Today at Berkeley Lab

Trailblazing Science and Mountaineering

UC Berkeley professor Arlene Blum’s July 17 presentation looked at her trailblazing expeditions as a female climber, as well as groundbreaking research on the harmful affects of flame-retardants used on commercial products.

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Videos of NERSC 40th Anniversary Nobel Lectures Now Available

Talks — presented by John Kuriyan, Warren Washington, George Smoot, and Saul Perlmutter — are posted on the NERSC website. More>

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Conversation with Nobelists Smoot and Perlmutter Now Online

Watch Berkeley Lab Nobel Prize winners Saul Perlmutter and George Smoot, along with campus Nobelists Randy Scheckman and Daniel McFadden, in conversation with Chancellor Nick Dirks in this video. The Nobel Laureates appeared on stage on Cal Day to discuss the role of science in modern society and how they would apply scientific methods to approach the complex global issues we are dealing with today. Also, read a profile of Smoot in The Guardian, in which he comments on the recent discovery of gravitational waves as well as his appearance on the Big Bang Theory.

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Steve Chu’s March 31 Presentation

On Monday, March 31, former Lab Director Steve Chu presented a talk on “Optical Microscopy 2.0” as well as the energy/climate challenge.

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Lab Researchers Featured in ARPA-E Success Story Video on Biofuels

To date, 22 Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) projects have attracted more than $625 million in private-sector follow-on funding after ARPA-E’s investment of approximately $95 million. ARPA-E earlier this week hosted a summit and technology showcase. As part of that event, four project videos were debuted, one of which, on biofuels, mentions the Joint BioEnergy Institute, Jim Kirby (Physical Biosciences), and Christer Janssen (Earth Sciences). More>

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Edison: A New Cray Supercomputer Advances Discovery at NERSC

When a supercomputing center installs a new system, users are invited to make heavy use of the computer as part of the rigorous testing. In this video, find out what top scientists have discovered using Edison, a Cray XC30 supercomputer, and how NERSC’s newest supercomputer will accelerate their future research. More>

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Animated Video Shows the Good, Bad and Ugly of Bacterial Immune System

As recently reported, Berkeley Lab and Columbia University researchers have identified short DNA sequences known as “PAM” as the reason the bacterial enzyme Cas9 is able to precisely target foreign DNA sequences within genomes that can be billions of base pairs long. The Columbia collaborators, led by Eric Greene and his grad student Sy Redding, have produced an animated video that shows how Cas9 and PAM work together to protect their host from viruses. Illustrated by Myles Marshall, who manages Greene’s laboratory, and set to theme song from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the video provides a fast and lay audience-friendly introduction to an enzyme that is fast becoming a valuable tool for genetic engineering.

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Peppytide Models Can be Folded Into Accurate Protein Structures

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Berkeley to Host Nearly 170 Aspiring Young Women Physicists

This weekend Berkeley will host the West Coast Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics, a three-day event designed to encourage attendees to pursue careers in a field where women are still a minority. Talks, panel discussions, lab tours and a career fair will be held at UC Berkeley, Berkeley Lab and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the three co-hosts. The conference, which will draw nearly 170 women from the western U.S. who major in physics and related fields, is one of eight concurrent regional conferences sponsored by the American Physical Society that attract about 1,000 women nationwide. Speakers include 2011 Nobel Laureate Saul Perlmutter and physicist Frances Hellman. The video features Gabriel Orebi Gann, a UC Berkeley physics professor and Lab scientist in the Nuclear Sciences Division. More>

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Engineers Create Light-Activated ‘Curtains’

[R&D Magazine] A UC Berkeley team led by Berkeley Lab materials scientist Ali Javey has created a material that moves quickly in response to light. The material is made with carbon nanotubes layered onto a plastic polycarbonate membrane. The nanotubes can, within fractions of a second, absorb light, convert it into heat and transfer the heat to the plastic surface. The plastic expands in response to the heat, while the nanotube layer does not, causing the material to bend. “The advantages of this new class of photoreactive actuator,” Javey says, are that “it is very easy to make, and it is very sensitive to low-intensity light.” More>

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