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Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Synthetic Biology Can Extend Anti-Malaria Drug Effectiveness

Berkeley Lab’s Jay Keasling, speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Chicago, explained why synthetic biology can not only provide a simple and much less expensive means of making artemisinin, the most powerful anti-malaria drug in use today, but can also help extend the drug’s effectiveness. Bundling microbial-based artemisinin as part of an anti-malarial drug “cocktail” rather than selling it as a monotherapy should delay or even prevent malaria parasites (pictured) from developing resistance. Recently, there have been reports of malaria parasites in West Africa showing some signs of resistance to plant-based artemisinin. More>

state capitolPeople: EETD’s Majumdar to Discuss 'Green Energy' as Part of UC Day in Sacramento

Arun Majumdar, director of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, will represent the Lab and the Berkeley campus at UC Day in Sacramento next Tuesday. Majumdar will participate in a panel discussion entitled "Today's Ideas, Tomorrow's Solutions" that will be moderated by UC President Mark Yudof, speaking specifically on “The Future of Green Energy.” The event will be held in the State Capitol Building and attended by legislative and administration staff as well as members of the legislature.

Safety: HSS Review Team Delivers Draft Report to Lab

magnifying glassThe DOE Health, Safety and Security review team returned to Berkeley Lab last week to discuss the draft report of their inspection. The draft contains important findings and numerous opportunities for improvement, says Interim Director Paul Alivisatos, as well as many positive statements, including recognition of the actions taken to achieve needed safety improvements. Also recognized were management, scientific staff, and workers who’ve demonstrated support for safety and are making improvements. The elements of the lab that were reviewed received “Effective Performance” and “Needs Improvement” ratings, and no ratings of “Significant Weakness” were issued. The report will be posted online when finalized, and management will outline steps to ensure the Lab benefits from the HSS review’s lessons learned. More>

Year of Science:  March Theme is Physics; Lab Celebrates With Two-Part Story on Neutrino Research

leskoImagine a day without physics or technology. That would mean giving up the computer you are using, the electricity that warmed your coffee this morning, and the weather satellite that informed your clothing choice. To celebrate this noble field of research, the Year of Science (YoS) campaign has designated March as physics month, which includes Pi day and Albert Einstein's birthday. As part of the celebration, a two-part story on the Lab’s neutrino research will be featured. The first installment is posted now on the Lab’s YoS website, with the second arriving mid-month.

forumSafety: Share Safety Tips, Questions Using New Forum

Have a question about your workstation set-up, waste disposal, or bicycle rules? Join the new Safety Forum to exchange ideas with other staff and get advice from expert moderators about issues affecting safety at the Lab. Located on the OurSafety website, the forum is divided into five categories: Ergonomics, Research Labs, Shops and Facilities, Traffic Safety, and Buildings and Grounds. Post a question or comment in any area to start a discussion. All comments are moderated and will post within 24 hours of being submitted. Visit frequently to get a fresh outlook on safety issues and solutions.

excel logoEmployee Development: Onsite Classes Offered for Excel, Excel Pivot Tables

The Berkeley Lab Learning Institute (BLI) is offering Microsoft Excel and Excel Pivot Tables classes on Wednesday, March 18, and Tuesday, March 24. The classes, taught by CMC, are $50 and $100 respectively.  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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