January 11, 2002 Search the Currents Archive

Closing in on Atomic Nucleus Mystery

Tritium Labeling Facility Begins Decommissioning

New Secrets of Cell Division Revealed
Washington Report
Counterterrorism Expert on “How to Catch Terrorists”
$600 K for Aerogels That Can Take the Heat
Bissell Wins Major Breast Cancer Award
Breast Cancer Awareness Forum is Back
Heinemann to Manage ACS’s DC Office
Berkeley Lamp Featured in Sunset Magazine
Winner of Teaching Award Has Strong Ties to the Lab
Bulletin Board
AIM Computer Classes: January – March
Flea Market
Flea Market Policy

Closing in on Atomic Nucleus Mystery

By Lynn Yarris

Changing Phases of Atomic Nuclei

Members of the research team involved in the phase transition experiment include, from the left, Dimitri Breus, Luciano Moretto, Gordon Wosniak, Larry Phair, and James Elliott.

Berkeley Lab researchers in the Nuclear Science Division (NSD) believe they have solved a mystery concerning atomic nuclei that has persisted for several decades. Taking a new approach to the analysis of existing experimental data, the researchers found the strongest evidence to date that atomic nuclei can be made to undergo a “phase transition” and change from a liquid-like to a vapor-like state.

“The question has been whether the nucleus can be treated as a liquid drop, for which we can generate a phase-diagram showing its transition from a liquid to a vapor,” says Luciano Moretto, NSD chemist and coleader of this study. “We’ve shown the answer to this question is yes.”

The findings of the study will be reported in an upcoming issue of Physical Review Letters. Berkeley Lab authors of the study in addition to Moretto are Gordon Wozniak, the study’s coleader, and James Elliott and Larry Phair, all with NSD. There are also nine authors cited from the Indiana Silicon Sphere (ISiS) collaboration led by Vic Viola of Indiana University.

Understanding the nature of matter requires knowing the boundary between different phases and how it changes from one phase to another. For example, imagine trying to understand the nature of water without knowing that under the right conditions it can be transformed into ice or steam. To understand the nature of atomic nuclei, scientists have long treated the nuclei as tiny drops of liquid, for which the physical properties and behaviors have been well characterized.

If this “liquid drop model” is accurate, scientists believed that under the right conditions — such as in the fireballs of particle accelerator collisions — the protons and neutrons inside an atomic nucleus should behave like ordinary molecules and the nuclei should change from the liquid to the vapor phase. Until now, however, no one has been able to demonstrate that such a transition occurs.

“One problem is that the nuclear matter inside atomic nuclei consists of only scores of neutrons and protons, compared to the 1024 molecules in a glass of ordinary liquid,” says Wozniak. “Furthermore, in order to observe nuclei change from liquid to vapor, temperatures of nearly one hundred billion degrees Celsius are required, no container is available, and the vaporization must occur in vacuum.”

The Berkeley Lab scientists succeeded where others before them did not by leaving the beaten nuclear science path of identifying critical components, caloric curves, and negative heat capacities.

“We borrowed from the materials scientists and treated the multiple fragments of nuclei emerging from [relativistic heavy ion] collisions as aggregates or clusters of molecules,” says Phair.

Treating the fragments of nuclei as clusters of matter brings into play intermediate-scale (mesoscopic) physics that are sufficiently understood to generate a nuclear liquid-to-vapor phase diagram. When the Berkeley Lab researchers did this, they produced a curve that matched the predictions of theoretical models.

“It was the signature we were looking for,” Phair says, “a curve that describes the process by which excited nuclei undergo a liquid-to-vapor phase transition.”

The NSD researchers worked with data from two major experiments — the ISiS collaboration experiments of 1997, and the EOS (Equation of State) collaboration experiments of 1990-1992. The ISiS experiments involved the multifragmentation of gold nuclei, and the EOS studies involved multifragmentation of gold, lanthanum and krypton.

“Recent experiments have made advances towards proving that nuclei undergo a liquid to vapor phase transition, but these efforts suffered from incomplete knowledge of the location of the nuclear fluid in density-pressure space,” says Moretto. “By taking a cluster approach to the data, measurements of the nuclear fluid’s location in density-pressure space could be made. More important, a phase diagram of finite-charged nuclear matter could be mapped.”

Says Elliott, “We analyzed both the ISiS and EOS data sets in order to survey an experimentally-based “Mason-Dixon line” between nuclear liquid and gas on a pressure-versus-temperature plot. This represents the first experimental measurement of any phase diagram not bound together by electromagnetic forces.”

With their phase diagram, the Berkeley Lab researchers say that, given the size of the fragmented nuclei and the energy that was used to fragment them, they can predict the temperatures and pressures under which the nuclei will change from the liquid to the vapor phase.

As with the materials scientists, the next step for nuclear scientists will be to determine how the properties of atomic nuclei clusters compare to the properties of bulk nuclear matter.

Says Elliott, “The resemblance of the alien form of nuclear matter we mapped in our phase-diagram to the ubiquitous bulk nuclear matter supported by electromagnetic forces is highly significant. It could mean that the behavior of matter is determined by its form rather than by the origin of the force that holds it together.”

Tritium Labeling Facility Begins Decommissioning

By Ron Kolb

The conclusion of calendar year 2001 also marked the quiet passing of Berkeley Lab’s National Tritium Labeling Facility (NTLF), which closed its doors to research in early December and began the process of decontamination and decommissioning. And with that, an illustrious 19-year chapter in biomedical tracking came to an end.

“I know our scientists and the external users were disheartened to see the NTLF close,” said Gary Zeman, the Laboratory’s radiological control manager. “And rightly so. The facility had a distinguished history of contributions to the health sciences.” Zeman is in charge of the safe and orderly shutdown of the NTLF and decommissioning the facility so that the lab space can be returned to use for other purposes.

The National Institutes of Health announced in September the termination of funding for the NTLF. Since that time, Zeman and his staff have developed a three-phase plan to eventually turn over Building 75 to other uses.

All tritium experiments were carried out in this NTFL laboratory. The primary research apparatus now being dismantled included state-of-the-art vacuum lines, workup glove boxes, and tritium monitoring equipment.

In phase one, which has begun and will continue until spring, all hazardous and radioactive materials, including the source tritium, will be inventoried and removed for recycling, treatment or transfer offsite. Phase two, scheduled for spring and summer of 2002, will involve the dismantling of research apparatus. And phase three will include cleaning the rooms and base facility for future use and removing the hillside stack ventilation system. The costs and projected time frame for the latter effort will be estimated during phase two and submitted to the Department of Energy for funding. An environmental review of phases two and three will be conducted.

At the same time that phases one and two are proceeding, a waste treatment study that began in 1996 will be completed at the NTLF. The process being studied — catalytic chemical oxidation — could prove to be a welcome, environmentally preferable alternative to incineration or boiling for energy recovery at commercial waste treatment facilities. In late December, California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control approved Berkeley Lab’s proposal to continue this treatability study to its conclusion.

In this promising experimental process, high temperatures are used to destroy hazardous organic chemical constituents in mixed (both radioactive and hazardous) waste. Oxidation occurs within a sealed laboratory glove box and thus avoids what results from incineration — the release of most of the radioisotope to the environment. As a result of the oxidation, the hazardous solvents are destroyed, leaving just the radioactive component to be deposited safely in either a low-level radioactive waste or mixed waste landfill. Without this process, few alternatives are available for these wastes.

Analysis of the approximately five liters of waste to be studied is expected to take a few months.

At a meeting of the city’s Community Environmental Advisory Commission on Jan. 3, Zeman, Laboratory attorney Nancy Shepard, and other Lab staff assured the CEAC and public attendees that the treatability study is of short duration and could yield valuable potential long-term benefits.

In the meantime, members of the Environmental Sampling Project Task Force received a mailing from the Laboratory in December which included a recent risk assessment of environmental tritium.

The assessment reviews tritium data collected during the first several months of a year-long supplemental sampling plan and concludes that emissions from the NTLF, in operation at the time, posed no significant threat to human health or the environment. The report, by CPF Associates, and the NTLF closure action plan can be found at http://www.lbl.gov/ehs/taskforce/documents

New Secrets of Cell Division Revealed

By Paul Preuss

Lab researchers find that familiar proteins play unsuspected role

Researchers in the Life Sciences Division have discovered that two proteins, previously known for helping to construct “silent” regions of chromosomes, also play an important but unforeseen role in building special structures that cells need to ensure accurate chromosome copying during cell division.

“When cells divide, they must make sure that both daughter cells receive exactly one copy of each chromosome,” says Paul Kaufman of Life Sciences, who is also an assistant adjunct professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at UC Berkeley. “This process is known as chromosome segregation, and if it goes awry, cells can lose chromosomes or acquire more than one chromosome copy.” In humans, lack of a chromosome can cause blood disorders including leukemia; an extra chromosome 21 causes Down Syndrome.

As a cell undergoes mitosis, spindles pull apart the original chromosomes and their copies. Kinetochores fasten the chromosomal centromeres to the spindles.

As cell division begins, spindles form that will eventually pull the original chromosomes and their copies apart into two daughter cells. These spindles attach to constricted regions of chromosomes called centromeres: complexes of proteins called kinetochores fasten the centromeres to the spindles.

To study this process in detail, Kaufman and his graduate students, Judith Sharp and Alexa Franco, focused their research on Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the familiar single-celled organism used for centuries to ferment beer and wine and to cause bread dough to rise. “We use yeast as a model system in which to investigate the fundamental building blocks of chromosomes,” Kaufman says. “The structures we’re studying are evolutionarily conserved and are much the same in many organisms, including humans.”

In particular, the researchers looked at two kinds of proteins known to be important for depositing proteins onto chromosomes. One, CAF-I (for Chromatin Assembly Factor I), puts together nucleosomes, the fundamental building blocks of chromosomes. Nucleosomes consist of DNA wrapped around groups of structural proteins called histones.

Kaufman and his coworkers had previously demonstrated that CAF-I and another set of proteins, called Hir (for histone regulatory proteins), are important for the formation of so-called “silenced” regions of chromosomes, where large stretches of DNA are enveloped in protein structures that repress gene expression. Silencing is vital to chromosome stability and accurate segregation. In higher organisms, loss of silencing can lead to cancer; even in yeast it can lead to developmental abnormalities and premature aging.

“We knew that CAF-I could assemble nucleosomes in a test tube, but it wasn’t until we applied genetic tools that we discovered how much more there was to the picture,” Kaufman says. “This is the advantage of working with yeast. It’s easy to get rid of a specific gene and find out what happens when the protein it codes for is missing.”

Paul Kaufman of the Life Sciences Division and his colleagues have identified certain proteins that are essential to the cell division process. Photo by Robert Couto

When the researchers removed the genes that code for both CAF-I and Hir proteins, the growth rate of the yeast slowed markedly. Moreover, yeast lacking these genes lost chromosomes or gained extra ones hundreds of times more often than ordinary wild yeast. Yeast that lacked only one of the two genes was not similarly affected, however.

The delay in cell division that occurred when both genes were missing seemed due to the activation of something called the “spindle assembly checkpoint,” a mechanism that monitors the proper attachment of chromosomes to spindles before separation begins. This clue pointed to the involvement of kinetochores.

Kaufman and his colleagues performed a series of tests indicating that both CAF-I and Hir proteins are highly localized on centromeres and therefore act directly to affect structures at these locations. Their functions seem to overlap; thus they can partially substitute for each other if one is missing. But when both are missing, defects in centromere structures occur.

“This the first demonstration that proteins that control histone deposition contribute to the formation of functional kinetochores,” Kaufman says. “Kinetochores are essential to proper chromosome segregation during the cell division process.”

“Chromatin Assembly Factor I and Hir proteins contribute to building functional kinetochores in S. cerevisiae,” by Judith A. Sharp, Alexa Franco, Mary Ann Osley, and Paul D. Kaufman, appeared in the Jan. 1, 2002 issue of Genes & Development, accessible online at http://www.genesdev.org/.

Washington Report

Science a Winner as Final Budget Tally Draws Near

Despite some unsettling moments for science early in the budget process, the journal Science is reporting that overall federal R&D spending will rise by more than 6 percent to some $100 billion for FY 2002. Although this figure includes a record number of earmarks (the practice in which Congress directs funds to a specific institution or for a specific project), it still represents a significant increase over what the Bush administration spending plan initially proposed.

For the fourth year in a row, NIH was the biggest winner with a record 14.7 percent raise to $23.3 billion. Runner up for percentage increase was the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, which will see a 10.4 percent boost. The National Science Foundation also saw a hefty increase of 8.4 percent. Many of the nation’s universities depend on the Department of Defense’s basic research and DARPA programs for much of their math, engineering and computer science research funding. Those agencies are slated to receive raises of 5.5 and 3.8 percent, respectively. NASA, NIST and the U.S. Geological Survey all will see more modest increases — but none so modest as that of DOE’s Office of Science, which (as reported earlier in Currents) will only go up by 1.7 percent. Other DOE research components did not fare as well, with high energy physics staying essentially the same and basic science about to see a 2.2 percent increase. The Office of Biological and Environmental Research did better, with a 9 percent increase in 2002.

Office Of Science Looking for Research Grant Proposals

After a two-month hiatus following the anthrax scare, DOE’s Office of Science (SC) has posted on its website a new round of invitations for researchers to submit grant proposals. Among the major areas of interest are carbon sequestration and genomics. About $1 million will be set aside in FY 2002 for DOE national laboratory researchers to study sequestering carbon in the oceans, and an equal amount will be available for other ocean sequestration projects. The Ocean Carbon Sequestration Program will fund basic research projects rather than applications that test engineering technologies.

Another invitation announced that SC will provide up to $7 million to establish a single, large research team that will draw on experts in biology, computer science, mathematics and other fields to address the goals of the Genomes to Life research program. In addition, SC also issued its annual notice encouraging grant applications throughout the year for a wide range of project areas, including advanced scientific computing, basic energy sciences, fusion energy, and high energy physics. DOE plans to make about $400 million available for these initiatives in FY02. More information is available at http://www.sc.doe.gov/production/grants/grants.html. — Lynn Yarris

Counterterrorism Expert on “How to Catch Terrorists”

Terry Turchie, recently named head of the Security Awareness For Employees (SAFE) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, gave a talk yesterday at Berkeley Lab in which he discussed his experience investigating domestic and international terrorists. The noontime presentation played to a full house in the Building 50 auditorium.

One of the nation’s top counter-terrorism specialists, Turchie spent 29 years with the FBI.

$600 K for Aerogels That Can Take the Heat

By Paul Preuss

Recently the Department of Energy’s Office of Industrial Technology announced funding of 28 “Industrial Materials for the Future” projects. In the words of Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, their aim is to improve the U.S. economy by reducing “the amount of energy required for each dollar of economic productivity.”

One of the biggest of these awards — $300,000 a year for two years — has gone to Arlon Hunt and Michael Ayers of Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division to develop “Advanced Nanoporous Composite Materials for Industrial Heat Applications” — an extension of the aerogel technology that Hunt has studied since the 1980s. Hunt and Ayers are working to create superior insulating materials for heat-processing industries, including the “Big Three”: glass, aluminum and steel.

“We’ve done a lot of work with aerogel insulation at relatively low temperatures,” says Hunt, “but at very high temperatures radiation becomes much more important in thermal heat transfer.”

Since only a few percent of an aerogel is solid material, solid heat conduction is minimal. The rest is empty space, often filled with gas; its conductivity is limited by the very fine pore size. If the solid structure is made of silica, however (the primary material Hunt and Ayers have worked with), heat can pass right through the aerogel as infrared or visible radiation.

“In the old days we worked hard to make aerogel insulation transparent,” says Ayers. “Now we have to make it opaque.”

Silica, a principal constituent of glass, forms translucent or transparent gels that after drying sinter at high temperatures, causing their structure to collapse and shrink. Using sol-gel chemistry, Hunt and Ayers are producing materials using alumina, zirconium oxide, and other components, with higher temperature capabilities.

The method begins with a wet gel containing chemicals that react to form the solid network. The liquid is then completely removed from the network by “supercritical drying.” Hunt says Ayers has already made two or three novel materials “which may work. We will see.”

Their goal is a material that can form insulating bricks and other shapes that are opaque to radiant heat, tough enough and stable enough to be used as insulation in glass and steel furnaces and aluminum castings.

“A glass furnace is built from clay bricks and reaches up to 1600 degrees centigrade inside,” says Hunt. “The materials we’re designing are intended for the outside of these structures, where temperatures reach a thousand degrees.”

Glass furnaces may take weeks to reach operating temperatures and work around the clock for years at a time, never shutting down, “which makes it difficult to test experimental materials,” Ayers says. “We don’t want to destroy a whole furnace if we have a failure.” For this reason, initial testing may be performed in concert with an industrial partner from the steel or aluminum industry.

“We need to find the right industrial partner,” Hunt says. “Energy conservation considerations are the principal goal. We hope to reduce the amount of energy these industries use by helping them control and conserve heat.”

For more about aerogels, see http://eetd.lbl.gov/ECS/Aerogels/aerogels.htm. For more about DOE’s Industrial Materials for the Future, visit http://www.oit.doe.gov/imf//.

Bissell Wins Major Breast Cancer Award

By Lynn Yarris

Mina Bissell, director of Berkeley Lab’s Life Sciences Division, is one of five recipients of an “Innovator Award,” a new grant established by the Breast Cancer Research Program of the Department of Defense (DOD) to “accelerate the eradication of breast cancer.” The $3 million awarded to Bissell was based on her “record and potential for accomplishment,” and will support her continued research over the next four years into the relationship between malignancy and the microenvironment of epithelial cells.

“I was pleased to express my strong-est endorsement of the candidacy of Mina Bissell for DOD’s 2001 Innovator Award,” said Berkeley Lab Director Charles Shank. “She is one of the most gifted biologists in the international scientific community today and among the most creative of the division directors at Berkeley Lab. Mina was the driving force responsible for making our Life Sciences Division one of the outstanding programs in the country.”

DOD’s Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP), which was established in 1992, is now second only to the National Cancer Institute as a source of funding for research into the prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer. Administered through the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command’s Office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, the Innovator Award is intended to “provide accomplished and visionary scholars/investigators … with the funding and freedom to pursue creative, potentially breakthrough research” in the fight against breast cancer.

Seventy-five entries were submitted for the inaugural award. Criteria for candidates included a “prior history of creativity and innovation” in their respective fields. Bissell is widely recognized by her peers for uncovering the critical role in breast cancer development played by the “extracellular matrix,” a network of fibrous and globular proteins that surround breast cells. This protein network, Bissell postulated, is crucial to the normal functioning of breast cells and ECM loss or damage can lead to malignancy. Since she first proposed it in 1982, her ECM theory has been shown to hold true in tissue culture and in mice and has yielded valuable knowledge about both normal and cancerous breast cells.

“The 20th century was the century of the gene in which we identified the mechanisms by which genetic defects contribute to cancer,” says Bissell. “We believe that the new century will be the century of the organism in which increasing emphasis will be placed on context — that is, intact tissues, organs, and the cellular microenvironment.”

Bissell says that a “much more ambitious” approach to solving the breast cancer complexity must be taken and that “a new paradigm for how cancer is induced and spread” may be necessary.

“While cancer would not initiate without genetic defects, the genes themselves are like the keys on the piano,” she explains. “It is the context that makes the music which means that despite genetic mutations, breast cancer may not proceed if the microenvironment of the cells is normal.”

Bissell, who has directed the Life Sciences Division since 1992, is currently on sabbatical from her division director duties, pursuing research opportunities at Harvard and Tufts universities. Upon her return in October, she will head a multidisciplinary team that will include researchers both within and outside of Berkeley Lab to analyze the different types of molecules that contribute to cell behavior. Under the terms of her Innovator Award, she must devote 50 percent of her full time professional effort to breast cancer research.

“Our hypothesis is that progression to breast cancer can be reversible if we normalize the regulatory circuits that have to function in order to form the breast tissue,” Bissell said in her submission for the award. “We propose to analyze a large number of existing aggressive tumor cell lines and primary tumors in order to find novel ways of normalizing them using the extensive markers we have developed. We want to classify these tumors in terms of the kind of combination treatments that can reverse the malignant behavior in each class.”

The Innovator Award is the latest addition to an impressive and growing collection of recognitions for Bissell and her work. In 1994, she was elected a fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science and in 1996 she received the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, the highest scientific honor of the U.S. Department of Energy. She is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and has served as president of the American Society for Cell Biology. Most recently she received an honorary doctorate from the Pierre & Marie Curie University in Paris.

Said Director Shank in his letter of endorsement, “I cannot think of anyone more worthy of the DOD Innovator Award as Dr. Bissell has been uniquely innovative in the field of cell biology and breast cancer research.”

Breast Cancer Awareness Forum is Back

Next installment: Jan. 17

The Breast Cancer Research Awareness Forum (BCRAF), started by Life Sciences Division Director Mina Bissell last year, will resume next Thursday with a presentation by her entitled “Breast Cancer Research: New Models for the Millennium.” Bissell, who was recently named one of five recipients of an “Innovator Award” (see story above) will discuss the significance of the $3 million award relative to her breakthrough research on the cellular microenvironment. Her multidisciplinary team includes collaborators from the Lab and as well as from around the United States. The event will be held at noon in the Building 50 auditorium.

Bissell believes that a much more ambitious approach to solving the complexities of breast cancer needs to be taken in order to devise effective therapies, given the new paradigm of cancer based on the irreversible progression of mutations with strong evidence of microenvironmental control.

*   *   *

The Forum was launched in August of last year with a discussion on the role of hormones in breast cancer prevention and treatment. (See Currents, Sept. 7, 2001.)

In September the Forum highlighted research by two Berkeley Lab breast cancer investigators whose work spans the spectrum of imaging capabilities in the Life Sciences Division, from the micro– to the macro-scale. Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff, head of the Cancer and Tissue Biology Group, and Bill Moses of the Department of Functional Imaging, surveyed their research activities, from molecular, cellular and radiation biology to the development of new compact and ultra-sensitive imaging devices for the detection of breast cancer.

Barcellos-Hoff discussed the multicellular processes that are disrupted during the progression from normal cell growth to neoplasma (abnormal tissue that arises after cells have undergone a transformation that leads to the uncontrolled growth we know as cancer). She maintains that fundamental control of individual cell function lies within the cell’s own microenvironment, and has developed highly sensitive imaging techniques to map complex patterns of radiation-induced changes in the mammary tissues.

Moses’ imaging research seeks to make early detection a reality in a clinical setting. He is in the process of refining for commercialization a compact “gamma camera” that would enhance the ability to detect tumors greater than one centimeter in diameter by coupling a radioactive tracer with a highly sensitive camera. Since normal breast tissue takes up very little tracer, metabolically active cancers are visible in the images generated.

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in October the Forum brought together a physician and his patients for a frank discussion of the breast cancer treatment experience. Hosted by Berkeley Lab’s Thomas F. Budinger, the session featured David H. Irwin, M.D., director of clinical research at the Alta Bates Comprehensive Cancer Center of Berkeley. Irwin, an expert in medical oncology and bone marrow transplantation, shared the stage with two of his patients, including Lab employee Sonia Mueller.

In its last session of 2001, the Forum shifted from conventional research to “East Meets West: Alternative Breast Cancer Therapies.” Debu Tripathy, M.D., of the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at UC San Francisco and Isaac Cohen, L.Ac.  of the American Acupuncture Center in Berkeley shared their perspectives about unconventional yet promising treatments for breast cancer. —    David Gilbert, formerly of Life Sciences, contributed to this report.

Heinemann to Manage ACS’s DC Office

Heinz Heinemann, recognized by many at Berkeley Lab as founder and coordinator of the renowned “Science and Technology Seminars” series in the Washington Projects Office, has added another honor to his growing entry in “Who’s Who” — manager of the Washington division of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

At 88, Heinemann has redefined the term “retirement.” In the last six years, he has served Berkeley Lab’s Washington constituents by bringing the frontiers of science to them in the form of informative seminars — almost 70 so far. He also just finished a one-year term as president of the Retired Chem-ists Group of the Chemical Society of Washington.

Heinemann’s rich career as chemist, educator and researcher included 17 years in Berkeley, where he worked in the Chemical and Materials Sciences Divisions and published about 50 of his 130 publications on catalysis and fuel chemistry. A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Academy of Engineering, he holds over 50 patents.

Berkeley Lamp Featured in Sunset Magazine

The “home guide” section of the January 2002 issue of Sunset magazine includes an item on the Berkeley Lamp, developed by Michael Siminovich and his research team in the Lab’s Lighting Group. The article highlights the lamp’s energy efficiency as well as ambient lighting quality.

For more information on the lamp see the March 9, 2001 issue of Currents.

Winner of Teaching Award Has Strong Ties to the Lab

By Lisa Gonzales

When science teacher Carollyn Warlick watches the San Diego Chargers play the Oakland Raiders, she has a different reaction than many Bay Area residents. Rather than cheering for the home team, she cheers for her former Advanced Placement (AP) Biology student, Charger Junior Seau.

 “He wanted so much to be in AP Biology, but he wasn’t’ ready for it,” remembers Warlick of her time teaching in Oceanside. “Junior and I would meet early in the morning before school and on weekends to do the extra work he needed to succeed.” Her efforts paid off. Seau’s grades and athletic ability took him to USC. It’s all part of her “whatever-it-takes” approach to teaching science. From an interactive classroom to field trips to giving up much of her free time, her commitment to her students has never waned.

A biology teacher at Hogan High School in Vallejo, Warlick has participated in the Lab’s Integrated Science Partnership Program (ISPP) over the past four summers, compiling curriculum materials and working with researchers to develop new and innovative classroom activities. Funded by the California Postsecondary Education Commission and conducted here through the Center for Science and Engineering Education (CSEE), ISPP brings science teachers from Vallejo middle schools and high schools to work at the Lab over a period of four weeks.

The ISSP experience, combined with her deep commitment to teaching science, has paid off. Warlick is now being honored for her classroom efforts as one of five recipients of the Outstanding High School Teacher of America award from the Carlston Family Foundation (CFF). Nominations for this national award are made by one or more former students.

“We look for teachers who made the difference between success and failure,” said Doug Carlston, chairman of the CFF, “teachers such as Ms. Warlick who made an extraordinary effort to educate, inspire, and encourage their students.” Student nominations are followed up with interviews of colleagues and administrators who worked with the teachers.

Carollyn Warlick (front row, third from left) was one of dozens of  teachers who participated in the Lab’s Integrated Science Partnership program over the past four years. This picture was taken last summer in front of the ALS.

Warlick will receive $15,000 dollars and her school will receive $5,000. Two thousand dollars will be divided between the physics, chemistry, and earth studies departments, while $3,000 will go to the biology department to bring back their AP program.

For Warlick, her commitment to working primarily with inner-city youth came from her involvement in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. “I want my kids to know that they can get beyond the barriers if they set a goal and believe in themselves. I want them to know that there is more in the future for them than just working at a fast food restaurant.”

Berkeley Lab has played an important role in promoting science education in Warlick’s classroom. She was first employed here as med tech in the Lab’s medical center from 1968 to 1970; after she left to become a biology teacher, she continued to look to the Lab as a resource for educational materials, speakers, and summer jobs for her students. Glenn Seaborg was especially helpful to her, giving lectures to her classes and mentoring several of her students.

The assistance Berkeley Lab provides to schools is greatly needed. According to statistics compiled by the California Department of Education, of the Vallejo students who took the California high school science exam, 30 percent scored below the 25th percentile, and only 14 percent scored above the 75th percentile.

 “I’ll do anything to turn these kids on to math and science,” said Warlick. This includes everything from field trips to the Lab, hospitals, and nature areas, to unusual classroom activities. One such example involved a guinea fowl, a turkey, a duck, and a human skeleton.

 “I cooked up all the birds and we ate them while doing anatomy lessons, everything from what in the chemical composition makes meat white or dark, to comparing structures among the bird carcasses and the human skeleton,” Warlick laughed.

“I’m not surprised that Carollyn won a student-based award,” said Don Hubbard, co-coordinator of the ISPP. “She has developed long-standing relationships with her former students, getting them to continue their education and following them into their careers.”

Warlick doesn’t know yet which of her students nominated her for this award. She will find that out at the awards ceremony in March. Ironically, she is retiring from teaching at the end of the school year.

 “I’m not sure what I’m going to do next,” she said. “I’m just glad to have made a difference in so many kids’ lives.”

Bulletin Board

An E-Mail Word to the Wise

Laboratory regulations prohibit certain types of activities involving the use of LBNL computers. These include the use of  KaZaA (a protocol for file and music sharing), accessing or storing sexually explicit materials or images, and accessing e-mail, computers, or networks without authorization.

For a complete listing of activities that constitute unacceptable use and the consequences violating these regulations see http://www.lbl.gov/Workplace/RPM/R9.01.html - RTFToC12.

Dinosaurs Return to Hall of Science

A creative version of the  Dilophosaurus Spitter, the scene stealing dinosaur of Jurassic Park fame, is among the exhibit beasts heading to the Lawrence Hall of Science next month. “Jurassic Park: The Life and Death of Dinosaurs,” opens at LHS on Feb. 2, and runs through May 12.

Stars from the latest Jurassic Park movie will be among the 30 different kinds of dinosaur skeletons and parts on display, including fossils visitors can touch.

Also featured with be an extinction booth, a dig pit, as well as enlightening videos and live demonstrations.

Trevor Morgan, who played Eric Kirby in Jurassic Park III, will be part of the opening day celebration at noon on Feb. 2. An autograph session will follow.

The exhibit contains one of the largest collection of traveling dinosaurs ever assembled.

Last Day for EAA Panel Nominations

Nominations for the Employee Activities Association Advisory Panel may be submitted until the Jan. 11 deadline. The positions are for representatives for recreation groups, cultural groups, and a member-at-large. To place your name in nomination, e-mail a statement to eaacoordinator@lbl.gov.

The nominations will be submitted to labwide election.

Cookbook Raises $2,000 for WTC Relief Efforts

Following last September’s terrorist attack, Deborah Martin and Melanie Woods of Berkeley Lab took the initiative to put together a Lab cookbook to benefit Sept. 11 charities. Their efforts paid off beyond their expectations, and for that they would like to thank everyone at Berkeley Lab who participated by donating recipes and purchasing the cookbooks.

“The events of September 11 have shocked and saddened all of us,” Martin said. “We had an overwhelming urge to help. The cookbook was our opportunity. All proceeds went to the New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund.”

Martin and Woods solicited recipes from Lab employees, put together the cookbook, and sold it over the holidays. The proceeds added up to more than $2000.

This week Martin and Woods received an e-mail from New York Governor George Pataki’s office.

“The outpouring of prayers, love and support from caring people like you has simply been overwhelming,” the e-mail reads. “The Governor, along with all New Yorkers, is deeply touched by your generosity, and it will not be forgotten.”

New Mileage Rates

The IRS has increased its standard mileage rates from 34.5 cents to 36.5 cents per mile for expenses incurred on or after Jan. 1, 2002. The standard mileage rate is based on annual studies by the IRS of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile.

The main reason behind the 2002 increase, according to the IRS, is the jump in gasoline prices in 2001. The domestic travel expense form will reflect the new rates.

Counterterrorism and Science and Technology

Randall Murch, Ph.D., Deputy Assistant Director, FBI Laboratory

On Tuesday, Jan. 29, Randall Murch, the deputy assistant director of the FBI Laboratory in Washington, D.C., will speak at a special Research Progress Meeting of the Physics Division about counterterrorism and science and technology. The talk will offer both his and the FBI’s perspectives on the current threat and discuss scientific and technological opportunities to strengthen our responses and defenses in the area of homeland security.

The talk will be held from 12 to 1:30 p.m. in the Building 50 auditorium.

Murch will focus on the growing threat from and impact of terrorism both in the United States and against U.S. interests abroad. The events of  Sept. 11, he will argue, have proven that we are not invulnerable to terrorism and must take a proactive and comprehensive approach to homeland security, with a long-term commitment to preventing, reducing, mitigating, and recovering from acts of terrorism.

Murch will overview some of the occurrences over the past 10 years that preceded last year’s acts of terrorism, such as the attacks in Oklahoma City, New York, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Yemen.

The main focus of the talk will be on the role of science and technology in providing us with the tools, capabilities and knowledge to address problems before they arise and to best defend ourselves and recover quickly when they do occur.

Update Address for W2 Form

Employees who moved or had a name change during the last year and did not inform Human Resources or update the information online should do so before Jan. 15 in order to receive their 2001 W2 forms.

Please refer to the most recent paycheck or the Employee Self Service website (http://selfservice.lbl.gov/) for the current information on record. (Log in using your LDAP login name and the password from your e-mail account.)

Employees with an international address or without access to the website should contact their HR Center for assistance. Update requests should be made in writing by mail or e-mail.

Contacts for HR centers include: Computing Sciences: Kim Andrews, Mailstop 50B-4215; General Sciences, Marcus Davis, Mailstop 50-4037K; Energy Sciences, Teresa Hardy, Mailstop 90-1121B; Biosciences, Cheryl Belton, Mailstop 941-0111; ASD/CFO, Tina Aitkens, Mailstop 937-0508; Engineering, Pamela Williams-Perkins, Mailstop 46A-1132; Facilities, Deborah Martin, Mailstop 69-0227; and Chemical/Material Sciences, Sue Yoshioka, Mailstop 66-0242.

New Time for New Employee Orientation

Starting with tomorrow's session, the monthly New Employee Orientation and Safety Training will start at 8:00 a.m. instead of 8:30. The session starts with the EH&S training in the Building 50 auditorium and is followed by the orientation to Berkeley Lab.

Last Day to Reserve Free Concert Tickets

On Saturday, Jan. 19, soprano Alison Buchanan and baritone Abraham Lind-Oquendo will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Theater in Oakland. Lab employees may reserve a pair of complimentary tickets by contacting Four Seasons Concerts no later than Friday, Jan. 11. You may send an e-mail to fourseasonsc@ juno.com or a fax to 601-6183. Include your name, address, and telephone number. For moe on Four Seasons Concerts, see their website at http://www.fourseasonsconcerts.com/.

The program includes arias, lieder, French songs, spirituals, American songs and selections from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. Tickets will be held at the box office. This promotional offer is offered only to Lab employees, and the accompanying person should be over the age of six.


General Interest

JANUARY 17, Thursday

Noon, Bldg. 50 auditorium

7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., cafeteria parking lot

JANUARY 22, Tuesday

Oakland Scientific Facility, 943-238, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

JANUARY 29, Tuesday

Randall Murch, FBI Laboratory 12 – 1:30 p.m., Bldg. 50 auditorium

Send us your announcements

Announcements for the General Calendar and Bulletin Board page may be sent to MSFriedlander@lbl.gov. Seminar & Lectures items may be mailed to currents_ calendar@lbl.gov. You may also fax items to X6641 or mail them to Bldg. 65B. The deadline for the Jan. 25 issue is 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21.

Seminars & Lectures

JANUARY 11, Friday

Historical Roots of Gauge Invariance
Speaker: J. D. Jackson, Physics Division
10:30 a.m., Building 71, Room 264 (Albert Ghiorso Conference Room)
Refreshments at 10:20 a.m.

JANUARY 15, Tuesday

Computational Analysis of the Human Genome
Speaker: David Haussler, Howard Hughes Medical Institute,
University of California at Santa Cruz
4 p.m., Building 66 auditorium

Development of Thin-Film Materials Technology for Energy Applications: High Temperature Superconductors, etc.
Speaker: Ron Reade, Advanced Energy Technologies Department
Noon, Building 90, Room 3148

JANUARY 17, Thursday

Cosmology with the Lyman-Alpha Forest
Speaker: David Weinberg, Ohio State University
4 p.m., Building 50A, Room 5132

Organic Membranes for Energy Conversion and "Green" Manufacturing
Speaker: John Kerr, EETD
Noon, Building 90, Room 3148

JANUARY 18, Friday

Lithium-Ion Polymer Batteries
Speaker: Myung D. Cho, Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, Korea
2 p.m., Building 90, Room 3148

JANUARY 22, Tuesday

Estrogens, Genes and Breast Cancer Susceptibility: Development toGenetically Defined Rat Models for the Study of Breast Cancer
Speaker: James Shull, Director, Eppley Cancer Center, University of Nebraska Medical Center
4 p.m., Building 66 auditorium

Neutrino Mixing and CP Violation
Speaker: Lincoln Wolfenstein, Carnegie Mellon University
4 p.m., Building 50A, Room 5132

JANUARY 24, Thursday

PG&E Universal Translator Software
Speakers: David Faulkner and Brian Smith, EETD
Noon, Building 90, Room 3148

Genetics of Hypercholesterolemia and Atherosclerosis: Lessons from
Mendelian Disorders of Lipid Metabolism
Speaker: Helen Hobbs, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
4 p.m., Building 66 auditorium

JANUARY 25, Friday

Development of a 40mhz Gas Ionization Detector for Optimization of Luminosity in LHC
Speaker: William Turner, Accelerator & Fusion Research Department
10:30 a.m., Building 71, Room 264 (Albert Ghiorso Conerence Room)
Refreshments at 10:20 a.m.

AIM Computer Classes: January – March

AIM, a Walnut Creek-based computer software training firm, provides onsite PC computer courses to Lab employees.




1/28 PowerPoint 97 Fundamentals $150


Word 97 Intermediate



Excel 97 Fundamentals



HTML 4.0 Programming Level I



Dreamweaver 3.0 Fundamentals



FileMaker Pro 5.5 Intermediate



Excel 97 Intermediate



PowerPoint 97 Intermediate/Advanced



Word 97 Advanced



Dreamweaver 3.0 Intermediate/Advanced



Excel 97 Advanced



FileMaker Pro 5.5 Advanced



HTML 4.0 Programming Level II


Classes are held in Bldg. 51L from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Class descriptions and registration procedure are available at http://www.lbl.gov/Workplace/EDT/computers/PC_Classes. html. All in-house courses are taught on PCs with Windows 98®. The 97 series programs are used by the newest version of Microsoft Office for Windows 98®. Series 6.x programs for the Mac are nearly identical to the Windows 98® versions. For users of a Mac 6.x series or an older Mac or PC version, the material covered in these courses will be applicable.

Note: The desks in the 51L Computer Training room were recently replaced with ergonomically enhanced workstations.

For more information contact Heather Pinto at hmpinto@lbl.gov.

Flea Market


‘99 F-350 XLT, super duty crew cab long bed, 7.3L turbo diesel, at, 4 wd, 167.5K mi, off road pkg, ac, all pwr, tilt wheel, cruise, am/fm/cass/cd, towing pkg w/ hitch, premium wheels, dual airbags, one owner, clean, needs little cosmetic, abs, $26,000/bo, Victor, X5479, (916) 988-6333

‘95 VW JETTA GL, 29K mi, blk, 5-spd, 4 dr, ac, sunrf, pwr steer/locks, dual airbags, alarm, am/fm/cass, premium sound, $9,750/ bo, Steve, X6966, 204-9494

‘94 FORD ESCORT GT, hatchback, 96K mi, white, at, ac, cruise, am/fm/cass, rear spoiler, pwr side mirrors, reg to 1/03, good cond, $3,750 (well below Blue Book), Ron, X4410

‘91 FORD PROBE LX, hatchback, 98K mi, ac, very reliable, runs great, new tires, good cond, all records, $2,500, Alois, 642-9882, 849-3806

‘89 FORD MUSTANG LX, l75K mi, hatchback, blue, manual, 2 dr, all pwr, am/ fm/cass, ac, cruise, 2 owners, all maint records avail, $2,000, Kristine, 643-4080 day, 843-0160 eve

‘86 CHEVY CAPRICE, Brougham 4 dr sedan, 5.0L V8, 160K mi, orig owner, records, $1,200/bo, Jason, X5873, 278-9633

‘78 CHEVROLET MALIBU Wagon, V8, ac, ps, mag wheels, 123K mi, runs but needs carb work, many new parts, $1,100/bo, Troy, X7927, (925)777-9320

‘77 DATSUN 280Z, 98K mi, blue, great engine, at, $2,000/bo, Osni, X5290, 704-9769


BERKELEY HILLS house, 2 bdrm/1-1/2 bth house, 1553 La Vereda near La Loma, furn, near Lab, $2,700/ mo, lease until 5/31 (flexible), Sandelco Properties, 652-8200

BERKELEY, furn house avail for the month of March, exact dates may be neg, 2 bdrm/1 bth, small yard, modest, convenient, quiet, Allston Way 3 blocks east of San Pablo, near Strawberry Creek Park, shops, 51 bus line, rent reduced to $1,000 for taking care of dog (affectionate  lab mix), Jan, 843-3171

NORTH BERKELEY, sunny, airy & big furn room in exc neighborhood, close to library, parks, recreation, restaurants, shops, bus & Lab shuttle, congenial housemates, spacious house, hardwood floors, high ceilings, big windows, newly remodeled bth, foreign visitors welcome, $700/mo, Diane, 527-1331

ORINDA 1 bdrm apt avail 1/1, recently renovated, quiet neighborhood, big gardens, off-street parking, 15 min to Lab, close to BART, shopping, $1,100/ mo + 1/3 util (~$20-50/ mo), Klaus, X2232, Darius, (415)699-1816 days only, dsomary@hotmail.com

RICHMOND HEIGHTS 1 bdrm duplex, fireplace, w&d, priv entry & yard, both carpeting & hardwd floors, newly remodeled kitchen w/ gas stove, quiet neighborhood near Wildcat Canyon Park, close to AC Transit, $1,650/mo incl all util/ cable hookup, JoAnne, X4835, Nan, 234-1064


EL CERRITO, 2 bdrm/1 bth, liv rm, din rm, remod kitchen, garden, new carpets, close to BART, $325K, Angela, X7712, Pat or Maria, 724-9450


LAB EMPLOYEE seeks 1 bdrm/studio in Berkeley/ Oakland, Steve, X6966

VISITING FRENCH female scientist here on sabbatical from 2/3 seeks nice 1 bdrm apt or share rental w/ good natural lighting close to the Lab, $1200/mo max, jeanne.ayache@free.fr


ARMOIRE/CLOSET, European, spruce, 5’x 2’x7’, 4 drs,  spacious, paid $950, ask $200; ceiling fan, wht, dimmable w/ remote, 6 mo old, $40; various household items (electric toothbrush, hair trimmer, aa batt charger, uplights+ new bulbs, lamp shade, bthrm scale, cooling box, hair dryer, diaper genie), Alois, 642-9882, 849-3806

SIMMONS MAXIPEDIC twin long mattress, exc cond, boxspring incl, $300, in Albany, Philip, X7307

QUEEN-SIZED BED w/ wood frame, $150/bo; speakers, 2-way Advent Legacy II, hardwood finish, $110/bo; electric piano, Casio Sound Tone Bank, $55/bo; Zamberlan Italian leather mens hiking boots, sz 11, $60/bo, Frye black leather mens shoes, sz 11, $40/bo, Steve, X6966

ITZHAK PERLMAN, 2 tickets for Sun 1/27, 7pm Zellerbach Hall, $136/pr, Esther, X5306, 843-7678

HOOVER VACUUM, wind tunnel turbo power #4600 Mach 2.1, bought new 3/01, pd $250, ask $125, micro lined bacterial bags, Eloy, X6968, 278-7484

FREEZER: 16.1 cu ft upright, white, Wards HMG 4538-0, $125; kneeling chair, ergonomic, $30; wht wood cabinet, 25"x11"x 30", $30; TV tray/table set, $15; Fisher stereo & speakers, dig tuning, dual cass, $50; Brother electric typewriter, $20; Patton compact heater, $15, Ron, X4410, 276-8079

ROWING MACHINE, Precor, $25; Karhu Classic x-country skis-190 cm, $25; full-size hardwood trifold futon frame; all items in exc cond, Carol, 594-9878


NANNY, for 4-yr-old girl, 2-3 hrs/day, 4 eves/wk beg end of Jan, El Cerrito, require good driving record & English and/or French speaker, Pierre, 236-7546

NANNY, f/t for 3-mo-old twins, 4-5 days/wk beg 2/1, North Berkeley/El Cerrito area, pref English speaker & possibly German or Mandarin, Ulli or Jingly, X5347, 527 6643

VEHICLE & LAPTOP computer donation for a group of volunteer physicians, nurses, dentists who run a free clinic in Baja California, Mexico; car, van or pickup truck needed to transport staff and patients (needs not pass smog check); donations are tax deductible, Drew Kemp, X5789, 524-7165 eve


KIHEI, MAUI, 1 bdrm condo, across the street from Kam 2 beach (best beach on Maui), fully equipped, view the ocean/ Haleakela, $400 + 12% Hawaii hotel tax ($450/wk), Fred or Shar, 981-2073 days, 523-4150 eves

TAHOE KEYS at S. Lake Tahoe, 3 bdrm house, 2-1/2 bth, fenced yard, quiet, sunny, close to attractions, great view of water & mtns, $175/night, 2 night min, Bob, (925)376-2211


5' CAST IRON BATHTUB, built-in, Duo, X6878, 528-3408

ELECTRIC CLOTHES DRYER, Kenmore, white, works fine, will bring to Lab, Gale, X4826, (925) 372-0933

PARAKEETS, home bred, 11 wks old, siblings: (1) blue/gray, (1) grn/yellow, Jason, X5873, 278-9633

Flea Market Policy

Ads 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 via e-mail (fleamarket@lbl.gov), fax (X6641), or delivered/mailed to Bldg. 65B.

Ads run one week only unless resubmitted, and are repeated only as space permits. They may not be retracted once submitted for publication.

The deadline for the Jan. 25, 2002  issue is Thursday, Jan. 17.