March 9, 2001 Search the Currents Archive

Energy Efficiency, High Performance Go Into Making a Better Table Lamp

Debunking Energy Myths

Energy Efficiency, High Performance Go Into Making a Better Table Lamp

Utility Companies to Field-Test Lamp, Pick Manufacturer

By Allan Chen

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a new high-performance, energy-efficient table lamp designed to save energy in homes and offices while greatly increasing lighting quality and visibility.

"Widespread use of this lighting system in offices and homes could greatly reduce the current power problems we have in California while increasing the quality of the lighting environment," says Michael Siminovitch, a scientist in the Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD).

"To our knowledge, nothing currently available in the office, hospitality, or residential marketplace has both the high-performance lighting quality characteristics and energy efficiency of this new lamp."

At full power, the two-lamp fluorescent system matches the combined luminous output of a 300-watt halogen lamp and a 150-watt, incandescent table lamp while using only a quarter of the energy.

Berkeley Lab is working with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), Southern California Edison (SCE), and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), to acquire and field-test the first production lamps based on the new design.

The lamp uses two independently controllable and fully dimmable compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). One lamp's light is directed downward, illuminating the table or desk. The other directs light up toward the ceiling, providing high-quality indirect lighting. An optical "septum" separates the two lamps, allowing three modes of lighting: downward lighting only, upward only, or up and down together.

The relationships between the lamps, the septum and the lamp shade have been designed to maximize the efficient distribution of light as well as to provide soft, even shade brightness.

Says Erik Page, a research associate with EETD, "This lamp is clearly an energy saver in homes, but it is also a great energy-efficient alternative in office spaces. Substantial savings can be had by turning off overhead room lighting altogether and using this lamp. The 'down' light gives the user more than enough flux (light output) for most tasks, while the 'up' light provides a low-glare ambient light that is ideal for computer environments."

Blueprint for the energy-efficient lamp with its three modes of lighting that can direct light upward, downward or in both directions. It is also fully dimmable.

The lamp was designed by the same Berkeley Lab research group which, four years ago, developed the energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamp-based alternative to the inefficient halogen torchiere that has been proven to be a fire hazard.

The table lamp's features were designed to enhance lighting quality and user visibility, particularly in office applications with computer tasks. These features include providing a level of flux that is significantly greater than traditional task lights.

"As people age, they need more light to comfortably perform visual tasks," Page says. "This lamp caters to that need."

The fully dimmable and controllable lights allow for maximum flexibility by enabling the user to adjust the lighting system to a changing environment. The dimming option increases energy savings by allowing users to reduce power when they need less light.

The lamp also produces a more uniform light, reducing the harsh "hot spot" effect produced by halogen lights and some CFL designs.

Berkeley Lab researchers and the three California utilities are in the final stages of selecting manufacturers to produce the first 600 prototype lamps. The utilities will place these lamps in offices, residences and hotels, monitoring energy use and customer satisfaction in an upcoming demonstration program.

Berkeley Lab has a patent pending on the new design. For more information contact the Technology Transfer Department at X6467 or

Debunking Energy Myths

Myth #1: California is an energy hog that ranks high in energy use.

Fact: California's energy use per capita is the fourth lowest of all the states, and second only to New York among states with populations of five million or more. Least efficient of these 19 states is Texas.

Early application of efficiency standards, energy-efficient building codes, and support for utilities' energy efficiency programs contributed to the good energy ratings.

Myth #2: California's energy growth is extreme.

Fact: All major sectors of California's economy show modest, steady growth in energy demand over the last decade. Between 1995 and 2000, the state's electricity consumption grew by 2.5 percent per year - moderate given the growth in the state's population and economy. In terms of per capita consumption, California ranks considerably below that of the United States as a whole, and stayed relatively flat until 1998, while that of the United States went up.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, California Energy Commission.

Lab, Bayer Cohost New Science Consortium Event

By Ron Yarris

Participants at the first BASIC forum included Deborah Baly of Bayer Bio-technology, which cohosted the event with Berkeley Lab, Cheryl Fragiadakis of the Lab's Technology Transfer Department, Reid Edwards, head of government relations at Berkeley Lab, and Carolyn Larabell of the Life Sciences Division.
Berkeley Lab microscopist Carolyn Larabell dazzled the audience with her dynamic images of life inside a cell, graphically illustrating why the Bay Area can stake its claim as the biotechnology center of the world.

Then the attendees heard the second part of the message - that nothing is forever, including the conditions that have enabled this region to be "Ground Zero" for bioscience research. "We cannot afford to be complacent," said Julius Krevans, Chancellor emeritus of the University of California, San Francisco. "There is no guarantee that things will stay the way they've been."

Krevans is chairman of a new collaboration for science advocacy called BASIC - the Bay Area Science Infrastructure Consortium. As offshoot of the Bay Area Economic Forum, BASIC is an affiliation of public and private research entities, including Berkeley Lab, whose mission includes increasing the regional awareness of the impact that research and development have on the Bay Area economy and quality of life.

On Wednesday, Krevans chaired BASIC's first in a series of scientific forums focused on research strengths in the region. Cohosted by Berkeley Lab and Bayer Corporation at the Radisson Hotel in Berkeley, the event was attended by about 100 representatives from businesses, universities and government agencies, who heard about the excitement of bioscience.

Larabell's dramatic videos of cell structures and movements, using fluorescent probes viewed with confocal microscopes and soft x-rays from the Advanced Light Source, demonstrated the incredible complexity of cells' development and migration. One panelist called it "mind-boggling stuff."

"The (human) genome isn't going to tell us all the answers," she told them. "It will take an integrated group of people from many disciplines to tell us how cells function." And that, she noted, is the key to figuring out diseases like cancer and what might be done to control or combat them.

Robert Zimmerman, vice president for research at Bayer, reviewed some of the strides that have been made in the field over the last decade, including the sequencing of the human genome. And he looked ahead to the post-genomic age, "when we will have a complete book of human genes, the molecular and cellular equivalent of the world's literature, to pinpoint the cause of disease and identify the best therapy."

Gary Pinkus of McKinsey & Company described Bay Area biotechnology as a $416 billion industry, up from a market capitalization of $7 billion in 1990. This represents 30 percent of the national total. One-third of all employees in the field can be found in the Bay Area, including 13,000 in basic and clinical research at Berkeley Lab and other federal and University research facilities.

Other panelists talked about various challenges that face science in the coming years. Reid Edwards, Berkeley Lab's manager of government relations, emphasized the need to keep funding for basic research strong, particularly in the Department of Energy, and to seek greater support from the state of California. He noted that invariably, scientific advances flow unexpectedly from basic research.

"When the ALS was built," Edwards said, "it was for materials science and not for biologists. So it has had applications that we hadn't thought about."

Joel F. Martin, President of Quantum Dot corporation, traced the history of his startup company from technology development at Berkeley Lab to his difficulties finding adequate space for a production facility.

Ronald Rosequist, Chairman of the Bay Area Regional Technology Alliance, addressed the need to overcome disconnects between public and private enterprises. And Zimmerman talked about hiring challenges and the need for public understanding of science policy issues.

It is those challenges that BASIC was formed to address. As Chairman Krevans said, "We are in a highly competitive world environment. We need this region to support the continued leadership of the Bay Area as an intellectual center of excellence."

Researchers Identify New Breast Cancer Gene Identified

By Lynn Yarris

Cell biologist Paul Yaswen (at microscope) is the principal investigator in a study that found a gene that plays a role in breast cancer. Genevieve Nonet (standing) collaborated on the study.
To the small list of genes that play a role in the development of breast cancer can now be added the name ZNF217. Multiple copies of this gene were found to remove natural restrictions on cell growth and thereby increase the chances for malignancy in a study jointly conducted by researchers with Berkeley Lab and the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF).

"We hypothesize that over the course of evolution, the human body has developed an intrinsic molecular mechanism to count and limit the number of times breast cells divide as a means of limiting the growth of abnormal cells," says Paul Yaswen, a cell biologist with Berkeley Lab's Life Sciences Division who was the principal investigator in this study. "When expressed inappropriately, ZNF217 appears to compromise this mechanism, the net result being that the affected cells can continue dividing and accumulating additional changes necessary for malignancy."

Normal cells contain two copies of ZNF217 which are located on human chromosome 20. Amplification of the ZNF217 gene, meaning more than two copies are present, has been found in many different types of tumors, including some 40 percent of human breast cancer cell lines. The results of this latest study support the theory that overactivity of the ZNF217 gene contributes to the development of breast cancer by promoting cell "immortality." Cells are said to have become immortal when they grow past the point at which senescence and death is supposed to kick in.

Explains Yaswen, "Our data suggest that simple overexpression of the ZNF217 gene product itself only allows cells to continue growing when they would otherwise stop. However, continued growth allows the cells to accumulate additional changes which may favor invasion and metastasis."

Collaborating with Yaswen on this study were Genevieve Nonet and Martha Stampfer, both with the Life Sciences Division of Berkeley Lab, and Joe Gray, Colin Collins, and Koei Chin of UCSF. Their results were published in the February 15 edition of the journal Cancer Research.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that nearly 13 percent, or one in eight women in the United States, will develop breast cancer. It remains the most common malignancy among women in this country and the most lethal for those between the ages of 40 and 45.

The Berkeley Lab-UCSF researchers began searching for possible oncogenes in a specific area of chromosome 20 that was known to be amplified in a large number of human breast cancers. They identified ZNF217 as a gene in this region of the genome whose level of expression consistently matched the levels of amplification found in breast tumors and cancerous cell lines.

"ZNF217 was relatively inactive in normal breast cells, but highly active in a number of breast cancer cell lines," says Yaswen. "The next logical step was to try to determine the role of the ZNF217 gene, if any, on breast cancer progression by putting it into normal breast cells."

Introducing extra copies of ZNF217 into cultures of normal human mammary epithelial cells caused those breast cells to become immortal. The cells took on other characteristics as well that were similar to changes observed in cultures of breast cells exposed to chemical carcinogens. ZNF217-treated cells also displayed a new resistance to TGFb (Transforming Growth Factor beta), a substance that normally stops the growth of many different types of cells.

Yaswen says it may be possible in the future to block ZNF217's activity through the use of antisense, drugs designed to inhibit the production of specific disease-causing proteins, or through the use of some type of molecular inhibitor. However, much more work needs to be done before the means by which over-expression of ZNF217 contributes to the development of breast cancer is fully understood.

"Ultimately, we want to know what other molecules, such as proteins or DNA, interact with ZNF217, and how do those interactions compromise a cell's normal growth controls," says Yaswen.

Washington Budget Report

Bush Requests Cut For DOE in FY 2002

In his first budget request to Congress last week, President George W. Bush has proposed cutting the Department of Energy's budget by $700 million. Although the details have yet to be released, the call for a $19 billion budget for DOE in the fiscal year of 2002 appears to offer boosts for spending on defense and coal-fired power plants at the expense of energy-efficiency and renewable energy research.

Media attention has tended to focus on a proposed $275 million (5 percent) increase in spending on the weapons stockpile stewardship program which, as some members of Congress have pointed out, means a $1 billion reduction in all other DOE efforts. However, for the non-defense national labs, the budget request's position on "redirected resources" merits attention.

In a document released to the public entitled "A Blueprint For New Beginnings," the Bush administration stated that DOE's 2001 enacted funding level included "significant earmarks or directed-spending initiatives" that were not evaluated on the basis of merit or as part of a peer-reviewed process. Such projects and programs, the administration said, often address lower priority issues or are not of national interest.

"The budget does not fund these initiatives," the administration stated. DOE was then criticized for completing less than 10 percent of its initiatives on time and on budget. The document also charged that nearly 40 percent of DOE's projects "extending from environmental remediation to research and development" are never even completed.

"DOE intends to achieve significant savings in 2002 from restructuring and reevaluating the performance of major projects across the Department, including environmental management and science projects," the administration stated. "In addition, research and development projects that subsidize large companies will be suspended or revisited to determine the appropriate role of the Department and private sector."

"A Blueprint For New Beginnings" is available at

Science Budget 2002: NIH Continues To Prosper, But Flat News Elsewhere

Elsewhere in the Bush administration's budget request, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would receive a record $2.8 billion increase - a 13.8 percent increase - bringing its total budget up to $23.1 billion in 2002.

The National Science Foundation, however, would be looking at an essentially flat budget with only a $56 million increase called for in its $4.5 billion budget. NASA also would be looking at a modest increase of 2 percent over its FY 2001 budget, to bring its total to $14.5 billion.

New funding would be suspended altogether for the Department of Commerce's Advanced Technology Program, pending a reevaluation of the program. Details will be forthcoming in future issues of Currents. - Lynn Yarris

DOE Conference Honors the Late Fred Howes

Nearly 140 researchers from around the country traveled to Berkeley last week to attend a memorial conference honoring Fred Howes, the late manager of DOE's Applied Mathematics Program. The three-day conference on "Analysis, Models and Methods" featured presentations by 15 of the leading experts in applied math, including NERSC's Phil Colella (presenting above) and Alexandre Chorin of the Lab's Mathematics Department. The conference was cosponsored by the DOE, Berkeley Lab and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute.

Lab Publications Win Major Awards

The National Association of Government Communicators has awarded the Lab's Public Information Department two first place prizes for its science publications. The NAGC competition fields entries from a broad range of agencies, such as the National Air and Space Museum, NASA, and the Smithsonian Institution.

The top prize for a magazine went to Research Review. Berkeley Lab Highlights received first prize in the annual report category.

Berkeley Lab Currents received a Touchstone award from the Northern California Technical Communication Association.

Vandals Distrupt Communications to Calvin, Donner Labs and the Search for Life in Outer Space

Vandals salvaging old copper cable from an underground conduit cut a fiber optic cable on Tuesday, Feb. 28, disrupting phone and computing service to Berkeley Lab employees on the UC Berkeley campus.

Workers in the Calvin and Donner labs arrived at work that morning to find their communications down. Laboratory Telecommunications Manager Linda Smith said the cable was severed around 3:30 a.m. Service was redirected through other dedicated research circuits and restored by 10:30 a.m. to Donner and 11:30 a.m. to Calvin.

Also distupted was the SETI@Home project, which is based at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Lab. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence, news reports were quick to announce, had run into a very terrestrial snag. More than 2 million people are using the free project software to help with the search for signs of life in outer space.

Service to the campus' Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and to the Lawrence Hall of Sciences, whose lines were also cut, was restored on Saturday, March 3.

Smith said the intruders, who pried open a manhole cover on the hillside between the campus and the Lab, stole a large unused copper electrical cable that was left behind when the newer fiber cables were installed. The campus police department is investigating.

Lab emergency services manager Don Bell said that despite the service interruption, backup fire alarm systems were active during the outage at both Donner and Calvin. In addition, Lab personnel there were alerted to the problem early and were encouraged to use cell phones to report emergencies or use the fire call boxes to alert the Fire Department of any emergency.

Bell said Lab staff would pursue upgrading security of the manhole covers as a result of the incident.

Underground Lab Could Be a Scientific Gold Mine

By Lynn Yarris

The largest gold mine in the western hemisphere, the 125-year-old Homestake mine in the Black Hills of South Dakota, is the preferred site for a proposed national underground science laboratory. Members of the National Underground Science Lab committee made their recommendation following a meeting last weekend (March 3-4) in Berkeley.

"There's a very wide range of science that absolutely requires a deep underground location," said Berkeley Lab's Kevin Lesko, a physicist with the Nuclear Science Division who co-chaired the committee. "The lack of interference from cosmic rays, radio waves and other disturbances that can be achieved at a Homestake laboratory represents a new frontier for this science."

Said the committee's other chair, John Bahcall of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton, "Homestake will become a gold mine for science discoveries about physics, astronomy, biology and geology."

The soon-to-be defunct Homestake gold mine in South Dakota's Black Hills is a promising candidate for the US Underground Laboratory.

Underground experiments are essential when there's a need to shield observations from the cosmic radiation that continually pelts the earth. The success of studies at the large underground facilities in Japan and Italy has spurred scientists in the United States to establish a subterranean facility here at home. Homestake is this country's deepest mine at 2,500 meters (1.5 miles,) and offers the lowest cosmic-ray background levels of any potential domestic site. It also features some 600 miles of tunnels and numerous excavated areas, plus electrical and communications wiring, elevators, and full working systems for ventilation and pumping water.

Said Lesko, "Homestake offers us a much better chance to study the nature of the sun's interior, search for dark matter candidates, gain a greater understanding of supernovae, learn more about the behavior and evolution of life in exotic environments, characterize the stability of geologic structures, monitor nuclear weapons tests, and evaluate the vulnerability of microelectronics and other materials to cosmic rays."

One of the biggest experiments that could be located in this national underground laboratory would be UuNnO (pronounced "uno") - the Ultra Underground Nucleon Decay and Neutrino Observatory - a Cerenkov detector along the lines of Japan's 50-ton Super-Kamiokande but about 10 times larger, whose main purpose would be to look for proton decay.

"The United States has a chance to lead the scientific world with a laboratory at Homestake in making discoveries about the fundamental laws of physics, biology and geology," said Marvin Marshak, a University of Minnesota physicist who chaired the underground lab committee's technical group, of which Kem Robinson, a physicist with Berkeley Lab's Accelerator and Fusion Research Division was a member.

If scientists are to capitalize on the advantages of the Homestake site they will have to act fast. The mine is scheduled to be closed down at the end of this year. Once that happens, the pumps will be shut off and the mine will be flooded. Maintaining Homestake once the mining operations cease will cost an estimated $2-to-$4-million a year. The state government of South Dakota is currently negotiating to take over the mine with the company that owns it.

The underground lab committee said that another strong possibility as a site would be Mount San Jacinto near Palm Springs. Though not quite as deep as Homestake, the San Jacinto site offers proximity to a metropolitan area and horizontal road access rather than a vertical elevator shaft.

"Horizontal road access would make mounting experiments much easier than a vertical access mine," said Lesko.

Said Bahcall, "The value of Homestake as a world-class laboratory site will diminish as the closing process proceeds, so the committee is suggesting continued work on Mount San Jacinto, and possibly some other mountain sites in the California-Nevada region."

Said committee member Wick Haxton, a physicist at the University of Washington, "Both Homestake and San Jacinto are stupendous, right up there. Homestake has a time advantage. If they can line things up, that's great. Otherwise, the U.S. will be first in the world with Mount San Jacinto."

In addition to Lesko and Robinson, Bernard Sadoulet of Berkeley Lab's Physics Division also served on the underground lab committee. Joe Wang, a geophysicist with the Earth Sciences Division, provided technical assistance during the committee's studies of potential sites.

More information about the the National Underground Science Lab committee and its recommendations can be found online at

New Findings Challenge to Standard Model

Last month, scientists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, in collaboration with researchers from 11 institutions in the U.S., Russia, Japan and Germany, announced an experimental result that directly confronts the Standard Model of particle physics - the reigning theory of how the universe works.

The findings of the experiment dubbed the muon g-2 (pronounced gee-minus-two) found that the subatomic particle called a muon behaved differently than expected under the Standard Model.

"This work could open up a whole new world of exploration for physicists interested in new theories, such as supersymmetry, which extend the Standard Model," said Boston University physicist Lee Roberts, co-spokes-person for the experiment.

Dick Lemmon Founded the NTLF

Richard Millington Lemmon, an award-winning Lab scientist and an authority on the chemical origins of life, died on Feb. 22 in an Oakland hospital from complications following surgery for a broken hip. He was 81.

A native of Sacramento, Lemmon joined the staff at Berkeley Lab in 1951. During his 34-year career here he worked as a chemist, senior scientist and associate director of the Chemical Biodynamics Division, where he focused on the origins of life on the earth.

In 1982 Lemmon cofounded the National Tritium Labeling Facility (NTLF), where he served as its first principal investigator until his retirement in 1984.

"The NIH was developing the new concept of stand-alone national facilities," says Phil Williams, the current manager of the NTLF. "Richard saw the opportunity and took it, writing the grant that made the NTLF one of the early NIH national facilities."

An active member of the American Chemical Society at both the national and local levels, he served on the national council and board, and in 1988 received the organization's Mosher Achievement Award.

"He was an excellent leader," says Ben Gordon, Lemmon's deputy and co-founder of the NTLF. "He was encouraging and fair-minded. He was a marvelous boss, and also a dedicated researcher."

Lemmon was also a passionate advocate for the teaching of evolution in California schools, an interest that led him to hold an advisory role to the State Board of Education.

A resident of Kensington, he was an active mountaineer who backpacked the entire John Muir Trail, hiked to Mount Everest Base Camp, and climbed all peaks in California over 14,000 feet, as well as Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Matterhorn. He was also an avid pilot.

His daughter, Marilyn Lemmon, says her father had a passion for classical music and supported live theater at Berkeley Repertory Theater, as well as the California and Oregon Shakespeare festivals.

Lemmon is survived by his wife Marguerite, daughter Marilyn, son Brian, sister Maryalice Lemmon, and brothers Vincent and Donald.

A private memorial will be held on Sunday, March 11 at 11 a.m. in the Great Hall of the Men's Faculty Club on the UC Berkeley campus. Donations in his memory may be made to the Sierra Club or Amnesty International.

Jean Hyde: Earl Hyde's Widow Was Part of Lab's Extended Family

Jean Babbitt Hyde, widow of former Lab Deputy Director Earl K. Hyde, passed away on Feb. 25 following a car accident 10 days earlier. She was 78.

Many Lab long-timers remember her involvement with Lab activities. Says her daughter, Rebecca, "My parents' lives revolved around LBL for the better part of 50 years. They loved the Berkeley community, and my mother enjoyed entertaining scientists and visitors from all over the world."

Hyde practiced optometry at the University of California and performed vision screening in local public schools. She was active with the UC Berkeley faculty section clubs, particularly the French, tennis, and music sections. She was also a founding board member of the Berkeley Opera and a member of the Chancel Choir at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley.

Born in Nashua, N.H, Hyde graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, with a degree in French and later earned a professional degree in optometry at Columbia University. After World War II she volunteered to help rebuild a youth center in Les Andelys, France.

She met Earl Hyde at a square dance retreat in New Hampshire, and they were married on New Year's Day in 1949. They moved to Berkeley where they lived together for 52 years and raised four children.

Earl Hyde's career at Berkeley Lab spanned four decades. His work included research of heavy elements and he identified many new isotopes. He served as deputy head of the Nuclear Science Division, first deputy director of the Laboratory, and associate director-at-large from 1985 until his retirement. He died in 1997.

Jean Hyde is survived by daughters, Carol Hyde and Rebecca M. Picard, sons Charles E. Hyde-Wright and Howard A. Hyde, sister, Carol Morrison, and three grandchildren.

A memorial service was held on Feb. 28 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley. A memorial fund is being established in her honor at the church. Contributions may be sent to the Jean B. Hyde Memorial, Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Road, Kensington, CA 94707.

LDRD Call For Proposals For FY 2002

Director Charles Shank has issued the call for proposals for the FY2002 Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program, which provides support for projects in forefront areas of science and can enrich Berkeley Lab R&D capabilities and achievements.

Multi-investigator and multidivisional initiatives that address problems of scale are encouraged. All projects should have a clearly stated problem (e.g., DOE mission or addressing a national need), coherent objectives, and a well-considered plan for leadership, organization and budget.

A call for proposals has been distributed to division directors and business managers. Principal investigators must submit the proposals to division directors by April 20.

After an internal divisional review and evaluation, division directors will forward the proposals to the Director's Office. Division directors will then present the proposals from their respective divisions to review committees comprised of the Director, deputy directors, associate laboratory director, and other division directors. The Director will make the final decisions.

The complete call, schedule, guidance, and forms are available online on Berkeley Lab's home page under the heading Publications, then LDRD (

Scientists of the Future Get Closeup View of
Genomics Lab

By Lisa Gonzales

"Cool" was the adjective of the day in the Genomics Sciences Lab last Friday, as 19 seventh graders from Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Berkeley participated in a field trip to Berkeley Lab. Following a talk on the Human Genome Project, the children toured the labs of Jan-Fang Cheng and Eddy Rubin, participated in a discussion about the Mouse Facility, and finally made their way to pipetting and spooling DNA.

"It's great to be able to take kids out of the classroom to get experience at a real laboratory and research facility," said teacher Alan Lee. He will test his students on Monday about their visit to the Lab as part of the genetics section for his seventh grade science class.

The Genomic Sciences Educational Outreach Program is the brainchild of Eddy Rubin, who was looking for a way to address the underrepresentation of minorities working in biomedical research. In keeping with the Lab's ongoing efforts to support East Bay schools, Rubin's program focuses on developing a relationship with local public middle schools and the diverse population they serve. By helping children experience the excitement of the work being done at a research laboratory, Rubin hopes to broaden their future prospects and create a lifelong interest in science.

"If we can create a scientific experience for the kids in our community, they can begin to imagine a career in the sciences as a potential option," he said.

Rubin and his lab assistant, Cathy Blankespoor, have developed a model curriculum for a half-day program in which middle school students tour the Genome Sciences Laboratory (Bldg. 84), participate in a teaching presentation, and then perform a lab activity. Rubin and Blankespoor will write a grant proposal with an eye toward bringing students to Berkeley Lab once a month.

"Teachers are really in a tough situation," says Rollie Otto, director of the Lab's Center for Science and Engineering Education (CSEE). "Due to their limited time and resources, as well as the fact that many of them do not have an extensive scientific background, it's often difficult for them to develop quality hands-on science experiments."

Otto points out two ways in which field trips are valuable. First, children are often more open to new experiences when they are given the opportunity to take part in hands-on experiments outside the familiar surroundings of their classroom. Furthermore, he says, a field trip allows them to meet a researcher working in the field who may provide inspiration for future endeavors.

Veena Afzal of Eddy Rubin's lab shows spooled DNA to one of the students from Martin Lu-ther King, Jr. Middle School who visited the Lab as part of an educational outreach program. Photos by Robert Couto

One such role model who spoke with the youngsters was Keturah Spikes, an assistant in the lab of G. Shyamala, where she works on genotype screening and maintaining the animal colony. Spikes, a Laney College student, has participated in the Berkeley Biotechnology Education, Inc. (BBEI) program since she was a student at Fremont High School in Oakland. BBEI is a school-to-career program in which students are trained for career employment in the biotech industry. To the seventh graders, Spikes emphasized that this program is a great opportunity to get paid, on-the-job experience in high school while pursuing a career in science.

There was no shortage of volunteers to work with the students during their tour. Many members of Rubin's group made themselves available to assist with the tour program, allowing the children to receive individual instruction for the hands-on activities.

"Everyone is very willing to help out," said Blankespoor. "They can see the opportunity to have a positive impact on these kids."

Upon reviewing children's valuations of the tour, Blankespoor found that most of them loved the DNA spooling the best. That should not come as a surprise to Eddy Rubin.

"Isolating DNA," he said, "is really quite magical."

Bulletin Board

Estate Planning Information Session

On April 11, the Benefits Department and Fidelity Investments will present a special information session on the topic of estate planning.

Thoughts of family illness, death or disability evoke powerful emotions. These emotions motivate some people to plan for the future, but for others they can have the opposite effect, causing them to delay action or even consideration of the consequences of such an event. This is where estate planning comes in.

What is estate planning?

Estate planning is a lifelong process that involves evaluating one's financial situation and planning for the future. It includes planning for retirement, as well as for the possibility of disability and death. As part of the process a wide range of legal, financial, emotional, and logistical issues need to be considered.

Although most people find it unpleasant to think about catastrophic events, advance planning is a way to show concern for loved ones and to reduce distress in the future. A properly designed estate plan will assure your family's welfare and the education of your children.

To help employees design an estate plan, Benefits brings Fidelity's vice president of estate planning, Eva M. Ribaritis, to speak at Berkeley Lab at noon on April 11 in the Bldg. 66 auditorium. Ribaritis is a member of the American and New York Bar association as well as the Boston Estate Planning Council.

Education Outreach Update

Fellowship Program

The Center for Science and Engineering (CSEE) is seeking mentors for students who will participate in undergraduate research fellowship programs at Berkeley Lab. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The DOE is supporting three undergraduate programs at Berkeley Lab: the Energy Research Undergraduate Fellowship Program, with a national pool of students; the Community College Institute of BioTechnology, Environmental Science and Computing, with students from 23 California community colleges; and the Preservice Teacher Program for future science teachers. CSEE anticipates hosting 60 students from the three programs.

Information about mentoring is available on the CSEE website at Included are the steps involved in selecting a student for assignment to the program. Student applications can be viewed online at

Energy Solutions Seminars

The Environmental Energy Technologies Division and CSEE will host an instruction seminar series for educators entitled "Energy Solutions for California." Teachers interested in attending are should send an e-mail to Rollie Otto at The first seminar in the series will be held on Thursday, March 22 at 4 p.m. in the Bldg. 50 auditorium. Alan Meier will be speaking about "Reducing Leaking Energy to a Trickle."

Physics Teachers Meeting

Berkeley Lab will host the meeting of the Northern California Physics Teachers on March 30-31. As many as 200 teachers are expected to attend. Teachers always appreciate materials they can use in the classroom or that enrich their own understanding of the frontiers of science. Contact Andi Erzberger (X6610) or Don Hubbard (X5060) if you have any such materials to offer.

Daughters and Sons to Work Day

Berkeley Lab will observe Daughters and Sons to Work Day on April 26. CSEE will host a full day of workshops and presentations. If you are interested in leading a workshop for children aged 9 to 15, contact Rollie Otto (5325) or Alyce Herrera (7411).

A Referral Worth a Thousand Thanks

The Human Resources Department has rolled out the Lab's new Employee Referral Incentive Program (ERIP), which encourages employees to utilize their existing contacts and networks as potential sources for qualified candidates.

ERIP awards $1,000 employees whose referral of an external candidate leads to a successful hire. The award payments will be made within one month after the successful referral reports to work. Both full- and part-time employees are eligible.

There is no limit on the number of referrals an employee can make, nor on the number of awards they can receive. All they have to do is complete a referral form and forward it with a copy of the candidate's resume to Human Resources.

For more information see or call X5327.

Retirement Planning Workshop

Fidelity Investments is once again offering a workshop for employees interested in getting started on their retirement planning. The hour-long session will be held at noon on March 29 in the Bldg. 66 auditorium.

"Getting Started" is for employees who are not enrolled in UC's 403b pre-tax retirement plan. Topics will include debt management, investment basics, advantages of tax-deferred savings and compounding.

To make a reservation call Fidelity at (800) 642-7131.

Take a Computer Stretch Break

As part of its effort to integrate safety into work activities, Berkeley Lab has purchased a site license for Stretch Break, a software program designed to prompt computer users to pause for a "micro break" and do slow stretching exercises in their chairs. The goal of the program is to help computer users avoid musculoskeletal disorders by relieving stress from long hours of computer work.

The software uses animated figures and text instructions. It is unobtrusive and asks for users' permission to start the stretches, with an option to cancel or postpone. Currently the software is only available for PCs, although a MAC-compatible version is being considered.

To download the program look up "Ergonomics: Stretch Break Software" on the Lab's A-Z Index on the main webstite (or go to

Please Note: If you are experiencing any discomfort, call Health Services before engaging in any stretching activities.

For installation questions contact Steve Abraham at X6730. For ergonomics concerns, contact Jeffrey Chung at X5818.

Central Biosciences Administration Moves to New Home

The staff of Central Biosciences Administration enjoy the festivities at their new downtown Berkeley home in Bldg. 941. The CBA combines budget, proposals, finance and HR activities in the Life Sciences, Physical Biosciences, and Genomics Divisions.


General Interest


8:30 a.m., Bldg. 50 auditorium


By appointment, Bldg. 65A conference room



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



By appointment, Bldg. 65A conference room



12 - 1 p.m., Bldg. 66 auditorium

Send us your announcements

Announcements for the General Calendar and Bulletin Board page may be sent to Seminar & Lectures items may be mailed to You may also fax items to X6641 or mail them to Bldg. 65B. The deadline for the March 23 issue is 5 p.m. Monday, March 19.

Seminars & Lectures


Gravitational Radiation from Accreting Neutron Stars: Implications for Millisecond Pulsar Formation and LIGO
Speaker: Lars Bildsten, UC Santa Barbara
4:30 p.m., 1 LeConte Hall


The Effects of Table Lamp Shade Shape and Compact Fluorescent Lamp Burning Position on Visual Comfort
Speaker: Zaidi Abdullah, Science University of Malaysia
Noon, Bldg. 90, Room 3148

From CP Violation to QCD: Measuring the CKM Element Vub with CLEO
Speaker: Veronique Boisvert, Cornell University
4:00 p.m., Bldg. 50A-5132

Cell Cycle Checkpoint Regulation and Genome Integrity in Cancer Predisposition
Eva Y.-H.P. Lee, University of Texas Health Sciences Center
Noon, Bldg 84, Room 318


Functional Insights from the Structure of the Large Ribosomal Subunit and Its Ligand Complexes
Speaker: Thomas A. Steitz, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
4 p.m., Bldg. 66 auditorium

Experimental Studies of High-Gradient Accelerator Structures at W-band
Speaker: Marc Hill, Harvard/SLAC
10:30 a.m., Bldg 71 conference room; refreshments at 10:20


Defenses Against Ballistic Missiles
Speaker: Hans Mark, U.S. Department of Defense
4:30 p.m., 1 LeConte Hall


ATM and Telomeres
Speaker: Tej Pandita, Columbia University
4 p.m., Bldg. 84, Room 318

When is a Fluid Not a Fluid?
Michael Zaech, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland
1:30 p.m., Bldg. 66 auditorium


The Cost of Increased Energy Efficiency for Residential Water Heaters
Speaker: Alex Lekov, Energy Efficiency Standards Group, EETD
Noon, Bldg. 90, Room 3148

From Reactive Pt Clusters to Noble Pt Metal Catalyst: The Origin of HCl Poisoning
Speaker: Conrad Zhang, Akro Nobel Inc., Chicago, Illinois
1:30 p.m., Bldg. 66 auditorium

Cosmic Acceleration and Fundamental Physics
Speaker: Andreas Albrecht, UC Davis
4 p.m., Bldg. 50A, Room 5132

EH&S Classes - March 2000






EHS 275

Confined Space Hazards

9:00 - 11:00



EHS 330

Lead Hazard Awareness

11:00 - 12:00



EHS 10

Introduction to EH&S at LBNL*

8:30 - 10:15

50 aud


EHS 739


10:00 - 11:00



EHS 730

Medical/Biohazardous Waste

11:00 - 12:00



EHS 123

Adult CPR

8:30 - 12:00



EHS 154

Building Emergency Team Training

9:00 - 11:00



EHS 260

Basic Electrical Hazard Awareness

10:00 - 11:30



EHS 348

Chemical Hygiene/Safety

9:30 - 12:00



EHS 231

Compressed Gas Safety

1:00 - 3:00



EHS 530

Fire Extinguisher

10:00 - 11:30



EHS 256

Lockout/Tagout (LO/TO)

10:00 - 11:30



EHS 400

Radiation Protection-Fundamentals

9:00 - 12:00



EHS 280

Laser Safety

1:00 - 4:00



EHS 432

Radiation Protection-Lab Safety

9:00 - 2:00



EHS 604

Hazardous Waste Generators

9:30 - 11:00



EHS 622

Radioactive/Mixed Waste Generators

11:00 - 12:00


* Includes EHS 392/405, followed by the orientation. Please arrive at 8:15 for sign-in.

For more information or to enroll, contact Susan Aberg at or enroll via the web at Preregistration is required for all courses except EHS 10 (Introduction to EH&S). Times and locations are subject to change. For a full, updated schedule of EH&S training sessions see

Flea Market

Autos / Supplies

'94 HONDA CIVIC LX, horizon-grey, 91K mi, 5 spd, 4 dr, new timing belt, 40 mpg hwy, ac, am/ fm/cass, exc maint, all paperwork, exc cond, avail late March, $4,900/bo, Andreas, X5264, 843-1022

'93 FORD ESCORT Wagon, white immaculate, 77K mi, mostly hwy, orig owner, all maint records, $4,500/bo, Brigitte, 665-1752

'91 MERCURY SABLE, extra-low miles, 21K mi, 4 dr, burgundy w/ gray int, loaded, pwr everything, alarm, antilock, am/fm/cass, runs/ looks great, all maint records, $6,000, Jo, 652-0372

'91 HONDA ACCORD LX, at, ac, pwr win, 130K mi, first owner, very good cond, $5,200, MS, (925) 631-0510

'91 FORD ECON 150 conversion van, 80K mi, great cond, $5,000/ bo, Glenn, X4667, (925) 833-7199

'90 NISSAN STANZA, 4 dr, at, ps, ac, am/fm/cass, 141K, great cond, $3,000/bo, Dave, X4506

'89 TOYOTA, auto, front wd, 77K mi, pwr steer, am/fm/cass, new tires, smog ok, body perfect, runs like new, well maint, $3,799/bo, Shraddha, (925) 286-2215, 724-9870

'89 JEEP CHEROKEE Laredo, 220K mi, 1 owner, 4-wd, 5 spd, blue, $2,000, Bob, 223 6209

'88 HONDA ACCORD LX sedan, 4 dr, gray, 136K Mi, auto, ac, pwr steer/win/locks, tilt wheel, cruise, am/fm/cass, very good cond, all maint records, priced below Blue Book, $3,400, Ron, X4410

'87 OLDS CIERA Brougham 4 dr sedan, exc physical & working cond, new brakes, battery, & trans, $1,895/bo, Valerie, X5369

'76 MGB, low miles on rebuilt engine, incl hard/soft tops, roll bar, misc extras, no rust, needs starter, battery, brake work, $1,500/bo, Bill, X7183, (925) 676-6104


'94 KAWASAKI 500 Ninja twin, new tires, roller stearing head bearing conversion, EBC full floating front disc brake, exc cond, $2,200/bo; Rich, X7031, (925) 689-1714

'99 SUZUKI SV650X V-twin, exc cond, low mileage, $5,200/bo, adult owned, Rich, X7031, (925) 689-1714


ALBANY house, short-term, attractive 3 bdrm, furn, 1/2 block from Solano Ave buses, restaurants, shops; 1 cat, quiet, nice backyard w/ patio; prefer visiting LBNL staff, avail late June for 1 mo, dates flex, $1,500/mo, Hugh, X5815,

BERKELEY, short term, near University & San Pablo, 2 bdrm/2bth house, avail for month of May (approx), low rent for taking care of dog, near bys, freeway, stores, car avail, Jan, 843-3171

EL CERRITO, near BART, share lux 2 bdrm/2 bath condo w/ lab engineer, fp, pref mature, neat & nonsmoker, $600/mo + 1/2 util, Tai, X5015

KENSINGTON house for rent, nice, fully furn, 4 bdrm, big garden, good school, prefer visiting scholar w/ family who plans to spend the next year in Berkeley, avail 8/01-6/02, dates flexible, no pets, Volker,, X5323

NORTH OAKLAND, sublet furn room in 3 bdrm house, hardwood flrs, yard, w/d, close to BART & shuttle, $750 & split util, avail April-June, Julie, X2420

ROCKRIDGE studio-cottage in a newly, landscaped backyard of a single-family residence w/ separate entrance, 3 blocks from BART & College Ave, quiet neighbrhd, built in '98, fully furn, full bth & kitch, avail March-May, Chris, (925) 930-3819, 658-3204,

Housing Wanted

VISITING FACULTY from New York University looking for a sublet for the month of June in Berkeley or vicinity,, (212) 998-7733

House For Sale

EL SOBRANTE, 2 bdrm/1 bth home, 2 car garage, room for RV, living rm, dining rm, lge kitchen, roomy corner lot , backyard, rose garden, approx 35 min to LBNL, $235K, Angela, 724-9450

Misc Items for Sale

ADOBE FRAMEMAKER 5.5, CD-ROM, disks for PC, Mac & Unix, all manuals & box, also Adobe Classroom in a book for Frame-maker, $175 for all, Daniel, X5964

CEDAR DINING SIDEBOARD, $500; Schwinn Aerodyne exercise bike, $200, Deirdre, X2893

CHILD'S MONGOOSE BIKE, exc condition, for ages 5-7 yrs, Fred, X4892

DVD PLAYER, brand new in unopened box, Sony DVPS5600 w/ Good Guys warranty repair agreement until 11/24/03, cost was $299.99 + $60 warranty + tax, make b/o, Rosemary, X2426, (925) 229-4275

MOUNTAIN BIKE, 19" frame, 21 spd, 2 yrs old, shimano revo shift, needs tuneup, $75, X4823

OLD SCHWINN, still functional but could use some maintenance, $50, Jon, X5974

PALM PILOT III, 3 com, w/ bonus business pack software CD, cradle dock, cable, $50, Sanjeev, X4663

PORTABLE TV w/ pwr adapter for autos, white, Memorex, 9" screen, color, & remote, 1 yr old, $50, Jim, 649-8038.

SHOPSMITH Model 10E (1947-1953, experimental), earliest of the 5-in-1 woodshop tools, $100 & you move, John, X5452, 527-5236

SNOWBOARD/SKIS, 156 Sims Snowboard & 180 Élan skis w/ Tyrolia bindings & women's size 6 lge boots, great to learn on, b/o, Kim, X2747

SONY CAMCORDER, HI-8 CCD-TRV67, like new, 2.5'' LCD screen, 360x dig & 20x optical zoom, ext warranty 3 more yrs from Best Buy, $500, Alexander, X7533

TOOLS, lathe, 10" Atlas, 42" bed, some tooling incl change gears, 3 & 4 jaw chucks & 2 face plates, no quick change, good cond, $600/bo; air compressor, Sears Craftsment direct drive, 20 gallon tank, exc cond, $150, Rich, X7031, (925) 689-1714


HOUSESITTER, free lodging in return for walking dog, nice house, long walking distance from Lab, 4/7-4/24, Fred, X4892


SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, spacious chalet in Tyrol area, close to Heavenly, fully furn, peek of lake from the front porch, sleeps 8+, sunny deck, pool & spa in club house, close to casinos & other attractions, $150/day, Angela, X7712, Pat/Maria, 724-9450

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

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 (, 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 March 9 issue Thursday, March 1.