Today at Berkeley Lab

Lab’s Ravi Prasher Speaks on Building Better Batteries

As part of a UC Berkeley energy forum, Prasher (Energy Technologies Area) spoke on efforts he and his colleagues have pioneered using computing power to discover new materials for batteries of the future. Finding these new materials will allow the use of energy on demand, he says. Watch his presentation here.

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Largest Recorded Underwater Volcanic Eruption Sheds Light on Deep-Sea Events

The 2012 eruption of the underwater Havre volcano near New Zealand was so big, satellite images showed a 150-square-mile floating raft of pumice that had bobbed up to the surface afterward. “Underwater eruptions are fundamentally different than those on land. There is no on-land equivalent,” said the Lab’s Michael Manga, who co-authored a paper about the aftermath of the eruption. More>

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A First Step Toward CRISPR Cure of Lou Gehrig’s Disease

For the first time, University of California, Berkeley scientists have used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to disable a defective gene that causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, in mice, extending their lifespan by 25 percent. The team was led by Berkeley Lab bioscientist David Schaffer. More>

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A New Metacanvas for Metamaterials

Berkeley Lab materials scientists Junqiao Wu and Jie Yao asked themselves how it might be possible to create metamaterial devices that could be erased and written over again — like an Etch A Sketch drawing toy — to quickly yield a quite-different device. Wu proposed that an Etch A Sketch-like screen could be made from a film of vanadium dioxide just 200 nanometers thick. More>

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MACHOs Are Dead, WIMPs Are a No-Show; Say Hello to SIMPs

The search for dark matter has failed to find an abundance of dark, massive stars or scads of strange new weakly interacting particles. But a new candidate — SIMPs — is slowly gaining followers. The Lab’s Hitoshi Murayama says that recent observations of a nearby galactic pile-up could be evidence for the existence of SIMPs. More>

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Free Campus Screening of Film on Next Generation Reactors on Nov. 16

Next-generation nuclear reactors currently in development may play a key role in the nation’s energy future. “The New Fire” features young entrepreneurs and their efforts to show that new nuclear efforts are safe and achievable. The film’s director will participate in a Q&A after the screening. The 5:30 p.m. event is free, but tickets are required. More>

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Participants Sought for UC Berkeley’s Cleanweb Hackathon Nov. 17-18

Teams have 24 hours to create new solutions to challenges in energy, environment, and climate, with a chance to win $2,000 in cash prizes. Free food, beverages, and swag will be provided throughout the weekend. Go here for more information and to register.

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Call for Proposals: Philomathia Forum on Energy & Environment

The Philomathia Forum on Energy & Environment will provide up to $50,000 to fund a symposium or workshop on such topics as climate science and data, energy policy, energy efficiency using today’s energy supplies, fundamental and applied research to advance sustainable energy, climate adaptation strategies, and broad environmental issues and impacts. More>

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Campus Workshop on Global Challenges for Food Production

The Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative is hosting a roundtable on “Feeding the World at 9 Billion: Global Challenges for Food Production in a Compromised Environment” on Nov. 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the UC Berkeley campus. Get 50 percent off the ticket price with the code BERC50 (includes lunch). More>

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Hints From Hemoglobin Lead to Better Carbon Monoxide Storage

Carbon monoxide is an insidious poison because it loves the iron in our blood. This affinity for iron comes in handy in a newly created material that can absorb carbon monoxide far better than other materials, with potential applications in industrial processes like syngas production, where CO is a key player, and reactions where CO is an unwanted contaminant. More>

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