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Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009

Special Event

Nano Film Festival Thursday, 7:30 p.m.

As part of its annual user meeting, the Molecular Foundry will host a nanoscience film festival on Thursday from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Building 66 auditorium. NanoFest aims to communicate science to a broader community through movies — be they scientific, educational, or theatrical in nature. Each film is generally less than five minutes. This year, in keeping with their jointly held user meeting, films from the staff and users of the Foundry and Advanced Light Source will be featured. An Audience Award will be also presented at the end of the evening. Admission is free and open to Berkeley Lab employees.

nogales and doudnaResearch: Silence of the Genes

Jennifer Doudna (right) of the Physical Biosciences Division and Eva Nogales of the Life Sciences Division teamed up to produce the first image that shows the molecular architecture of a protein complex that helps determine the fate of human cells. Known as a human RISC-loading complex, this structure consists of snippets of ribonucleic acid (RNA) that control whether genetic messages, such as “turn cancerous,” are silenced or expressed. More>

People: Chemical Scientist Bell Appointed to Dow Chair

bellUC Berkeley’s College of Chemistry is making major new commitments to advance research and education in sustainable, green chemistry. As part of that effort, the college has appointed Alexis Bell, professor of chemical engineering and researcher with Berkeley Lab’s Chemical Sciences Division, to the newly established Dow Chair in Sustainable Chemistry. Bell is internationally recognized for his pioneering work in devising new catalysts to protect the environment. More>

Safety: Hazardous Weather Forecast for the Week

rainy windshieldEmployees should be prepared for heavy rains and winds at the Lab and the general Bay Area for the remainder of this week. Gusts are expected to reach 60 mph at times, according to the National Weather Service. The Lab’s Emergency Operations Center will be monitoring the storm as a precaution. Report any building or property damage resulting from this storm to the Facilities Work Request Center (x6274) during business hours. For after-hours emergency facility repairs, call x5481.

glass instrumentsIn The News: Rad Lab Cloud Chambers Make Beautiful Music

[] The Cloud Chamber Bowls are Soniccouture's re-creation of an instrument built in the 1950s by maverick American composer Harry Partch. It consists of hanging "bowls" which are sections of 12-gallon glass carboys. Both tops and bottoms of the carboys are used. Partch had 14 bowls hanging from a large wooden frame he called a "tori." The name "Cloud Chamber Bowls" arose from the fact that Partch found the original tops and bottoms at the Rad Lab (former name of Berkeley Lab) in 1950. The bowls were originally used for cloud chambers used in tracing paths of subatomic particles. More>

flagPolicy: Veterans’ Day Holiday Option

Eligible employees have the option of using Veterans’ Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11, as a paid holiday (if Cesar Chavez Day has not already been taken as one), with approval from their supervisor. Those who have taken Cesar Chavez Day as a holiday or who will take Veterans’ Day as a holiday must use a vacation day or leave of absence without pay on Monday, Dec. 28. See the "Limited Floating Holiday Implementation Guidance" for information on eligibility and time-entry procedures. Laboratory policy concerning holidays is contained in the Regulations and Procedures Manual (RPM), Section 2.10. Go here to view the Laboratory's holiday schedule.

Employee Activity: Members Needed for Weight Watchers Group

The next series of the Lab’s onsite Weight Watchers meetings started last Wednesday, but a few more members are needed to keep the session going. The meetings take place every Wednesday at noon in Building 26. This time around, the cost has been reduced ($176) and the length of the session extended to 20 weeks. For more information, contact Cathy Wentworth (x5334 or x6266).

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