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Monday, Jan. 24, 2011

Lab Launches Info-Gathering Process for Second Campus


Earlier this month, Berkeley Lab issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a second campus to consolidate current programs that are located in space spread throughout the Bay Area, and to prepare for long-term future growth. The RFQ seeks expressions of interest for a site with a combination of attributes, including that it be located within 20 to 25 minutes of the original campus, have land capacity to accommodate any future growth and easy access to public transportation and other amenities. More>

SDSSThe Largest Image of the Sky Yet Made

Earlier this month, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-III (SDSS-III) released the largest digital color image of the sky ever made, and it’s free to all. The image has been put together over the last decade from millions of 2.8-megapixel images, thus creating a color image of more than a trillion pixels. This terapixel image is so big and detailed that one would need 500,000 high-definition TVs to view it at its full resolution. The largest program in SDSS-III is BOSS, the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, whose goal is to study dark energy through precisely measuring the expansion history of the universe. More>

Glass That's Stronger and Tougher Than Steel

glassRobert Ritchie of the Materials Sciences Division led Berkeley Lab’s participation in a collaboration with Cal Tech researchers to produce a new type of damage-tolerant metallic glass, which demonstrates a strength and toughness beyond that of steel or any other known material. The new metallic glass is a microalloy featuring palladium, a metal with a high “bulk-to-shear” stiffness ratio that counteracts the intrinsic brittleness of glassy materials. “These results mark the first use of a new strategy for metallic glass fabrication and we believe we can use it to make glass that will be even stronger and more tough,” says Ritchie. More>

Lab Director Updates Community in Recent Letter

Last month, Director Paul Alivisatos sent a letter to the local community with updates on Berkeley Lab’s latest activities, including climate modeling, battery research, the Lab’s partnership in the new Department of Energy Solar Hub, and fire-risk reduction efforts. Go here to read the letter.

smilingWhat's In a Stove?

[Oxfam America] With a thud and a spray of flying sand, Hawa Adam Dawelbiat splinters a dry tree branch. A few deft blows of her ax and she has produced a small pile of kindling, which she picks up and displays to a visitor. This is what it takes to cook for her family: one-third the wood she used each day before the arrival of her fuel-efficient stove. The Berkeley-Darfur Stove, the brainchild of the Darfur Stoves Project (DSP), draws on the work of engineers at Berkeley Lab. DSP worked with women in Darfur to develop a stove suited to their needs that would use less than half the fuel of a traditional three-stone fireplace and significantly less than other stove models that are available locally. More>

Dusty Punch Cards Offer Insights Into Link Between Cholesterol and Hearth Disease

Punch CardsA stack of punch cards from a landmark study published in 1966, and the legwork to track down the study’s participants years later, has yielded the longest analysis of the effects of lipoproteins on coronary heart disease. The study, published in a recent issue of the journal Atherosclerosis, tracked almost 1,900 people over a 29-year period, which is nearly three times longer than other studies that examine the link between different sizes of high-density lipoprotein particles and heart disease. It found that an increase in larger high-density lipoprotein particles decreased a subject’s risk of heart disease. The research also underscores the value of looking to the past to advance science. More>

Computing Sciences, HR Staff Offer Job Tips to Richmond High Schoolers

Richmond High SchoolersMembers of the Lab's Computing Sciences communications group and HR recruiters paid a recent visit to Kennedy High School in Richmond to share tips with students on finding rewarding jobs. The session drew 40 students from the school’s IT Academy and stemmed from a summer outreach program organized by Computing Sciences communications staff last summer. Among the topics covered were where to look for jobs, who to call on for help, dressing for success in the job interview, likely interview questions, and a “circle of support” exercise to identify people, organizations, and other support resources.

ClimateCan Social Science Combat Climate Change?

[Scientific American] Roughly 44 percent of Californians smoked tobacco in 1965. By 2010, 9.3 percent did, a shift that might have seemed impossible before it happened. Understanding exactly how such a social transformation occurred in the past may prove key to understanding how individuals might alter their behavior to help combat climate change in the future. By studying past instances of social transformation, scientists at Berkeley Lab hope to predict future change in response to global warming. Lab energy technology scientist Jeffery Greenblatt and his colleagues are analyzing technology options as well as data records from 10 historical behavior changes — smoking cessation, seat belt use, vegetarianism, drunk driving, recycling, and yoga, among others. More>

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