Pull up to the pump and chances are your gas will be laced with ethanol, a biofuel made from corn. But with growing populations and shrinking farmland, there will never be enough corn to both feed and fuel the world. So researchers are working on “grassoline,” liquid biofuels made from hardy, high yielding, non-food crops, like switchgrass. But the sugars needed to make biofuels are locked up tight in cellulose and researchers have to figure out an economical, scalable way to break them loose.
Recent simulations carried out at NERSC by Jhih-Wei Chu, a chemical and biomolecular engineering professor at the University of California Berkeley, could help scientists do just that. More>
Lithium-ion batteries are everywhere, in smart phones, laptops, and an array of other consumer electronics. Good as they are, they could be much better, especially when it comes to lowering the cost and extending the range of electric cars. To do that, batteries need to store a lot more energy. A team of Berkeley Lab scientists have designed a new kind of anode — a critical energy-storing component — capable of absorbing eight times the lithium of current designs. Using supercomputers at NERSC, the team found a tailored polymer that conducts electricity and binds closely to lithium-storing silicon particles. More>
Associate Laboratory Director for Computing Sciences Kathy Yelick has been appointed to the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) of the National Academies, which include the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. More>
Introducing: Michael Bartkowiak, ESnet Infrastructure Team. More>
Anubhav Jain and Lin Lin have both been awarded the 2011 Alvarez Postdoctoral Fellowship in Computational Science. Hosted by the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) and the Computational Research Division, the fellowship allows recent graduates with a Ph.D. (or equivalent) to acquire further scientific training at one of the leading facilities for scientific computing and to develop professional maturity for independent research. More>
On Sept. 13 and 14, Inder Monga represented ESnet at the 11th Annual Global LambdaGrid Workshop, held at the Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ESnet participated in a Network Services Interface (NSI) protocol “plugfest” with , its award-winning On-Demand Secure Circuits and Advance Reservation System software, testing it against other band OSCARS width reservation software to determine its level of interoperability and find any issues with specifications. Monga also gave a talk titled “Networks & Power—ESnet’s Initiatives towards Green.” More>
On September 10, Peter Nugent of the Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division and several members of the Palomar Transient Factory team, including Adam Miller, Dovi Ponznanski, Jeffrey Silverman, Brad Cenko, Io Kleiser and Nao Suzuki,
co-hosted a public viewing of the supernova that they recently discovered as it approached peak brightness at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, Calif.
Approximately 700 people attended the event, which was publicized on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle. During the event, Nugent gave presentations about how the team discovered the closest supernova in 25 years several hours after it exploded, while his colleagues answered questions about the discovery from the general public.
Michael Wehner, a staff scientist in the Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division will give an invited talk called Projections of Extreme Weather in a Changing Climate: Balancing Confidence and Uncertainty at Climate Change Beijing, an international climate change conference hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Science Foundation of China and CSIRO, Australia.
As part of this conference, the world’s leading climate scientists, industry leaders, government representatives, students and members of the general public will meet in Beijing, China from October 18-20 to discuss the most important environmental issues of our time. The Chinese Academy of Sciences has established the conference to promote information sharing and action, with eminent speakers catalyzing scientific advances and collaboration between national and international participants.
Wehner’s current research concerns the behavior of extreme weather events in a changing climate, especially heat waves, intense precipitation, drought and tropical cyclones. He has been selected as a lead author for the upcoming Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and was also a member of the lead author team for the 2009 White House report, “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States.”
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists recently discovered a supernova about 21 million light years away in the Pinwheel Galaxy. Peter Nugent, of the Computational Cosmology Center, who found the brightest and closest supernova in decades, discusses how the dying star could prove to be "a real treat" for Northern hemisphere stargazers. More>
A recent discovery by scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California, Berkeley, of a supernova within hours of its explosion was made possible by a specialized telescope, state-of-the-art computational tools – and the high-speed data transmissions network of UC San Diego’s High-Performance Wireless and Research Education Network (HPWREN), as well as the Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network (ESnet). More>
In this editorial, Berkeley Lab's Chief Technologist David Bailey and University of Newcastle mathematics professor Jon Borwein discuss Fermi's Paradox and the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life. More>
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