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Monday, Sept. 8, 2008

Shuttle Bus: Driver’s Quick Response to Brake Failure Prevents Injuries

Last Wednesday, at approximately 7 p.m., the hydraulic brake system on an orange-line shuttle bus heading west on Hearst Avenue failed. This occurred near the corner of Hearst and La Loma Avenues. Driver Christy Hughes was able to steer the bus around the corner at Scenic Avenue and point it uphill so that it rolled to a stop. There were no injuries. The incident has been reported to the City of Berkeley Police Department and an investigation is underway. Said Facilities Division Director Jennifer Ridgeway, “At this time we have no indication that this is anything other than a single incident with one bus. However, we are pulling maintenance records of all buses and all buses were inspected this past weekend. Furthermore, all buses have been scheduled for a full re-inspection at an outside shop.”

smog imageResearch Update: Tracking Down the Menace in Mexico City Smog

A new report by scientists who are part of the international MILAGRO Campaign indicates that some of the most harmful air pollution in Mexico City may not come from motor vehicles but instead originates with industrial sources — and that the culprit may be garbage incineration. Five Department of Energy Labs contributed to the study, including Berkeley Lab. More>

mark mendellPeople:EETD Scientist Receive ‘Best Paper’ For Indoor Air Research

Every three years, the editorial board of Indoor Air selects the three best papers published in this journal. One of these awards, for the years 2005 through 2007, was given to Mark Mendell of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, and Garvin Heath, for the paper "Do indoor pollutants and thermal conditions in schools influence student performance? A critical review of the literature.”  The research was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency.

yuri suzukiIn The News: Magnetic PC Does More and Wastes Less

Six physicists — including Berkeley Lab materials scientist Yuri Suzuki — are using spintronics to build a magnetic PC that sips power, boots up instantly and ably handles the most complex speech and image recognition. Suzuki is building stacks of metal oxides in the hopes that, when combined with carbon-based materials, they'll blend into a new kind of semiconductor that can control spin at normal temperatures. More>

EBI logoSpecial Event: EBI Fall Biofuels Seminar Series Starts Tomorrow at 4 p.m.

The Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) has begun a new, biweekly seminar series this semester focusing on areas of importance within the biofuel field. The lectures take place every Tuesday at 4 p.m. in 116 Calvin Laboratory. The series starts tomorrow with a talk by Berkeley Lab life scientist Manfred Auer, a microscopist working on imaging of plant cell walls. Next is Paul Adams, with the Lab’s Physical Biosciences Division, on Sept. 23. More>

Safety Note: Electrical Safety Course Now Online Only; No Class Tomorrow

The classroom version of "Basic Electrical Safety and Mitigations" is now an online course, and the class scheduled for tomorrow is canceled. This course is intended for members of the general Lab population who work with or around electrical equipment without qualified electrical worker status as identified through the Job Hazards Analysis (JHA). It is not for those who work in an office setting. Go here to access the course (EHS0260). For more information, contact Keith Gershon (x4694) or James Basore (x7524).