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Thursday, May 21, 2009


Keasling Wins BIO's First Biotech Humanitarian Award

Jay Keasling, Berkeley Lab's acting deputy director, CEO of the Joint BioEnergy Institute and professor of chemical engineering and bioengineering at UC Berkley, has been selected by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) to receive its first annual Biotech Humanitarian Award. Keasling was recognized for his use of synthetic biology techniques to develop a simple and much less expensive means of making artemisinin, today's most powerful anti-malaria drug. The synthetic biology technology behind this breakthrough can also be used to help produce the next generation of biofuels. More>

small carIn The News: Cars Won't All Shrink Under Obama's Fuel Plan, Automakers Say

[Bloomberg] Automakers say they won't have to overhaul their technology or flood the U.S. with tiny cars buyers may not want under President Barack Obama's standards for fuel economy and greenhouse-gas emissions. The plan announced by Obama at the White House yesterday gives the automobile manufacturers a lot of flexibility, said Robert Sawyer, with Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division. More>

Research: Online Games Spark Girls' Interest in Science

science gameRuby Knight and Tiffany Farmer, sixth and seventh graders in Oakland, have never met Susan Murabona, an educator and astronomer in Nairobi, Kenya. Nor have they visited the Ironwood North Observatory in Arizona, or talked to Lech Mankiewicz, an astrophysicist in Poland. But they all got together via the Internet to begin assembling an online game that will help girls around the world explore the cosmos and perhaps steer them toward careers in software development and information technology. The project is part of the "Universe Quest Game," of which Carl Pennypacker, a guest with Berkeley Lab's Physics Divisions, is principal investigator. More>

Site Access: Registering of Disabled Parking Placards to Begin

disabled placardIn an effort to protect essential parking for the Lab's disabled community, the Site Access office will conduct an annual survey of disabled placards and disabled parking spaces, and will check disabled parking placard holders' paperwork this month. Those with red or blue placard are asked to bring in (Bldg. 65A) or mail (MS 65A0101) a copy of their Disabled Person Placard Identification Card/Receipt (Form 046 DPP000). The information will be entered into the parking panel and kept on file at Site Access. Commencing in June, random checks will be made of cars with disabled placards. For more information contact Site Access at extension x4855. More>

chuDOE Update: Chu's Senate Testimony on FY10 Budget Online

On Tuesday, Energy Secretary Chu testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development on the Obama Administration's FY2010 budget request for the Department of Energy. Chu discussed new job creation, production of domestic renewable energy, and support of scientific discovery, including his plans for new Energy Innovation Hubs. Go here to watch the testimony (see 5/19 webcast).

eating appleSpecial Event: Informational Meeting for Next Weight Watchers Session

After the loss of hundreds of pounds during the last session of Lab's onsite Weight Watchers program, it's time to gear up for a new round. An informational meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 27, from noon to 1 p.m. in Building 26-124 (Health Services). Those interested in joining must bring a check for $186, or three checks of $62 each. If enough interest exists, the next 17-week session will officially begin on Wednesday, June 3. Contact Cathy Wentworth for more information (x5334).

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