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Monday, May 4, 2009

Flu Update

What Employees Should Do; What Lab is Doing

The Lab is closely monitoring the H1N1 influenza outbreak. So far, cases in the United States are relatively mild, but there are simple steps staff can take to limit disease spread and illness severity.

What employees should do:

Practice good hygiene, including frequent handwashing with soap and water, use of alcohol-based hand sanitzer, and stay at home at first signs of an influenza-like illness (fever above 100 degrees, cough and/or sore throat). More>

What the Lab is doing:

Working with public health officials and following their recommendations, convened our Pandemic Response Team, screening staff who've been out ill or recently returned from Mexico, and planning next steps.

Additional information is available on federal, state, and Alameda and Contra Costa County websites.

Site Access: In Preparation for Campus Strike, Gate Entrances Altered Wednesday

blackberry gateThe Union of Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE) has announced a one-day strike of the Berkeley campus and UC headquarters on Wednesday, May 6. As a precautionary measure, gate access to the Lab will be altered that day. Strawberry Gate will be a "neutral" entry, open only to neutral contractors and subcontractors, including their employees, visitors and vendors. Grizzly Peak and Blackberry Gates are for the use of Lab and UC employees, visitors, guests, and vendors/suppliers. Grizzly Gate entrance is open until 10:30 a.m. Staff who try to enter Strawberry Gate will be turned away and directed to the other gates.

stimulus constructionFederal Funding: Stimulus Funds Go to Work at Berkeley Lab

The first portion of an allocated $115.8 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding has arrived at Berkeley Lab. With $70 million directed to nine construction projects, hiring is already underway and is expected to result in up to 700 jobs for local contractors and employees, as well as suppliers in California and around the nation. More>

People: Mathematicians Among Fellows Named by SIAM

math peopleRenowned Berkeley Lab mathematicians (clockwise from left) John Bell, Phillip Colella, Alexandre Chorin, James Demmel, and James Sethian are among the first group of 183 Fellows announced Friday by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). "Having five of our best-known mathematicians included in the first class of SIAM Fellows is a well-deserved recognition of both their individual accomplishments and the overall excellence of the applied math program at Berkeley Lab," said Horst Simon, Associate Lab Director for Computing Sciences. More>

Special Event: Women Scientists' Council Luncheon Seminar

nogalesThe Women Scientists' Council Luncheon Seminar is scheduled for Friday, May 15, in Perseverance Hall (Bldg. 54-130) from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The guest speaker is Eva Nogales, a Faculty Scientist in the Life Sciences Division. Nogales' Lab researches the structural characterization of complex biological assemblies, their architecture, conformational flexibility, and their interactions with ligands and cellular partners with a major interest in structural basis of cytoskeletal self-assembly and regulation during cell division. Networking opportunities and lunch will be provided. For more information, contact Kamala Green.

In The News: Despite Centuries of Research, Photosynthesis Still Mysterious

forest[Chemical and Engineering News] Because of its fundamental importance, photosynthesis has for centuries challenged scientists to untangle its mysteries. Yet several Nobel Prizes for photosynthesis-related discoveries later, major unknowns still exist. Scientists have not figured out exactly how plants use light to catalyze the splitting of water, which kick-starts the entire photosynthetic process. Knowing in structural detail how Earth-abundant metals manganese and calcium can break apart water's strong bonds would be a major feat. Kris Niyogi and Vittal Yachandra are quoted in this story. More>

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