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Monday, March 9, 2009


Keasling, Smoot Featured on National TV Tonight, Tuesday

Berkeley Lab Nobelist George Smoot and Physical Biosciences Division Director Jay Keasling will both hit the national airwaves tonight and tomorrow with appearances on two popular television programs. Smoot will appear on the "Big Bang Theory" at 8 p.m. tonight on CBS (local Channel 5). Keasling will appear on the parody news program "The Colbert Report" at 11:30 p.m. on Comedy Central tomorrow (viewers should check with their cable providers for local airtime). Go here to watch a behind-the-scenes video of the making of Smoot's Big Bang Theory episode. Links to archived versions of the programs will be provided in Today at Berkeley Lab if made available by the networks.

contanimantResearch: Cleaning Up Underground Contaminants the Smart Way

Using state-of-the-art tools, Berkeley Lab’s Earth Sciences Division is tackling the challenges that inhibit the long-term remediation of subsurface metals and radionuclides. Their approach takes into account everything from the interactions of microscopic proteins to the characteristics of kilometer-scale field sites. The research will help scientists choose remediation strategies that are compatible with a site’s unique hydrological, biological, and geochemical conditions. More>

oppenheimerSpecial Event: Robert Oppenheimer Lecture on Manipulating Atoms

Claude Cohen-Tannoudji of the Collège de France and the Ecole Normale Supérieure will deliver the J. Robert Oppenheimer Lecture tonight at 6:30 in 155 Dwinelle Hall, sponsored by the UC Berkeley Department of Physics. Cohen-Tannoudji, whose topic is "Quantum Degenerate Gases," shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics with Steven Chu and William Phillips for cooling and trapping atoms with laser light. He will review recent advances in the control and manipulation of atoms, including new tests of fundamental theories like general relativity. More>

JGI: Venter Added as Keynote to March 25-27 User Meeting

venterGenomics pioneer J. Craig Venter, founder and president of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to human, microbial, plant, and environmental genomic research, has been added to the roster of keynote speakers for the Joint Genome Institute's Genomics of Energy and Environment User Meeting. Venter joins Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) Director Chris Somerville and Harvard’s George Church as keynote speakers at the March 25-27 event. The meeting will also feature bioinformatics workshops and sessions on improving biomass, its degradation, and biofuels; genome evolution and adaptation; new sequencing technologies; functional genomics; and synthetic biology. Registration is still open.

fajansPeople: Lab’s Fajans to Speak on Movie’s LHC Reference

In early May, a week before the movie “Angels and Demons” opens in the United States, Joel Fajans of the Lab’s Accelerator and Fusion Research Division will be joining physicists across the country in a series of public lectures discussing the movie's references to science at the Large Hadron Collider. As a member of CERN's ALPHA experiment, whose goal is to trap antihydrogen, Fajans has a particular interest in the "antimatter bomb" supposedly created there which drives the movie's plot. More>

dancingEmployee Activities: The Lab’s Own ‘Dancing with the Stars’

It may be chilly outside, but things heat up every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday in the multipurpose room of Building 76 at noon. That’s when the Lab’s Dance Club offers free dance and exercise-dance classes. On Mondays, the Environmental Energy Technologies Division’s Ronnen Levinson, an accomplished ballroom dancer, offers lessons on a variety of dance styles (currently salsa). On Wednesdays, dancers can practice what they’ve learned on Monday, and on Thursdays, staff can participate in an aerobic-style dance class, meant to get one’s heart rate up. Partners or dance experience is not required.

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