Aindrila Mukhopadhyay Aindrila Mukhopadhyay's two missions: Bioenergy and art

In her laboratory at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), microbiologist Aindrila Mukhopadhyay of DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Physical Biosciences Division juggles anaerobic glove boxes, gene-copying PCR machines, centrifuges, and Erlenmeyer flasks. At home in San Francisco’s Mission District, the instruments are a bit simpler: a hand pencil sharpener, a sketchbook, and a pair of No. 2B soft graphite sketching pencils.

Self-taught and self-effacing, Aindrila (pronounced Oin-Drill-la) has built a following for her black-and-white drawings of her colorful neighborhood. Her originals have sold in local galleries and cafes, and seven of them were published in The Comic Book Guide to the Mission, a collection celebrating local culture and the work of Mission District artists. Many of her sketches can be seen on her website, and with her photography too, she shows an eye for cultural diversity and architectural charm.

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A new roof system field-tested at Oak Ridge National Laboratory improves efficiency using controls for radiation, convection and insulation, including a passive ventilation system that pulls air from the underbelly of the attic into an inclined air space above the roof.Roof and attic design proves efficient in summer and winter

A new kind of roof-and-attic system field-tested at DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory keeps homes cool in summer and prevents heat loss in winter, a multi-seasonal efficiency uncommon in roof and attic design.

The system improves efficiency using controls for radiation, convection and insulation, including a passive ventilation system that pulls air from the underbelly of the attic into an inclined air space above the roof.

“Heat that would have gone into the house is carried up and out," says Bill Miller of ORNL's Building Envelope Group. "And with a passive ventilation scheme, there are no moving parts, so it's guaranteed to work.”

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See also…

DOE Pulse
  • Number 372  |
  • September 24, 2012
  • Fresh water feeds hurricanes' fury

    Still images looped into video show Omar's rapid intensification to a Category 4 storm. Hurricane Omar in 2008 ripped through the eastern Caribbean with winds up to 135 miles per hour, causing death and extensive damage. Images courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. When hurricanes blow over ocean regions swamped with fresh water, the storm can unexpectedly intensify. According to a new study led by researchers at DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition, the probability that hurricanes will hit these conditions is small—about 10 to 23 percent—the rate at which they intensify can be higher when they do, by as much as 50 percent on average.

    "Sixty percent of the world's population lives in areas affected by tropical cyclones," said Dr. Karthik Balaguru, lead author of the study and oceanographer at PNNL. "Cyclone Nargis killed more than 138,000 people in Burma in 2008. We can predict the paths cyclones take, but we need to predict their intensity better to protect people susceptible to their destructive power."

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  • Jefferson Lab prepares for new era of exploration

    A Jefferson Lab 12 GeV upgrade cryomodule is prepared to be lowered into the CEBAF accelerator tunnel. Hollywood’s finest tradition is to follow up a smash hit with a much-anticipated sequel, and so it will be with the Department of Energy’s Jefferson Lab and its Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF). On May 18, CEBAF shut down after a long and highly successful 17-year run, during which scientists completed more than 175 experiments in the exploration of the nature of matter. The sequel will feature a return of CEBAF with double the energy and a host of other enhancements designed to delve even deeper into the structure of matter.

    First proposed in detail in 2001, the upgrade is a $310 million project that will enhance the research capabilities of Jefferson Lab's CEBAF accelerator by doubling its energy from 6 to 12 billion electron volts, or GeV, along with other upgrades and additions. The CEBAF 12 GeV Upgrade will provide scientists with unprecedented precision and reach for studies of the particles and forces that build our visible universe.

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  • New technique yields never-before-seen information critical to biofuels research

    Young-Jin Lee, a scientist at Ames Laboratory, has successfully demonstrated the use of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometry to map the distribution of metabolites in plant tissues.

    Pioneering mass spectrometry methods developed at DOE’s Ames Laboratory are helping plant biologists get their first glimpses of never-before-seen plant tissue structures.

    The new method opens up new realms of study, ones that might have long-ranging implications for biofuels research and crop genetics.

    The laboratory’s team of researchers has developed a new more highly sensitive mass spectrometry technique to investigate metabolites, the small molecules that are the building blocks for plant biological processes.

    Ames Laboratory scientist Young-Jin Lee has successfully demonstrated the use of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometry, or MALDI-MS, to map the lipids in cottonseed. The imaging technique can make maps of the locations of molecules in plant materials with resolution of 10 to 50 microns, less than a quarter the size of a human hair.

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  • More than just a simple concrete job

    The correct grout is key to closing SRNL's 60-year-old reactors.

    And, when Savannah River Nuclear Solutions Area Completions Projects personnel sealed the site’s massive P and R reactors, a suite of technologies and services from DOE's Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) was critical to a closure that DOE Site Manager Dave Moody called “a precedent-setting activity in the nuclear industry.”

    The two reactors were decommissioned  in situ, avoiding the potential hazards and costs associated with generating and disposing of an estimated 137,000 tons of contaminated debris per reactor.  In situ decommissioning (ISD) entails a combination of modeling to ensure protectiveness of the end state; demolishing or dismantling unstable structures; filling spaces, vessels, and equipment with special grout; sealing the openings, and monitoring the facility.

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