The Computational Research Division’s Michael Wehner (left, with earth scientist Bill Collins) was interviewed on Pacifica Radio network show about climate modelling and climate change earlier this month. His interview followed the release of the second part of the most recent United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. Wehner’s segment begins at around the seven-minute mark. More>
Posts Tagged ‘In The News’
[BBC] Berkeley Lab earth scientist Michael Manga comments on a new study of the Mars atmosphere, which suggests the planet was not a permanently warm wet world and that periods of arid, sub-zero conditions existed. Manga says: “The density of the atmosphere controls climate. And climate, in particular temperature, determines whether liquid water can exist on the surface. … Their inferred atmospheric pressure is low enough that the greenhouse gas would not have been strong enough for liquid water to exist, except under the right combination of rare orbital conditions.” More>
[New York Times] Ever since the Heartbleed bug was exposed last week, the question everyone has been asking is: Did anyone exploit it before a Google researcher first discovered it? Security researchers at Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division and NERSC say that it is still possible to look for past Heartbleed exploitations by measuring the size of any messages sent to the vulnerable part of the OpenSSL code, called the Heartbeat, and the size of the information request that hits a server. More>
On Monday, April 7, Michael Wehner of the Lab’s Computational Research Division appeared on KPFA’s show, Letters & Politics, to discuss the latest from the IPCC climate reports. Wehner was a lead author on one report that came out in late-2013. Wehner’s interview begins at about the 6:00 minute mark in the show.
Rebecca Abergel of the Chemical Sciences Division was named one of the top 10 innovators under 35 by MIT Technology Review, French edition. Abergel, who heads the Bioactinide Group, is leading development of a pill to decontaminate people in the event of radiation exposure, such as after a “dirty bomb” attack or an accident at a nuclear power plant. The nominations were open to both French citizens and foreigners residing in France. The winners of the regional competitions automatically become candidates for the global list of top 35 innovators under 35. Go here for more (article is in French).
[Contra Costa Times] Nuclear scientist Kai Vetter has been testing air, rain, milk and fish on the West Coast since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan, finding no public safety threat. He says that radioisotopes, such as cesium 134 and 137, peaked in 2011 at levels far below public safety thresholds and have since declined to background concentrations. “Nuclear radiation is something you can’t smell, see and feel,” he says. “It tends to scare people.” He is now watching for ocean-borne cesium and other isotopes, which are expected to arrive this spring on the West Coast in low concentrations — several hundred times below federal standards for drinking water. More>
[U.S. News & World Report] Robotics is just one of the many mushrooming or emerging engineering fields that absolutely require engineering students to be familiar with cutting-edge technology. Universities are scrambling to make sure the necessary training is available through a variety of partnerships with companies, government laboratories or other schools – or by making sizable investments in their own research facilities. Uncle Sam is clearly a serious and well-endowed research partner, and the government offers myriad opportunities for future engineers to build their know-how. At the UC Berkeley, engineering students and professors routinely take advantage of precision instruments made available to them at the nearby Lawrence Berkeley Lab. More>
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.
Aindrila Mukhopadhyay is a microbiologist at Berkeley Lab’s Joint BioEnergy Institute, where she investigates the most effective ways to use microbes to convert plants into biofuels. Mukhopadhyay leads a multidisciplinary team studying stress response in bacteria. Her work ranges from hands-on research to grant writing. As a student Mukhopadhyay was always passionate about science, and she went on to earn a doctorate in chemistry. Every day she celebrates “small victories” at work and enjoys improving biofuels that will power the cars of today and tomorrow. More>
Early recorded sound represents an invaluable slice of our global heritage, but the information stored on old recordings is constantly degraded through wear and other damage. To restore and preserve that vital content, physicists and archivists are turning to a technique first employed by particle physicists decades ago. Berkeley Lab physicist Carl Haber pens an article on his research efforts to bring some of the earliest sound recordings to life. More>