Led by Berkeley Lab's Mary Ann Piette, the California Energy Commission (through its Public Interest Energy Research Program) has established a Demand Response Research Center that addresses two motivations for adopting demand responsiveness: reducing average electricity prices and preventing future electricity crises.
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab bioscientist Daniel Rokhsar discusses genomic advances to improve biomass for biofuels. He presented his talk Feb. 11, 2008 in Berkeley, California as part of Berkeley Lab's community lecture series. Rokhsar works with the U.S. Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute and Berkeley Lab's Genomics Division.
The Big Bang, COBE, and the Relic Radiation Traces of Creation
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s George Smoot won the 2006 Physics Nobel Prize, together with John Mather of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, for “the discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation.” The anisotropy showed as small variations in the map of the early universe. According to an April 1992 interview in The Times of London, the English physicist Stephen Hawking said that the COBE results were “the greatest discovery of the century, if not of all times.”
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 75th Anniversary Scientific Symposium
The year-long celebration of Berkeley Lab’s 75 years of science and service will end with a bang – a free, all-day scientific symposium in the Lab’s Building 50 Auditorium, on Tuesday, November 14, 2006. Please join various luminaries at this event, which will feature a series of 30-minute talks by some of the lab’s most distinguished scientists.
Microscopes are among the most important instruments in any scientist's toolbox. Since they were first used over three hundred years ago to see individual cells, microscopes have become increasingly more powerful and complex. Microscopes are now available that use light, electrons, and x-ray sources. Each of these microscopes has provided unique glimpses into the intricate structures and functions of cells. Although all cells have the same genetic composition and initially look alike, cells acquire unique shapes and functions throughout development into the adult organism.
We hear a great deal in the press these days about nanotechnology and nanoscience as great promises for the future. The nano here implies things with dimensions of a nanometer (one billionth of a meter) that are only about 5-10 atoms. In this tour, we will explore some of the exciting things that can be done with x-rays generated by the Advanced Light Source (ALS) to try to understand, improve, and invent new devices at the nanometer scale.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at 75:
Addressing the World Energy Crisis
Don't miss this opportunity to hear Dr. Steven Chu, who shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light. He will comment on both the Lab’s past, offering reflections on the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's 75th anniversary being celebrated this year, and its future, addressing the world energy crisis. Then visit the laboratory's anniversary exhibit on the Latimer-Pimentel patio.
Using Nanoscale Tools, Can We Replicate the Sense of Smell?
When molecules, found in the air we breath or in food we eat, bind to the receptors in our nose, a whole chain of reactions occurs. This creates a pattern of signals that our brain associates with a certain type of smell. Can we replicate this artificially? Our attempt to do so has come from a highly unlikely source - viruses. We are using viruses to come up with artificial receptors that can, someday, help in creating artificial smelling devices that might serve as signals, sensors, detectors, or biological triggering mechanisms.
Unlike most cancer researchers who ask the question, "How do cells become cancerous?" Barcellos-Hoff poses the question, "How do tissues become tumors?" “It takes a tissue to make a tumor,” she says. “Cells don’t become tumors without cooperation from the surrounding
cells in the tissue. Therefore, to understand cancer is to understand a
process that occurs at the tissue level.” This question arises from the
research in cell biology she has conducted 20 years ago with Berkeley Lab’s
Dr. Mina Bissell, the first scientist to link breast cancer to the extracellular
matrix (ECM), a network of proteins that supports the communication
between cells. Her experiments showed that proper communications
between a cell and its ECM are crucial to normal functioning.
The Search for Dark Energy in the Accelerating Universe
Will the universe last forever, or someday will it come to an end? Surprisingly, this apparently philosophical question can be answered empirically. Light from the cataclysmic explosions of distant stars supernovae provides us with natural mile markers across the vast expanses of space, markers that can be used to track the past expansion of the universe and extrapolate its fate. The most recent results are unsettling, at least to physicists. It appears that the universe will last forever, and that its expansion will speed up indefinitely. If so, some fundamental physics concepts may need to be revised, and some mysterious "dark energy" perhaps Einstein's "cosmological constant" may pervade the universe.
Before World War II, scientists rarely spoke out on public issues, and then nearly always limited themselves to matters having a technical component. Albert Einstein, almost alone, pioneered a new relationship between scientists and society. He consciously used his professional fame to promote his often-unpopular views. These included criticism (while living in Germany) of Germany's role in World War I, support of pacifism, defense of socialism, opposition to Hitler, condemnation of America's use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, censure of the Joseph McCarthy-era restraints on freedom of speech, and disapproval of racism. For his efforts, Einstein was threatened with assassination several times, was in danger of deportation from the United States, and accumulated a huge FBI file.