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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Health Update

Take Normal Precautions Against Flu

Hand washing image

The current H1N1 ‘Swine’ Flu outbreak is a dynamic situation being closely monitored by the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization).  Here’s what we know:

  • 91 confirmed cases have been found in the US (including California)
  • 10 confirmed cases in Imperial, San Diego, and Sacramento counties
  • No confirmed cases in Alameda or Contra Costa counties
  • One confirmed US death (of toddler visiting from Mexico)
  • No link to pigs; human-to-human transmission only

LBNL will continue to follow the development of this outbreak. Currently, employees should take these everyday steps to protect your health:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you get sick with influenza, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. If you develop a fever, contact your personal health care provider.
  • Avoid nonessential travel to areas with high rates of transmission (currently, Mexico City).

Additional information from the CDC and answers to frequently asked questions.
Alameda County
Contra Costa County
Travel and additional public health information from the State of California.

DSTW imageSpecial Event: Sights and Sounds of Daughters and Sons To Work Day

Blend 110 inquisitive children, an array of cool research labs and a slew of cheerful volunteers eager to share their love of science, and you pretty much have the perfect combination to fire up the imaginations of the daughters and sons visiting the Lab last week for their special day. The event included hands-on experiments, a career fair, lunch and an ice cream social, and first-hand interactions with volunteer scientists around the Lab. To see photographs and videos chronicling the sights and sounds of the day, go here>

Workshop: Lab to Co-host Meeting on Energy Systems

Energy imageAs part of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, Berkeley Lab and two U.S. utilities have developed and will lead a technical information exchange program and identification of Best Practices associated with planning, implementation and operation of distribution systems and associated demand-side management programs. The first portion (April 27- 29) will be held at Raleigh, North Carolina and hosted by Progress Energy; the second portion (April 29- May 2) will be hosted by Pacific Gas and Electric in San Francisco and at the Lab. Jayant Sathaye, Chuck Goldman, Mary Anne Piette and others from EETD will speak about demand-side management.  More>

Hiroshi NikaidoPeople: National Academy of Sciences Elects Hiroshi Nikaido

The National Academy of Sciences announced the election of 72 new members and 18 foreign associates from 15 countries in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Among the new members is Hiroshi Nikaido, a scientist in the structural biology department of the Physical Biosciences Division as well as a professor of biochemistry at UC Berkeley. The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare.  For the complete list of new members, go here>

Glenn T. Seaborg imageIn the News: Eye on the Bay Highlights Glenn Seaborg

In a segment of the documentary series “Eye on the Bay” that aired last Friday, KPIX CBS-5 TV producer David Stoelk interviews physicist Richard Muller and visits the “super-secret” laboratory (well, not at the time—the secrecy came later) on the UC Berkeley campus where, early in 1941, Glenn Seaborg and his colleagues chemically separated plutonium from artificial isotopes they had created with the 60-Inch Cyclotron. View the segment (it starts eight minutes into the video) and take a plutonium trivia quiz on series producer Brian Hackney’s blog.

Bone image In the News: Bone, a Masterpiece of Elastic Strength

[New York Times] In a Science column on the marvels of human bones, the New York Times reviews some discoveries and little-known facts about bone growth and structure. Quoting Robert Ritchie, a Berkeley Lab material scientist, the article describes the organization and components of bone that allow it to be both elastic and sturdy.

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