February 11, 2000
DOE Budget Proposal Emphasizes Science
Scientists Zero in on Key Cancer Proteins


DOE Budget Proposal Emphasizes Science

By Lynn Yarris

Strength through Science was the official theme of the U.S. Department of Energy's Fiscal Year 2001 budget request "rolled out" this past Monday, and the words were backed by actions. Out of the total request of $18.9 billion - a $1.6 billion or nine percent increase above the FY 2000 appropriated funding - approximately four percent, $7.6 billion, is targeted for research and development.

"The budget we are presenting today offers great potential for achieving the missions of the Department," proclaimed Energy Secretary Bill Richardson in announcing the budget request. "We will work hard to convince the Congress of its importance. We hope to make this a winning season."

The DOE FY 2001 budget "uses realistic assumptions to eliminate our country's public debt by the year 2013," Richardson said, while at the same time "responding to this Department's responsibilities to the American people."

For the Office of Science, the principal funding agency of Berkeley Lab, DOE is requesting $3.15 billion, an increase of nearly 12 percent above the amount appropriated in FY 2000. Much of this proposed increase would go for construction of the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), a facility being built at Oak Ridge National Laboratory by a collaboration that includes Berkeley Lab. A total of $281 million has been requested for SNS, more than double the $117.9 million appropriated by Congress for FY 2000. Construction of the SNS is projected to cost $1.3 billion and to be completed in 2006.

Other programs that would receive substantial funding boosts under the requested budget are those involving nanoscale science and advanced scientific computing. A $65 million increase has been proposed for the upgrade or increased operation of national user facilities. Life sciences (particularly microbial and bioengineering research) and global climate sciences (especially carbon sequestration research), would also do well.

"The Department of Energy is at its heart a science agency ... by far the nation's largest government agency in the physical sciences and in building and operating research facilities," said Richardson. "Our budget request is the largest increase in [DOE's] science business line since 1992 and reflects our commitment to keep America at the cutting edge."

Budget rollouts are proposals by the various agencies in the executive branch and must be sent to Congress for approval. Changes are to be expected in the amount of funds that will ultimately be appropriated, but the proposed budgets requests do reflect the Administration's priorities. In the case of DOE's FY 2001 budget request, two of the top science priorities are clearly the Clinton Administration's National Nanotechnology Initiative and Information Technology Initiative.

DOE's FY 2001 budget request calls for the Office of Science to receive $90.8 million for the funding of research into nanoscale synthesis and assembly methods, which will include efforts in basic science, engineering, modeling, diagnostics, and fabrication technologies. This would be a boost of nearly $40 million over what was appropriated for this fiscal year.

Advanced scientific computing research would go from $128 to $182 million, a 42 percent increase.

High energy physics and nuclear physics would both see small gains, climbing to $715 and $370 million respectively, a two and four percent boost. The Large Hadron Collider would receive the same $70 million it is now receiving. The $247 million requested for fusion energy science is essentially the same as this year's funding. Under the categories of global climate research and carbon management science, the Office of Science is requesting increases of $3 million and $4 million, respectively, boosting their totals to $123 million and $36 million.

In a drive to learn more about microbial cells so as to make better use of these organisms in bioremediation, carbon sequestration, and energy use and production, the Office of Science is requesting an additional $12 million for FY 2001. Microbial genome research would get a substantial boost to $22 million, $8 million above its current funding, while DOE's Human Genome Project would see a slight $1 million boost to $90 million.

In other life sciences news, the existing $2 million in biomedical engineering would be raised to $7 million, with much of this money going to molecular biology.

The proposed increase for the national user facilities would push their FY 2001 overall budget to $1.21 billion. University-based researchers are among the beneficiaries of these facilities and will also benefit from a $2 million increase proposed for the current $1 million Office of Science effort in robotics and intelligent machines.

"This budget is a very good one for the Office of Science," said acting director James Decker, who praised this past year as "productive." In his presentation, Decker showed a "results and recognition" viewgraph which was a collage of newsclips featuring nine achievements. Berkeley Lab researchers played major roles in six of those.

Budget rollout figures proposed for individual laboratories should be viewed with caution. That said, there are trends worthy of note in the figures for Berkeley Lab.

Both NERSC and ESNet would receive a healthy influx of new funds, with a 5-teraflop machine proposed for the former and an expansion for the latter. The science programs overall would see a 5.4 percent growth, with high energy physics and basic energy sciences doing especially well.

Programs grouped under "energy supply research and development activities" would more than triple their current funding under DOE's proposals.

"There's a long way to go in the Congressional budgeting process before we know the Laboratory's FY 2001 budget," said Reid Edwards, manager of government relations for the Laboratory. "I'm optimistic, however, that at the end of the deliberations we'll have a good budget for both the Office of Science and Berkeley Lab."

Truck Rolls Down Hill, Driver Safe

A truck and trailer hauling dirt from a construction site overturned on Jan. 28 while driving up Centennial Drive. The driver suffered only minor cuts, and no one else was involved in the accident. See story and pictures on Page 5. Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt

Scientists Zero in on Key Cancer Proteins

By Lynn Yarris

The role of two closely-related proteins, long-suspected of being major contributors to the development of a number of cancers, has at last been identified. Berkeley Lab researchers have shown that the proteins known as "Ski" and "Sno" block the "downstream" events initiated by TGF-ß (transforming growth factor-beta), an extracellular protein responsible for controlling the growth and differentiation of certain types of cells.

Cell biologist Kunxin Luo of Life Sciences led the discovery of how Ski and Sno proteins contribute to the development of cancer.

The TGF-ß protein sends a signal that stops the growth of epithelial cells -- the cells that line the skin, kidney, glands, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, bladder, and blood vessels. If something goes awry, causing the TGF-ß signal to be blocked, cell growth continues un-checked, giving rise to cancerous tumors. Nearly 90 percent of all human cancers involve epithelial cells.

A research team led by Kunxin Luo, a cell biologist with the Life Sciences Division and an assistant adjunct professor with UC Berkeley, has been able to demonstrate that Ski and Sno proteins interact with a family of proteins called "Smad" to completely shut down the TGF-ß signal. Smad proteins are known tumor suppressors.

"We've shown that Ski and Sno, two oncogene products, directly interact with the protein products of tumor suppressor genes at a common point," says Luo. "This indicates that oncoproteins and tumor suppressor proteins do not act independently. Rather, they regulate one another's function. Our work also suggests that cancer development is a delicate balancing act in which the balance gets tipped the wrong way."

Although the way in which Ski interacts with Smad proteins to control TGF-ß signals continues to be a mystery, Luo and her colleagues have reported that the mechanism behind the effects of Sno is a negative feedback loop. (See Science, Oct. 22, 1999).

TGF-ß proteins cannot enter cells and must therefore transmit their signals by attaching themselves to receptor proteins on a cell's outer surface. The signal generated by this interaction is then carried across the cell membrane and into the nucleus via Smad proteins.

Luo and her colleagues discovered that a normal level of Sno inside the nucleus blunts TGF-ß signals, but as the number of Smad proteins increases, the level of Sno drops until it is low enough for the signals to take effect.

"After two hours, the TGF-ß signals have resulted in a marked increase in the expression of the Sno gene," says Luo. "The level of Sno rises until it blocks the functions of Smad. This allows a cell to resume normal growth activity."

When Luo and her colleagues deliberately kept levels of Ski and Sno artificially high, the TGF-ß signal was blocked and cell growth could no longer be restrained. It is unclear at this time to what degree Ski and Sno act independently or in conjunction with one another, and what factors cause the balancing act between these two proteins and the Smad proteins to be tipped in a cancerous direction.

"Cancer is not a simple disease, and there are many different pathways through which it can develop," says Luo. "However, knowing the relevant levels of Ski and Sno in a cell gives us a possible tool for early cancer diagnosis."

Luo and her colleagues were able to identify the roles of Ski and Sno in cancer development by working with liver cancer cells of a type known as Hep3B cells. They were looking to identify proteins in the cell nucleus that interacted with the Smad proteins which earlier work had identified as carriers of the TGF-ß signal.

To do this, they engineered a Smad protein to host a special molecular "tag" that would be recognized by an antibody. Tagged Smad proteins could then be introduced into cells and subsequently harvested using the antibody. Caught up in the harvest would be any other type of protein that might be attached to the tagged Smads.

"It was an emotional roller coaster ride of anticipation to see what we would find when we analyzed our results," says Luo. "We were quite surprised and very excited when we learned that we had captured oncoproteins."

Specifically, Luo and her colleagues found Ski and SnoN, the most predominant form of the Sno protein. In the immediate future, Luo plans to investigate the ways in which oncoproteins interact with tumor suppressors to regulate cell growth. This work has implications beyond carcinogenesis.

For example, TGF-ß signals stop the growth of epithelial cells but promote the growth of fibroblast cells. Says Luo, "The uncovery of Ski and Sno as blockers of the TGF-ß signal may lead to their applications in the treatment of fibrosis diseases."

TGF-ß signals also promote the differentiation of other types of cells, especially muscle cells. Studies have shown that Ski and Sno affect this process as well: an excess of either results in an abundance of muscle, a deficit yields the reverse. Other important functions of TGF-ß signals include the healing of wounds and the repair of damaged tissue.

Members of the Luo group that worked on the Ski and SnoN oncoproteins were Shannon Stroschein and Wei Wang. Their collaborators were Sharleen Zhou and Qian Zhou from UC Berkeley. Also participating in the Ski experiments were Dan Chen and Eric Martens of UC Berkeley.

Brad Moore to Leave Berkeley Lab

By Jeffery Kahn

Chemical Sciences Division Director C. Bradley Moore, a former dean of the UC Berkeley College of Chemistry, will be leaving the Lab effective July 1 to take a new position as vice president for research at Ohio State University in Columbus.

Moore has been affiliated with the Laboratory for 26 years and became division director in September 1998. He is a world authority on energy transfer and chemical reaction dynamics as well as the holder of a stellar administrative portfolio.

Said Lab Director Charles V. Shank, "Berkeley Lab and the Chemical Sciences Division have benefited enormously from Brad's superb leadership, as well as from his vigorous participation in campus-Laboratory scientific programs over the past several years. Brad has strengthened our connections with the campus as well as with the Department of Energy.

"Brad has already established a legacy in the short time since he became division director. Perhaps most significant among his accomplishments is his reorganization of the chemical dynamics beamline, which will have a lasting impact on the Advanced Light Source and the Laboratory. He will be greatly missed."

Shank said that in the coming weeks he would announce a search process for Moore's successor.

Moore, 60, is a native of Boston and has been a prominent, longtime member of the Berkeley academic community, arriving on campus as a graduate student in 1960. After doing his undergraduate work at Harvard, he received his Ph.D. in chemistry at Berkeley in 1963; that year he joined the Berkeley faculty.

"I am going to miss Berkeley," said Moore. "I have been here 39 years -- 40 as of September. Mostly I am going to miss my friends and colleagues. And I will miss having a world expert on almost any subject always at hand. I intend to maintain my collaborations here and my connections. After 40 years, my roots are firmly attached to Berkeley soil."

Moore said that he accepted the position at Ohio State because of his interest in helping to develop programs that will define excellence for research universities. "The urge to try out some ideas for the future of research universities, as a part of a campus leadership team, was too strong for me to resist," he said.

A physical chemist, Moore is a world authority on the making and breaking of chemical bonds.

He was among the first to apply lasers to the study of physical chemistry, using them to obtain quantum-state resolved measurements of vibrational and rotational energy transfers. His demonstration of the isotopic selectivity in the photochemistry of formaldehyde was the first use of a laser for isotope enrichment.

Most recently, Moore's research has focused on the interplay between energy transfer and chemical reaction processes. Lasers are used to resolve the quantum state dependence of processes so that the fundamental microscopic forces that control them can be deduced.

Moore served as dean of UC Berkeley's College of Chemistry from 1988 until 1994 and as chair of the University's Department of Chemistry from 1982 until 1986. In 1986 he won the E.O. Lawrence Award from the U.S. Department of Energy and was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences. He has published or co-authored nearly 250 scholarly papers.

Ohio State University President William E. Kirwan said Moore's appointment as vice president for research will be pivotal in enhancing the scientific enterprise there.

"As an esteemed chemist, Bradley Moore will be a key factor in our efforts to position Ohio State among the nation's top 10 teaching and research universities," said Kirwan.

"He is a leading figure in this nation's research and academic communities, and he brings enormous stature to this very important position. He has precisely the skill and experience that we need at this time to help us extend the university's knowledge and expertise into the businesses and communities of the state of Ohio."

Washington Report

Budget news good for science agencies

The DOE was not the only federal agency to ride the wave of renewed congressional and public interest in science and technology (see story on page 1). Other science agencies also fared well under the Clinton Administration's final budget proposal.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) would see a $675 million increase, 17 percent above the appropriation for this year, including large increases for research and science education. NSF director Rita Colwell expressed particular delight in announcing that NSF's new facilities funding would soar by 45 percent to $139 million, including $17 million to start construction of a mobile seismic array and $12 million to begin building a network of high-tech ecological observatories. Funding for biocomplexity studies would mushroom 172 percent to $136 million.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) would receive an overall increase of 4.5 percent -- more than double what the Administration proposed last year, which ultimately resulted in a congressional boost of 15 percent. The White House proposes adding $1 billion to the NIH budget, which would give it $18.8 billion in FY 2001. The NIH budget proposal includes money for two major new initiatives: the Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative, which would create academic centers of excellence in biocomputing at universities around the country, and a new, 200,000-square-foot neuroscience lab on the NIH campus.

Unlike previous years, the Administration also proposed a raise for NASA. The request for a $435 million increase to $14.03 billion includes more money for Mars exploration and a downpayment on "Living with a Star," a sun research program that aims to use a flotilla of spacecraft to track solar storms and mass ejections that can interfere with communications and electric power grids. Another big winner is NASA's life science program, which is slated to get a 10 percent hike to its $275 million budget, most of which will go to either biomedical or microgravity research.

The Environmental Protection Agency's research budget was essentially flat, with small increases in research on the health effects of endocrine disruptors and epidemiological studies of soot's health effects.

The U.S. Geological Survey is requesting a 10 percent increase to $895 million, with an additional $29 million for its mapping effort, which collects and distributes data on everything from coastal wetlands to historical trends in urban growth. The USGS is also asking for more money to fund biological research, to buy 150 new seismographs for the earthquake-prone San Francisco Bay Area, and for new real-time stream gages to predict floods. -- Lynn Yarris

Congressman Nick Smith Visits Berkeley Lab

Congressman Nick Smith (R-Mich) toured the Advanced Light Source and other user facilities during his visit to Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley last month. Rep. Smith is a member of the House Budget Committee and chairman of the House Science Subcommittee on Basic Research, which has jurisdiction over budget authorization for the National Science Foundation and over policies affecting DOE laboratories. He was accompanied by his wife and Steve Eule, the Subcommittee staff director. Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt

Report Issued on Better Detection of
Agents Hazardous to US Forces

Thomas E. McKone of Berkeley Lab's Environmenal Energy Technologies Division and an adjunct professor in the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley was the principal investigator of a study intended to assist the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in tracking the possible exposure of deployed forces to a broad set of chemical and biological agents.

The report, "Detecting, Characterizing, and Documenting Exposures," was released last week by the National Research Council, the principal operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. It is the fourth and final report in a series on protecting the health of U.S. forces. It is being conducted by the National Academies and was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.

By being able to anticipate and monitor potential exposures to harmful substances, including warfare agents, pesticides, fuels, and various forms of air pollution, the Defense Department can protect military personnel during critical operations.

The study focused on three aspects of exposure characterization: detecting harmful agents in the environment, tracking troop locations, and combining information on agent concentration and troop location.

The report recommends that the DoD develop more advanced detectors that could signal various levels of exposure. The current equipment for biological agent detection is not as advanced as chemical detection systems in terms of sensitivity, reaction time, and portability. The DoD is exploring new techniques for improving biological agent detection, although they are not expected to be implemented for several years.

Other suggestions include developing of miniature receivers that can pinpoint a soldier's location by satellites. In the future, the report predicts, these devices should be able both to detect dangerous agents and give the location and time of the exposure.

The report also made recommendation for monitoring and reviewing the risks of harm from industrial chemicals, including pesticides, fuels, paints, and lubricants.

The study director is Beverly Huey, senior program officer for the Board on Army Science and Technology at the National Research Council. The other authors are Edward Downing and Laura M. Duffy, also of the Research Council.

A final report expected by the end of 2000.

Copies of this and other reports in this series will be available later this year from the National Academy Press, (202) 334-3313 or (800) 624-6242. -- Monica Friedlander

Lab Mathematician Wins Wiener Prize

Alexandre Chorin of Computing Sciences and a professor of mathematics at UC Berkeley was awarded the 2000 Norbert Wiener Prize in Applied Mathematics by the American Mathematics Society and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics in Washington, D.C.

One of the highest distinctions bestowed in applied mathematics, the prize recognizes Chorin's work in the fields of computational fluid dynamics, statistical mechanics, and turbulence.

"From the 1960s to the present day, Chorin has led and inspired applied mathematicians everywhere to tackle the most difficult real-world problems and to make full use of the combined power of advanced computers and sophisticated mathematical analysis," said Calvin Moore, head of the Mathematics Department at UC Berkeley. "In the process, he has done more than anyone else to create and shape the important discipline of computational applied mathematics."

Berkeley Lab Currents

Published twice a month by the Public Information Department for the employees and retirees of Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Ron Kolb, PID department head.

EDITOR: Monica Friedlander, (510) 495-2248, msfriedlander@lbl.gov

STAFF WRITERS: Paul Preuss, 486-6249; Lynn Yarris, 486-5375

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Jon Bashor, X5849; Allan Chen, X4210, Jeffery Kahn, X4019

fleamarket@lbl.gov / currents_calendar@lbl.gov

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.

Community-Based Tritium Task Force Established

By Ron Kolb

Pledging to do a better job of communicating with neighbors and other stakeholders, Berkeley Lab has established a new broad-based community task force to help sample and analyze tritium levels in the environment.

Laboratory Director Charles Shank led the Lab contingent that convened the first meeting of the Environmental Sampling Project Task Force on Jan. 26. And, after an initial emotional flurry of public comments over meeting procedures, the group settled down to what will be an estimated two-year commitment to participate in tritium sampling.

"The issue before us is: Is there an imminent health danger in this community [from Laboratory tritium emissions]?" Shank told the 16 task force members and nearly 50 public observers at the North Berkeley Senior Center. "We will provide data, conduct real measurements, and get the information for you. We will cooperate with all city and regulatory bodies."

Shank related an exchange he had with a neighbor who had purchased a house near his Berkeley Hills residence. "Before she bought she wanted to know about the `titanium' poisoning in the environment," Shank said. "This shows we have a hard hill to climb in communicating about this issue."

Noting that the Lab "has not done a good job in communicating with our public," Shank said the task force will be a different, more open way of presenting critical information to an informed public. Meetings as well as the sampling results will be transcribed verbatim and posted on a publicly accessible website.

Sampling activities were triggered by a request from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for additional monitoring data on emissions from the Laboratory's National Tritium Labeling Facility. Responding to a community request to review the Lab's qualifications as a candidate for the National Priorities List for environmental cleanup, the EPA has asked for additional sampling of the air, soil and water.

The Lab then invited Berkeley and Oakland community stakeholders -- local organizations, agencies and companies -- to designate a representative who would comment and make recommendations on the process, as well as review the results. EPA's final evaluation of the site's status will be based largely on these and historic sampling results, which to date have shown tritium levels well below EPA clean air public health standards.

Following public comments from six members of the audience, the inaugural meeting featured a presentation by David McGraw, director of the Lab's Environment, Health and Safety Division, who gave a broad overview of the Lab and its operations, summarized tritium use at the NTLF, and reviewed the purpose of the task force.

The meeting facilitators, Drs. Pat Duffy and Sheryllynn Dougherty, explained the dialogue style that they would establish for task force meetings. "We want to create relationships," Dougherty told them. "That means listen, be respectful, be open-minded, be courteous, and suspend judgment. We're trying to get to `shared meaning.'"

"We hope this experience will create a greater level of understanding and will begin to build trust among the Lab and its constituencies," said Terry Powell, the Laboratory's community relations coordinator.

After a series of four or five briefing meetings over the next several months, actual environmental sampling is expected to begin during the summer.

The next meeting will be scheduled in early March.

Task Force Members in Attendance at the Jan. 28 Meeting

Amy Kyle of UC Berkeley's School of Public Health
David McGraw, Berkeley Lab
Paul Lavely, UC Berkeley
Keith Matthews, City of Oakland
Steve Rathbone, Berkeley Unified School District
Ed Bailey, California Department of Health Services
Nabil Al-Hadithy, City of Berkeley
Laurie Bright, Citizens Opposed to a Polluted Environment
Sue Markland Day, Bay Area Bioscience Center
Miriam Ng, Berkeley Association of Realtors
Evelyn Fisher, Campus-Parnassus Neighborhood Association
Fran Packard, League of Women Voters
Carroll Williams, Panoramic Hill Neighborhood Association
Gene Bernardi, Committee to Minimize Toxic Waste
Dick Nolan, U.S. Department of Energy
Periann Wood, EPA.
Five members were absent.

Black History Month Activities at Berkeley Lab

In celebration of national Black History Month, Berkeley Lab is sponsoring a number of activities throughout the month of February, such as black history presentations and storytelling. Students from local area schools will attend the events.

The cafeteria will also serve traditional African American dishes every Thursday of the month.

Black History Month recognizes the richness of African American achievement. It was during the 1920s that Carter G. Woodson first created and promoted Negro History Week. In 1976 a month-long celebration was implemented as a time for Americans to reflect on the history and contributions of African Americans.

The activities below are being organized by the Laboratory's Work Force Diversity Office.

• Wednesday, Feb. 16

Noon, Bldg. 50 auditorium
Movie presentation: "Daughters of the Dust" -- the story of a large African American family as they prepare to move north at the dawn of the 20th century. The film brings to life the changing values, conflicts and struggles that confront every family as they leave their homeland for the promise of a new and better future.

• Friday, Feb. 18

Noon, Bldg. 50 auditorium
Black History and Your Dreams Presenter: Hattie Cartwell, DOE Berkeley Site Office

African American Storytelling
Marijo, actress/storyteller/performing artist

• Tuesday, Feb. 29

Noon, Bldg. 50 auditorium:
Honoring the Past and Creating Your Future Presenter: Horace Mitchell, vice-chancellor of Business and Administrative Services, UC Berkeley

• Thursdays, Feb. 17 & 24, Lab Cafeteria

The Dining Center will serve traditional African American dishes.

• Related Websites

KRON's Black History Month:

Multicultural Events Resource Guide, presented by Berkeley Lab's Office of Work Force Diversity :


Power Outage Shuts Down E-mail, Computers --
No data or e-mail lost

By Monica Friedlander

A rat's unfortunate incursion into a distribution box at the Big C power substation blew a fuse and knocked out the power at Berkeley Lab on Feb. 1, temporarily shutting down computer operations (including the NERSC computers) and wreaking havoc with the Lab's e-mail system.

No data was lost, however, and all operations returned to normal once the system was back up and running. Worst hit was the Lab's IMAP4 e-mail system, which was out of commission until the end of the workday on Tuesday. The culprit: a recently discovered computer bug that reared its ugly head, baffling computer experts for hours.

The outage happened at 2:00 in the morning, at which time the appropriate staff was called in to reboot the systems overnight and minimize inconvenience to Laboratory operations. By 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday the power was restored and most systems were up and running, including the Lab's main e-mail server. But to everyone's dismay, the IMAP4 server refused to reboot for hours.

"It was a mystery for a while," said Mark Rosenberg, group leader for the Computing Infrastructure Technology Group. "Normally in cases like this it's a disk problem or a data corruption problem. But not in this case. The disks didn't crash. What we eventually found out was that we had a really strange bug in the software that supports the file system."

Ironically, Rosenberg said, the Veritas filing system was designed precisely to avoid such problems. "The file system is set up to allow us to recover quickly when something like this happens, believe it or not."

Unfortunately no system can anticipate and prevent every conceivable computer problem, such as an obscure computer bug. Once the staff zeroed in on the issue at hand they updated the system to a new version of the utility and applied a patch to fix the problem without the need for any major intervention.

"Now that we identified the root cause of the problem it won't come back to haunt us again," Rosenberg said.

The good news is that at no point during the outage was any of the e-mail in danger of being lost, and all messages eventually reached their destinations thanks to the system's flexible design.

Instead of e-mails being sent directly to IMAP4, they first go to the Lab's main e-mail server, which in turn forwards them to IMAP4 for delivery. In this instance, the server was accepting mail but could not pass it on to IMAP. That's where the "store and forwarding" system of sendmail kicks in: When the server is unable to deliver mail for any reason, the system holds it for three hours and then tries again, repeating this process as needed up to three days. Only then does the system return it to the sender as "undeliverable." This process insures that no mail is lost in transit.

The Computing Infrastructure Support Department staff issued a statement vowing to continue its efforts "to work on actions to greatly reduce the vulnerability of our strategic systems to any future extended power outages."

Meanwhile, says Martin Dooly, the facilities coordinator for Computing Sciences and Bldg. 50 manager, the very likelihood of a similar power outage will be reduced considerably after April 15, when the power source for Bldg. 50 will be switched to the new, state-of-the-art Blackberry Substation.

Structural Biology Center Formed

Graham Fleming, the director of Berkeley Lab's Physical Biosciences Division (PBD), has announced the formation within PBD of the "Berkeley Center for Structural Biology." Under Fleming's proposal the head of this new center will chair a committee to coordinate PBD's crystallography and spectroscopic research at the Advanced Light Source.

"These are exciting times for structural biology and for the ALS," says Fleming. "By this summer there will be three operational crystallography beamlines at the ALS, and over the next two to three years, this number will grow to eight.

"In addition to ensuring the maximum flexibility and capability for the entire center, I expect the coordinating committee to provide national and international leadership in all matters relating to the practice of biological structural determination."

The search for a divisional deputy to head the BCSB is now underway. Until the position is filled, Fleming will direct BCSB operations and chair its coordinating committee.

Fire Department to the Rescue of Overturned Truck

A truck with a trailer hauling dirt from a construction site overturned and rolled back into a Lab fence on Friday, Jan. 28 while driving up Centennial Drive. The driver walked away with only minor cuts, and no other persons or vehicles were involved in the accident.

The truck was exiting through the Grizzly Peak Gate carrying soil from the electrical substation being built onsite by the University of California when it lost speed, rolled backwards, tipped and dropped an estimated 80 feet down the steep grassy hillside.

The driver was taken by a Berkeley Fire Department ambulance to Alta Bates Hospital, were he was treated for minor injuries and released the same day, according to Lab fire chief Stacy Cox.

"The accident looked worse than it was," Cox said. "There was no fire, and the driver was up and walking when people got there. He was very, very lucky. It was very fortunate that the ground was soft and gave a lot and the cabin did not cave in."

Five members of Berkeley Lab's Fire Department were at the scene shortly after the accident. Three sections of guard rail had to be removed in order to pull the trailer and truck through the opening.

Damage to Lab property was minor - guardrail, curb, road signs, some landscaping. EH&S checked the contents of the trailer and determined it contained only clean soil.

Photos by Roy Kaltschmidt

Bulletin Board

Postdoctoral Society Starts Year with Writing, Career Workshops

Berkeley Lab's Postdoctoral Society kicked off its third year of workshops last month with a presentation on "The Science of Science Writing" (right).

Led by Judith Swan of the University of Pennsylvania, the eight-hour workshop focused on writing techniques to improve clarity and increase emphasis. Postdocs, scientists and administrators were among the 80 attendees. Participants also examined samples of scientific prose, legal writing, and comments from NIH study sessions.

Swan discussed the factors that go into effective communication and how expectations play into this process. Further reading can be found in a 1990 article she published in the American Scientist (v. 78/550). A second Postdoctoral Society workshop on careers in the biological sciences was held last Friday. More information on association activities can be found at http://www.lbl.gov/~postdoc/. Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt

Retirement Party

A retirement open house is being organized for physician Henry Stauffer, leader of the Health Services Group at Berkeley Lab, who is retiring after 41 years of service. The celebration will be held Thursday, Feb. 24 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Bldg. 26. William Donald and Edward Manou-gian will also be honored.

A $5 donation is requested to cover the cost of refreshments and gifts. Please send a check to Cathy Sage at MS B26-143.

Training for New Web Ordering System

VWR, the Lab's vendor for ordering supplies, will convert to a new, "enhanced web-ordering system" effective March 1. All Laboratory requesters ordering supplies online will be affected by this change.

To help with a smooth transition, Procurement will hold several training sessions to demonstrate the new system on Feb. 14, Feb. 17, March 2 and March 8 at 10:30 a.m and again at 1:00 p.m.

The Feb. 14 and March 8 sessions will be held in Perseverance Hall and the Feb. 17 and March 2 training will be in the Bldg. 50A auditorium.

VWR is the Laboratory's systems subcontract vendor for ordering laboratory and chemical supplies.

For more information call Zelma Richardson at X4216.

Martial Arts Classes Continue Onsite

The LBNL Martial Arts Club holds free classes every Monday and Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:15 p.m. on the ground floor of Bldg. 51 (the Bevatron).The sessions focus on aerobic conditioning, self-defense, and techniques for kickboxing, Tae Kwon Do and karate. Everyone is welcomed to participate.

For more information contact instructor Eric Esarey at EHEsarey@ lbl.gov, X5925.

Black History Month, Dinosaurs at the Lawrence Hall of Science

The Lawrence Hall of Science is observing Black History Month with an array of programs, hands-on activities, and displays produced by Bay Area students. Featured attractions for the remainder of the month include:

  • Saturday, Feb. 12, 12:30 p.m.
    The Story of Auwanguleema by storyteller Claressa Morrow
  • Saturday, Feb. 19, 12:00 and 1:30 p.m.
    African American Music and Storytelling by Family Affair
  • Sunday, Feb. 20, 12:00-2:00 p.m.
    Science Spectacular: Demonstrations of chemical reactions with Darryl Baynes of the Minority Aviation Education Association
  • Saturday, Feb. 26, 12:00-2:00 p.m.
    Women of Color in Medicine
  • Sunday, Feb. 27, 12:30 p.m.
    Grandma's Kitchen: The lives of Harriet Tubman and other black notables are told with a "pot liquor" flavor by storyteller Kellmar.

Dinosaurs 2000

T-Rex and other robotic giants are part of the continuing dinosaurs exhibit, on display at the Hall of Science until June 4. Visit the LHS and learn about the latest findings in the field of paleontology.

Golf Scores

Tango, Samba Kick Off New Dance Series

A new four-week series of dance lessons will start on Monday, Feb. 14, with weekly instruction sessions being held from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. on the lower level of Bldg. 51 (Bevatron).

The featured dances in this series will be the tango and the samba. No previous dance experience is required. Free practice sessions are held every Wednesday at noon at the same location.

The lessons are taught by Charlene Van Ness, a professional dance instructor who teaches at the Berkeley YWCA. The cost is $20 for the four-week session or $6 per lesson on a drop-in basis. Participants are asked to arrive 10 minutes early for the first session to register.

For further information contact Joy Kono at JNKono@lbl.gov or Sharon Fujimura at SPFujimura@ lbl.gov.

Weight Watchers

A new Weight Watchers series is scheduled to start today at noon in Bldg. 26. Sessions are $8.95 per week based on the prepaid series. Various payment options are available. For more information or to register contact Barbara Brown at X5334.

Upcoming Dance Club Events

On Saturday, Feb. 19, the Berkeley Lab Dance club is hosting its second four-hour dance workshop from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. at the Berkeley Methodist Church (1710 Carleton Street). The event will consist of two hours of instruction and two hours of dancing. The $10 cost covers the instruction (by Charlene Van Ness) and light refreshments.

A formal black-tie dinner dance for Lab employees will be held on Saturday, March 25, from 6:00 p.m. to midnight at the International House on the UCB campus. This elegant evening will include hors d'oeuvres, full sit-down dinner, three hours of DJ-hosted dancing and more.

The cost is $60 per person and seating is limited to 250 people on a first-come, first-serve basis. The deadline for signing up is Friday, March 3.

For more information or to register contact Joy Kono at JNKono@ lbl.gov, Sharon Fujimura at SPFujimura@lbl.gov, or Barbara Malfatti at BAMalfatti@lbl.gov.

Calendar of Events

February 2000

General Interest


Tango and Samba classes 12:00 - 1:00, lower level, Bldg. 51


Brown bag informational meeting 12:00 p.m., Bldg. 50 auditorium


"Daughters of the Dust"
12:00 - 1:00, Bldg. 50 auditorium


Hattie Cartwell, DOE Berkeley and Marijo (actress, storyteller)
12:00 - 1:00, Bldg. 50 auditorium


EH&S 62 class; call X7366


Horace Mitchell, UC Berkeley
12:00 - 1:00, Bldg. 50 auditorium

EH&S 62 class; call X7366

Items for the calendars may be e-mailed to currents_calendar@ lbl.gov, faxed to X6641, or mailed to Bldg. 65B. The deadline for the Feb 25. issue is 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 21.

Seminars & Lectures


Center For Beam Physics Seminar
"Nonlinear Dynamics in SPEAR Wigglers" will be presented by James Safranek of SSRL/SLAC.
10:30 a.m., Bldg. 71 conference room

Earth Sciences Division
"The Science and Technology of Ocean Carbon Sequestration" will be presented by James Bishop of Earth Sciences.
11:00 a.m., Bldg. 90-2063

UCB/LBNL New Biology Partnership Seminar
"Transgenesis and Metamorphic Neural Development in Xenopus Laevis" will be presented by Nicolas Marsh-Armstrong of the Carnegie Institution in Washington.
2:00 p.m., Bldg. 66 auditorium
Refreshments precede the seminar.


UC Berkeley/ Beam Physics Department Colloquia
"Feshbach Resonances and Efimov States?" will be presented by Vladan Vuletic of Stanford University.
4:30 p.m., 1 LeConte
Tea at 4:00 in 375 LeConte


Physics Division Research Progress Meeting
"tt Decays in CDF, Cross Section Measurement and Improvements for Run II", will be presented by Maurice Garcia-Sciveres.
4:00 p.m., Bldg. 50A-5132


Life Sciences Division Seminar
"p53 as a Target for Therapeutic Suppression" will be presented by Andrei V. Gudkov of the University of Illinois at Chicago.
4:00 p.m., Bldg. 84-318
Refreshments precede the seminar.


National Center for Electron Microscopy
"Fabrication and Analysis of Nanometer-Size Structure by Focused Electron Beam" will be presented by Kazuo Furuya, Kazutaka Mitsuihi and Masaki Takeguchi of the National Research Institute for Metals, Japan.
11:00 a.m., Bldg. 72, second floor conference room

Surplus Chemical Program, Website

Berkeley Lab's surplus chemical exchange program offers chemicals to Lab employees free of charge. Upon request, technicians from the Hazardous Waste Handling Facility deliver the materials within one or two days (weekends excluded). All chemical containers are sealed and have never been opened.

A complete list of chemicals can be found on the Lab's Waste Minimization website at http://www-ehs.lbl.gov/wastemin/chemicals.html. Some of the items for the month of February include:

For more information about the program or to request chemicals, contact Shelley Worsham at X6123, saworsham@lbl.gov.

Flea Market


`98 MAZDA 626 LX, auto, cruise, dual airbags, pwr wndw/locks/ mirrors, ac, cd, comes w/ extend mech breakdown warranty up to 75K or 3/2003, 30K sched maint, can e-mail photos, great cond, $13,850, Ali, X7159, 526-1097

`96 DODGE RAM 3500, van camper, 19 ft, Horizon, like new, auto, fully loaded, water heater, 2 queen sz bds (sleeps 4), new battery/ tires/brakes, 20-23K to gal, $17,900/bo, Jens, X6174

`94 FORD Aspire, 3D, at, dual air bag, ac, cass, 52K, very clean, $2,950, Nanyang, X5814 on Fri, (650) 926-2252, Mon-Thurs, 799-6617, eve

`94 FORD Mustang, silver, V6, 3.8L, 71K , fully loaded, runs exc, all maint current, $7,900/bo, Lisa, X5314, (925) 906-9786

`92 HUNDAI Excel, 2 dr, burgundy, 73K, stick, very gd cond, am/fm/4cass, $2,400, leaving country, Paolo, X4739

`90 VW Jetta GLI 16V, 5 spd, 4 dr, white, Recaro seats, BBS rims, am/fm/cass, 102K, new trans, orig owner, all records, $3,000/bo, Joe, X7284

`86 AUDI 4000, 4 dr, auto, 135K, pwr steer/wndw/lock, sunrf, ac, am/fm/cass, cruise, int good, new tires/starter, runs great, $ 1,700, Guedi, X5002, 666-8975 (eve)

`86 CHEVY Camaro Z-28, t-top, 40K on new eng, V8, exc cond, pwr wndw, ac, cd/fm, 360 hp Chevy eng, must sell asap, $2,750/bo, Bennett, X2920

`85 FORD Ranger, std cab, short bd pickup, am/fm, 4 cyl 2.3L engine, fuel inject, new 5-spd man trans, new univ joints, 160K, $1,000 firm, Drew, X5789, 524-7165 evenings

'83 CHEVY Malibu, 4 dr, V6, 54K mi, pwr steer/breakes, recently relaligned, am/fm/cass, cruise, orig owner, all maint records, very good running cond, ac needs repair, $1,750/bo, Howard, 524-5696

`79 MERCEDES 450 SEL sedan, gray, clean, garaged, waxed, maintained, 190 hp, V8, reduced to $3,500/bo, (925) 284-5236

Housing Available

BERKELEY HILLS, rm for rent in priv home on Euclid/Cedar, 5 blocks to campus, fully furn, kitchen, laundry, deck, view of SF/Golden Gate, close to transp, shops, lab shuttle, non-smoking/ no pets, pref visiting scholar, FT working person, share w/ 2 visiting scholars, $600/month + util, Klas, X4828, 841-2749

EL CERRITO, furn rm in house, avail 2/1 for single visiting scholar/grad student, exc quiet area, 4K to school, bus, BART, near shopping ctr, tv, phone, kitchen, laundry, str parking, no smoking/pets/live-in guests, $485/mo+ util, $600 dep, Ming, 524-4780

KENSINGTON, furn house, 3 bdrms, view, garden patio, 2 quiet cats, prefer visiting lab staff, $1,200 - $1,400/mo depending on family size, Ruth, 526-2007, 526-6730

OAKLAND, 2 bdrm/1 bath, newly remodeled kitchen, new carpets, refrig, fenced backyard, off str parking, 15 mins from Lab, $950/mo, Barbara, X7840, (925) 939-7754 (after 6 pm)

PIEDMONT AVE, large, furn, non-smoking rm, in lovely Elmwood home (Gilbert St. above Piedmont), priv balcony, shared bath, short-term rental by visiting scholars, single person/couple, kitchen, laundry, living space, walk to campus, 4 blks to College Ave shops, 2 blocks to buses, $950/mo or $300/wk, Elizabeth, 204-9123

RICHMOND, Marina Bay, 2 bdrm 2 bath condo, security gate, pool, hot tub, exercise facil, jogging path, $1,450/mo, first/last/ security dep, Paul, X6503

Housing Wanted

SINGLE MOM w/ 3 yo child, needs to share rental or rent asap, up to $1,000, seek 1-2 bdrms, pref in N. Oakland or a nearby area, 465-2534

VISITING PROFESSOR and wife from Australia seek housing from approx 4/1 to 6/30, pref Berkeley near campus, furn w/ yard, Ian, X4174, 548-7102

VISITING PROFESSOR on sabbatical seeks housing from 6/1 for approx 1 yr for self, spouse & 2 children (10 & 7), pref furn, 2 or 3 bdrms, Julie, X4058


BIKES, 8 spd, blue, runs well, looks fair, lock, $60; 8 speed mntn bike, blue, med sz, gd cond, new pump, water bottle, lock, $80; futon, thick, twin sz, as new, $44, Paolo, X4739

DRUM SET, Parl Export, 6 piece, timbales, 6 cymbals, all other parts and hardware, must sell asap, $800/bo, Bennett X2920

G3 UPGRADE CARD for Power Mac 6100/7100/8100, NuBus connector, runs at 266Mh, has NuBus connector for additional card, $225, Nat, X4735

HP LASERJET4P printer (needs toner cartridge), $25, Jeff, X5153

JBL SURROUND SOUND Dolby Pro logic speaker system (ESC300 model); 200 watts system power; 5 satellite speakers and sub woofer w/ syst controller, remote control, special control settings for Dolby surround, movies, tv and music, 2 source inputs, barely used, warrty, $280, srinivas, 495-2947, 665-5772 (eve)

16MB MEMORY RAM-CARD, Kingston, KTM-TP360/16, for IBM ThinkPads, series 360/755 models, in 360s, base-ram would go from 4MB to 20MB & in 755 from 8MB to 24MB, $32, Anton, X2908

MAC COMPUTER, Powerbook 520, 12MB Ram, 162 MB HD, blk carrying case, 16-greyscale LCD display, exc cond, works w/ ac adapter (incl), needs new rechar-geable battery, $100, Eli, X5975

MOUNTAIN BIKE, women's, Trek 800, Shimano Altus C20, racing green, very gd cond, $280 (new $600) ; bicycle rack, $25, Jan, X6676

OCTAGONAL END TABLE, glass top, $20; 6' bookshelf, $7; 5 audio cass cabinets, $15; 2 cd storage cabinets, $4; asst. brassware, $2 ea; computer manuals, bo, (925) 831-9172

PRIVATE ENGLISH LESSONS for intl visiting scientists or spouses, certified, exper ESL teacher specializing in grammar/pronunciation, Antoinette, 665-4291

QUEEN SIZE BED, exc cond, like new, built-in pad on both sides of mattress, $400; Graco blue/green plaid stroller, exc cond, pd $150, sell for $75, Baby Toons comforter/bumper pad/lamp/mobile, gd cond, $100, Lisa, (925) 906-9786, X5314

REDECORATING sale, living rm furn; hand made Chinese area rug, 8'x11.5', beige w/ pastel colors; sofa/loveseat in mauve/blue; mauve ottoman; coffee/end tables, ash wood w/ glass, like new, $2,000/bo, Harvard or Sara, X5742, 526-5347

ROLLTOP DESK, 3 lge drawers, computer space, typewriter; steel cupboard w/ double door, 5 shelves, green; buffet, 5 drawers, shelves, bo for all, Mrs. Birkenfeld, 524-0075

SKIS, Dynastar, all mntn, shaped Salomon bindings, 170cm, max 1 model, $250; Salomon skis, used 4 days, trad straight, like new, `96, $100, Bob, X7670, (925) 432-2383

SOFABED, black, gd cond, $200/ bo, real vinyl, Willow, X7498, 558-9558

STEREO COMPONENT, 1 unit, Sanyo, 10 yo, gd cond, turntable, tuner, speakers, tape deck (1 of 2 decks not working), $15/bo (please call again, lost number), Melissa, 665-5572

USED BOOK CREDIT at Moe's, worth $45, sell for bo, Steve, X6941


SUMMER RENTAL, family house, fully furn, 4-6 wks (flex), in Lafayette, 20 mins from Lab, 3 bdrm/2 bath + fam rm, architect designed redwood house, high ceilings, fireplace, decks, hill and valley views, $600/wk, Fannie, (925) 299-0677

SO LAKE TAHOE, spacious chalet in Tyrol area, close to Heavenly, peek of the lake from front porch, furn, sleeps 8+, sunny deck, pool/spa in Club House, close to casinos, shopping, Pat, Maria, 724-9450

TAHOE KEYS at S. Lake Tahoe, 3 bdrm/2-1/2 bth house, fenced yard, quiet, sunny, close to attractions, skiing nearby, great views of water/mntns, $150/night, 2 night min, Bob, (925) 376-2211

SQUAW VALLEY, President's Week, across from ski lifts, kitchen, sleeps 4 adults in 2 rms 2 units, 2/20 to 2/27, part week ok, Paul, X4005, 548-5676


AUDIOTAPES of Feynman lectures, Kathy, X4931

CARPOOL COMMUTERS, from Davis/Vacaville/Fairfield, X6304

FILE CABINET, slender, 4-6 drawers, hanging file, pref w/ locks, blk if poss, X4762

STUDENT (grad or undergrad) to assist retired physics prof, drive him to weekly physics departm seminars on Mondays, take him swimming, Elizabeth, 204-9123

RIDER for vanpool from SF Haight/Noe Valley/Castro regions 8 am/5 pm, David, X6013

SNOW SKIS, exc cond, Olin's, Rossignal, Head, Dynamic, Atomic, 185 cm to 205 cm, $50 to $200, X6598, (925) 689-7213


DOOR, like new, painted white, about 30" wide, standard height, you pick up, Berkeley, 665-4870, Carol, X4848

SINCLAIR ZX81 computer documentation, John, X6533, 849-1051

Lost And Found

LOST: scarf, long green plaid pattern w/ fringed ends, lost in cafeteria, 1/6, Jim, X4958

Flea Market Policy

Sds are accepted only from LBNL employees, retirees, and onsite DOE personnel. Only items of your own personal property may be offered for sale. Submissions must include name, affiliation, extension, and home phone number.

Ads must be submitted in writing only -- via e-mail (fleamarket@lbl.gov), fax (X6641), or delivered/ mailed to Bldg. 65B. Ads run 1 week only unless resubmitted and are repeated only as space permits.

The deadline for the Feb. 25 issue is Thursday, Feb. 17.