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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Special Event: Energy Secretary to Address DOE Staff via Satellite Feed

Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman will be conducting an all-hands meeting with Department of Energy and DOE contract employees tomorrow from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Berkeley Lab staff can watch the address via satellite in the Building 50 Auditorium. Bodman will discuss energy and national security challenges, highlighting the ability of the DOE complex to respond to these challenges.

tabl imageResearch Update: Building 3-D Neural Networks with Beads

Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley scientists developed the next best thing to peering inside the brain. The researchers — including Ehud Isacoff, with Berkeley Lab’s Physical Biosciences and Materials Sciences Divisions — grew neurons on beads, which assemble themselves into hexagonal sheets. These can be layered on top of each other, resulting in a three-dimensional scaffolding that for the first time allows scientists to observe neurons as they grow, connect and communicate in all directions, just as they do in the brain. More>

Editorial: Bevatron Should Be Dismantled with Assurances From Lab

tabl imageDismantling Berkeley Lab's first particle accelerator (the Bevatron) is necessary in the long run despite current worries about damaging the environment in the process. The Lab is already quite attentive to the potential dangers of the demolition, even commissioning a report about the production of harmful wastes. But it's not uncommon to be exposed to these same toxins on a daily basis from other sources, and awareness of these substances is likely to prompt the Lab to proceed more cautiously. More>

In Memoriam: Longtime Lab Physicist Peter Hoang Passes Away

Physicist Hoang Tchang Fong (Peter Hoang), who came to the Lab in 1969, died on July 28, following complications from a March assault near his home on Oxford St. He was 93. He most recently served as a guest in the Nuclear Sciences Division. He was a frequent shuttle bus user, distinctive for his diminutive stature, ready smile, and jaunty beret. Go here to read an obituary written by his colleague Hank Crawford.

Berkeley Lab Institute: Negotiations and Conflict Resolution Workshops

The Berkeley Lab Institute is offering three workshops on negotiations and conflict resolution, each designed for specific audiences: operations staff (Aug. 12, 9 a.m. to noon), post docs and grad students (Aug. 13, 1 to 4 p.m.), and scientists (Aug. 13, 9 a.m. to noon). Go here to register. The workshops are sponsored by the Women In Science Council at Berkeley Lab.

In The News: The Nature of Glass Remains Anything but Clear

It is well known that panes of stained glass in old European churches are thicker at the bottom because glass is a slow-moving liquid that flows downward over centuries. Well known, but wrong. However scientists still disagree about the nature of glass. Berkeley Lab chemical scientist David Chandler found the contrast between fast- and slow-moving regions was so striking compared with the other changes near the transition of solidifying glass, he and his colleagues have focused on these dynamics. More>