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Friday, Oct. 15, 2010

Special Event

Welcome Ceremony for USB, Lab's Newest Building

USB ceremony

On Wednesday, Berkeley Lab hosted a ribbon-cutting celebration for the new User Support Building (USB) at the Advanced Light Source. About seventy people gathered just outside of the $35 million facility to celebrate its inaugural dedication. Roger Falcone welcomed guest speakers Congressman Vern Elhers, Harriet Kung (DOE), State Senator Loni Hancock, Assembly member Nancy Skinner, and UC’s Bruce Darling. Designed with a number of green features and funded by nearly $15 million in ARRA monies, the USB provides office and lab space for about 80 researchers, conference rooms, and a large staging area with a two-story high crane to manipulate experiments.

Open Enrollment: 2011 Changes Include New Medical Plans, Rate Increases, Coverage for Children Up to Age 26

Open Enrollment logo

There are significant changes employees need to consider during this year’s Open Enrollment, which begins Monday, Oct. 25, at 8 a.m. and ends on Tuesday, Nov. 23, at 5 p.m. Costs for Health Net and Anthem Blue Cross PLUS plans will go up significantly. To help offset this increase, the two companies are also offering new lower-cost plans. Also, recent health care reform will extend coverage to children up to age 26. The Lab’s HR Benefits Group is conducting several employee meetings to review the 2011 plan changes. The University of California will be mailing the 2011 Health Benefits Open Enrollment booklet to home address next week. More>

People: Hoi-Ying Holman Wins ALS Award

Image of Hoi-Ying HolmanHoi-Ying Holman of the Lab’s Earth Sciences Division has won the 2010 David A. Shirley Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement at the Advanced Light Source. Holman was recognized for her work “pioneering the study of living cells and their response to environmental stimuli using synchrotron-based FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared) spectromocroscopy.” More>

Image of a starfishSpecial Event: Foundry Talk on Nanostructures That Mimic Echinoderm Skin

Joanna Aizenberg of Harvard University is the next speaker in Molecular Foundry’s Distinguished Lecture Series. She will speak about “Actuated ‘Spiny’ Surfaces a la Echinoderms: En Route for Adaptive Materials” on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 1:30 p.m. in the Building 66 Auditorium. She will discuss the synthesis, fabrication and characterization of new hybrid nano/micro-structures that mimic the echinoderm skin.

In The News: Green Energy is Fertile Ground for Wild Concepts

Green energy image[Los Angeles Times] Spray-on solar panels, power beaming down from outer space and gasoline-like fuel made from bacteria. Sound far-fetched? Maybe, but these and other futuristic concepts for producing power are being taken seriously in scientific, business and academic circles. Some have even raised millions in funding. UC Santa Barbara professor Alan Heeger is developing flexible plastic solar cells that could end up costing far less than rigid silicon-based panels. And at the California Institute of Technology and Berkeley Lab, experts are trying to conjure liquid fuel from thin air by using technology — and a $122 million federal grant — to replicate the photosynthesis process used by plants to derive energy from sunlight. More>

Facilities: Work on Chu Road Walkway Closes Lane of Traffic Today

Work today on the walkway along Chu Road (leading down to Building 65) will require one lane to be closed. Traffic will be controlled by flaggers. The complete project will hopefully be done by Friday, Oct. 22.

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