that first aired in 2014. It will air on April 8 at 1 p.m., and April 9 at 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 5 p.m. Check here for your service provider’s KQED channel.

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Soil, Climate Research Makes Science Magazine Cover, Podcast

A recent Science magazine podcast interviewed EESA’s Caitlin Hicks Pries on a study she co-led with Margaret Torn on how soil might contribute to global warming (16:10 mark). Their study was also the cover of the most recent issue of the magazine.

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Mary Maxon: Inspiring Women in Sciences

Maxon (Biosciences Area) recently visited UC San Francisco to discuss the ways in which women can impact science policy at the state and national level. “Impact is as simple as a phone call, it is as simple as an email, and it really does matter,” she said. “Use it: your research and ideas can have a role in shaping future policy.” More>

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AGU Hosts Webinar for Scientists on Communicating With the Media

Viewers will learn the difference between communicating with other scientists and the media, how to determine if research is newsworthy, and interview preparation, among other topics. The American Geophysical Union webinar takes place Thursday, March 23, from 11 a.m. to noon. Register here. More>

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The ‘Dark Matter’ of the Microbial World

A study of gut microbiomes finds that a common DNA sequencing technique overlooks 90 percent of the diversity in archaea, which are single-celled microbes more closely related to humans than bacteria. Archaea are difficult to study, so not much is known about the organisms. This can lead to bias in the archaea knowledge base, says JGI’s Tanja Woyke. More>

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Doudna Talks Gene Editing Patent With Newsweek Magazine

In this Q&A, Jennifer Doudna of the Biosciences Area discusses the recent patent ruling on the CRISPR-Cas9 technology, what work can now proceed as a result of that ruling, the kinds of developments that might be seen in the future, what her lab is working on next, and advice for other scientists navigating the patent system. More>

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