In the fight against breast cancer, researchers should be looking at other factors in addition to oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes. Scientists at Berkeley Lab have shown that, in some cases, what is happening immediately outside of a cell--its microenvironment--can be equally if not more important than the presence of cancerous genes within.
In a recent proof-of-principle experiment, malignant human breast cells were made to look and act like normal cells both in tissue cultures and in mice through the manipulation of their microenvironment. Though this work offers no immediate promise of a cure, it does point to the possibility that breast cancer may in the future be treated or perhaps even prevented through means other than conventional genetic therapy.
The research was led by Mina Bissell, director of the Life Sciences Division (LSD), and Valerie Weaver, a post-doctoral scholar in cell and molecular biology. Other contributors included LSD's Fei Wang and Carolyn Larabell, plus Ole Petersen and Per Briand of Denmark, and Carolyn Damsky of UC San Francisco. The results are reported in the April 7 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology.
"These findings have vital implications for breast cancer diagnosis and prognosis," says Bissell. "That cancer is the result of not just genetic change, not just developmental regulation, or loss of growth regulation, but an interweaving of all of these factors is an insight with practical significance, and we are making important strides to reinforce this concept."
Breast cancer is the most common and lethal malignancy in U.S. women between the ages of 40 and 45. Each year approximately 182,000 American women develop the disease, and each year approximately 46,000 die from it.
For the past two decades, Bissell has been an outspoken advocate of the importance of factors other than conventional genetics in breast cancer's development and spread. Her theory holds that breast cancer arises from a breakdown in communication between the genome and the cellular microenvironment, particularly the extracellular matrix (ECM)--a network of fibrous and globular proteins that serves as support "scaffolding" for breast cells.
Bissell's theory was first described in January 1982, when she posited that the ECM, through its signals to the nucleus, plays a vital role in controlling normal cell growth and development. By implication then, any alteration of the ECM (through loss or damage), or the way the cells respond to the ECM signals could lead to malignancy, which is essentially cell growth and development gone amok.
"I call this concept dynamic reciprocity," she says. "Signals from the ECM are shuttled into the cell, where they establish a dialogue with the chromosomes and the DNA, which in turn affects the ECM. Our studies have not only confirmed this model but have revealed an unexpected role for the ECM in gene expression, that the ECM can trip switches deep within the nucleus and spur the genes themselves into action."
Research results at Berkeley Lab and elsewhere have garnered increased support for Bissell's theory. In the latest experiments, Weaver worked in Bissell's laboratory with unique lines of human mammary epithelial cells developed by Briand and Petersen, one that remains "normal," and one that becomes malignant following an identified series of
steps. The malignant strain of these cells was treated in culture with an antibody that blocks one of the integrins--proteins that reside in the outer membrane of a cell and through which signals from the ECM are transmitted inside.
Under the influence of the integrin-blocking antibody (it blocked an integrin called Beta-1), the malignant cells reverted back to a normal appearance and behaved as if they were healthy cells, i.e, their cancerous growth ceased. The same type of malignant cells treated with the same antibody and injected into mice yielded many fewer tumors that grew much more slowly than untreated cells.
"By altering the pathways between the ECM and the nucleus, we were able to revert malignant cells back into a form and function that was very similar, although not identical to normal," says Weaver. "When you examine these reverted cells with a fluorescent probe you see that the genes in their nuclei are still abnormal. This indicates we changed the phenotype but not the genotype."
Weaver likens the experiment to transferring children with behavioral problems into an environment where they can succeed. In a different environment those same behavioral problems could resurface.
"We've shown that (as Bissell's theory predicted) there is a plasticity in the way that a cell behaves, depending upon the signals it receives from its microenvironment," Weaver says. As further proof of this phenomenon, she was also able to take normal cells, disrupt the performance of their integrins, and induce them to look and act like cancer cells.
"Our findings suggest that maybe a window exists for alternative therapies,"
she says. "Treatments that would change the way a cancerous cell interacts with the ECM and other components of its microenvironment (i.e., other cells) might even prevent the cancer process from being promoted."
The use of integrin-blocking antibodies, peptides, or other molecules, is one possibility, according to the researchers, but molecules would have to be found that only target cancer cells in the breast. Nonetheless, Bissell calls the results of this latest experiment a "hopeful" sign for breast cancer research.
"We've shown that even after the cancer genes have been expressed and lesions have formed, it may still be possible to reverse the process and restore the cells to normal appearance and function," she says.
In the Journal of Cell Biology paper, it was also noted that the results of this study could help explain why breast cancer takes so long to develop even in women who are at high genetic risk. So long as cellular and tissue structure are maintained, tumor development can, according to Bissell and Weaver, be suppressed despite the presence of cancer-inducing genes. Over the course of four decades in a woman's life, the ebb and flow of hormones and other contributors to the cell's microenvironment take their toll. Eventually, through mechanisms not yet identified, the ECM is altered. This in turn alters the signals it sends into the cell's nucleus, triggering the onset of malignancy.
"We are in the process of studying a line of pre-malignant cells to determine whether or not there are integrin alterations (such as changes in the ratios of one or more forms of integrins to the others) that might foreshadow the structural changes that lead to cancer," Weaver says.
CAPTION: Valerie Weaver (left) and Mina Bissell have shown that a cell's microenvironment is a big factor in breast cancer. Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt
CAPTION: Through manipulation of the microenvironment, the malignant human breast cells on the left have been made to look and act like normal cells.
By Jon Bashor
Representatives of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) and Cray Research Inc. this week announced an agreement to create the most powerful unclassified computing center in the country at Berkeley Lab.
The agreement calls for upgrading NERSC's 160-processor CRAY T3E supercomputer to a 512-processor T3E-900 model. NERSC is home to five other CRAY supercomputers and will have a computational capacity of 500 gigaflops (a gigaflop is one billion calculations) per second once the new machine goes on line next summer.
"Since NERSC was moved to Berkeley Lab last year, our goal has been to provide the highest performance computing capability to our users in order to enable scientific discovery," said NERSC Director Horst Simon. "With the T3E-900 coming on line, we'll not only achieve that mission, but we'll continue to help define the future shape of scientific computing."
The new computer, officially known as a CRAY T3E-900/512 supercomputer, will be an enhanced configuration of the CRAY T3E-600 delivered to the Lab last fall. Since its delivery, that machine has been subject to rigorous testing by the NERSC staff and cooperative improvement efforts by both Cray and the center.
"We worked closely with Cray to make sure the machine they delivered met all of our expectations," said Bill Kramer, head of High Performance Computing for NERSC. "In the process, we came up with a lot of solutions that will benefit all users of CRAY T3E supercomputers."
In conjunction with the announcement about the new machine, Cray and Berkeley Lab signed an agreement that the Laboratory accepts the T3E-600. The total cost of purchasing the CRAY T3E-600 and upgrading it to a "900" is $24 million.
Early users of the T3E are seven teams of scientists at various national laboratories and universities tackling "grand challenges" ranging from treating nuclear waste to understanding the human genome, from understanding quarks and gluons and other exotic forms of matter formed in the wake of the "Big Bang" to creating the next generation of particle accelerators.
Unlike other facilities with CRAY T3Es, used by a handful of researchers, NERSC serves hundreds of scientists across the nation and in other countries.
As a result of the successful joint efforts to enhance the system software and hardware for Berkeley Lab's T3E, Cray's parent corporation, Silicon Graphics Inc., will provide NERSC with an "Origin 2000" supercomputer to use for a year. NERSC will perform similar shakedown tests on that machine.
"This agreement, and the resulting benefits to the supercomputing community, are a testimony to the expertise and dedication of our staff, as well as commitment by Cray to ensure that their machines remain at the leading edge," Kramer said. "The bottom line is that over the lifetime of our T3E, we'll be able to offer greater capacity and capabilities to our user community. It's a good deal all the way around."
Once fully configured, the CRAY T3E-900 supercomputer will offer 1.5 terabytes of disc storage, a read/write capability of 800 megabytes per second and 128 gigabytes of memory.
All employees are invited to attend special ceremonies at the National Center for Electron Microscopy in celebration of the opening of a new wing and installation of three new microscopes. The event is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. today (April 4) at Bldg. 72. A ribbon cutting will be followed by tours of the new facilities and a reception. Refreshments will be served. Shuttle bus service will be available according to the schedule below.
NCEM houses some of the world's most powerful instruments for the exploration of materials at the atomic level. The newest additions to the NCEM family are the One Angstrom Microscope (OAM), the Spin-Polarized Low-Energy Electron Microscope (SPLEEM), and the CM200FEG. The OAM will be able to resolve images to within a single angstrom, which is about the diameter of a hydrogen atom, and the SPLEEM will give scientists their first molecular level look at the interplay between magnetism and atomic structure. The CM200FEG is an analytical instrument capable, among other things, of identifying the presence of trace impurities in the most minute amounts of materials. All three instruments will be tools for discovery as well as for measurement and characterizations.
Any time there is a change at the top in a cabinet level position, staff changes inevitably follow. The Department of Energy has proven no exception to this rule. Pending departures have already been announced by Under Secretary Thomas Grumbly, and Christine Ervin, assistant secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Resignations from other senior DOE officials are expected in the near future. No replacements have been named.
As reported in the March 21 Currents, new Energy Secretary Federico Peña has named several key members of his team, many of whom have White House experience. The new Secretary will no doubt need the support of the President and the voters in light of the fact that. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kansas, and Sen. Rod Gramms, R-Minnesota, have re-introduced legislation to abolish DOE. In a letter to chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, the two also objected to DOE's bid to increase its funding by 16 percent for FY98. "In light of ongoing Congressional efforts to balance the budget by 2002, we believe that DOE should see its budget shrinking," the pair wrote. Even erstwhile DOE supporter Pete Domenici, R-N.M., who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, has warned that DOE could face a five-year freeze at FY97 funding levels unless President Clinton agrees to reduce federal spending on entitlements programs. Budget crunches are always especially "brutal" on agencies like DOE, whose programs "have a smaller constituency than other programs," Domenici and Subcommitte chairman Slade Gorton, R-Wash., told Peña.
The point of smaller constituencies may have been brought home to Peña when a House Science Committee first proposed tripling the Clinton Administration's requested one percent increase in FY98 funding for federal R&D, then recommended excluding DOE from this increase. "DOE can accomplish its mission within existing or slightly reduced funding levels" the committee reported. The committee's major concern about DOE's budget was in the area of contract management, "particularly with respect to the DOE national laboratories where much of the civilian R&D is performed." Even Democratic committee members in a minority report said that "there is still a substantial question over where to draw the line" between research that should be carried out by the federal government and that which should be done in the private sector. While the committee said that the issue needs to be more fully explored, it did set out a list of criteria for judging whether programs should be authorized. Favored were programs that are "long-term, high-risk, non-commercial, cutting-edge, well-managed, and have great potential for scientific discovery." The committee also thought programs should be "highly relevant to agency missions with accountability and procedures for evaluating quality and results." Any activity that goes beyond a demonstration of technical feasibility, or any activities associated with marketing or commercialization of a product should be left to private industry, the committee said.
Former Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary has joined the board of directors of ICF Kaiser International, Inc., one of the largest engineering, construction, and consulting services companies in the United States. She will be joined there by Tom Grumbly, her former number three at DOE who will oversee ICF Kaiser's efforts to win government-privatization projects.
President Clinton has announced his own scientific advisory panel to review the federal government's energy R&D program. Created under the auspices of PCAST--the President's Committee of Advisers on Science and Technology--the review panel is expected to make recommendations on what, if any, changes should be made to ensure that energy R&D programs address the needs of the country in the next century. The review panel will be chaired by John Holdren of Harvard, and will include among its members UC Berkeley economist Laura D'Andrea Tyson. -- Lynn Yarris
CAPTION: A visiting group of Russian physicists meets with Associate Director-at-Large Glenn Seaborg (right) during an historic tour of the Lab last month led by Albert Ghiorso. The visitors, who worked on the atomic weapons program for the former Soviet Union, spoke with Seaborg through their translator, Dr. Gorelick (right foreground). Seaborg's own pioneering work was instrumental in the success of the U.S. atomic program. In addition to meeting Seaborg, the group came to visit Berkeley Lab's major facilities and identify ways to develop technical collaborations. The scientists included G. Goncharov, A. Mikhailov, V. Ogorodnikov, L.P. Feoktistov, J. Stiajkine, and N. Komov. Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt
CAPTION: John Clarke (left), Brian Josephson and Neville Smith at the electron centennial in Cambridge.
MBone allows the broadcast of live video signals to be transmitted over the Internet simultaneously to an unlimited number of viewers while using a limited amount of bandwidth. Via the MBone, conference-attendee UC President Richard C. Atkinson joined a conference on distance learning education between Berkeley Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien and Wang Dazhong, president of China's Tsinghua University in Beijing. It was the first time an MBone broadcast had been attempted from China.
Although the image and sound was somewhat broken and distorted, audiences in Berkeley, UCLA and China watched as the three educators exchanged greetings.
"While our experiment today was less than perfect, in three years this sort of communication will be routine, and students throughout the world will be sharing ideas and learning from each other," Atkinson said after the broadcast.
Highlighting the All-UC Conference were more than two dozen demonstrations of Web applications developed on UC campuses. One of the more dramatic examples of "next-generation learning" was provided by Helene Hoffman and Mark Danks of the Learning Resources Center at UC San Diego's School of Medicine. Their demonstration unveiled a prototype program that explores the human body via 3D-virtual reality.
After donning special 3-D glasses, users were shown bright images on a computer screen. With special virtual reality gloves linked to the computer, Danks was able to "grab" any various body organs displayed on the computer screen and manipulate them in 3-D space. "We're trying to enable a student to do whatever he or she wants to in a virtual environment to make this a rich and full learning experience," Hoffman said. "Part of the research we're undertaking here is not just to create a virtual world, but to quantify the efficacy of virtual environments for medical-school classes."
P. Gregory Raymond
P. Gregory Raymond, a member of the Facilities Department for 18 years, died on March 27. He was 39.
Raymond began his Lab career as a part-time engineering assistant while attending UC Berkeley's School of Architecture. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Berkeley in 1980 and 1983, and subsequently worked as a project architect.
Most notably, he was project architect on the Advanced Light Source, the Bldg. 54 addition (Perseverance Hall), and the Bldg. 74 Human Genome Lab Addition. Working as a project manager in 1993, he managed the design an Isotope Facility, renovations for the Center for Beam Physics (Bldg. 71) and Geosciences (Bldg. 51) programs, and installation of the new Bldg. 77 Ultra High Vacuum Cleaning Facility.
Raymond believed in giving something back to his profession and community, say his friends and colleagues. He was an active participant of the East Bay and state chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), serving on several committees, and on the East Bay AIA Board of Directors (1989-90). In his youth, he actively participated in the NAACP, and continued as an adult, serving as mentor for NAACP Youth Council and youth advisor for the Northern Area.
In 1994, Raymond was appointed to serve as a member of the Lab's Diversity Committee. He was committed to improving workforce diversity and further distinguished himself through his service to the Laboratory.
"By his professional and refined manner, unselfish dedication, and active participation on the Diversity Committee, Greg was a real leader in promoting a workplace environment in which we all felt welcome," said his supervisor, Charles Allen. "He was a pleasure to know, and he will be sincerely missed."
Raymond, who was also known as a "wicked tennis player" and devoted family man, is survived by his parents, one brother, his wife, and two children, Lake, 8, and Pierce, 4-1/2.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 12, at the First Church of Religious Science, 5000 Clarewood (off Broadway Terrace), in Oakland. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers a contribution in Raymond's name to the El Cerrito NAACP Scholarship Fund, 6519 Hagen Blvd, El Cerrito, CA 94530.
Mark J. Fendorf
Mark John Fendorf, a collaborative post-doctoral scientist at the National Center for Electron Microscopy, died on March 14. He was 36.
Fendorf played a central role in NCEM's outreach to external facility users. According to his colleagues, he was an outstanding microscopist, a resourceful materials scientist, and a delightful colleague. In his role of resident expert microscopist he collaborated with many NCEM users and helped countless visitors of the facility.
Fendorf earned his PH.D. in materials sciences from UC Berkeley in 1992. His scientific work focused on electron beam micro-characterization of a number of different materials, including high-temperature superconductors, catalysts, fullerines and most recently the adsorption of heavy metals on soil minerals. He was an active member of several scientific societies, including the Microscopy Society of America and the American Ceramic Society. In 1991, he co-founded the UC Berkeley chapter of the Materials Research Society.
Outside of Berkeley Lab, he was a dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer for the Boy Scouts of America, where he was a counselor on the Monterey Bay Area Council for 16 years. He also acted as director of troop leadership training for a number of years.
During his progressively debilitating illness, Fendorf continued his work at NCEM with remarkable dedication and tenacity. His strength of will and determination to overcome handicaps caused by the illness were admired by all those who knew him.
"Mark's untimely death has left the Center permanently diminished," said NCEM Director Uli Dahmen. He will be greatly missed by his NCEM colleagues and the many users and visiting scientists at the facility."
Fendorf is survived by his parents, Ken and Virginia Fendorf, and brothers Scott and Dale. In recognition of his sustaining enthusiasm for the science of electron microscopy, and in an effort to help others continue where Mark had to leave off, his family has established a memorial fund in support of NCEM's outreach program. Donations may be made to: World Savings, Aptos Branch, Mark Fendorf Memorial Fund, 7970 Soquel Dr., Aptos, CA 95003.
By Monica Friedlander
Even if you have the most discerning taste buds on the Hill, it is unlikely that you've noticed anything new afoot at the cafeteria. Not yet, anyway. That's because Mark Blum, the new cafeteria manager, is a strong believer in the culinary trends set by his predecessor, Basil Friedman, and has no intention of tampering much with your favorite dishes.
"There will be some changes, but nothing dramatic," Blum says, "because Basil did a great job in his three years here. I'm going to continue doing the same and make some subtle changes."
A gourmet cook and graduate of the California Culinary Academy, Blum took over management of the cafeteria two months ago. For the previous three years he traveled across country representing Canteen Corp., the Lab's cafeteria vendor, which now operates under the name Eurest USA since being bought by a European corporation. Also representing Eurest is Maryann Heublein, the Lab's new catering manager, who joined the team last Thanksgiving.
One of Blum's primary culinary goals at the Lab is to step up the already well-established trend toward healthier food, higher in nutritional value and gentler on the waistline and cholesterol count. At the same time, he insists that the cheeseburger lovers among us have nothing to fear.
"We believe we have an obligation to help people recognize what is good food and what is bad food," he says. "Of course, the choice is up to the individual. We're still going to have some foods that are high in fat content because they taste good. But it's also up to us to provide for others who are into low cholesterol, low fat, and high nutrition."
A fan of Oriental, vegetable-rich cuisine, Blum plans to develop an increasing variety of stir-fired and chicken dishes, while cutting down on the amount of cooking oils. At the same time, he promises not to sacrifice taste in his pursuit of healthy eating. His specialty: savory sauces that turn regular dishes into gourmet meals.
"A chicken breast is a chicken breast," he said. "Same with a steak: You can cook it medium, medium-rare, whichever way you want to cook it. But really the taste of anything in food comes from sauces."
More than anything else, Blum says he would like to make sure that his customers are happy with the cafeteria service. To this end, he encourages everyone to let him know how they feel about the service and the foods, either by e-mailing him directly or by filling out comments cards, which may be dropped in a box to be set up soon by the dish racks.
"We'd really like to have people's comments on how we're doing, what they'd like to see as food, what they'd like to see as changes," Blum said. "If we set up a policy and no one is commenting on it, then we assume the policy is working, which may not always be the case. But if nobody says anything, how do we know?"
One area that Blum plans to subject to slightly more daring experimentation is the breakfast menu. Unhappy with slow breakfast sales, he is very interested in finding out just what type of foods would tempt people to make morning detours to the cafeteria. If regular toast, eggs and bacon don't do the trick, Blum says, how about a tasty breakfast burrito you can just grab and go?
"It doesn't have to be a traditional breakfast," he says. "But we need to know what people want. There are many types of breakfast sandwiches that we can produce. But we need input."
Other culinary changes at the Lab may involve additions to the catering menu, according to Heublein, who is also a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. Her goal is to maintain a flexible approach to catering in order to accommodate the individual preferences of as many people as possible.
Heublein's responsibilities involve everything from making sure the food is delivered on time, to administrative work and cooking and serving food.
Similarly, you can usually spot Blum during lunch hour stirring veggies at the bistro station, talking to diners, or fixing the salad bar. He believes customer contact is a key ingredient of successful management. "It's a company strategy," he says. "They want managers out in front to have contact with people. This is a real hands-on unit."
The other half of the successful management strategy, he says, is having a staff that enjoys the work. And the staff of 12 at Berkeley Lab's cafeteria couldn't get higher marks in that department, he says. "We have a very good crew, and that's extremely important. They laugh, they smile, they have a good time."
And so does Blum. Besides, he says, pointing at the San Francisco skyline, "where else can you eat and have this kind of a view?"
CAPTION: Cafeteria manager Mark Blum and catering manager Maryann Heublein dish up some good food that's good for you. Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt
During the next few months, both metal keys and the new key cards will provide access to the targeted buildings and areas.To make the transition as smooth as possible, the ALS has arranged to have equipment necessary to make and issue the key cards in Bldg. 4 for two weeks (April 14-25). After that, key cards will be issued at the Reception Center in Bldg. 65. All users and staff will receive a memo with more information and an appointment time to report to Bldg. 4 and receive their new card. The ALS anticipates that issuing the new card will take approximately 10 minutes per person. At the same time the card is issued, there will be required ALS Radiation Awareness and Access to Bldg. 6 training courses for those who have not had them. The new key cards must be visibly worn above the waist while working in Bldg. 6.
A new, simplified ALS Visitor Access Procedure will also go into effect May 1 with the issuance of the new key cards. ALS Escorted Visitor Badges will no longer be required, and visitors will register by signing the ALS Guest Book, located in the Bldg. 6 lobby and at the Bldg. 80 entrance to Bldg. 6. The Guest Book replaces the Visitor Log Book, which has been located in Bldg. 2 and the Control Room. As before, all visitors must be escorted by someone who has received the Access to Bldg. 6 training.
For questions regarding training and the ALS access procedure, contact Rita Jones (X7723). All administrative questions can be directed to Elizabeth Saucier (X6166).
The full text of each edition of Currents is published on the Lab's home page on the World Wide Web. View it at http://www.lbl.gov/ under "Research News and Publications." To set up your computer to access the World Wide Web, call the Mac and PC Support Group at X6858.
Sylvia Spengler of the Lab's Human Genome Program joined with UC Berkeley sociology professor Troy Duster for a March 25 noon lecture exploring the ethics of cloning. Spengler discussed the science that resulted in the recent breakthrough by British scientist Ian Wilmut, who used an adult sheep cell to create a newborn ewe. While answering the question about whether cloning is feasible scientifically, Spengler said that Wilmut opened a Pandora's box of ethical questions. Duster, noting that there is no clear consensus on many of these ethical issues, predicted that the technology will continue to be refined, and that different countries and cultures will take different approaches to the use of the technologies that emerge. Photos by Roy Kaltschmidt
By Ron Kolb
Berkeley Lab Director Charles Shank has appealed to the Laboratory community to "rededicate ourselves to integrating safety into our daily activities."
In a memo sent to all employees on Friday, March 28, Shank said his message was inspired by several incidents over the past few months that "have fallen short of Berkeley Lab standards in several areas" of environment, health and safety. He expressed concern that those incidents could be precursors to more serious problems.
Procedures were not followed in ordering and safe handling of radioisotopes, resulting in two minor spills. Safety at Laboratory accelerators was compromised by failure to post adequate signs and by improper design review. And a Lab commitment to convene a key safety oversight committee within a required time period was not fulfilled.
"It is a tribute to our safety management systems that these incidents were quickly identified and managed without adverse impact to individuals or the environment," Shank stated in his memo. "But their apparent benign nature should not minimize the seriousness with which they should be considered."
He noted that the actions have been referred to the Price-Anderson Enforcement Division of the Department of Energy, which has the power to seek criminal sanctions.
"Throughout the history of our Laboratory we have achieved an enviable record of safety and responsibility," he said. "Over time, expectations of our community, regulators and the Department of Energy have continued to rise.
"It is time for each and every one of us to rededicate ourselves to integrating safety into our daily activities," the Director concluded. "We must also understand and fulfill the expectations that our regulators have for us. We must commit to ensuring that the Laboratory will obey all laws governing our research activities."
Earlier this month, operations staff at the Stanford Linear Accelerator put out an emergency call for lead shielding. Berkeley Lab responded by sending them more than 10,000 pounds of slightly radioactive lead bricks that were going to be declared waste. As part of the waste certification process, the bricks had been surveyed for radioactivity and were well characterized. That having been done, the Laboratory was easily able to show that the bricks could be further used as shielding at SLAC.
Reuse programs such as this are big money savers in the long run, because the only currently available disposal options for radioactive lead is encapsulation in concrete and land burial. In the past few years, reuse of activated concrete and lead from the decommissioned Bevatron have saved taxpayers more than $20 million compared to the land disposal option.
Surplus chemical storage being considered
Waste Management is studying the use of a double-wide "Chem-Store" unit at its new Bldg. 85 facility to hold surplus chemicals onsite until another use for them can be found. Berkeley Lab already has a means for owners of surplus chemicals to tell others of their availability (the Chemical Inventory Database), but it generally requires the owner to hold on to them until someone else expresses an interest. Some of you have told us that you simply don't have the space to hold onto surplus chemicals and must declare them waste. If, however, Waste Management could store them, we believe more users would declare chemicals surplus and there would be more interest in re-using these free surplus chemicals. Other DOE laboratories have found this to be the case.
Waste Management would like to hear more from you. In addition to your thoughts on creating a central storage location, we'd like your thoughts on the best location. Contact Shelley Worsham at X6123 to share your thoughts and ideas. She will keep you posted on developments.
Brought to you monthly by the EH&S Waste Minimization Group
Lab to Collaborate in Partnership for High-Performance Computing
A partnership led by UC San Diego and including Berkeley Lab has received approval to begin negotiating an agreement with the National Science Foundation to enhance the high-performance computing system available to the nation's scientists and engineers. The agreement is valued at approximately $30 million.
Called the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI), the infrastructure will be used to tackle such scientific and engineering problems as climate and weather prediction, the design of complex drugs to have intended effects, and materials with specific characteristics. It is also expected to spur development among computer vendors and support industrial competitiveness in higher-performance computing and communications services.
Among the 37 partners in the project are the three DOE labs managed by UC, and UC campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and San Diego. The agreement, which will build on the San Diego Supercomputer Center established at UCSD in 1985, is not to exceed $170 million over five years.
Bill Kramer, head of High Performance Computing at Berkeley Lab, said the Laboratory's role in the partnership will be one primarily of sharing expertise. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) here and the San Diego center have the same supercomputer platforms and similar storage environments. Both work with teams of researchers on a variety of scientific problems. Some Berkeley Lab employees also have joint appointments at UC Berkeley, Kramer said.
The approval to negotiate the agreement came at a meeting of the National Science Board, an oversight advisory board for the NSF, which approved NSF's recommendations to fund two such partnerships. The other winning partnership is the National Computational Science Alliance (NCSA), a partnership led by the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Funding is slated to begin Oct. 1, 1997.
Over the next several years, NPACI will deploy a teraflops-class system (one that can perform one trillion computations per second) to solve problems at the forefront of numerically intensive computing.
Three women scientists from Berkeley Lab will share experiences from their individual roads to success in a noontime presentation on Tuesday, April 8, in the Bldg. 50 auditorium.
Life Sciences Division Director Mina Bissell, nuclear chemist Darleane Hoffman of the Nuclear Science Division, and Engineering Division Director Yaffa Tomkiewicz will share anecdotes about how they became scientists in fields traditionally dominated by men, and how they have coped with some of the challenges they have faced. Two of these individuals were born outside the United States, which adds an international perspective to their personal stories.
The panel is sponsored by Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) and the Lab's Work Force Diversity Office. All employees are invited to attend this brown-bag event.
The bid response form is available on the web site. Bids must be submitted in a sealed envelope, referencing the lot number and the amount of the bid, and mailed to M.S. 903-200. Bids must be received by 2 p.m. on Friday, April 11.
If your bid is accepted and the item is awarded, it becomes a legal and binding contract between you and the Laboratory. You will have 10 working days in which to pay for and pick up the item(s). If you really don't want it, don't bid on it. Payment must be in the form of cashier's checks, money orders, or personal checks (accepted from Lab employees only). The successful bidder will be responsible for transporting the items awarded. The terms and conditions as outlined on Standard Form 114C (also found at the web site), will apply to all sales of government property.
The Laboratory is celebrating Earth Month with a variety of activities during the month of April. All participants will receive complimentary notepads made from recycled topo maps, and will have a chance to win a reusable cloth bag of goodies, which includes a low-flow shower head, aerator for the sink, and frugal flush for the toilet.
NEC is the world leader in semiconductor production and a leading international supplier of electronic products ranging from communications systems to electronics devices. Irwin manages equity investments and new business creation in emerging multimedia markets. His extensive experience in high-tech enterprise and current position at NEC make his views of technology transfer valuable for any Berkeley Lab researcher interested in developing partnerships with industry. His talk is presented by the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and the Berkeley Lab Technology Transfer Department. For more information, contact Bruce Davies at X6461.
UC Berkeley will hold its annual Cal Day open house from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 19. The University will open its museums, labs, classrooms, libraries, and athletic facilities in an exciting array of events. There will be hundreds of activities, including lectures and demonstrations, music, drama and dance performances, exhibits, sports events, and tours highlighting new facilities and campus history. Bring your family and friends, and plan to enjoy the campus all day.
A special outdoor ceremony will mark Berkeley's 129th anniversary. The annual Charter Anniversary celebration begins at 11 a.m. on the plaza in front of Dwinelle Hall. Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien will deliver the keynote address.
Snacks and full meals will be available at Cal's dining facilities and at the Faculty Club. Please take public transportation (or park at the Laboratory, with your Lab parking permit). You can pick up a Cal Day program when you arrive on campus. For more information, call 642-5215, or visit the web at http://www.urel.berkeley.edu/calday
On Wednesday, April 16, Jhane Beck will speak on "Finding Full-Text Documents from your Desktop: Electronic Journals, Technical Reports, Regulations, Patents and More!" at noon in the Bldg. 50 auditorium. All employees are invited to attend these events.
The Berkeley Lab Bowling League is sponsoring a cruise aboard the dining yacht Jack London Commodore from 7:30 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, May 17. All employees are invited to attend. The cost is $65 per person, and includes buffet dinner, hosted bar, and karaoke entertainment. Payment is due on or before Wednesday, April 16.
The boat, which will depart from the Alameda Marina, will board promptly at 7:45 p.m. For tickets and more information, contact Cynthia Long (X6672) or Ed Masuoka (X5337).
Nineteen players turned out for the Berkeley Lab Golf Club tournament on March 29, held at Paradise Valley Golf course in Fairfield on March 29. The group also welcomed new member John Bowers. Tournament results are as follows:
The next tournament will be held at the Diablo Creek Golf Course in Concord, on Saturday, April 26. Members and guests are welcome. Contact Denney Parra at X4598 for more information.
The Berkeley Lab Softball League will hold its first organizational meeting for the 1997 season at noon on Wednesday, April 23, in the lower cafeteria. Anyone interested in forming or managing a team must attend so that the number of teams can be determined. Other topics of discussion include fields, schedules, and rules for the summer.
The Berkeley Lab Calendar is published biweekly here on the World Wide Web and in Currents by the Public Information Department. Employees can list a meeting, class, or event in the Calendar by using this submission form. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. on Monday in the week that Currents is published.
In addition to the events listed below, Berkeley Lab's Washington, D.C. Projects office is hosting a Science and Technology Seminars series.Scientific Conferences
Daylight Savings time begins Sunday, April 6
Larry Ward from United Anglers of California will speak on "Fishing Opportunities & Environmental Impacts" related to Northern California sport fishing waters at noon in the Bldg. 50 auditorium.
Computing Support Follow-Up Meeting
Bill Kramer, head of the High Performance Computing Department at NERSC, will host a follow-up meeting on the "Analysis of Computing Support for LBNL" from 1-3 p.m. in the Bldg. 50 auditorium.
"Technology Transfer: An NEC Perspective" will be presented by Russ Irwin of NEC USA, Inc. at noon in Bldg. 2-100B.
Special Panel Discussion: Women Scientists
"Women Scientists: Three Pioneers, Three Decades, Three Countries" will be presented by Life Sciences Division Director Mina Bissell, Darleane Hoffman of the Physics Division, and Engineering Division Director Yaffa Tomkiewicz at noon in the Bldg. 50 auditorium.
7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Bldg. 54 parking lot.
Earth Month Field Trip
A tour of the EBMUD Wastewater Treatment Plant in Oakland is scheduled for 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. RSVP to X6123. Meet at the Bldg. 65 bus stop; wear comfortable clothing and bring a lunch.
Employee Music Club
General meeting at noon in the lower cafeteria.
General meeting at 12:10 p.m. in Bldg. 2-100.
General meeting at noon in Bldg. 90-1099.
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the cafeteria lobby.
Wes Maffei of the Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District will speak on "Natural History of Mosquitoes and Mosquito-Borne Disease in Alameda County" at noon in the Bldg. 50 auditorium.
Jhane Beck of the Library will give a talk on "Finding Full-Text Documents from your Desktop: Electronic Journals, Technical Reports, Regulations, Patents, and More," at noon in the Bldg. 50 auditorium.
Officer's meeting at 12:10 p.m. in Bldg. 2-100.
The Laboratory's annual Eco Fair will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the cafeteria lawn. Participants include Green Earth Office Supply, Marine World Africa USA, Surfrider Foundation, Tilden Nature Area, and others.
As part of Earth Month, a guided tour of UC Berkeley's Strawberry Creek is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. RSVP to X6123. Meet at the Bldg. 65 bus stop. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a lunch.
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the cafeteria lobby
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. See page six for details
"Carbon and Boron-Nitride Nanotubes: Physics on the Nanometer Scale" will be presented by Steven Louie of Materials Sciences/UCB at 4:30 p.m. in 1 Le Conte.
Mechanisms of Radiation-Induced Cell Kill" will be presented by Adriana Haimovitz-Friedman of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center at 4 p.m. in Bldg. 66-316.
"Application of Lorentz DPC Imaging to Magnetic Recording Media and MFM Tip Fields" will be presented by Robert Ferrier of Glasgow University, UK, at 11 a.m. in Bldg. 72-201.
"Marine Bacterioplankton Molecular Ecology" will be presented by Stephen Giovannoni of Oregon State University at noon in Bldg. 50A-5132.
Physics Division Research Progress Meeting
"Interlacing Optical, Condensed-Matter, Nuclear, Particle, and Statistical Physics" will be presented by Rudy Hwa of the University of Oregon at 4 p.m. in Bldg. 50A-5132; refreshments, 3:40 p.m.
Surface Science and Catalysis Science Seminar
"Vegetarian Atomic Force Microscopy" will be presented by J. D. Batteas of College of Staten Island/City University of New York at 1:30 p.m. in the Bldg. 66 auditorium.
"Electromagnetically Induced Transparency" will be presented by Stephen E. Harris of Stanford University at 10:30 a.m. in the Bldg. 2-100B.
"Collisions, Solvation and Chemical Reactions at Gas-Liquid Interfaces" will be presented by G. Nathanson of the University of Wisconsin at Madison at 1:30 p.m. in the Bldg. 66 auditorium.
Life Sciences Division Seminar
"M6P/IGF2 Receptor: When a Good Cop Goes Bad" will be presented by Randy Jirtle of the Duke University Medical Center at 4 p.m. in Bldg. 66-316.
Items for the calendars may be sent via e-mail to email@example.com, faxed to X6641 or mailed to Bldg. 65B. The deadline for the April 18 issue is 5 p.m. Monday, April 14.
EDITOR: Mary Bodvarsson, X4014, firstname.lastname@example.org
STAFF WRITERS: Jeffery Kahn, X4019; Lynn Yarris, X5374
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Jon Bashor, X5849; Allan Chen, X6249; Monica Friedlander, X5122
PRODUCTION: Alice Ramirez
FLEA MARKET / CALENDAR: Mary Padilla, X5771
email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Information Department, Berkeley Lab, MS 65A
One Cyclotron Road, Berkeley CA 94720
Tel: 510/486-5771 Fax: 510/486-6641
Berkeley Lab is managed by the University of California
for the U.S. Department of Energy
'84 CHEVY Citation II, V-6, 2-dr HB, 109K mi., a/t, a/c, p/s, p/b, cruise control, well maint., great cond., $1600/b.o. Chen, X6315, 883-0368
'84 SUBARU GL, 5-spd, new clutch & battery, gd local trans., 165K mi., $750. Ian, X4174, 548-7102
'84 VW Rabbit, gray, a/t, 187K mi., needs minor engine work, reliable, $600/b.o. Javier, X7963, 549 3560
'85 VOLVO 245 DL, wgn, 150K mi., man. trans., gd cond., well maint., many new parts, avail. in May, $4700. X4081, 525-2524
'86 SUBARU 4-WD hatchbk, 142K mi., exc. cond., 1 owner, $3K. 935-2285
'87 TOYOTA Camry, wgn (DX), a/t, AM/FM, 1 owner, well maint., $3600. James, X5672
'93 TOYOTA Tercel, 52K mi., stick shift, a/c, new tires, battery, exc. cond., well maint., $6800. 631-0510
'94 FORD Explorer Sport, 4x4, 2-dr, 22K mi., immac., a/c, p/l/w, AM/FM cass., rack, $20K. Tom, 527-4993
'94 PLYMOUTH Acclaim, 55K mi., AM/FM w/tape, a/c, cruise control, seats 6, take over payments of $335/mo.+$1500 down, 32 payments left. X7831
MOTORCYCLE, '79 Kawasaki KZ1000, shaft drive, fairing, stereo, soft side bags, extras, 16K mi., needs battery, $1K/b.o. Martin, X4371, 370-6002
MICROSCOPE, monocular and/or binocular, for young student; globe (terrestrial), pre-1940 preferred. 526-2007
SOUND CARD + speaker set for 486 PC (Windows 3.1). Hong, X6334, 442-7556 (pager)
STORAGE SPACE for approx. 6-8 mo. while we remodel, dry, secure, 1-car garage sz. gd. Jonathan, X4148, 525-5540
BIKE, Raleigh 10-spd, 22.5" man's frame, clunker but runs OK, $40/b.o.; kid's bike w/12" wheels, training wheels avail., $20/b.o. Bob, X4094
BOAT, Searay cruiser, 22.5', SRV225, 260 Merc. outdrive, slps 4, head, galley, lots of teak, 300 hours, very gd cond., gd family or fishing boat can also be used for water skiing, incl. Trailrite tandem axle trailer, best offer. Bob, 376-2211
COMPUTER, Macintosh IIsi, 40 MB drive, 9MB RAM via RAM doubler, system 7.1, B&W monitor, loaded w/software, $300/b.o.; skis, Rossignol 4S, 207cm w/Salomon 747 Equipe bindings, gd shape, $75/b.o. Scott, X4874
COMPUTER SCREEN, Sony 19" Superfine pitch MultiScan HG color monitor, $895/b.o.; laser printer, Kyocera F1000A, $95/b.o.; personal computer, IBM 386, $75/b.o. Armando, X6171, 753-0503 (eve.)
COUCH, 4-pc. sectional, w/hide-a-bed & recliner, gray/light gray, $500; dinning rm table, round/oval, w/4 chairs, $50. Dan or Judy, 799-0818 (before 9 p.m.)
EXERCISE MACHINE, Nordic Track Sequoia ski trainer, hardly used, $300. 658-9635
FLASHLIGHT, Sakar 717AF, TTL for Canon, Pentax, or Minolta autofocus cameras, $25. Andre, X6745
GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM for marine/hiking, handheld, Garmin 45, complete pkg. w/case, manuals, box & batteries, $175. Alan, X7700, 758-7104
KNEELING CHAIR, virtually new cond., wood base w/blue-gray fabric, adj., $25. Steve, X7256
MOVING SALE (things avail. in May), dining table set, mini stereo w/CD, twin futon+frame, queen futon frame only, camping cooker, gas lamp, coffee machine, microwave, washer, Sony watchman, Sharp color TV. Martin, X4081, 525-2524
PATCH, National Jamboree Commemorative Council, to fund the 1997 Jamboree Troop, Marin Council BSA, features Star Wars character Yoda as the design, $10 ea. Mary, X5832
PIANO, upright, Gulbransen, $890/b.o. Duo, X6878, 528-3408
PRINTER, HP DeskWriter for Mac, gd cond., drivers & ink incl., $120/b.o. Alex, 664-2943
PUTTERS, Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport and Newport II, both new cond., $150 ea. Bob, X6182, 803-9803
RAILROAD TIES, standard sz., 12 ea., gd for building raised garden beds, delivery avail., $125. Dave, X4171
Refrigerator, Kenmore, avocado grn, 22 cu. ft. 32"x32.5"x66", very gd running cond., $275/b.o. 235-3983
ROAD BIKE, man's, Nishiki Sport, 18", 10-spd, mech. sound, $75/b.o. Craig, X7140, 547-0697
SAILBOAT, '93 Sunfish, w/trailer & some accessories, exc. cond., white & aqua, never sailed in salt water, $2K/b.o. John, 531-1739 (eve.)
SKIS, Rossignol, 190cm w/Tyrolia 290 bindings, Rossignol poles, 2 pr. Lange women's boots: 1 pr. 8-1/2, 1 pr. 7-1/2, lightly used, all for $175 or avail. sep. Auben, X4796, 245-0343
SPEAKERS, Klipsch Heresey, gd cond., $300/b.o.; DCM center channel speaker, like new, $50; Pioneer 25" pro TV monitor, $75. Rich, X7263
WASHER/DRYER, stacked, elec., apt sz., $300; refrig., $75; stove, tan, sm., $75; Mac SE computer w/applica., $300, all gd cond. 601-0892
BERKELEY, 3-bdrm, 1-bth house, 5 min. from Lab, nr Tilden Park, garden, deck, attached in-law unit not incl., $ 1750/mo., utils extra. Andre, X6745, 540-0510
BERKELEY, Ward/Telegraph, furn. spacious studio, wood flr, sm. court, 2 beds, sunny, $510/mo. 526-7551
NO. BERKELEY, partly furn. 1-bdrm, in 3-bdrm, 2-bath Victorian, sunny, hardwd flrs, kitchen, washer/dryer, walk to LBNL shuttle, shops, UCB & BART, monthly lease, $400/mo. +1/3 utils. Pascual, 883-0403 (msg.)
NO. BERKELEY HILLS, 761 Spruce St., furn. 3-bdrm, 2-bth professor's home, avail. June thru Oct. inclusive, 2 dens, living & dining areas, 1 garage space, bay view, patio w/solar heated hot tub, on 67 bus line, $1600/mo., garden care & water include. John & Ann, 527-0422
SO. BERKELEY HILLS, nr Claremont Hotel, furn. sep. apt in professor's home, 1-bdrm, 1-bth, ofc., lg. living rm, sm. kitchen, deck, bay view, pvt. entrance, ez st. parking, sec. system, cable TV, <10 min. drive or 25 min. walk to LBNL, 5 min. walk to bus, no smoking, no pets, avail. April thru Oct., util. incl., $950/mo., + ref., sec. dep. X7347
KENSINGTON, furn. 3-bdrm house, lg. garden, 1 cat, avail during June & July, some flex., $1300/mo. Kim, 526-6730
WANTED: apt/studio/rm for 1 yr. for mature, female, petless, nonsmoking grad student, arriving early May, desire house-sitting or chores to offset all/some rent. Steve, X5396, email@example.com
WANTED: shared house/apt. for German exchange UCB student, non-smoker, from 4/1 for period of 5 to 6 mo., max. $500/mo. Dieter, X4119, firstname.lastname@example.org
WANTED: apt/house nr LBNL for mo. of July, for visiting researcher & wife. Kathy, X4931, Ed Sowell, email@example.com
WANTED: rm w/pvt. entrance, studio/1-bdrm apt, for mature, quiet, UCB grad student, doing thesis at LBNL, nr UCB/LBNL stop. (415) 566-1399
WANTED: house to rent for sabbatical, approx. Aug. '97 to summer '98, nr UCB or LBNL, nonsmoker, no kids, no pets. Prof. J. Spence, (602) 965-6486 (work), (602) 968-5944, firstname.lastname@example.org
WANTED: furn. house for the month of July, visiting German professor, wife & 3 children (4, 6, 10), Berkeley, Oakland or surrounding area. Jen, X4058
WANTED: No. Berkeley house, long-term rental for Lab family w/mature children. Carol, X4812
WANTED: 2-bdrm house/apt in Berkeley/Albany/EC from about May to Sept./Oct. while we remodel ours, prefer unfurn. Jonathan, X4148, 525-5540
FLORENCE, Italy, furn. 3-bdrm apt, nr center, avail. Apr.-Sept. (min. stay, 3 mo.), $1350/mo. 841-2029
HAWAII, 20 mi. below Hilo on rainy side of Big Island, convenient to Univ. of Hawaii & orchid plantation, 2-bdrm, 2-bth house, nr schools, shopping & rec. center, 1 mi. to ocean bluff, $450/mo., possible lease-option to buy for $60K. X6005
SO. LAKE TAHOE, Tahoe Keys, 3-bdrm, 2.5 bth house, upstairs living, quiet area, nr skiing & other attractions, views of water & mountains. Bob, 376-2211
SOFA BED, very comfortable, fabric on cushions in poor cond. Erik, X6435, 848-4675
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Pamela Patterson, 486-4045, email@example.com
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Berkeley Lab is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy.
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