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Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009

Special Event

Tours, Ceremony Mark Sept. 21 Debut of Guest House

The Lab community is invited to attend the opening ceremony of the Guest House on Monday, Sept. 21. The structure is located on Lawrence Road between the Advanced Light Source and the Cafeteria parking lot. Building 23, the Guest House’s official designation, provides 57 rooms for visiting scientists and other guests. It includes a meeting area, laundry facilities, and WiFi access. Tours of the facility will be offered approximately every half hour from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 21, followed by a formal ribbon cutting and speakers.

blackoutStimulus Funding: CRD Gets Recovery Money to Improve Reliability of Electrical Grid

Mathematicians from the Lab’s Computational Research Division (CRD) are receiving Recovery Act funds to help increase the reliability of the electrical grid and improve the nation's ability to respond to energy disruptions. By advancing the technologies needed to implement a smart grid, Berkeley researchers will play an important role in avoiding costly, cascading blackouts like the August 2003 blackout that affected eight northeastern U.S states and Canada. More>

synthetic biologyIn The News: Synthetic Biology Holds Promise, but Doubts Simmer

[ABC News] "Plastics" may have been the Baby Boomer watchword, but "synthetic" rules today. That's "synthetic" as in synthetic biology, the hottest biomedical buzzword, promising new drugs, new fuel and someday, new life. Starting with the building blocks of animal and plant cells, synthetic biologists are reengineering living things today and hope to create synthetic life tomorrow. That makes experts, including human genome pioneers Craig Venter and Acting Deputy Lab Director Jay Keasling hopeful and cautious at the same time about the promise and peril of the field. More>

supernovaResearch: Three New Supernova Discoveries Enabled by Deep Sky Project

Peter Nugent of the Computational Research Division’s Scientific Computing Group and the Analytics Group at NERSC, along with colleagues from the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF), recently announced the discovery of three nearby Type Ia supernovae. Two were discovered on August 17 and one on August 18; confirmation spectra were taken on August 19. All three supernovae are quite young. Follow-up observations are being taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and other facilities. These discoveries were made possible in part by NERSC’s Deep Sky/PTF processing pipeline, which identifies candidate transients (possible supernovae) from the images taken by PTF each night. Nugent is Realtime Transient Detection Lead for the PTF. More>

Employee Development: Workshops on Negotiating and Conflict Resolution

conflictDo you have an idea or solution to a problem? Would you like to enhance your career by presenting research at a conference, or being a project lead? Do you and a colleague have differing points of view? Would you like to ask someone to be your mentor? Scientists and operations staff negotiate and resolve these kinds of issues and conflicts everyday. Learn tactics for different kinds of negotiating in three-hour workshops on Sept. 16 and 17. See descriptions for sessions specifically tailored to scientists, postdocs and graduate students, and operations staff. Go here to register.

Commute: Bay Bridge Closed Thursday Evening Through Monday

Those who commute to the Lab from San Francisco are reminded that the Bay Bridge will be closed to traffic in both directions beginning Thursday, at 8 p.m. and will re-open on Tuesday, September 8 at 5 a.m. Drivers should consider using public transit or alternate routes. More>

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