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Monday, June 21, 2010


An Enzyme Trio for Biofuels

Carbon Smackdown

Harry Beller of the Earth Sciences Division, working with Ee-Been Goh and Jay Keasling of the Physical Biosciences Division on a project for the Joint BioEnergy Institute, have identified a trio of bacterial enzymes in the organism Micrococcus luteus that can catalyze key steps in the conversion of plant sugars into hydrocarbon compounds for the production of green transportation fuels. Introducing the genes that code for these enzymes into Escherichia coli enabled the microbes to synthesize long-chain alkenes from glucose. These alkenes could then be “cracked” to yield shorter hydrocarbons that are compatible with today’s engines. More >

Photon Science: Once and Future Accomplishments of a Chemical Dynamics Beamline

Chemical Dynamics BeamlineScientists at the Chemical Dynamics Beamline (beamline 9.0.2) of the Advanced Light Source are continuously reinventing chemical research using widely tunable, vacuum ultraviolet, synchrotron light. A perspective in the journal PCCP by Stephen Leone, Musahid Ahmed, and Kevin Wilson of the Chemical Sciences Division discusses significant new directions made possible by the beamline’s new capabilities, plus the potential for future synchrotron and free electron laser science in chemical dynamics.  

Special Event: Light Sources Light Up Swissnex

Roger Falcone, Carolyn Larabell, Luc PattheyTomorrow evening Berkeley Lab’s Associate Director for Photon Sciences, Roger Falcone, and the Director of the National Center for X-Ray Tomography, Carolyn Larabell, join Luc Patthey of the Swiss Light Source (right) for an evening of wine, cheese, and light-source science at swissnex San Francisco. The Swiss art and cultural center, famed for its stimulating discussions and convivial gatherings, sponsors a presentation on The Brightest Lights of Science on Tuesday, with doors open at 6:30 p.m. No charge but please register here.

World of Science: CERN Outgrows Europe

cernAs the name makes clear, membership in CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has long been restricted to European countries. But last Friday the CERN Council, following the recommendations of a working group set up in 2008, decided to revise their membership policy, noting that “in the light of the increasing globalisation of science ... limiting Membership to European States can no longer be justified and accession should be possible for any State, European or not.” Until now, CERN had restricted non-European organizations and nations including the United States, Japan, and UNESCO to Observer status. More>

IT: An Introduction to Google Calendar

gmailBerkeley Lab will be migrating from Oracle to Google Calendar (Gcal) over the weekend of July 31. In order to help prepare casual users of Oracle Calendar for the migration, the Information Technology Division will offer an introduction to Google Calendar at seminars held this Wednesday and Thursday. Both seminars will be held in the Bldg. 50 Auditorium from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Lectures will cover the basics of navigation, meeting management, and adding and using secondary calendars, as well as viewing co-worker and resource calendars. To learn more about Berkeley Lab's Gcal service, go here.

Blogfest: KQED QUEST is Seeking Additional Bloggers

questKQED’s multiplatform science series QUEST is looking to add new voices to the QUEST blog, which offers commentary from current and past Berkeley Lab bloggers Christopher Smallwood, Jim Gunshinan, and Kyle Dawson, among many representatives of other KQED partners, QUEST producers and reporters, and local science writers. QUEST Interactive wants local folk who are actively involved in science or the science, environment, and nature blogging community. For details, visit the QUEST blog.

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