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Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009


Vigorous Exercise May Help Prevent Vision Loss

There’s another reason to dust off those running shoes. Vigorous exercise may help prevent vision loss, according to a pair of studies from Berkeley Lab. The studies tracked approximately 41,000 runners for more than seven years, and found that running reduced the risk of both cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. More>

wind powerResearch: How Costly Is Building Wind Energy Transmission Lines?

A new study by researchers in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division analyzes the costs of building transmission lines for wind energy. Andrew Mills and Ryan Wiser, and consultant Kevin Porter, analyzed 40 transmission studies for new power projects and found that for the majority of projects, the cost of building new transmission lines to distribute wind power to the grid was about 25 percent of the current $2,000 per kW cost of building a wind project. Go here to read the study.

In The News: FastBit Helps Dig Through Databases Faster

fastbit[Advanced Scientific Computing] Imagine trying to find someone in a New York City telephone book with the names listed randomly. Scientific databases prove even more daunting, some holding a quadrillion bytes of data or more. As databases grow, quickly finding specific information would be unmanageable without some data organization that facilitates searching. A team of Berkeley Lab scientists began work on this database-indexing problem with something called FastBit, which has sped large data searches across the spectrum. The work earned (pictured from l-r) Ekow Otoo, Kesheng “John” Wu, Arie Shoshani, and Kurt Stockinger (not pictured) a 2008 R&D 100 Award. More>

Special Event: HSS Review Staff Recognition Event Today

Interim Lab Director Paul Alivisatos will honor the numerous staff who helped prepare Berkeley Lab for the Department of Energy Health, Safety and Security (HSS) Integrated Safety Management Review at a special ceremony today from 2:30 to 3 p.m. in the cafeteria. All Lab employees are invited to join the celebration from 3 to 3:30 p.m. Alivisatos and Associate Lab Director for Operations Jim Krupnick will offer remarks. 

van jonesSpecial Event: Van Jones Talk on “Green Collar Economy” Tonight

The Berkeley Energy Resources Collaborative, of which Berkeley Lab is a member, is hosting a lecture by Van Jones on “The Green Collar Economy” at 6 p.m. at the Bancroft Hotel (2680 Bancroft Way). Jones is the founding president of Green For All, a senior fellow with the Center for American Progress, and founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.

witherspoonPeople: Veteran Earth Scientist Celebrates 90th Birthday

Paul Witherspoon, the first-ever director of the Lab’s Earth Sciences Division, turned 90 on Monday. He served as director from 1977 to 1982. During his distinguished career at the Lab, Witherspoon has set standards for conducting site investigations for nuclear waste repositories, including a comprehensive study of flow and transport in fractured rocks at depth and fully characterizing fracture systems. Go here to sign a virtual birthday guest book.

Special Event: Open House Today for Facilities Division’s Newly Remodeled Building 76

To celebrate the completion of recent renovations of Building 76, the Facilities Division is hosting an open house today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The new interior features a spacious multipurpose room, two wings of sleek and ergonomic workstations, and conference rooms with walls you can write on. Staff are welcome to stop by and check out the new set up, speak with staff who work in the building, and take a tour. More>