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The cafeteria menu is not available due to the transition of services to Cal Dining. It will be posted within the next two weeks.

Breakfast: 6:30 - 9:30 a.m.
Lunch: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Cafe: 6:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Nuclear Medicine Born
At Lab 71 Years Ago

John Lawrence

A radioactive isotope was used to treat human disease for the first time on Dec. 24, 1936, at Berkeley Lab, marking the birth of nuclear medicine. Ernest Lawrence, who would soon win the Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention of the cyclotron, recognized the medical potential of nuclear isotopes. The key was bringing in his brother John Lawrence, who began treating a 28-year-old leukemia patient using a radioactive isotope of phosphorus-32 produced in one of his brother's cyclotrons. Full story.

Venture Capitalist Joins
In Effort to Save Planet

There's little about the building where Vinod Khosla runs his tiny venture-capital firm to suggest he's at the forefront of a global effort to revolutionize how the world gets energy. Yet, saving the planet is what Khosla and a growing number of financiers, entrepreneurs and political luminaries hope for as they chase new ways to wean the world from oil, coal and other non-renewable energy sources now threatening the environment. Some of the most promising research in renewable energy is in wind generation and solar thermal — using the sun's energy to create steam that powers generators of electricity, says Berkeley Lab Director Steve Chu. Full story.

Cable Boxes Gobble
Up Lots of Energy


Many appliances continue to burn electricity even when they’re turned off because they remain in standby mode, and among the worst offenders are cable boxes. Bruce Nordman, with Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division, said some set-top boxes for cable and satellite can use about 25 percent more electricity an hour than a newer model refrigerator. The boxes should be designed to power down when not in use, Nordman said. “But (the manufacturers) haven’t bothered to do that because they’re not paying the electric bill. So it’s free to them.” Full story.


Scientists Understand
Why Smaller is Stronger

As structures made of metal get smaller, they get stronger. Scientists discovered this phenomenon 50 years ago, and many theories have been proposed to explain why. But only recently has it become possible to see and record what's actually happening in tiny structures under stress. Andrew Minor, of the Materials Sciences Division, used the In Situ Microscope at the National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM) to record what happens when pillars of nickel are compressed under a flat punch made of diamond. The videotaped images helped the researchers understand why nanoscale nickel pillars are so strong by allowing them to observe changes in the microstructure of the pillars during deformation. Full story.


Rain, Wind Warnings:
Extreme Caution Urged

With the weather service warning all Bay Area residents of a series of powerful storms expected to arrive in the next few days, Berkeley Lab’s emergency services staff urges all employees to exercise extreme caution when traversing the roads and walkways. The hills are expected to receive gusty and potentially damaging winds along with heavy rain, with the potential for flooding. The strongest of the storms is expected tomorrow. Go here for the latest hazardous weather outlook and advisories.


Columbia’s Atom Smasher
Going to the Junk Heap

Columbia University has decided to junk a 70-year-old atom smasher, the nation’s oldest artifact of the nuclear era. Spencer Weart, director of the Center for History of Physics, said the only cyclotron that rivaled Columbia’s in importance was at UC Berkeley. There, he said, the school put one of the great magnets outdoors on permanent display. “Has anybody thought of doing something like that in New York?” Weart asked. “It would make an impressive sculpture and catch the spirit of the early days when big science was just starting up.” Full story.

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