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Friday, August 15, 2008

Research Update: JGI Director Highlights Genomics of Plant Biofuels

Genomics is accelerating improvements for converting plant biomass into biofuel — as an alternative to fossil fuel for the nation’s transportation needs, reports Eddy Rubin, Director of the Joint Genome Institute, in the August 14 edition of Nature. In the article, Rubin, who is also the head of Berkeley Lab’s Genomics Division, lays out a path forward for how emerging genomic technologies will contribute to a substantially different biofuels future as compared to the present corn-based ethanol industry — and in part mitigate the food-versus-fuel debate. More>

tabl imagePeople: Lab Physicist Writes Science Primer for Presidents

Berkeley Lab physicist Richard Muller, whose UC Berkeley class “Physics for Future Presidents” is among the campus’s most popular, has condensed the course into a book by the same name. The chapters lay out the key scientific issues that an American chief executive from either party will face. Go here to read a UC Berkeley press release on the book, and here for a San Francisco Chronicle review. Go here to watch a YouTube video of one of Muller's classes.

tabl imageOCFO: New Class Aids Financial Management Responsibilities

The Lab’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) has launched an online course for all Lab employees — including scientists, program managers and administrators — who manage funds. The 20-minute course explains key concepts, core principals, and best practices, which will help staff successfully fulfill their financial stewardship responsibilities. Go here to access the course, and here for additional information.

Foreign Visits/Assignments: Policy Change for T-5 Visitors, New Training

As part of a recent policy change, DOE approval is no longer required for visitors from terrorist-sponsoring countries who come to the Lab for short-term visits, such as tours, meetings, conferences and job interviews. The current policy remains for employees, guests and contractors of these countries who are working or conducting research. Also, Lab supervisors and HR/administrative staff may be required to take special training classes, as specified in their Job Hazards Analysis. More> 

tabl imageLab Recycling: New Process for Processing Inkjet Cartridges

To recycle empty inkjet printer cartridges, put the cartridge in a plastic bag, or cover the ink portal with tape, and place it in an envelope. Write “RECYCLE Inkjet Cartridge” on it and mail the package to Bldg. 69. Larger offices can designate a cardboard box for collection and, when full, label the box as mentioned above. Notify Transportation (x5404) if the cartridges are not promptly removed. HP inkjet cartridges can be sent to HP for recycling using an envelope that comes with the cartridge.

Server Interruption: Many Lab Websites Down Today Between 3 and 5 p.m.

To accommodate a move from the datacenter in Building 937 (downtown) to Building 50B, more than 100 Lab websites supported by IT’s Institutional Systems (IS) will be out of service on Friday between 3 and 5 p.m. More>