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Thursday, April 2, 2009


Microbial Hydrocarbon Recovery is EBI's 51st Project

Image of phytoplankton

As part of its 51st research effort, the Energy Biosciences Institute will seek to increase the amount of oil that can be extracted from existing wells by using environmentally friendly microbes within their geological habitat to help recover residual oil and enhance production. They will also research methods of in situ biorefining to improve oil field life cycle costs and reduce environmental impacts. Berkeley Lab earth scientist Terry Hazen is principal investigator, and Susan Hubbard (also with ESD) is co-principal investigator. More>

solar cellResearch: New Path to Enhancing Solar Cell Efficiency

Despite its tremendous potential as a limitless resource, solar power is currently a small fraction of the global energy supply. Now, researchers at Berkeley Lab and Stanford University have validated a new path to enhance solar cell efficiency that could help scientists harvest light from the smallest of sources — quantum dots. More>

JGIJGI: 2008 Progress Report Released

The Joint Genome Institute (JGI), which seeks to advance genomics in support of Department of Energy missions related to bioenergy, carbon cycling and biogeochemistry, has released the summary of its activities and highlights in the 2008 JGI Progress Report. Produced in collaboration with Berkeley Lab's Creative Services Office, the 78-page report is available here. Contact David Gilbert for hard copies.

SmootPeople: Smoot to Speak at Peace Foundation’s ‘Bridges’ Event in Thailand

The International Peace Foundation, a non-profit group that supports institutions and scientific projects that aid in preventing and solving conflict, is hosting a two-year-long lecture series called “Bridges: Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace.” Among the speakers is Berkeley Lab Nobelist George Smoot. He will give four talks on “Contemplating the Birth of the Universe” between April 6 and 9 at various locations in Thailand. Other speakers include Jesse Jackson and Roger Kornberg. More>

moneyPayroll: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Impacts to Employees

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes a provision for employees to receive the new “Making Work Pay” tax credit for 2009 and 2010 through their paychecks. The credit is based on marital status, salary, and number of exemptions claimed. As a rough guide, singles eligible for the credit could receive an additional $10 to $15 per paycheck if paid weekly; those married filing jointly will likely see an extra $15 to $20. For further information, go to the publication website and refer to Publication 919 and 15-T. This adjustment started with the April 1 paychecks for monthlies and March 27 for biweeklies.

fusionWorld of Science: Scientists Take Another Stab at Nuclear Fusion

[San Francisco Chronicle] After more than a decade of work and an investment of $3.5 billion, scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory say they have created a super laser that will enable them to build a miniature sun within the lab in the next two years. The U.S. Department of Energy certified the world's largest laser on Tuesday, an instrument that will test the reliability of the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile, explore the origins of the universe and seek to create nuclear fusion energy. Nuclear fusion is the National Ignition Facility's biggest goal. More>

OppenheimerSpecial Event: San Francisco Play About Oppenheimer

A play that chronicles the rise and fall of Robert Oppenheimer (at left with Enrico Fermi, center, and E.O. Lawrence) is explored in a new play at the Custom Made Theatre Co. in San Francisco. The production, “The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenhemier,” delves into “questions of faith, conscience, and the consequences of the never-ending pursuit of knowledge.” The play opens tonight and continues Wednesday through Saturday through April 25 with 8 p.m. shows. More>

Survey imageEH&S: Staff Asked to Provide Feedback to Improve Website

As part of an effort to improve the Lab's Environment, Health & Safety Division's website, a short survey has been created to gather information on how the Lab community uses the site, and asks for feedback on ways to improve it. The survey takes less than ten minutes to complete. Participation is voluntary and all responses remain anonymous. Go here to take the survey.

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