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Monday, Feb. 23, 2009

In The News

Staving Off Global Warming One Rooftop at a Time

[San Francisco Chronicle] Hashem Akbari, a senior scientist at Berkeley Lab, and a group of fellow geoengineers who are trying to counter the effects of climate change, have developed a relatively simple idea to offset carbon emissions and cool the Earth's urban surfaces: Make all rooftops and paved surfaces white. "We won't be solving the problem of global warming, by any means," Akbari said, "but we will be buying ourselves a little bit of breathing time." More>

In The News: Bay Area Universities Celebrating Stimulus Plan

pipette[Contra Costa Times] After years of stagnant funding, the Bay Area's research universities are celebrating the money available in the federal stimulus plan, saying it will lead to new technological advancements in local labs. The $787 billion stimulus bill allocates $21.5 billion for federal research and development, to be invested within two years. "We have pipette-ready research, the scientific equivalent of shovel-ready research," said Randy Schekman, a UC Berkeley professor and Berkeley Lab life scientist. More>

Research: Mystery of Glass Becoming More Transparent

windowsZoom in on the atomic-level structure of water and you immediately know if it is in the liquid or solid state. Water molecules are jumbled whereas ice molecules form an orderly crystalline pattern. Solid glass is another story — its molecules are also jumbled. David Chandler, of the Chemical Sciences Division, led a study that may explain why. In a paper appearing in Science Express, they describe theoretical simulation of the process by which glass melts and hardens. This revealed an unusual phase change as it passes from liquid to solid that becomes apparent only when viewed in both space and time. More>

HR Benefits: Deadline for '08 Kaiser Health Assessment Extended to April 15; Participants Eligible for Prize Drawing

woman at computerKaiser Permanente has extended the deadline for UC Kaiser members and their family members over 18 to take their free 2008 HealthWorks program health assessment and qualify for a prize drawing. Eligible UC Kaiser members who did not take a health assessment in 2008 have until April 15 to do so. Prizes include an iPod or a $500 gift certificate redeemable at a variety of stores. Members who took the assessment in 2008 are encouraged to take it again in 2009 to monitor their well being, but they are not eligible for the drawing. Gather basic health information before taking the “Total Health Assessment” on the Kaiser website.

bertozziVideo: Latest ‘Science at the Theater’ Talk Now on YouTube

Those who missed Molecular Foundry Director Carolyn Bertozzi’s talk at the “Science at the Theater” event on Feb. 9, or attendees who want to hear it again, can watch a video of the discussion, which is now posted online. In her lecture, Bertozzi discussed why cells are coated with sugars and new tools for cancer detection that take advantage of the cell’s sugar coating.

Travel: New Policy and TREX 1.2 to be Released; Info Meetings Tomorrow at 9 and 10:30 a.m.

An updated travel policy as well as upgrades to the TREX travel and expense system will be launched tomorrow. Presentations on these two topics will be held tomorrow in the Building 66 Auditorium at 9 and 10:30 a.m. To attend either session, register via the Employee Self-Service website (Course #CFO0100 in the Policy and Procedures course section or #TRV0106 in the Travel section).

copierCreative Services: New E-Mail Created for Printing Requests

The Lab's Creative Services Office has created a new e-mail address to handle requests for printing and copying. Mike Muller, the employee who used to process these requests, has retired, so his e-mail address is no longer valid. Send information to [email protected]. E-mail [email protected] for large format poster printing, laminating and mounting, [email protected] for business cards, and [email protected] for general inquiries. More>