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Monday, July 13, 2009


Rattlesnakes Among Wildlife at Lab; Be Aware, Use Caution


Last Wednesday, a project manager with a construction company performing work here heard a strange noise emanating from a stairwell near Buildings 74 and 84. When she looked down, she saw a young rattlesnake (pictured above) coiled near her feet. She immediately jumped, narrowly missing a strike from the reptile. This incident is an important reminder that the Lab shares its environment with many wild creatures, some of which are potentially dangerous. When traversing the Lab, staff should be aware of their surroundings. Those who come across rattlesnakes should quickly move away from the area, warn others nearby to stay back, and call x6999 to report the sighting.

People: Three Scientists Win Presidential Early Career Award

pecaseThree Berkeley Lab scientists were among the 100 researchers named by President Barack Obama to receive the prestigious Presidential Early Career for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) Award, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government upon early-career researchers. The recipients were Cecilia Aragon (left), with the Computational Research Division, Sanjay Kumar (center), a bioengineer with the Physical Biosciences Division, and Jeff Neaton, with the Molecular Foundry. They will receive their awards in the fall at a White House ceremony. More>

nanoparticlesSpecial Event: Lab Hosts Symposium on Nanotechnology Safety

Environment, health and safety professionals, scientists, and regulators who make decisions on how to safely handle unbound engineered nanoparticles are invited to attend a daylong symposium on “EH&S Challenges of the Nanotechnology Revolution” on Wednesday, July 29. The meeting is cosponsored by the Lab’s Materials Sciences Division and Molecular Foundry, as well as UC Berkeley’s Center for Occupational and Environmental Health. Lab speakers include Richard Kelly, facilities manager for the Materials Sciences Division, and life scientist Fanquing Frank Chen. Registration is required. More>

In The News : Drive to Make Biofuels Thrive

biofuels[Contra Costa Times] In ten to 12 years, drivers in the Bay Area and around the country may zoom along powered by fuel made from pecan shells, switchgrass or even poplar trees thanks to research at Bay Area universities and Berkeley Lab, funded by more than $700 million in grants. Researchers say plant-based fuels nurtured by these efforts could be widely available at the pump in ten to 12 years at a cost comparable to that of gasoline. "A cotton shirt is pure cellulose," said Chris Somerville, director of the Energy Biosciences Institute. "You could be giving the shirt off your back someday to power your car." More>

IT: New Tools for Collaboration Include Google Sites and Docs

Employees can now access two new collaboration tools with their Berkeley Lab accounts: Google Docs and Sites. Google Docs provides online word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation functionality with the ability to share documents with others and work together in real time. Google Sites provides a suite of tools for group productivity including file sharing, wikis, and to-do lists. Both tools are free of charge. More>

Training: Workshop on New Features of 2007 Excel and Word

The Berkeley Lab Learning Institute will offer half-day classes Tuesday, July 28, on the new and enhanced features available in Microsoft Office 2007 for Excel and Word. The classes, taught by CMC, are $50 each. Due to limited space, interested employees are encouraged to sign up soon. Go here for information and to register. E-mail a project ID number to Karen Paris for payment, or call x5122.

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