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Friday, March 20, 2009


Majumdar, Falcone Appointed as New Associate Lab Directors

Interim Lab Director Paul Alivisatos has announced the appointments of Roger Falcone (left) and Arun Majumdar as Associate Lab Directors effective immediately. Majumdar, director of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, will serve as the Associate Lab Director for Energy and Environment. Falcone, director of the Advanced Light Source, will serve as Associate Lab Director for Photon Sciences. Go here to watch a video message from Alivisatos on these appointments.

windowsIn The News: Five Future Technologies That Will Slash Home Energy Use

[US News and World Report] Consumers have heard for years that solar, wind, and geothermal power might soon cut their monthly energy bills. But in a decade or two, scientists envision homes that will generate their own power in basement plants, and windows and paint that will change color to harvest sunlight or reject it. But cutting home energy use means changing consumer behavior. "It'll be interesting to see 10 or 20 years from now how much progress is technology oriented and how much is education based," says Dariush Arasteh, with Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division. More>

batul merchantFaces at the Lab: Researcher Helps South Asian Women End Cycle of Abuse

Meet Batul Merchant, a cancer biology research associate with the Stampfer Lab in the Life Sciences Division.

Merchant is originally from India and, as the first person in her family to attend college, moved to Pennsylvania to attend Carnegie Mellon. “It was such a huge culture clash,” explains Batul. “The food was so different, and while I knew English, everyone spoke so fast, it was hard to follow.” But as someone who already spoke four languages, it didn’t take long for Merchant to get up to speed.

Another difference between America and India, she says, is how women are treated. “Abuse of women in India is pervasive and considered acceptable, unlike here.” This inspired Merchant to volunteer for Narika, an organization that seeks “to address the problem of domestic violence in the South Asian community.” She staffs their help line, providing information on legal, housing, medical, and mental health resources. “Economic and immigration issues often block these women from leaving abusive relationships,” says Merchant. “At Narika, we mobilize our resources and help these women.”

wadiaSpecial Event: Bringing Affordable Solar Power to the Masses Subject of Next 'Science at the Theater' Talk on Monday, April 6

Cyrus Wadia, with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division, presents the next installment of the “Science at the Theater” series of lectures at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 6, at the Berkeley Repertory Theater. He will discuss the development of photovoltaic technology so inexpensive and easy to install that even the most remote villages of the world could gain access to electricity. The event is free and open to the public. More>

eco-structureIn The News: Foundry Makes Cover of Eco-Structure Magazine

The Lab’s award-winning Molecular Foundry building made the cover of eco-structure magazine, as part of a story on energy efficient laboratories. “Overall, the Foundry saves up to 8,500 billion BTUs per year, which translates into $55,000 of electrical savings annually,” says the article, which also notes that the structure is the first laboratory in California to achieve LEED Gold certification. Steve Greenberg, with the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, is quoted in the article. More>

UC Update: Retirement Administration Unit to Remain In-House

After reviewing a number of requests for proposals, analyzing related costs and efficiency, and considering feedback from the academic senate, UC President Yudof has decided that the Retirement Administration unit will remain in-house and not be outsourced. He also requested that the unit be restructured as an entity distinct from the Human Resources Department. Additional information will be available as details about the new structure of the unit are addressed. More>

IT:  Invitrogen, MathWorks Now Available on

Procurement's Computing Sciences Subcontracts Group recently completed a new agreement with MathWorks, which provides favorable pricing for MatLab and Simulink. Go here for more details. In addition, Vector NTI from Invitrogen has been added to the software download site.

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