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Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009

In The News

Photosynthesis and Quantum Biology

[Discover] Peering deep into proteins, Berkeley Lab physical bioscientist Graham Fleming and colleagues have discovered the process by which plants and some microorganisms convert water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight into oxygen and carbohydrates. Remarkably, photosynthesis appears to derive its ferocious efficiency not from the familiar physical laws that govern the visible world but from the seemingly exotic rules of quantum mechanics, the physics of the subatomic world. Somehow, in every green plant or photosynthetic bacterium, the two disparate realms of physics not only meet but also mesh harmoniously. Welcome to the strange new world of quantum biology. More>

lockSpecial Event: EETD Distinguished Lecture on ‘Negawatts’ Tuesday

Lee Eng Lock, of Trane Singapore, will deliver the Environmental Energy Technologies Division’s Distinguished Lecture on Tuesday, Jan. 20, in the Building 66 auditorium at noon. A pioneer of super-efficient hotels, clean rooms and offices, Lock is expert at designing electrical and mechanical systems that use half the energy of standard buildings — and sometimes 70 percent less. In his talk “Negawatts for Buildings: Observations From the Past 25 Years,” Lock will discuss how to accelerate the spread of energy-efficient building design. More>

discoveryDOE Update: Free Book on Agency’s ‘Decade of Discovery’

Staff can request a free copy of “A Decade of Discovery,” a book created by the Department of Energy that chronicles some of the most significant scientific discoveries and technological innovations coming out of DOE laboratories. The book details recent breakthroughs in three critical areas: energy and environment, national security, and life and physical science. More>

fletcherOperations: Facilities Receives CapStar Award For Innovation

Ken Fletcher (left) and the Lab’s Facilities Division have received a CapStar Award from VFA Inc., a provider of software and services for facilities asset management and capital planning. The award, presented by VFA CEO Jerry Kokos (right), recognizes the Lab’s outstanding use of VFA’s Capital Assets Management System, beating out over 400 other companies. The Facilities Division is using the software to identify best opportunities for meeting the sustainability requirements of Executive Order 13425 while aligning major maintenance and renewal planning with the Office of Science’s Mission Readiness program. More>

barackCampus: LIve Screening of Inauguration

It might not rival Washington, D.C.’s Inauguration Day extravaganza, but there will be a star-spangled public viewing of the historic swearing-in of Barack Obama as the 44th U.S. president via a big-screen Jumbotron TV in UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza. Rain or shine, the proceedings from Washington, D.C., will be viewed on the plaza beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 20. Obama is expected to take the oath of office at around 9 a.m. More>

Special Event: ‘Boxopolis’ and ‘WaterWorks’ Exhibits at Science Museum

Visitors to the Lawrence Hall of Science can build their own city of cardboard as part of the "Boxopolis" exhibit, which runs from Jan. 16 to 23, or learn about H2O from A-Z at the "WaterWorks" exhibit, from Jan. 24 to April 19. More>