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Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009


Key Role for Ancient Protein in Algae Photosynthesis


The discovery that an ancient light harvesting protein plays a pivotal role in the photosynthesis of green algae should help the effort to develop algae as a biofuels feedstock. Berkeley Lab physical bioscientist Krishna Niyogi and his team have identified the protein LHCSR as the molecular “dimmer switch” that acts to prevent green algae from absorbing too much sunlight during photosynthesis and suffering oxidation damage as a consequence. More>

People: Doug Fleming is New EH&S Division Director

Doug Fleming has been named the new director of the Lab’s Environment, Health and Safety Division. He will start work on Jan. 11, pending Department of Energy approval. Previously, Fleming was the director of EH&S at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, overseeing safety for more than 12,000 employees worldwide. He has held similar positions at Applied Materials, Honeywell, and Boeing. Fleming replaces Howard Hatayama, who was appointed as the Director of Institutional Assurance earlier this year. “Doug has a proven record of leading strategic initiatives and programs that improved and enhanced safety and environmental performance and compliance,” said Jim Krupnick, Berkeley Lab’s Chief Operating Officer, who oversees EH&S.

vanecekFaces at the Lab: Vanecek’s Tennis Passion Propels Her to National Level

Tennis is life for Cathy (Sam) Vanecek, executive assistant to the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division Director. Her love of the sport and competitive spirit have helped Vanecek and her teammates excel, with a recent appearance at the National Championships, her third time in five years. “Tennis is such a wonderful sport, and it makes me feel good,” she says. “I’m always excited to get on the court.” More>

World of Science: LHC Achieves World Record Beam Energies

CERNEarly yesterday morning, CERN Head of Communications James Gillies and CERN Courier Editor Christine Sutton sent a hurried note to physics communicators around the world: “There was exciting news from CERN last night as the LHC [Large Hadron Collider] accelerated first one beam, and then both beams to 1.18 TeV [1.18 trillion electron volts], thus breaking the world record energy at 00.44 CET [44 minutes past midnight, Central European Time].... Apologies for not sending any advance warning. Events are unfolding faster here than we imagined, and it’s difficult to predict exactly when news will occur!” In just over a week after it restarted, the LHC surpassed Fermilab’s Tevatron, the previous record holder at .98 TeV per beam. More>

candlesSpecial Event: Craft Fair Showcases Handmade Items

The annual Berkeley Lab craft fair will he held Wednesday, Dec. 9, from 3:30 to 6 p.m. in the cafeteria. The event, sponsored by the Employee Activities Association, features a variety of handmade goods for sale, such as jewelry, photography, art glass, candles, baked goods, jams and jellies, tamales, hand sewn crafts, hand knitted and crocheted items, and pottery. For more information, contact Robin Mitchell.

Safety: ALS Hosts Light Source Meeting on Safety

ALSSafety and user services staff from several light source facilities met at a workshop at the Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS) last month. Representatives from each facility — including SLAC National Accelerator Lab, Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source, Brookhaven’s National Synchrotron Light Source, and the Canadian Light Source — presented their user safety program, then the group identified best practices and potential areas of collaboration. In particular, the group determined that working towards a more common experiment review process should be the highest priority. The eventual goal, where practical, is to have a consistent web tool for users so that similar work would have a consistent review and authorization process across all of the light sources.

tagEH&S: LOTO Training Will Now Include ‘Practical’ Component

Beginning Monday, Dec. 14, the Lab’s Lock Out-Tag Out (LOTO) training requirement will now include a practical component. Those required to take LOTO training must take the updated classroom training (EHS0358) before taking the new practical training (EHS0359). The initial training expires after a year. After that, staff must take an online refresher course and the practical training annually. For more information, contact Keith Greshon (x4694) or Brooke Vaughn (x7603).

IT: Deadline for Mobility Competition's 'Code Track' is Today

The deadline for submitting “Code Track” ideas to the IT Mobility Competition is today. Winners will receive cash awards of up to $2,500. More>

Correction: Name of Person Who Led Tour at the ALS

An article on visitors to Berkeley Lab that appeared in yesterday's edition of TABL listed the incorrect name of the scientist who conducted the tour of the Advanced Light Source. His name is Jinghua Guo.

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