October 19, 2001 Search the Currents Archive
Uncertainty, Optimism Mark DOE Review

Superbends at the ALS: A Perfect Fit

·  SHARES Charity Campaign is Back
·  Representatives of SHARES Agencies
·  National Report
·  Seaborg – the Supercomputer
·  Mail Handling Suggestions
· UC Researcher Shares Nobel Prize
· A New Way to Make “Neuts”
·  Lab in Partnership to Develop New Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease
·  The Berkeley Lamp Is Here!
·   Benefits Corner ¾ UC Announces Open Enrollment for 2002
·  403(b) Contribution Reminder
·  Our Little Run, Run, Run, Runaround
·  Breast Cancer Forum
·  Bulletin Board
·  Calendar
·  EH&S Classes ¾ November 2001
·  Flea Market
·  Flea Market Policy

Uncertainty, Optimism Mark DOE Review

By Ron Kolb

EH&S Director David McGraw discusses the Integrated Safety Management  program during the DOE Onsite Review. Photo by Robert Couto

The Department of Energy’s Office of Science brought its leadership to Berkeley Lab on Oct. 4, delivering a message of fiscal and programmatic uncertainty as part of its annual on-site institutional planning review.

What the DOE representatives took home with them was a variety of reasons to be optimistic about the future.

In a day-long series of scientific and operational presentations in Perseverance Hall, Laboratory managers and researchers outlined the Lab’s ambitious priorities for the coming years. Office of Science Director Jim Decker and his programmatic administrators, some connected via teleconference from Washington, heard of plans for new facilities, cutting-edge technologies, and probes into heretofore unapproachable worlds large and small.

Laboratory Director Charles Shank cautioned about the potential overcommitment of science support to urgencies of the moment at the cost of sustaining a broader program of research and technology.

“The world has changed,” he said in his opening remarks of the review, referring to the events of Sept. 11. “Science and technology capabilities will be important contributors to whatever develops and creates our future. [But] it does not require a major change in what we do. Having a balanced portfolio is an important part of this. We [at Berkeley Lab] address all of the current national efforts in some way through our main thrusts. It is important that we don’t deviate in our country so much that we cut off our opportunities for the future.”

Those opportunities, subsequently discussed in detail by Laboratory program leaders, include the promise of nanotechnology and the fruits of a “molecular foundry” that Berkeley Lab hopes to build; the post-sequencing era of the human genome and its new biology spinoff efforts such as protein analysis and the assembling of molecular machines; the products of a beefed-up Advanced Light Source, whose new superbend magnets have boosted its brightness and flux; and the continuing search for origins of the universe and the nature of “dark energy” that appears to impact its fate.

Decker, while recognizing the “clouds on the budget horizon” and a Washington budgeting process marked by ups and downs, gave his hosts reasons to remain positive. He cited DOE Secretary Spencer Abraham as “very supportive” of science programs, and incoming White House Science Advisor John Marberger, formerly Brookhaven Lab’s director, as a potentially powerful voice for science with the administration.

“Another positive side is that we have a lot more support from the scientific community in helping us on the Hill,” Decker said. “There’s been a very significant change there.”

Other notable attendees had good things to say about Berkeley Lab. Camille Yuan-Soo Hoo, manager of DOE’s Oakland Operations Office, commented, “I am biased, but Berkeley has had another great year in scientific achievements.” And University of California Senior Vice President and Provost Jud King said, “I have had many years to observe LBNL, as a reviewer and a participant. It is on a very upward vector, and is at a high point in terms of accomplishments.”

Materials scientist Paul Alivisatos followed Shank with the first of 12 individual presentations. He outlined the vision for a national collaborative research center for nanoscale science and engineering, a proposal that has received early DOE endorsement. The day concluded with an assessment of the Lab’s infrastructure needs by Deputy Director Sally Benson, who focused on plant renewal efforts and the challenges of rebuilding obsolete facilities, meeting excessive utility cost demands, and constructing new buildings with limited space and funding.

In between, the Lab’s strategic scientific directions were outlined by their respective champions. These included Saul Perlmutter (the SuperNova/Acceleration Probe), Bill McCurdy (scientific discovery through advanced computing), and Ka-Ngo Leung (compact neutron generators). Deputy Director Pier Oddone introduced a session on Berkeley Lab’s response to the DOE’s “Ge-nome to Life” program, which featured Trevor Hawkins (the Joint Genome Institute and next steps in biology), Eva Nogales (molecular machines), Michael Eisen (understanding the dynamic genome), and Abby Dernburg (three-dimensional architecture of the genome).

David McGraw, director of the Environment, Health and Safety Division, presented an update of the Laboratory’s Integrated Safety Management program, considered by many as a model within the DOE system.

Shank and Benson both highlighted the importance of rehabilitating the area currently occupied by the remains of the Bevatron, a valuable site that consumes 10 percent of the overall usable lab space. High cost estimates for decontamination and demolition have slowed progress, and Shank appealed to the DOE for funding to at least begin a systematic multi-year clean-up process.

Superbends at the ALS: A Perfect Fit

By Lori Tamura

Eight years in the making, with a large supporting cast of physicists, engineers, technicians, and others too numerous to list, the remarkably successful installation and commissioning of superconducting bend magnets (“superbends”) marks a new chapter in the history of the Advanced Light Source.

“The installation of the three superbend magnets provides powerful new capabilities to the ALS for producing high brightness, intermediate energy x-rays,” said James Decker, acting director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. At dedication ceremonies on Oct. 4, Decker offered his congratulations on “this outstanding effort.”

An upward trend

The ALS was designed to serve the vacuum-ultraviolet and soft x-ray communities. Light sources have been trending upwards in energy, however. The superbends will allow up to 12 new beamlines of intermediate energy — more than enough to accommodate the fast-growing protein crystallography community and to provide complementary diffraction, spectroscopy, and imaging capability for materials science as well.

It was in 1993 that Alan Jackson, then leader of the ALS Accelerator Physics Group, and visitor Werner Joho from Switzerland’s Paul Scherrer Institute first proposed replacing the ALS’s normal dipole bend magnets with superconducting dipoles that could generate higher magnetic fields. Accelerator physicist David Robin performed preliminary modeling and concluded that three 5-Tesla superbends (normal bend magnets are 1.3 Tesla), deflecting the electron beam through 10 degrees each, could be successfully incorporated into the storage ring.

Beginning in 1995, Clyde Taylor led a collaboration of the Accelerator Physics Group, the Superconducting Magnet Program of the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division, and Wang NMR, Inc. to design and build a superbend prototype. By 1998, they had produced a robust magnet that reached design goals without loss of superconductivity.

Meanwhile, the Macromolecular Crystallography Facility’s wiggler beamline had debuted in 1997 with spectacular success, and protein crystallographers were clamoring for more beamtime. Howard Padmore, head of the ALS Experimental Systems Group, concluded that a superbend would be an optimal x-ray source for most protein crystallography projects, similar in performance to a wiggler.

In 1998, the ALS Workshop on Scientific Directions supported superbends as a way to provide higher-energy photons without diminishing support for the vital and active core vacuum-ultraviolet and soft x-ray community. With the strong support of Berkeley Lab Director Charles Shank, ALS Director Brian Kincaid made the decision to proceed with the upgrade; his successor, Daniel Chemla, made the commitment to follow through.

Jim Decker, director of DOE’s Office of Science, looks on as Berkeley Lab Director Charles Shank opens the ALS’s first superbend beamline.

Planning for success

In September 1998, the Superbend Project Team — led by David Robin, Jim Krupnick and Ross Schlueter, joined later by Christoph Steier — began extensive modeling studies to make the ALS storage ring the best understood in the world, both in terms of beam dynamics as well as on a nuts-and-bolts level, to ensure a smooth, problem-free installation.

Wang NMR was contracted to construct three superbend systems plus one spare. Because the superbends direct the paths of the electrons in the storage ring, it is essential that they work properly and continuously. Unlike straight-section insertion devices, such as wigglers and undulators, superbends cannot simply be turned off in case of malfunction. No third-generation synchrotron light source had been retrofitted in this fundamental way. The stakes were very high, including the risk of ruining a perfectly good light source.

Even before a single superbend had been installed, construction on superbend beamlines had begun. A team of users from UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco took the plunge and committed to building the first-ever superbend beamline. Their plans helped persuade the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to fund two more superbend beamlines for its West Coast protein-crystallography investigators.

Other groups followed suit: the Molecular Biology Consortium, affiliated with the University of Chicago, and the Scripps Research Institute have also committed to building superbend beamlines. Others in the works include one for tomography and one for high-pressure research, areas for which higher-energy superbends are even more advantageous than for protein crystallography. Many other areas, including microfocus diffraction and spectroscopy, will also benefit enormously through use of superbend sources.

Right the first time

Project leaders had braced for up to a six-week adjustment period once the superbends were in place. Instead, thanks to extensive modeling and planning beforehand, it took less than two weeks after installation began before the machine was ramped up to full strength.

“It’s as if you performed major surgery and the patient immediately got up and walked away,” says team leader David Robin.

When the superbend-enhanced ALS started up for user operations last week, it marked the beginning of a new era — a testament to the vision, ingenuity and dedication of the multitude of people who contributed over the course of many years to this resounding success story.

For more details, visit http://www-als.lbl.gov/als/science/sci_archive/superbend.html.

SHARES Charity Campaign is Back

By Lisa Gonzales

For the fourth consecutive year, the Laboratory is sponsoring the charitable giving campaign Berkeley Lab SHARES (Science for Health, Assistance, Resources, Education and Services).

The campaign begins Thursday, Nov. 1 and concludes Wednesday, Nov. 21, and will be coordinated through Community Health Charities, an umbrella federation that includes more than 40 nonprofit agencies.

This year, the Lab will focus in particular on the Lawrence Hall of Science, the Chabot Space and Science Center, and several September 11 recovery funds sponsored through Community Health Charities, the United Way, and the American Red Cross. Speakers from these organizations will be coming to the Lab during the first two weeks of November to answer questions and discuss their work (see box).

The Lab’s response to SHARES has grown steadily over the past three years. Last year a total of $100,650 was donated by 286 employees, as compared to $90,126 in 1999.

“Although we are gratified by last year's response, we feel we can do even better this year,” said Karen Ramorino, manager of the Operations HR Center and this year’s SHARES coordinator. Ramorino adds that the goal of SHARES is to make it easy and rewarding for every employee to find a community organization to support, either with a one-time donation or through monthly payroll deductions.

All Lab employees will receive a SHARES packet the week of Oct. 29, which will include a letter from Lab Director Charles Shank, information about the charitable agencies, a pledge form, and a preaddressed envelope for submitting donation materials. More information can also be found on the SHARES website at http://www.lbl.gov/shares/

Representatives of SHARES Agencies

Representatives of the American Red Cross will be at the Lab on Friday, Nov. 2; the Chabot Space & Science Center on Wednesday, Nov. 7; and the Lawrence Hall of Science on Tuesday, Nov. 13. All of these events will be held in the Building 50 auditorium from noon to 1 p.m.

National Report

Job Satisfaction High in AAAS Job Survey of Life Sciences

This past summer the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) polled 19,000 U.S.-based members who work in the biological sciences. The survey asked about salary levels, job histories and career-shaping factors. Results showed a high level of job satisfaction and rising salaries among senior researchers, but respondents also said they spend less time than they would like doing research. Also revealed was a significant gender pay gap.

The survey was anonymous, and the respondents represented about 30 subdisciplines, with medicine the most heavily represented (15%). Only 15% were under 40 and 13% ethnic minorities. 

“Median salaries are lower, and discrepancies are greater in academia than in other sectors, with salaries ranging from $42,000 for researchers to $120,000 for administrators,” reports AAAS’ journal Science. “The median for executives is $160,000 outside academia, where the lowest salary is $72,000. Sex differences are pervasive, becoming most pronounced at the highest ranks. Some of this, as with physicians, reflects the fact that men more often choose high-paying specialties.”

The median salary at four-year colleges bottoms out at $57,000. Best paid are scientists working at hospitals and independent labs (median salary of $105,000). Men earn almost one-third more than women: $94,000 versus $72,000. The difference is greatest among academic administrators, where the midpoint is $120,000 for men and $75,000 for women; in industry and government, the figures are $160,000 for men and $125,000 for women.

Life scientists are overall content, with 86% expressing satisfaction with their current jobs.

For more see http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/294/5541/395.

Call for Tighter Conflict of Interest Rules

The Association of American Universities (AAU), which represents 63 leading North American research universities, has released a report recommending a tightening of existing federal guidelines on conflicts of interest in research. Specifically, the AAU wants to strengthen the oversight of universities on potential financial conflicts of interest in research. The goal is to help universities sustain public confidence in their research activities at a time when commercialization of university research is becoming more common. 

The recommendations include a requirement that individual researchers disclose all relevant financial interests and sources of research funding. It adds that scientists who are engaged in research involving human subjects should avoid having any financial stake in their work. Institutional policies also need to be strengthened, the report said. Universities and research centers should develop their own policies regarding disclosure of institutional financial interests, including equity holdings, royalty agreements and the financial holdings of senior university officers.

The report can be obtained from the AAU’s website at http://www.aau.edu/. ¾ Lynn Yarris

Seaborg – the Supercomputer

The recent inauguration of NERSC's new IBM SP supercomputer — named for Berkeley Lab Nobel Laureate Glenn Seaborg — at the Lab's Oakland Scientific Facility, was attended by Seaborg's son and widow, Eric and Helen Seaborg (center).

Joining them to talk about scientific results already achieved by NERSC users were Bill Kramer (left), head of NERSC's High Performance Computing Department, and NERSC Division Director Horst Simon (right).

The new IBM SP has a top speed of 5 teraflop/s (5 trillion calculations per second), making it the world's most powerful unclassified supercomputer. Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt

Mail Handling Suggestions

Due to recent events, we are issuing guidance on handling mail that may contain chemical or biological material. These precautions are prudent, but understand that the risk of contracting any disease has proven extremely low and, in general, personal protective equipment is unnecessary.

Precautions for those who routinely sort, handle or distribute mail:

  • Wash your hands with warm soap and water before and after handling the mail, and do not eat or drink around mail.
  • If you have open cuts or skin lesions on your hands, wear disposable latex gloves.

Precautions for those who open mail:

1. If you receive suspicious mail, do not open it, and immediately call X7911.

Characteristics of suspicious mail include:

  • Lack of a return address, or a suspicious return address
  • Excessive postage
  • Misspelled words
  • Protruding wires
  • Strange odor
  • Oily stains or discoloration on the outer envelope or wrapper
  • Excessive tape or string

2. If you have opened a letter or package that you believe contains biological or chemical material, don’t panic. Follow these three steps:

  • Set the letter or package down and do not not handle it further.
  • Immediately call X7911
  • If you have immediate access to a sink, wash your hands with warm water and soap for one minute. Otherwise, stay where you are and wait for emergency responders.

The guidelines listed above were developed jointly by health professionals, the FBI, and the California Governor 's Office.

In all cases in which you are in doubt, call X7911.

UC Researcher Shares Nobel Prize

For the 18th time a UC faculty member was awarded a Nobel Prize last Wednesday. Professor George Akerlof received the 2001 Nobel Prize for economics in recognition of his and his colleagues’ pioneering research on the forces that explain how markets work. Akerlof shares this honor with Stanford’s Michael Spence, former dean of the Stanford School of Business, and Columbia University Professor Joseph Stiglitz.

“This extraordinary honor is a tribute to the originality, vigor and excellence of his research and to the remarkable quality of the Berkeley campus,” said UC President Richard C. Atkinson. “I am delighted to extend the congratulations of the entire UC community to our newest Nobel laureate.”

A New Way to Make “Neuts”

By Paul Preuss

Neutrons can penetrate deeply to find defects in large machine parts or tiny microdevices, elucidate the structure of biological systems and polymers, sense fluids in geological formations, and probe solids and liquids on the atomic scale.

Recently Ka-Ngo Leung and his colleagues in Berkeley Lab’s Accelerator and Fusion Research Division (AFRD) have devised a series of neutron generators small enough to descend into a borehole, provide neutrons for brain-cancer therapy, peer inside airport luggage, or perch on a laboratory bench.

Leung is head of the Plasma and Ion Source Technology Group in AFRD’s Ion Beam Technology Program. In many ways the performance of the group’s compact generator matches the largest neutron sources now in use — at a fraction of the cost.

For this reason, says William Barletta, AFRD division director, “neutron tubes offer a means of providing a new generation of instruments on university campuses to provide a growing, vigorous user base for national user facilities.”

Freeing the neuts

Although isotopic sources release small amounts of neutrons by radioactive decay, many research programs rely on fission reactors or on high-energy particle accelerators like Los Alamos’s LANSCE, which uses proton beams to break up heavy nuclei in a target. These large installations yield copious amounts of neutrons at energies up to hundreds of millions of electron volts.

Neutrons are also freed in fusion reactions. Commercial “neutron tubes,” only a few inches long, are miniature, low-energy accelerators that produce neutrons by hitting a metal target with deuterium or tritium ions. The fusion reaction occurs between the deuterium in the beam and deuterium or tritium in the target (D—D or D-T reactions). Commercial tubes, including electronics, typically cost $100,000; they cease to function once their target is depleted of hydrogen isotopes.

“Our interest in neutron generators began about five years ago, when we worked with the Earth Sciences and Engineering divisions to build a downhole logging device,” says Leung. To help study the geology of Yucca Mountain, the researchers developed an efficient device that increased neutron output over commercial sources hundreds of times, but still fit inside a two-inch borehole.

Driven by a radio-frequency antenna, the miniaturized plasma source produces a high current of deuterium ions, more than 90 percent of them single atoms, much more likely to produce neutrons in the target than two- or three-atom molecules. Beams in commercial sources are typically only 20 percent monoatomic.

Ions on target

“After we made the logging device, we asked ourselves if a larger tube could be made for boron neutron capture therapy, BNCT,” says Leung. BNCT is an experimental treatment for an inoperable form of brain cancer that uses energetic neutrons from reactors or accelerators, but Leung’s calculations indicated that with a D-T reaction, a compact neutron generator could produce the needed amount of neutrons at the right energy, around 10,000 electron volts.

The new design included a new kind of target containing no hydrogen isotopes. All the deuterium/tritium comes from the beam itself, hitting a thin layer of titanium bonded to a layer of copper that is pierced with water-cooling channels. Since the deuterium/tritium is continually loaded onto the titanium, the target cannot be depleted.

To get sufficient flux for BNCT, Leung says, “we needed D–T reactions, which are more efficient in neutron production than D–D. But the great majority of research programs and applications want much lower energies — so-called ‘thermal’ neutrons that are easily produced by D–D. One advantage is that deuterium is stable.”

Leung’s group found an elegant way to multiply the neutron output of a compact source. Instead of a generator shaped like a light bulb, with a single beam of ions from a plug-shaped source striking a target plate, they built a coaxial cylinder, in which a rod-shaped ion source emits beams radially along its length, striking a large target wrapped around it.

“The beauty of the coaxial design is that you can easily increase production by lengthening the cylinders,” Leung says. “You can also nest ion sources and targets inside one another.” The result: tens of trillions of neutrons per second.

Sculpting the pulse, shaping the energy

Much research demands intense pulses of neutrons, lasting a millionth of a second or less, which shut off almost instantaneously. Pulses are inherent in the basic design of many accelerators, but a “microchannel extraction system,” originally developed for ion lithography by AFRD’s Plasma and Ion Source Technology Group and Heavy Ion Fusion Group, brings pulsed beams to compact generators as well. Microchannels can be opened and closed electronically in an instant, generating extremely short pulses.

Accelerators that produce highly energetic neutrons need shielding several meters thick. Distance is also required to moderate neutrons to useful energies: experiments have to be placed a long way from the neutron source. But AFRD’s compact sources produce lower-energy neutrons requiring only a few centimeters of shielding. Since experiments can be placed nearby, the number of neutrons per unit area from the compact source actually equals or betters the powerful LANSCE accelerator, over the same range of useful energies.

To build a small research laboratory equipped with one of Berkeley Lab’s generators would cost about $5 million, Leung estimates. To get a comparable flux of neutrons would require a thousand commercial neutron tubes, costing $100 million. High-energy accelerators are another order of magnitude more expensive to build.

Getting enough neutrons, at the right energy, just where they are needed, is a longstanding challenge, one the Berkeley Lab series of compact neutron generators has met efficiently and economically.

Lab in Partnership to Develop New
Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease

Avigen, a Bay Area-based biotechnology company, has recently obtained a license from Berkeley Lab for a technology that promises to enable a more effective drug delivery system for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The treatment would make use of Avigen's technology — the adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector — to deliver a gene that makes a chemical that is deficient in patients with Parkinson's disease.

This neurological disorder is caused by a decrease in the availability of the neurotransmitter dopamine in certain parts of the brain. The current treatment for the disease involves the use of a compound which is converted to dopamine in the brain. After a few years, however, this treatment loses effectiveness, requiring increasingly higher doses and producing increased side effects. The new approach, said Alan McClelland, Avigen's vice president for research and development, has shown promise in improving the production of dopamine in animal research.

The technology was developed by Jamie Eberling of the Life Sciences Division’s Department of Functional Imaging, and Krys Bankiewicz, now at UC San Francisco.

The research leading to this licensed technology was supported by the Laboratory Technology Research Division within the Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy, under a CRADA (Cooperative Research and Development Agreement) between Berkeley Lab and Avigen.

Under the terms of the licensing agreement, Avigen has exclusive commercial rights to the technology.

The Berkeley Lamp Is Here!

Director Charles Shank’s office was recently equipped with the Lighting Group’s biggest hit yet — the Berkeley Lamp. This technological wonder is now available to all employees through Stores at a cost of $150. Employees may purchase the lamp through their division to improve the lighting of their work area.

Invented by Michael Siminovich, head of the lighting group in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, and his colleague Erik Page, the lamp not only saves three-quarters of the energy normally used by a desk lamp, but looks good, and – most importantly – distributes light evenly.

“People love the adjustability,” says Siminovich, who made it his personal crusade to develop energy efficient lighting solutions. “I absolutely love this lamp.” His previous inventions include the energy efficient tor-chieres and other fixtures that use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).

Using two horizontal CFLs and a dimmer switch, the Berkeley Lamp allows for up and down lighting with any combination of brightness. Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt

Benefits Corner ¾ UC Announces Open
Enrollment for 2002

The time to make some of the most important decisions affecting your health and benefits comes once a year, and that time is quickly approaching. Open Enrollment, which runs for the entire month of November (Nov. 1 – 30), offers employees the opportunity to enroll in or make changes to their medical, dental and vision plans, add family members, or change participation in the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DepCare) and the Tax Savings on Insurance Premiums (TIP) program.

Employees eligible for full or mid-level benefits can make Open Enrollment changes through the Open Enrollment Action Line. Transactions must be completed by midnight (PST) on Nov. 30. Core employees must use forms to make their changes, and the forms must be received by the Benefits or Payroll Office by 5 p.m. on Nov. 30.

All Open Enrollment changes will be effective Jan. 1, 2002.

Benefits Information

Open Enrollment packets will be mailed out to all eligible employees the week of Oct. 22. Along with the announcement will be a personalized statement showing current coverage. The announcement will include highlights and premium costs for 2002.

Detailed information will be available by late October on the special HR/Benefits Open Enrollment website at http://www.ucop.edu/bencom/oe. Included will be descriptions of plan changes for 2002, side-by-side comparisons of plan benefits, prescription drug formularies, and instructions for making changes by telephone. You can also have printed materials sent to you by returning the postcard included in the Open Enrollment package. Please note that UC will accept postcard requests only until Nov. 23.

Benefits Fair

Friday, Nov. 2, 1-5 p.m.,
Perseverance Hall

The annual Benefits Fair is a great opportunity to compare information about the different plans and discuss concerns with plan representatives. Materials will be available but limited. You may also call the plans’ toll-free numbers directly for information.

Year 2002 Plan Highlights and Changes

Because of the skyrocketing costs throughout the health care industry, employees will see increases in monthly premiums for HealthNet, Kaiser, Mid-Atlantic, and UC Care plans. Medical plan co-payments have also increased.

UC is extending indefinitely its 2001 pilot program that allows transfer among California HMOs at any time during the year. The program has helped to address concerns about medical plan provider/network disruptions.

Employees will see benefit improvements in the dental and vision plans, as well as a two percent rate reduction for the Supplemental Life Plan.

The Dependent Care Assistance Program (DepCare) allows employees to pay eligible dependent care expenses on a pretax, salary reduction basis. During Open Enrollment you can enroll in DepCare or change or cancel your DepCare salary reduction amount.

For more information contact the Lab’s Benefits Office at X6403 or send e-mail to benefits@lbl.gov.

403(b) Contribution Reminder

Most UC and Lab employees have only a few weeks left to make changes to their 403(b) account contributions for the 2001 tax year. By maximizing contributions to this account, you can reduce your income taxes, since deductions from your paycheck will lower the taxable earnings reported on your annual W-2 form.

Employees paid monthly have until Nov. 13 to make changes. The deadline for biweekly paid employees is Dec. 11. The maximum contribution is $10,500. If you need to find out how much you have contributed this year, look on the right-hand side of your paycheck stub for the 403B deductions year-to-date (YTD) amount. For 2002, the annual 403(b) maximum will be increased to $11,000.

You can make the change online on the UC Bencom website, http://www.ucop.edu/bencom/ (click on the copper penny under “Online Actions”) or over the phone on the Bencom interactive line (800-888-8267). You will need to have a PIN number to use either of these services. For assistance call the Benefits Service Center at X6403.

Our Little Run, Run, Run, Runaround

No one was too young to take part in the Lab’s most popular annual activity, even if the participant above will take another few years to compete for the trophies.

With the wail of the fire engine, the 24th annual Berkeley Lab Runaround got off to a rousing start last Friday, sending 655 participants onto the 3-kilometer course — some running and some walking but all getting a workout as they negotiated the notoriously cruel elevations of the trail. Some 30 riders also took part in the noncompetitive Bikaround.

On an unusually warm autumn day, the Runaround concluded at the cafeteria where participants were greeted with food, music and fun prizes, in addition to the treasured Runaround T-shirts. The festive atmosphere never fails to bring together more Lab employees than any other activity.

This year the winner in the male category was Abel Eisentraut of the Engineering Division, with a time of 10:50. Jamie Bascom, who works in the Life Sciences Division, won the female category with a time of 11:54. Bascom also won the race in 1999.

Runaround T-shirts may be purchased for $5 from Steve Blair, X5927.

A complete list of winners and times will be posted on the Runaround website (http://cfi.lbl.gov/~derenzo/ runaround/) after Nov. 1.


The winners were (far right) Jamie Bascom, a graduate student in Life Sciences who also won the  honor in the women’s category two years ago; and Abel Eisentraut, the first man to cross the finish line, flanked here by his two brothers, who also ran the race. Photos by Roy Kaltschmidt

Breast Cancer Forum

An estimated 192,000 new breast cancer cases are expected to strike women in the United States this year. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Berkeley Lab’s Breast Cancer Research Awareness Forum will host the third in a series of discussions on this topic.

On Thursday, Oct. 25, David H. Irwin, M.D., director of Clinical Research at the Alta Bates Comprehensive Cancer Center in Berkeley, will speak about “Clinical Trials: The Physician/Patient Perspective.” Irwin, whose specialties include medical oncology and bone marrow transplantation, will share the stage with one of his patients who has recently participated in a breast cancer therapy clinical trial.

On Nov. 14 the Forum will continue with “East Meets West: Alternative Breast Cancer Therapies.” Featured will be Debu Tripathy, of UC San Francisco and Isaac Cohen of the American Acupuncture Center in Berkeley.

The sessions are held at noon in the Building 50 auditorium,

The National Breast Cancer Month board of sponsors encourages all women to recognize the importance of early breast cancer detection with “Mammography Day” on Oct. 19. For more information, see http://www.nbcam.org/index.cfm.

Bulletin Board

FOSS Van Brings Science and Kids Together

Students at the Garfield Elementary School in Oakland were greeted last week by a van emblazoned with the Lab’s "Did You Ever Wonder?" logo and crates of brand new science kits — black and white boxes filled with mysteries of the universe.

"Berkeley Lab has been pleased to be a partner with the Oakland Schools in their efforts to improve mathematics and science education," said Lab Director Charles Shank, who was on hand for the occasion.

Funded by the DOE and administered by Berkeley Lab, the Full Option Science System (FOSS) was developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science. It consists of a series of science kits that form a significant portion of the science curriculum used by elementary school teachers.

The kits are refurbished for use the following year by the SMART Center (Science, Mathematics Activities Resources for Teachers Center) located at the site of the Old Chabot Observatory and Science Center.

Faced with the problem of transporting and distributing the kits, the Oakland School District turned to Berkeley Lab for help. Through the Center for Science Engineering and Education, the Lab provides a driver and a van to the district.

Also attending the event at Garfield Elementary were Oakland Superintendent of Schools Dennis Chaconas, several Oakland School Board members, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Romi Carrillo, and Berkeley Lab’s Director of Public Affairs David McGraw.

"Berkeley Laboratory is committed to contributing to our community," Shank said "Programs like this one in our public schools are a cornerstone of the future." Photos by Roy Kaltschmidt

Share a Recipe — Help the Sept. 11 Fund

Recipes are needed for the LBNL Benefit Cookbook, the proceeds of which will all go to the Sept. 11, 2001 Fund. Please submit all recipes to Melanie Woods at MAWoods@lbl.gov or Deborah Martin at dimartin@lbl.gov, or mail to Bldg. 69-201 no later than Oct. 26. The cookbooks will be sold at the Berkeley Lab Craft Fair in November.

Flu & Pneumonia Shots Offered

Berkeley Lab’s Health Services is offering employees flu and pneumonia immunizations on two consecutive Thursdays next months — Nov. 8 and 15, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Building 26. Sutter Visiting Nurses Association & Hospice will be providing nurses to administer the vaccines and provide all related materials and consent forms.

The flu injections are $15 each and the pneumonia vaccine (pneumovax 23, good for six years) is $25. Payment may be made by cash or check (payable to “Sutter VNA & Hospice”).

To schedule an appointment, call Health Services at X6266. VNA has requested that recipients of the vaccines remain for observation in the general area for 10 to 15 minutes after receiving the shots.

Sutter VNA & Hospice is a nonprofit home health care agency. A portion of the proceeds from this program goes toward subsidizing their charity care.

2001 InformationTechnology Expo

An Information Technology Expo will be held at Berkeley Lab next Tuesday, Oct. 23 in Perseverance Hall (Building 54). This one-day showing of advanced information and computing technology will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event is free and open to all employees. Complimentary refreshments will be served. For a list of exhibitors or to pre-register, see http://www.fedpage.com/events.

All pre-registered attendees will be entered in a drawing for a free Palm Pilot.

Fidelity Workshops and Consultations

In conjunction with Fidelity Investments, Inc., Berkeley Lab continues to offer employees a series of workshops and personal consultations about retirement and investment strategies.

Retirement in View
Oct. 24, 12-1 p.m. Bldg. 66 auditorium

For pre-retirees more than five years away from retirement. The presentation reviews retirement lifestyles, expenses, income sources, and financial strategies.

Investment Briefings
Nov. 6, 12 – 1 p.m. Bldg. 50A-5132

For employees who are currently participating in their workplace savings plan and are seeking more advanced investment concepts. Topics include sub-asset, classes, ratio analysis, and portfolio management.

One-on-One Consultations
Oct. 10 & 18, Nov. 6 & 14, Dec. 4

A Fidelity Retirement counselor will discuss savings and investment strategies with employees. Appointments are made between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.  in the Building 64A conference room.

To make an appointment or register for any of these events, call Fidelity at (800) 642-7131.

Native American Month

To commemorate November as Native American Month, the Latino and Native American Association (LANA) is sponsoring several events at Berkeley Lab next month. They will all take place in the Building 50 auditorium from noon to 1 p.m.

Nov. 1: Film Screening

The film In the Light of Reverence examines both sides of issues surrounding the use of western lands as Indians and non-Indians struggle to coexist with very different ideas on the fundamental nature of the relationship between humans and the land.

Nov. 8: Film Screening

The film A Class Divided recounts the groundbreaking “blue eyes/brown eyes” exercise conducted by third grade teacher Jane Elliot to teach her class about the effects of discrimination. 

Nov. 15: Special Presentation

Richmond City Councilman John Marquez will give a presentation on “Latino Youth and Education.” He will also discuss his experience as a cofounder of the Contra Costa Community College Metas program, which provides educational outreach to high school students of color.

In Memoriam — Chenoa Mittan

Chenoa Mittan, a former analyst in the Budget Office, passed away on Oct. 6. She would have turned 37 this month.

Mittan’s career at Berkeley Lab spanned nine years, during which she continuously increasing her skills and levels of responsibility in the area of finance management. She started in EH&S and moved on to Computing Sciences and then the Budget Office, where she worked on institutional and programmatic budget requirements

“Chenoa was not satisfied with the status quo and worked diligently to improve anywhere she could make an impact,” said colleague Pat Jenkins. “Her excellent interpersonal skills enabled her to forge efficient working relationships with departments and divisions.”

Mittan left the Lab about a year ago to spend more time raising her son.

She is survived by husband Blake, son Nathan (3), and other family members. A memorial service was held on Oct. 13 in Modesto.

Donations in her name may be sent to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, an organization focusing on the kind of diabetes Mittan had. A trust fund has been established for her son at WestAmerica Bank, 1524 McHenry Avenue, Modesto, CA 95350. Please make checks payable to the Nathan Mittan Trust Fund.


General Interest

OCTOBER 23, Tuesday

9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Perseverance Hall

OCTOBER 24, Wednesday

12 – 1 p.m., Bldg. 66 auditorium

OCTOBER 26, Friday

11 a.m. – 12., Bldg. 90-3148

NOVEMBER 1, Thursday

Native American Month: Film Screening
In the Light of Reverence 12 p.m., Bldg. 50 auditorium

NOVEMBER 2, Friday

12 – 1 p.m., Bldg. 50 auditorium

1 – 5 p.m., Perseverance Hall

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 Oct. 26 issue is 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22.

Seminars & Lectures

OCTOBER 19, Friday

The Berkeley Health Sciences Initiative
Speaker: E. Penhoet, UC Berkeley
10:30 a.m., Bldg 71, Al Ghiorso Conference Room

OCTOBER 22, Monday

Recent Advances in Single Molecule Biophysics
Speaker: Carlos Bustamante, Physical Biosciences Division
4:30 p.m., 1 Le Conte Hall

OCTOBER 23, Tuesday

The Dynamic Interaction of Nuclear Receptors with Chromatin
Speaker: Gordon Hager, National Cancer Institute, NIH
4:00 p.m., Bldg 66 auditorium

OCTOBER 24, Wednesday

Basics of X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy in the Hard X-ray Range
Speaker: Matthew Marcus, Advanced Light Source
10 a.m., Bldg 6, Room 2202

OCTOBER 25, Thursday

Catalysis on Particle Surfaces with Atomic Scale Resolution
Speaker: Norbert Kruse, Université Libre de Bruxelles
1:30 p.m., Bldg. 66 auditorium

OCTOBER 26, Friday

Catalysis at Transition Metal Oxide Surfaces
Speaker: Jerzy Haber, Polish Academy of Science
1:30 p.m., Bldg. 66 auditorium

OCTOBER 29, Monday


Lawrence & Fermi: A Joint Centennial
Speaker: John Heilbron, Worcester College, Oxford
Remembrances of Ernest O. Lawrence & His Laboratory After WWII
Speaker: Wolfgang K. H. Panofsky, SLAC
4:30 p.m., 1 Le Conte Hall

OCTOBER 30, Tuesday

Jewels in Junk DNA
Speaker: Edward M. Rubin, Life Sciences Division
4 p.m., Building 66 auditorium

NOVEMBER 1, Thursday

X-ray Adsorption Spectroscopy: From in-situ to Theory —
A Powerful Tool for Catalyst Characterization
Speaker: Simon Bare, UOP LLC Research Center
1:30 p.m., Bldg. 66 auditorium

Black Hole Production at the Large Hadron Collider
Speaker: Greg Landsberg, Brown University
4 p.m., Bldg. 50A-5132

NOVEMBER 2, Friday

The Spallation Neutron Source: Front-End Systems
Speaker: John Staples, Accelerator & Fusion Research Division
10:30 a.m., Bldg 71, Albert Ghiorso Conference Room

EH&S Classes November 2001






EHS 52

Back Injury Prevention

9:00 – 11:00



EHS 60

Ergo for Computer Users

2:00 – 3:30



EHS 116

First Aid

8:30 – 12:00



EHS 278

Ladder Safety

9:00 – 10:00



EHS 10

Introduction to EHS at LBNL*

1:30 – 3:00

50 aud


EHS 276

Fall Protection

2:00 – 4:00



EHS 432

Radiation Protection/Lab Safety

9:00 – 12:00



EHS 135

Earthquake Safety

1:00 – 2:00



EHS 10

Introduction to EHS at LBNL

8:30 – 10:15

50 aud


EHS 256


1:30 – 3:00



EHS 123

Adult CPR

8:30 – 12:00



EHS 210


10:30 – 12:00



EHS 283

Ultra Violet User Safety

2:00 – 3:00



EHS 260

Basic Electric Hazard Awareness

9:00 – 10:30



EHS 280

Laser Safety

1:30 – 4:30



EHS 275

Confined Space Hazards

9:00 – 11:00



EHS 274

Confined Space Hazards-Retraining

11:00 – 12:00



EHS 330

Leads Hazards Awareness

2:00 – 3:00



EHS 604

Hazardous Waste Generator

9:30 – 11:00



EHS 622

Radioactive & Mixed Waste Generator

11:00 – 12:00



EHS 735/

Biosafety/Bloodborne Pathogen

1:30 – 2:45



EHS 530

Fire Extinguisher

10:00 – 11:30



EHS 210


10:30  – 12:00



EHS 62


8:30 – 11:30



EHS 62


1:00 – 4:00



EHS 62


8:30 – 11:30



EHS 62


1:00 – 4:00



EHS 62


8:30 – 11:30



EHS 62


1:00 – 4:00



EHS 60

Ergo for Computer Users

2:00 – 3:30



EHS 400

Radiation Protection-Fundamentals

9:00 – 12:00


To enroll, contact Valerie Espinoza at VMEspinoza@lbl.gov or enroll via the web at http://www-ehs.lbl.gov/ehstraining/registration/. Preregistration is required for all courses except EHS 10. For a full, updated schedule  see http://www-ehs.lbl.gov/schedule/.

Flea Market

Autos / Supplies

‘01 TOYOTA PRIUS, only 1 mo on the road, all warranties fully transferable, 50+ MPG, CD, ac, aqua ice, Chris, X7028, 848-2389

‘96 TOYOTA CAMRY LE, pale green, 48K mi, exc cond, moonrf, ac, pwr win/locks, 1 owner, Ed, $10,500/bo, 548-1492

‘94 NISSAN PATHFINDER XE wagon, midnight blue, 89K mi, great urban vehicle, overpowered 6 cyl, 5 spd, am/fm stereo w/ 4 speakers, good cond, new tires, $5,775, Smith, X5709

‘94 HONDA CIVIC LX, 4 dr, white, at, dual air bag, am/fm/ cass, ac, pwr win/locks, 75K mi, single owner, exc cond, $7,500, Ilham, X7001, 368-4765

‘94 ACURA INTEGRA, 2 dr, 56K, at, ac, ps, pw, am/fm/cass, $9,200, Dave, X4506

‘92 FORD AEROSTAR 7-passenger minivan, 112K mi, auto, dual ac, cruise, alloy wheels, good tires & brakes, maint records,            exc cond, $3,600/bo, Joe, X7631, 582-1843

‘91 MAZDA 626 LE, racing silver, sunroof, 5 spd, 80K mi, $5,500/ bo, Fred, X4892

‘89 JEEP CHEROKEE, 4 WD, 4.0L eng, 119K mi, very good cond & maint, new cd/am/fm/ cass, pwr win/locks, remote keyless entry, red, $3,700, Penny, X7872, 849-3043 eves

‘87 BMW 325e, white, at, sunrf, V6, all pwr, great shape, fun to drive, Jiang, 528-3482

‘78 DATSUN 280Z, 5 spd, good cond, well maint w/ receipts & records, $2,950/bo, Steve, X6598, (925) 689-7213

‘78 CHEVY PICK-UP TRUCK, short bed, 350 V-8, heavy 1/2 ton, 4 spd, new cluth & trans, $2,950/bo, Steve, X6598, (925) 689-7213

‘41 CHEVROLET SPECIAL DELUXE 4 dr sedan, original 216 ci 6 cyl, 3 spd manual, clock & radio work, approx 80% restored, $7,000/bo, Martin, X4371, (925) 370-6002


‘85 BMW K100RS, 63K mi, good cond, new hard bags, brake discs/ pads & switch clusters, recent service, tires 5K mi old, exc running cond, $3,000m Wes, X7353, (415) 898-2084


BERKELEY, furn room avail in priv home starting 11/1, upstairs, privacy, lots of light, share kitchen, bath, liv rm, basement storage, w/d & garden w/ family, $650/mo incl util, month-to-month, Anushka, 486-8153, anushka@calalum.org 

BERKELEY, historic Elmwood distr, quiet visiting scholar for room rental avail late Oct, 2 bdrm flat shared w/ Lab employee & short-haired cat, unit part of 4-plex, only 10 min walk from campus, furn rm w/ hardwood flrs, shared bth/kitchen/liv rm, cable, onsite w&d, close to publ trans & shops, off-street parking may be avail for additional charge, pref longer term rental but short-term possible, $750/ mo, Susan, X5437 

EL CERRITO, house for rent for 6 mos, 12/1-5/30, 2 bdrm/1 bth, large yard, close to Solano Ave & pub trans, 2 mi from UCB, quiet neighborhd, perfect for single visitor or couple, no smoking/pets, $2200/mo, first/last/sec dep req, John, 642-5459, jdonovan@ socrates.berkeley.edu

NORTH BERKELEY B&B, close to shuttle, 1 garden cottage room & 1 lge room avail 10/1, 1 person per room, $850/mo or $325/wk, 2 weeks min, breakfast served daily, Hellen, 527-3252, Rachel, X6262

Housing Wanted

LBNL RESEARCH ASSOCIATE seeks studio or 1 bdrm for long-term rental in Oakland/Berkeley/Albany area, Steve, X6966

LBNL SCIENTIST, wife & son seek 2+ or 3 bdrm house or apt for long-term rental, Maria, X6184, mefink@lbl.gov

VISITING PROFESSOR, 1 bdrm apt or cottage in Kensington for 2/15-3/15, clean, orderly professor emerita of physics from MIT, Marc, mlfischer@lbl.gov

VISITING SCIENTIST & son looking for furn sublet from 11/1 to 12/30, Jane, X6036, JLCavlina@lbl.gov

Misc Items for Sale

BELLINI BABY CRIB, solid wood, natural wood color w/ a drawer for storage, $200, Bill, X7735, (925) 932-8252 eves

COLLECTIBLE BARBIES (Coca Cola, Holiday Jewel, Evening Extravaganza, Autumn, Avon Exclusives, etc.), prices vary, all dolls w/ certificates of authenticity, box never opened, Barbie Jeep, barely used, $200, Lisa, X5314, (925) 906-9786

DOG HOUSE, removable grey roof w/ dark green base, all plastic, durable, like new, good for medium-sized dog, rain-proof & cozy, $70 new, asking $35, Carol, X4848

ELECTRIC BLOWER, used a few times, $25, Nanyang, (650) 926-2252

KITCHEN/DINING TABLE, solid wood w/ 2 matching chairs, round or oval w/ the extension, med brown stain, forest green legs, great cond, can email pics, $60/bo, Norm, X6724, 533-8765

S.F. OPERA TICKETS, sec row center balcony pair, Tosca, Sat eve 11/3, $120/pr, Paul, 526-3519

STEPPER exerciser, very good cond w/ digital multi-counter, cup holder, etc, paid $175, asking $65/bo, Ed, 339-3505

WHIRLPOOL GAS DRYER w/ moisture sensor electronic dry-miser, heavy duty, exc cond, $120/bo, Laurent, X6108


KIHEI, MAUI, 1 bdrm condo, across the street from Kam 2 beach (best beach on Maui), fully equipped, view the ocean & Haleakela, $400/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, priv dock, great view, $175/ night, 2 night min, Bob, (925) 376-2211


WANTED: SHARED DRIVING from Davis to Lab, hours 7:00 am to 3:30, Marcella, X6304

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

The deadline for the Nov. 2 issue Thursday, Oct. 25.