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Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009
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‘Profiles in Safety’ Highlight Staff Working to Create a Safer Environment

Today kicks off “Profiles in Safety,” an EH&S campaign that seeks to put a human face on a subject that can be both daunting and mundane. The first installment features scientist Robert Cheng (above) who spent six months preparing for a dangerous experiment. Future profile subjects include a graduate student whose simple mistake almost cost him an eye, an administrator who performed safety-themed comedy sketches for her division, and many other Lab employees working to create a safer environment for themselves and their co-workers. If you have a story to share, from either research or operational areas, send e-mail here.

Go to OurSafety for more on the Lab's safety efforts.

cancer agingIn The News: The Tradeoff Between Cancer Risk and Aging

[U.S. News & World Report] It's long been clear that cancer is a disease of aging. While children and younger adults are of course afflicted by certain types of the disease, the vast majority of cases occur in people over 50. But from that simple observation, researchers — including Berkeley Lab life scientist Judith Campisi — are just beginning to tease out the intricate connections between the biological processes driving both the disease and the aging process. Though the research is in early days, they're discovering how the two may be linked, and even how the forces of evolution may have produced a tradeoff: the ability to protect against cancer at the expense of a faster aging. More>

wadiaIn The News: Fool’s Gold May be Great Alternative to Silicon for Solar Panels

ABC7 News (KGO) interviewed Berkeley Lab’s Cyrus Wadia about the potential of iron pyrite — aka fool’s gold, one of the most abdundant materials on earth — as a substitute for silicon in solar cells. For the first time, more silicon is now being used for solar energy than for computer chips and this is leading both industries to scramble for alternatives. Wadia, working with Berkeley Lab interim-director Paul Alivisatos and UC Berkeley’s Dan Kammen, have identified a number of alternatives with high potential including iron pyrite.

People: Life Scientist Recognized for His Mentoring

torokBerkeley Lab life scientist Tamas Torok has been awarded a Biotech Partners “Proven Power Award” for his mentoring efforts. The award, which he received at the Biotech Partners 15th Anniversary Benefit Gala, is given to "dedicated scientists who by sharing their wisdom and passion bring to life the dream of a biotech career." Biotech Partners' mission is to prepare high school and community college students — particularly female and minority youths from low-income or other disadvantaged families — for careers in biotechnology. Torok has been working with Biotech Partners (formerly Berkeley Biotechnology Education, Inc.) for 13 years. Go here for more on hosting interns.

mentorEducation Outreach: CSEE Seeks Mentors for Students and Teachers

The Lab's Center for Science and Engineering Education (CSEE) is seeking mentors who would like to work with undergraduates, teachers, and high school students this summer. Those interested in volunteering can learn more about the program, as well as view student applications, here.

Public Affairs: Helpful Online Services Available Via Tabs in TABL

Today at Berkeley Lab (TABL) not only provides a daily update on Lab-related news but also offers access to helpful online services via the tabs at the top of the page. To find out what’s going on at the Lab on any given day, or promote an event your department may be sponsoring, click on the Calendar tab. The Archive tab links to all previous issues of TABL and is searchable by date or keyword. The Flea Market tab connects to a list of goods and services being offered by Lab staff. Check out what the cafeteria is serving each day by clicking on the Menu tab. Other tabs link to the Newscenter (science news), and the Lab’s Construction and 937 Move websites.

HR: Veterans and Individuals with a Disability Invited to Self-Identify

The Lab invites individuals with a disability and covered veterans to self-identify as part of the federal mandate for institutions to take affirmative action when hiring and promoting individuals. Submitting such information is voluntary and will be kept confidential. Employees who wish to self-identify can do so via the Employee Self-Service website or by filling out a form and mailing it to the Equal Employment Opportunity Office (MS 90K-0119). The forms should be completed by Feb. 29. For questions, contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Office (x7443).

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