September 24, 1999
DOE Review Focuses on Team Science Secrets of the Ribosome Revealed at the ALS


DOE Review Focuses on Team Science

By Ron Kolb

Martha Krebs, director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science, came to Berkeley Lab last week with DOE Headquarters and Oakland managers for a glimpse at the future. And she liked what she saw.

That picture included a research program that brings together the physical, biological, and computing sciences in an interactive and integrated way to address major national problems. Never was the term "team science" more appropriately applied to the mission of the Laboratory.

That was a central theme of this year's annual DOE Institutional Plan On-Site Review of Berkeley Lab programs, presented on Sept. 16 for Krebs and other DOE and University of California officials. As the subjects for research become more complex -- collective phenomena, molecular machines, new materials -- it will be up to multidisciplinary laboratories such as Berkeley Lab to bring the diverse disciplines together with engineering and the sophisticated tools necessary to solve the mysteries of complexity.

After nearly eight hours of scientific and management presentations, Krebs said she was impressed.

"This was a full, rich day," she told the assembled participants and observers in Perseverance Hall. "It is very interesting science, a great combination of the older-and-wiser and the younger-and-enthusiastic people. It was all quite wonderful."

Following an introductory presentation on Berkeley Lab's "Vision 2010" by Director Charles Shank, the Lab presented a parade of scientists representing the Institutional Plan's most ambitious and potentially exciting programs.

"We see the fundamental understanding of the universe as an important piece, the cornerstone of the Lab, as we move forward," Shank said. "But complex systems -- in materials, in chemistry and in biology -- is where we might be going in the future."

Not complicated, but complex, Advanced Light Source Division Director Daniel Chemla would point out. Complicated systems are exactly the sum of their parts, and they are predictable. The greatest scientific challenges for the new millenium will be complex systems -- unpredictable and qualitatively different from their contributing parts.

Those fields include quantitative biology, addressed by Physical Biosciences Division Director Graham Fleming; the genome and post-genomics research, presented by Edward Rubin; biomimetics for materials engineering, discussed by Carolyn Bertozzi; and computational analysis, which Shank described as the cross-cutting tool that will enable and enhance the work of virtually every division.

In March of this year Berkeley Lab hosted a workshop on complex systems, which was sponsored by the Office of Science. Out of that emerged a roadmap for future pursuits in research fields such as collective phenomena, materials by design, functional systems, nature's mastery of systems, and new tools.

"This will require a new discipline, a merging of several others, into the next century," Chemla told the group. "It will be a challenge to bring together physicists, chemists and biologists. We have to follow the examples of nature, which is efficient in running these systems. We will need the tools to detect, to understand and to manipulate."

And no place is better positioned to do it than Berkeley Lab, where the concept of "team science" was developed by Ernest O. Lawrence more than six decades ago. And one of the primary tools to be used in the quest to decipher complexity is the Advanced Light Source, which Krebs praised as being on the road to recovery.

The ALS today finds itself the subject of compliments from peers and managers for its new research vision and commitment to future growth. Now approaching 800 users (almost double the number at the time of the review), the ALS is "the world leader in soft x-rays and world-class in intermediate x-rays," according to Chemla.

In her summary, Krebs acknowledged "the tremendous turnaround you've made at the ALS. That's really terrific."

She also noted other key Berkeley Lab efforts that would generate attention within the DOE and the national scientific community, beginning with the SuperNova Acceleration Probe (SNAPSAT). This satellite will be dedicated to answering fundamental questions about the universe by finding thousands of distant supernovae using a 1.8-meter telescope and the most sensitive astronomical CCD imager ever constructed. (Shank called it "the highest priority project for the Lab.")

Krebs also called out the carbon sequestration work described by Earth Sciences Division Director Sally Benson, and the Laboratory's contributions to the so-called "IT2" informational technology and computing initiative.

Krebs had high praise for the Laboratory's pioneering work in developing and implementing Integrated Safety Management (ISM). After hearing a progress report from Environment, Health and Safety Division Director David McGraw, she said, "I'm really aware of the contributions Berkeley has made to get this started. I know it is something that if we could get other labs into it, it would be one of the best things we could do. What you have done here is very important to [the DOE]." DOE-Oakland deputy manager Martin Domagala said the DOE considered Berkeley Lab's ISM program "the flagship of all other lab programs."

Krebs especially cited Berkeley Lab as a key contributor to multi-lab collaborations in high energy and nuclear physics in projects such as the Spallation Neutron Source, the B Factory at SLAC, the Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test Facility (DARHT), the Large Hadron Collider, the STAR detector at the Brookhaven's RHIC project, and the genome sciences effort. "Such partnerships are not easy, but it's real nifty," she said.

Nuclear Science Division Director Lee Schroeder gave her one more to think about -- the Rare Isotope Accelerator (RIA), a radioactive beam facility that will study nuclear structure, nuclear astrophysics, and fundamental properties. As the concept goes forward, Berkeley's expertise in ion sources and high-powered beams will help to drive its potential.

Other presentations were made by Computing Sciences Division Director Bill McCurdy on plans for the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center's third generation machines, and cybersecurity; and by Deputy Director Klaus Berkner on landlord issues, waste management, and the decontamination and demolition of the Bevalac.

Deputy Director Pier Oddone led a lively discussion about the challenges involved in launching new program initiatives, including the many filters that tend to jeopardize the success of a proposal between idea and implementation. Oddone encouraged the development of a joint Laboratory-DOE working group to consider procedures and reforms to help streamline and enable the process. Krebs acknowledged the multiple factors that generate frustration in growing new programs, and she vowed to carry the message to Washington for future consideration.

While at Berkeley Lab, the review team toured two facilities. They heard Wim Leemans discuss his team's work developing new accelerators utilizing laser optic techniques; and at the ALS, they watched as Thomas Earnest and Joe Jaklevic illustrated new robotics systems being developed to improve protein crystallography performance and the new beamline under way.

In her opening remarks, Krebs reminded everyone of the relevance of reviews such as these. "The point of these long-range views is not to get bogged down in a moment of pain or glory, but to keep our eyes on what is really important -- the direction of science and ways to keep institutions like these healthy." She predicted the next two years in Washington will be filled with "a lot of uncertainty and difficulty."

For the first time, the On-Site Review was simulcast via video conferencing with M-Bone computer tools to Berkeley Lab's Washington Projects Office, where representatives of the DOE and the Lab could listen and participate interactively.

Joe Jaklevic (pointing) demonstrates a submodule of a high throughput protein crystallography robotic system during DOE's On-Site Review. Left to right are Director Shank, Jaklevic, DOE's Marvin Singer and Martha Krebs, John O'Fallon and William Oosterhuis. Derek Yegian is sitting at the controls. Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt

Martha Krebs, director of DOE's Office of Science (second from left) takes interest in the equipment in Wim Leeman's laboratory during the Sept. 16 DOE On-Site Review of Berkeley Lab.

Secrets of the Ribosome Revealed at the ALS

By Lynn Yarris

Discovery Makes Cover of Science

Using the Macromolecular Crystallography Facility (MCF) at the Advanced Light Source (ALS), a team of UC Santa Cruz and Berkeley Lab researchers have produced the first high-resolution images of a complete ribosome complex. The images revealed that there is much more to ribosomal structures than had been previously deduced through indirect or low-resolution observations.

Harry Noller, a UCSC molecular biology professor, led the research in which the crystal structure of the 70S ribosome of the bacterium Thermus themophilus was resolved to 7.8 angstroms. The detailed images showed an RNA-protein bridge spanning the two asymmetric subunits (known as 50S and 30S) that make up the bacterial ribosome. Preliminary work indicates this bridge is the basis for communication between the two subunits.

A paper that reports on the crystallography imaging of the 70S ribosome is featured on the cover of this week's issue of Science magazine (Sept. 24). Co-authoring the paper with Noller were Jamie Cate of MIT, Marat Yusupov and Gulnara Yusupova of UCSC, and Thomas Earnest, a biophysicist with Berkeley Lab's Physical Biosciences Division.

Ribosomes are tiny cell organelles responsible for protein synthesis, using "messenger RNA" molecules from the nucleus and "transfer RNA" molecules from the cytoplasm. Messenger RNA carries the genetic code for assembling proteins; transfer RNA carries the amino acids from which proteins are made.

A detailed understanding of ribosomal structures would be a giant step toward understanding the mechanism by which these critical organelles function. However, until the advent of synchrotron radiation facilities such as the ALS, obtaining this information was a challenge deemed insurmountable. Although smaller than most viruses, a ribosome is a very large molecular complex, consisting of three RNA and more than 50 protein molecules.

"Obtaining atomic-resolution diffraction data for so large a macromolecular complex can only be done with a high-brightness source of x-rays," says Earnest, who oversees activity on the MCF after having been in charge of its design and construction. "Beamline 5.0.2, with its combination of flux (the number of photons) and collimation (parallel alignment of photons), is one of the best in the world for this work."

The MCF houses three separate beamlines at the 5.0 complex, all of which are powered by a 38-pole wiggler magnet that provides photons of x-rays ranging in wavelengths from 0.9 to 4.0 angstroms and in energies from 3.5 to 14 keV (thousand electron volts). The high-end of this energy range, once thought be beyond the reach of the ALS, is ideal for protein crystallography. A beam of these x-rays sent through a protein crystal creates a diffraction pattern when the photons are scattered by the crystal's atoms. This pattern can be translated by computer into 3-D images of the molecule that makes up the crystal.

While other research groups have obtained high-resolution images of individual ribosome subunits, Noller and his group, with Earnest, are the first to produce a detailed look at an entire ribosome complex, a necessary step for functionality studies.

"My favorite analogy is the cave man coming across a Ferrari," says Noller. "There is the moment of discovering the ignition key, the gas pedal, the brakes and steering wheel followed by years of speculation as to how they work. Eventually, someone lifts the hood, and a new era of experimentation and speculation ensues. Finally, they take the engine, transmission, etc. apart. At this point, there's a lot more stuff than anyone had anticipated, but at last they have a chance to figure the whole thing out."

From these new 70S ribosome images, Noller says he and his group are seeing how transfer RNA interacts with the ribosome, and how the two ribosomal subunits interact with each other. In both cases there appear to be complex networks of molecular interactions criss-crossing the ribosome, often involving interactions with a third type of RNA, called ribosomal RNA.

"One gets the impression that there are systems of long-range communication connecting distant parts of the ribosome," Noller says. "Our images also suggest very strongly that the ribosome is a machine -- and a very complex one with many moving parts. It is also clear that most of the excitement of figuring out the molecular mechanism of translation lies ahead."

The announcement of the new ribosome images should only further enhance MCF's reputation as one of the world's premier facilities for protein crystallography. This in turn should increase the already heavy demand for time on its beamlines. The MCF claims approximately one third of all the ALS users.

To meet the anticipated growth in demand, plans are now underway to add to the ALS three superconducting bend magnets which are capable of generating the higher energy hard x-rays needed for protein crystallography. The addition of these "superbends" would make it possible to boost the MCF's capabilities to as many as a dozen beamlines by the year 2002. Another plan, spearheaded by Earnest, to automate every stage of the protein crystallography procedure will also benefit MCF users and substantially boost the facility's capabilities.

"Our goal is to minimize the amount of human intervention necessary," says Earnest. "You just can't solve enough crystal structures with the techniques we've used in the past."

A bacterial ribosome resolved to 7.8 angstroms through protein crystallography at the ALS graced the cover of this week's issue of Science magazine.

Gulnara Yusupova, Marat Yusupov, and Harry Noller -- three of the authors of the paper announcing the crystallography imaging of the 70S ribosome. Photo courtesy UCSC Photography Services

Speaker Sets Record Straight on Fission Discovery

By Paul Preuss

Gender, Jewish origin, politics, and personal ambition denied Lise Meitner's place in history, speaker says

In a Sept. 17 lecture on "Politics, `Race,' and Gender: Lise Meitner and the Discovery of Nuclear Fission," chemist and science historian Ruth Sime of Sacramento City College filled the Bldg. 50 auditorium with a noontime crowd who listened in fascination as Sime compared the "standard story," which credits Otto Hahn with the discovery of fission and relegates Lise Meitner to a secondary role, to the very different facts of the documentary record.

"The standard story emphasizes chemistry and experiment and downplays physics and theory; the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded solely to Hahn for the discovery of fission," Sime said. "Yet the uranium project was highly interdisciplinary. It depended upon both physics and chemistry, upon both experiment and theory."

Sime is the author of the highly praised biography Lise Meitner: A Life in Physics (University of California Press, 1996) and cowriter and narrator of BBC's "A Gift From Heaven," also about Meitner, which the Royal Society cited as one of the best science programs of 1992.

Sime pointed out that, while Meitner and Hahn collaborated on different projects at different institutions for 30 years -- including the identification of element 91, protactinium, in 1918 -- Meitner was the initiator and leader of the team at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute that, after four years of work, eventually observed fission. In fact, said Sime, Meitner had to persuade the hesitant Hahn to join her project, and it was she who recruited Fritz Strassmann, their younger colleague.

But Meitner was not present when the crucial experiments were made, having been forced to flee Berlin to exile in Sweden in the summer of 1938, when her native Austria was annexed by the Nazis. That winter, Hahn informed her (in a secret meeting in Copenhagen, Sime revealed, not in a letter, as usually reported) that he and Strassmann had observed radioactive barium among the products of the neutron bombardment of uranium, for which they had no explanation.

Later Meitner discussed the puzzle with her nephew, Otto Frisch, also a refugee. In the course of their conversation she proposed the explanation for Hahn and Strassmann's unnerving result: the barium was a fragment, a product of the fission (a term they borrowed from biology) of the uranium atom.

Meitner was not credited in the report signed by Hahn and Strassmann. (Frisch, however, confirmed her explanation in a separate physics experiment in England.) Sime's suggestion is that Hahn feared the result would be rejected if it were known to be tainted by "Jewish science" -- female Jewish science at that -- that he might even lose his position, and that all of German science might thereby suffer.

"The record clearly shows that racial prejudice, politics, gender, and personal ambition all led to the distortion of the truth," said Sime. Though he had been her close friend and colleague for three decades, Hahn's Meitner-free version of the discovery of fission would prevail.

Lise Meitner was born in 1878 in Vienna of Jewish parents, although she was baptized a Protestant and was personally unreligious. At the University of Vienna -- as Sime demonstrated with a photograph of Meitner's handwritten class schedule -- the bulk of her science courses were taken under the great theoretical physicist Ludwig Boltzmann. In 1906 she received the university's first doctorate in physics awarded to a woman.

She moved to Berlin to study with Max Planck, a conservative who disapproved of women in academia but, said Sime, "apparently made an exception in Meitner's case." She soon began her long collaboration with Hahn, founded her own career, and eventually won the sincere, if grudging, respect of her male counterparts.

Meitner was 60 years old when she and her collaborators discovered fission. Although she had hoped to spend the war years in England, she was prevented from doing so by the prejudice of British senior scientists.

Invited to join the Manhattan Project in America, she would have nothing to do with weapons of war. Nevertheless, the New York Times and other media concocted the myth of a brave Jewish heroine who had smuggled the secret of fission out of Germany and denied the bomb to the Nazis. "So much for the historical accuracy of the New York Times," Sime remarked.

Hahn, who was involved with the desultory German effort to harness atomic power, was awarded the 1944 Nobel Prize (delayed in presentation) by what Sime calls "an uninformed prize committee." Possibly anxious to defend the status of German science in the postwar years, he never bothered to correct the record.

Not until 1960 did Meitner move to Cambridge to join her nephew. There, in 1966, Glenn Seaborg, as Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, presented her with the Fermi Award. She was 88 years old.

Meitner died less than two years later; Frisch chose the epitaph on her simple tombstone: "A physicist who never lost her humanity."

Lise Meitner, whose contribution to the discovery of nuclear fission was largely overlooked until recently, is seen here sitting (second from right) in front of Berkeley Lab founder Earnest Lawrence at the seventh Solvay scientific conference in Brussels in 1933.

Speaker Ruth Sime (top) discussed Lise Meitner's role in the discovery of nuclear fission. Above: Meitner is the only woman at the 1920 Bohr Colloquium. Otto Hahn, shown here standing to her right, never credited Meitner (bottom, in an early photo) for her contribution to the discovery after he won the Nobel Prize.

News Digest

Washington Report

House And Senate Vote to Reorganize DOE

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have now voted as part of an overall defense bill to reorganize DOE by creating a new semiautonomous agency at the department that would oversee the weapons programs. The House passed the bill by a vote of 375 to 45. The Senate vote was 93 to 5.

Language in the defense bill would create the National Nuclear Security agency, whose administration would be overseen by an under secretary for nuclear stewardship. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson remains opposed to the reorganization plan, claiming it would undermine his authority to oversee weapons programs.

In response to the House passage of the bill, the Secretary said, "The House had good intentions, but the reorganization proposal wrongly endangers health, safety and environment oversight and would jeopardize the counterintelligence and security reforms that have already been accomplished."

Richardson has said previously he would recommend that President Clinton veto the defense bill because of the DOE language. A key supporter of the DOE reorganization language has been Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif), whose district includes Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Tauscher called on her Democratic colleagues to approve the measure so that DOE can begin the process of improving security and management at its weapons facilities.

"While the DOE reorganization plan is not perfect, it represents a true compromise between Democrats and Republicans," Tauscher said. "We must give the American taxpayers confidence that the secrets they paid to develop at our national labs are safe and secure. Let us reject the status quo."

NSF Budget Suffers in the House

The House of Representatives has passed a spending bill that erases a proposed increase for the National Science Foundation (NSF). It also imposed deep cuts in NASA's budget. The Senate has yet to act on the bill -- a $92 billion measure that funds housing, veterans' care, and dozens of independent agencies.

House members voted 212 to 207 to shrink NSF's $2.7 billion research account by an additional $10 million, putting the money into a $225 million program to house indigent people with AIDS.

White House Chief of Staff John Podesta warned that the House action on this and other spending bills is "playing politics with science and technology funding." NSF director Rita Colwell called the budget process "disturbing," and said it "turns our backs on the country's capability to do great things in science."

--Lynn Yarris

Distinguished Life Sciences Lecture

Bob "Tij" Tjian, UC Berkeley professor of molecular and cell biology, kicked off the fall Life Sciences Distinguished Lecture Series last Tuesday with a talk in the Bldg. 66 auditorium. Tij described his decade-long efforts to unravel the complex process whereby macromolecular machinery in our cells converts genetic information stored in DNA molecules to initiate the biochemical process known as transcription -- turning genes on and off -- ultimately leading to protein production. For more information on upcoming Life Sciences Division seminars, see the division's homepage at

Energy Department Awards $25 Million For Environmental Cleanup Research

The Department of Energy has awarded over $25 million for 31 new research projects to address some of the most complex environmental remediation challenges: subsurface contamination at facilities that were once part of the nation's nuclear weapons production complex. Researchers at 20 universities, eight DOE laboratories (including Berkeley Lab) and three other research institutions will conduct a wide range of studies, many of them involving collaborations among a different institutions.

Of particular interest is contamination in the vadose zone -- an unsaturated zone of soil that lies just beneath the land surface and extends to groundwater.

"As part of the department's national cleanup responsibility, we are absolutely committed to protecting the groundwater and surface water resources on and around our sites," said Under Secretary of Energy Moniz in announcing the award. "This new research will provide critical knowledge to help us understand how contaminants move through the vadose zone and how to clean up the site in a safe and efficient manner."

Berkeley Lab will be responsible for two projects: "Fast Flow in Unsaturated Coarse Sediments" and "Trans-uranic Interfacial Reaction Studies on Manganese Oxide Hydroxide Mineral Surfaces." The combined funding for these two projects is $1.2 million.

The goal of the overall effort is to develop cost-effective and environmentally safe means to remove radioactive contaminants from polluted sites.

This is the fourth year of grants and other awards made under DOE's Environmental Management Science Program, a partnership between the Office of Environmental Management, which is responsible for the environmental cleanup of the nation's nuclear weapons complex, and the Office of Science, which manages the department's basic research programs.

A complete list of the projects, including funding and research summaries, is available on at

--Monica Friedlander


By Reid Edwards

What Budget ... And When?

The annual Congressional budget process is entering its final struggles, with little likelihood of a resolution of all the issues before the end of the current fiscal year on September 30. This is therefore a good time to examine where the process appears to be going and its possible impact on Berkeley Lab.

Two years ago Congress passed the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which mandated a series of shrinking spending totals, or "caps," that would lead to a balanced federal budget by the year 2002. The hope at the time was that the combination of limiting federal spending and growing federal revenues from a healthy economy would bring the budget into balance for the first time since 1969.

What has happened, it would be safe to say, has exceeded Congress's wildest expectations. Not only do we have a balanced budget projected for the coming fiscal year, but depending on the state of the economy, surpluses are projected "as far as the eye can see" -- a phrase used in the past to indicate projected budget deficits. The latest estimate is for surpluses of approximately $1 billion over the next 10 years.

The current Congressional debate over the FY 2000 budget involves not only the traditional subjects of taxes and federal spending, but also the level of federal debt. Some members of Congress believe that the spending caps for FY 2000 are too limiting, and will require massive cuts in federal spending. Other Congressmen believe that federal spending must continue to be reduced, and that additional federal revenues above the caps be returned to the taxpayers either as tax cuts or through paying off the federal debt to reduce interest rates.

All of these issues are intertwined, and a resolution is not expected before Sept. 30. Last year, most of the final budgeting decisions were made at the end of the Congressional session in a final legislative package that was thousands of pages long. What is referred to in the press as the budget "train wreck" of last year is what many in Washington want to avoid this year, yet it is exactly what many experienced observers expect will happen again.

In the meantime, the appropriations process is moving forward on a number of fronts. The Energy and Water Development appropriations bill, which contains most of DOE's funding, has passed the Senate and the House.

The Senate bill provides significantly more money for defense and defense-related expenditures in DOE. At the same time, it reduced the Administration request for renewable energy research and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), and provided no funds for the Administration's Scientific Simulation Initiative (SSI). The House allocation for this bill is $1.7 billion below the appropriated FY 1999 level. The House bill significantly cut funding for travel, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) and defense programs, along with even deeper cuts in the SNS. It also eliminating funding for the SSI.

The Interior appropriations bill, which among others, funds DOE's energy efficiency and fossil energy programs, is also moving forward. The Senate version is $1.2 billion below the Administration request and $80 million less than that for FY 1999.

The energy efficiency programs were reduced $8.8 million below FY 1999 levels, and $154.7 million below the Administration request. The House passed its version of the Interior bill in July. The bill actually provides an increase of $2 million above the FY 1999 budget for energy efficiency programs, although this is $118.6 million below the Administration request.

As always, the differing versions of these bills will need to be reconciled in House-Senate conferences. It is at this time, towards the end of the Congressional session, that a deal between the Administration and Congress could be struck that would address the level of federal spending, tax cuts and possibly funding issues involving both Medicare and Social Security. Until then, it will be hard to predict what exactly the Laboratory's FY 2000 budget will be. Watch for more information in upcoming issues of Currents.

Reid Edwards is the Manager of Government Relations at Berkeley Lab.

Berkeley Lab Currents

Published twice a month by the Public Information Department for the employees and retirees of Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Ron Kolb, PID department head.
EDITOR: Monica Friedlander, (510) 495-2248,
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Berkeley Lab is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Science News

Lab and Utilties Group Team Up in CFL Torchiers Research

By Allan Chen

Lighting systems researchers at Berkeley Lab and the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD) will work together under a cooperative research and development agreement to demonstrate the energy-saving potential of compact fluorescent lamps developed here as a safer alternative to the halogen torchiere.

"This research will examine consumer satisfaction with the technology, and we will use the results as a basis for developing design guidelines for the next generation of compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) torchieres," says Michael Siminovitch of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division. "We plan to make the results public and distribute them to the utility and lighting manufacturing industries."

SMUD will develop and design a CFL torchiere distribution program that will be offered to a number of its residential household customers. Participants will be given a range of commercially available CFLs from several manufacturers. Berkeley Lab will work with SMUD engineers to set up a non-invasive system to monitor the torchieres' use at each home and to design the measurement protocols. The system will measure CFLs' operational hours, time of use and power levels.

A customer survey will measure user satisfaction. SMUD will handle all of the interactions with its customers, including the distribution of the torchieres.

"SMUD has been promoting compact fluorescent technology for several years, and we're excited to be working with the expert team from Berkeley Lab," says Mike Weedall, manager of Energy Services at SMUD. "The project could lead to major improvements to product ... [and] help increase the acceptance of this new technology by consumers all over the country."

Says Siminovitch, "SMUD's efforts will help establish the CFL torchiere as one the largest energy saving opportunities in lighting to date."

The CFLs were developed by a team headed by Siminovitch. In addition to being inefficient, halogen torchieres are also fire hazards, identified as the cause of nearly 200 residential fires and about a dozen deaths. CFLs produce 25 percent more light than 300-watt halogen torchieres while using one-fifth the energy and operating hundreds of degrees Farenheit cooler.

The Berkeley Lab team worked with manufacturers of torchieres to develop and test a number of market-ready designs. Siminovitch and Erik Page of Berkeley Lab won a Best of What's New Award from Popular Science in 1997 for the technology, which was a grand winner in that competition's home category.

"We've been active in helping the utility and manufacturing industries accelerate the market acceptance of energy-saving torchieres," says Siminovitch. "Through this study and partnership we'll continue this process by developing a database of information about actual energy savings from CFL torchieres, and identifying what users like and don't like about them."

This cooperative research effort at Berkeley Lab was supported by a partnership program through the Office of Technology Transfer.

More information on the CFL torchiers is available online at http://

EETD's Jeff Mitchell (left) and Debbie Driscoll show off the bright, energy efficient CFL, while Erik Page holds a halogen torchiere for comparison. Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt

Around the Lab

Berkeley Lab On the Airwaves

Lab Lectures, State Of the Lab, on Cable Channel

A 13-part series of lectures from Berkeley Lab will be broadcast starting next Monday, Sept. 27, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Berkeley Community Media, Cable Access Channel 26. The series will be based largely on last two years' Summer Lecture Series, and will be led off by Director Charles Shank's 1999 State of the Laboratory address.

Each program will be broadcast five times during a two-week period, with the first run on a Monday evening at 7:30. Reruns fill follow the next afternoon (Tuesday) at 5:00 p.m, Wednesday morning at 11:00 a.m., and again the following Wednesday at 11:00 a.m.

First Run Schedule

  • Director Shank's State of the Laboratory, Sept. 27

  • Carolyn Larabell, Imaging the Cellular Universe, Oct. 11

  • Gerry Rubin, The Fruit Fly, Oct. 25

  • Pier Oddone, The Assymetric B Factory, Nov. 8

  • Gerson Goldhaber, Supernovae and the Expanding Universe, Nov. 22

  • Don DePaolo, Drilling Through a Volcano, Dec. 6

  • Eric Norman, Neutrino Astronomy, Dec. 20

  • Uli Dahmen, Observing Nano-crystals from Up Close, Jan. 3

  • Horst Simon, Parallel Supercomputing's Golden Age, Jan. 17

  • Eva Nogales, A Family Portrait of Tubulin, Jan. 31

  • Alex Pines, Some Magnetic Moments, Feb. 14

  • Al Ghiorso Remembers Seaborg: A Chronology of Discovery, Feb. 28

  • Mina Bissell, Breast Cancer: Can Tumor Cells Be Rehabilitated, March 13

Energy Technologies On Discovery Channel Show

On Oct. 5 and 6, "Your New House," a home improvement show airing on the Discovery Channel, will broadcast two segments about advanced energy-efficient technologies being developed at Berkeley Lab.

The Oct. 5 show will air segments showcasing research in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division. Lab researchers Paul Berdahl and Hashem Akbari kick off the Lab series with cool roofing materials which reflecting solar radiation.

Arlon Hunt follows with a description of aerogel, an extremely lightweight material and excellent insulator. Robert Cheng will discuss the "low-swirl" burner, which emits nitrogen oxide levels far lower than existing technologies; it could be used in home furnaces, boilers, and for power generation.

On Oct. 7, "Your New House" visits the Oakland Federal Center for a demonstration of an integrated building system designed to maximize the energy efficiency of commercial offices.

Lab researcher Eleanor Lee explains the award-winning technology, which uses light sensors, automated blinds, and computer controls to regulate the solar radiation entering an office.

The shows air at 6:00 p.m. PST. Check local listings for further details.

Bulletin Board

Lab Features Booth at Solano Stroll in Berkeley

On Sunday, Sept. 12, Berkeley Lab made its first appearance at the 25th annual Solano Stroll with a booth organized by Computing Sciences. The effort sought to attract potential employees and conduct community outreach.

The popular event attracts thousands of participants, many of whom stopped by to chat. "We talked with a lot of potential job candidates who were very interested," said Heather McCullough, one of the staffers at the booth. Photo by Lois Yuen

LabVIEW Meeting

National Instruments will host a LabVIEW Users Group meeting from 10:30 to noon on Thursday, Sept. 30, in Perseverance Hall. In addition to a technical presentation, Tamra Kerns of National Instruments will discuss future product directions and the new multiuser site license for Berkeley Lab.

Atoms, Book Signing At Hall of Science

Starting next month, the world of atoms will be demonstrated at the Lawrence Hall of Science by means of familiar entertainment themes. On display from Oct. 2 through Jan. 9 will be "The Atoms Family," which creates a Gothic environment filled with more than 25 activities and experiments. Atoms and matter will come alive in "Phantom of the Opera: Basic Principles of Matter," while "Dracula" will introduce young people to the properties of light, waves and particles.

On Oct. 17, author and San Francisco Examiner science writer Keay Davidson will sign copies of his book, Carl Sagan: A Life, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Currents Online

The full text and color photographs of each edition of Currents are published online at You may find a link on the Lab's home page under the heading "Publications." The site allows users to do searches of past articles going back to 1994.

Voicemail System Switches to New Features Package

Two years ago the Telephone Service Center installed a new voicemail system which included an Enhanced Feature Package. The system, which offers state-of-the-art features such as visual messenger and fax messaging, has been running parallel to the basic VMX 5000 package. Starting Dec. 17, however, the old system will not be supported any longer.

Employees still using VMX 5000 will be switched over to the Enhanced Package beginning Oct. 1. The users affected will be notified via voicemail of the date they will be changed over. A new voicemail booklet and reference card will be sent in the mail.

Further details can be found on the Telephone Services website at For more information contact the Telephone Service Center by e-mail at

Runaround XXII on Oct. 15 Volunteers Needed

Whether you're a veteran marathon runner or simply enjoy taking part in Berkeley Lab's annual funfest, it's time to pull out that old T-shirt and get ready for the 22nd annual Runaround, to be held on Friday, Oct. 15 from noon to 1:00 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to join in the fun by walking, running, biking or otherwise tackling the 3 km course. Preregistration is not necessary. Refreshments and entertainment will be waiting at the finish line.

Volunteers are needed for a variety of committees. If you would like to lend a hand, contact Steve Derenzo at

As customary, the Runaround will begin at the Firehouse and end in the cafeteria parking lot. A non-competitive bike-around will begin at 11:30 a.m. A downloadable map of the course in pdf format can be found on the Runaround website at runaround/.

Shuttle bus service on the Hill will be interrupted for the duration of the event and the cafeteria parking lot will be closed from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Organizers are asking everyone to avoid driving during that time.

For more information contact Steve Derenzo (SEDerenzo@lbl. gov) or look up the Runaround website listed above.

Dance Lessons Continue at Lab

A second four-week series of dance lessons will be offered during lunchtime at Berkeley Lab starting Monday, Oct. 11, from noon to 1:00 on the lower level of the Bldg. 51. The featured dances in this series will be the swing and the foxtrot. Future sessions are expected to include the rhumba, salsa, tango, line dancing and other dances suggested by the participants. No previous dance experience is required. Free practice sessions are held every Wednesday at noon.

The lessons are taught by Charlene Van Ness, a professional dance instructor for 18 years, who currently teaches at the Berkeley YWCA.

The cost is $20 for the four-week session (nonrefundable) or $6 per lesson on a drop-in basis. Participants are asked to come 10 minutes early for sign-up on the first day. To register, contact Joy Kono at JNKono@ or Sharon Fujimura at

Information Sessions For Electronic Supplies Vendor

Procurement is offering two information sessions for the Laboratory's system subcontract with Newark Electronics, which will provide all of the Lab's electronic component supplies. The sessions, which will include a demonstration of online ordering procedures, will be held in Perseverance Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 29, at 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

For more information look up Procurement's website at or contact Zelma Richardson at X4216.

Rideshare Week Observed at Lab

Commuting alternatives to driving will be the theme as Berkeley Lab observes California Rideshare Week (Oct. 4 - 8) with a special event and promotions on Thurdsay, Oct. 7. From 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., representatives from RIDES and Enterprise Vanpool will be on hand in the cafeteria lobby to provide information and answer questions.

RIDES will give away beach bags and commuter cups to all employees who sign up for their Ridematching services. A drawing for T-shirts will be held at the end of the program.

Calendar of Events

September 24 - October 8

General Interest


Hispanic Heritage Month Speakers Forum
Noon, Bldg. 50 auditorium
Pedro Noguera, Marsha Murrington


7:30 - 3:30, cafeteria parking lot

11:30 - 12:40, cafeteria parking lot

Rideshare/Commuter Information
11:30 - 2:00, cafeteria lobby


Music Club
12:00 - 1:00., lower cafeteria

Dance classes are held Mondays from noon to 1:00 on the lower level of Bldg. 51. Martial arts classes are held every Monday and Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:15 p.m., also on the ground floor of Bldg. 51.

Items for the calendars may be sent via e-mail to, faxed to X6641, or mailed to Bldg. 65B. The deadline for the Oct. 8 issue is 5:00 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4.

Seminars & Lectures

SEPTEMBER 20, Monday

Physics Department
"The Neutrino Puzzle" will be presented by George Fuller of UC San Diego.
4:30 p.m., 1 Le Conte Hall

SEPTEMBER 24, Friday

Earth Sciences Division
"Modelling of Radiolytic Dissolution of Spent Fuel" will be presented by Ivars Neretnicks of the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.
11:00 a.m., Bldg 90-2063

SEPTEMBER 27, Monday

Physics Department
"Experiments with Atoms in Optical Lattices" will be presented by David Weiss of UC Berkeley.
4:30 p.m., 1 LeConte Hall

SEPTEMBER 28, Tuesday

Life Sciences Division
"Heregulin Promotes Breast Cancer Invasion and Metastasis Through the Induction of a Specific Ligand for the aVB3 Antigen" will be presented by Ruth Lupu of Life Sciences.
4:00 p.m., Bldg 84-318

SEPTEMBER 30, Thursday

Astronomy Colloquia
"Lambda or Not Lambda?" will be presented by Alex Filippenko of UC Berkeley.
4:30 p.m. 2 LeConte Hall

OCTOBER 5, Tuesday

Life Sciences Division
"The Phospholipid Scramblase Gene Family" will be presented by Peter Sims of Scripps Research Institute.
4:00 p.m., Bldg. 84-318

OCTOBER, 6 Wednesday

Environment Health and Safety Division
"Emergency Medical Response in a Radiation Environment" will be presented by Jerome Kunzman of Los Alamos National Laboratory.
9:30 a.m., Bldg. 66 auditorium

OCTOBER 7, Thursday

Astronomy Colloquia
"Microlensing" will be presented by Kim Griest of UC San Diego.
4:30 p.m. 2 LeConte Hall, UC Berkeley

OCTOBER 7, Thursday

Materials Sciences Division
"Creating Molecular Guidance Systems to Stereodirect Reactions at Surface" will be presented by Rasmita Raval of the Univeristy of Liverpool, England.
1:30 p.m. Bldg. 66 auditorium

OCTOBER 7, Thursday

Environmental Energy Technologies Division
"Computation and Validation of Surface Solar Irradiance for the Globe Using Data from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP)" will be presented by Jim Bishop of Earth Sciences.
Noon, Bldg 90-3148.

OCTOBER 8, Friday

Earth Sciences Division
"Frequency-Dependent Acoustic Anisotropy in Fractured Rock" will be presented by Serji Nakagawa of Earth Sciences.
11:00 a.m., Bldg 90-2063

Employee Association Elections

The Employee Activities Association is holding labwide elections to fill two vacant three-year seats on its Advisory Panel. Ballots are currently being accepted from all Lab employees.

The panel's main functions are to make recommendations on the scope of EAA programs; advise, review and recommend the distribution of recreation funds; monitor activities as needed; provide and develop long-term program planning; and recommend new activity clubs and programs.

Balloting Instructions

Ballots (see form on back page) must be received by Oct. 8. Mark your choice of candidates -- one for each position -- on the form and make sure to include your employee ID number. Your ballot will remain confidential.

Send the completed ballot to Kathy Gray, Human Resources, MS 65, or vote by e-mail by sending the names of the candidates to

The second highest vote-getters in each category will be asked to serve as alternates in the event that any of the elected members cannot complete their term.

More information on EAA sponsored groups and activities can be found at

Candidate Statements

Cultural Representative

* Claudia Quezada, Program Assistant, Workforce Diversity Office

I have been with LBNL serving as program assistant for the Office of Workforce Diversity since October 1998. I have a long track record of serving on committees and panels; my most recent experiences include:

Onsite Experience: current co-chair of the Lab's Latino and Native American Association and administrative assistant to the Lab's Diversity Committee. In both of these positions I am entrusted with the task of promoting a work environment in which all employees are and feel valued, included, supported, and encouraged. I work on developing ideas for changes that improve diversity in the work place and help promote awareness, understanding and valuing of diversity.

Offsite Experience: current president of the Public Administration Society at CSU Hayward, where I am pursuing a Masters degree in Public Policy; and past vice president and treasurer of CSU Chico's Japan Club.

I hold two degrees from CSU Chico: one in business and one in international relations. I am very much interested in serving on the Employee Activities Association's Advisory Panel as cultural representative because I have the knowledge and expertise needed to help coordinate EAA activities, provide long-term planning and make recommendations regarding new programs and activities. More importantly, I have a desire to actively pursue excellence within the EAA.

Thank you for your vote. Please do not hesitate to e-mail me if you have any questions. I would love to hear from you.

* Shelley Worsham, Waste Minimization Specialist, Environment Health & Safety Division

I would like to offer my talent and time to serve as a representative on the EAA Advisory Panel for a second term. This is an opportunity for me to give back to the Laboratory through my service as an active member on the EAA Panel. Over the last two years, several new activities have been initiated, while others have become annual events. I look forward to being able to contribute to the growth of this association and its involvement of each employee's unique interests.

Committees or panels I serve on:

  • EAA Panel Representative

  • Waste Minimization Committee: chairperson

  • Green Team: secretary

  • Yoga Club: secretary

  • Annual Craft Fair Committee: chairperson

  • Open House Task Force: EH&S liaison

  • Health & Safety Month: chairperson

Recreational Representative

* Lisa Cordova, Purchasing Assistant, matrixed to Engineering Division

I am interested in re-nomination for Recreational Representative. I've been at Lab for 12 years. I am currently on the Panel and have enjoyed bringing some fun activities to LBNL employees, such as Six Flags Marine World, Oakland A's, and Water World. I am currently handling LBNL discount cards for Disneyland, Marine World, Magic Mountain, and Sea World, which is on a volunteer basis. And I'm just getting started! I'm finding out what our employees would like to do, so being re-elected would keep the wheels in motion.

* Stephen Derenzo, Senior Scientist, Life Sciences Division.

I am interested in serving on the Advisory Panel as a recreational representative.

I have been one of the LBNL Runaround organizers for the past 19 years, and am active in long distance trail running. If elected to the Advisory Panel, I will work to maintain and strengthen LBNL's commitment to providing its staff with a wide range of opportunities for physical recreation. I have previously served on the LBL recreation panel in the mid 1980s.

Flea Market

Autos / Supplies

`71 VOLVO station wagon, custom features, rebuilt engine, 38K mi, new paint, many extras, exc cond, $2,100/obo, Don X7972

`82 VOLVO 240 DL, very reliable, commuter car and family vehicle, passed smog test in Sept, $1,500/bo, Jens, X7483, 848-9897

`83 BUICK Regal, 3.8L V6,142K mi, automatic, 2 dr, new front tires, brakes, battery, runs great, $1,000, Miroslaw, X4305, 525-6948

`89 HONDA Civic Si: Sports, fuel inj, black paint, black interior, sunroof, 5 spd, premium wheels, recaro seats, runs well, new exhaust syst, recent brake overhaul, good tires, $3,200/bo, Nigel, 643-2468

`91 ACURA Integra, GS-Hatchback, 82k mi, alarm, sunroof, alloy wheels, orig owner, $8,700, Peter, X5983, or Patty, (925) 687-1827

`92 CHRYSLER LeBaron Landau, V6 3.0 L, only 72 K mi, 4 dr, automatic, blue, ac, air bag, pwr steer/windows/locks/seat, cruise, am/fm/cass, great cond., $4,995, Erik X6958, 486-1487


EL CERRITO HILLS, furn rm, bay view, household privileges include utilities, wash/dry/kitchen, 15 min from Lab, $600/mo, Larry, X5406, 235-9268

LAKE MERRITT, share 2 bdrm/2 bth apt with female RA, bright, spacious, balcony w/ view, garage, 1 blk from lake & bus, bdrm furn. optional, 20 unit bldg, washer/dryer, $520/mo. + $550 dep, avail 10/15, min 5 months, Saki, X2365

NORTH BERKELKEY, inlaw unit, 3 rm studio, furnished, private bth, nr shops/transp, 1 adult only, non-smoker, no pets, light cooking, kitchen, washer/ dryer, separate entrance, $800, 1st/last + $200 dep, 1/4 util, month-to-month, Santa Barbara near Florida, avail Oct. 1, 527-1833

SAN FRANCISCO, 2 rms, near SFSU/City College, priv phone line, heat, walk to BART/transp, ideal for non-smoking male, large rm $450, sm rm $380, Mike or Gwen, (415) 587-6400

VALLEJO, townhouse, 3bd,1-1/2 bth, $850/mo, util not incl, 2 car garage, large fenced backyard, laundry hook-up, avail 10/15, Shirley, X7113


49ers TICKETS, Wash Redskins, 12/26, sec 6, lower res, row 2, seats 18 &19, $150 pair, cash only, Sheryl, X5126

BIKE, Motiv, mountain, men's, $190, avail 9/29, Joakim, X7802

BIKE, child's Mongoose, suitable for age 4-7, Fred, X4892

CELL PHONE, Nokia 6150 digital PCS, free if you take over my plan with Pac Bell at $35/month, incl 500 weekend and 100 weekday mins, commitment until 2/15, transfer of plan is officially made by Pac Bell, Erik, X6958, 486-1487

COMPUTER, Mac LCIII with external CD ROM, 170 MB HD, $100, Don, X4558

COMPUTER, Mac Performa 6215CD, 48 MB RAM, 750 MB HD, PPC603, 75 MHz,15" monitor, 28.8 kbps GV modem, Stylewriter 1200 printer, $300, Peter, X7653

DESK, small solid wood w/ drawers, $15, vacuum cleaner (Hoover), $15, Matthias, X7940, 526-5495

MAC LAPTOPS, Powerbook 540c, 2 batteries, video out cable, BTI pwr supply, 9.5," Active Matrix color, 36 Megs RAM, 500 HD, GV 19.2 fax modem, AUI -10/baseT ethernet adapter, syst disks and manuals, exc cond, $500; Powerbook 160, 8 megs RAM, 16 greyscale passive matrix screen, dead HD, otherwise great cond, $100/bo, Dan, X7763, 528-0387 (eve)

MATRESSES, twin, box spring, frame, used approx 1 yr, bought soft, good cond, $50/bo, Annie, X4207, 841-8171

PRINTER, PC laser, Packard Bell 9815, $125, Ken, X7739, 482-3331

TELEVISION, Philips 19", color, remote, like new, $100, radio/CD player, $20, Ralf, X7521

TENNIS SHOES, men's size 10, used once, $10, Ken, X7739, 482-3331

TICKETS, SF Opera, Ballo in Maschera, 10/1, $150/pair, Diana, X6444

YARD SALE, 9/25, multifamily, 2300 blk of Stuart, Berkeley, antiques, appliances, books, clothes, furniture, more, Faye X7928


BED, double size, good cond, Hongxin, X609

CAT CARE, seeking responsible, trustworthy person for occasional indoor care, esp need 2 weeks at Xmas, $7/ day remuneration, Jen, X7475, 649-0610

HOUSING/HOUSESITTING, married postdoc couple, Oct-Nov or Nov only, studio or 1 bdrm apt OK, Barbara, or Andreas, X5453

HOUSING, postdoc researcher, married w/ 2 children (ages 9 and 5) from Germany/Switzerland, begin fall 99 for 1 or 2 yrs, 2-3 bdrm,

HOUSING, visiting prof w/ wife, arrive 10/15 from Israel, 1 yr, need 2 bdrm apt/house, pref Berkeley, El Cerrito, Albany, (Micha Polak)

SCANNER, used, for PC, incl software, Matthias, X7940, 526-5495


SO LAKE TAHOE, spacious chalet in Tyrol area, close to Heavenly, peek of the Lake from front porch, fully furn, sleeps 8+, sunny deck, pool and spa in Club House, close to casinos, shopping, more, $125/night, Maria, 724-9450


VAN POOL, needs extra rider from SF Haight, Noe Valley and Castro regions to UCB and LBNL, 8 am and 5 pm, David, X6013


KITTENS, adorable, calico, grey, tabby, orange, creme, black/white, raised in loving home, m/f, avail. 9/29, will be 6.5 wks old, Chris X7736, (530) 477-6173

Flea Market Ad Policy

Ads are accepted only from LBNL employees, retirees, and onsite DOE personnel. 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. No ads are taken over the phone.

Ads will be repeated only as space permits. The deadline for the Oct. 8 issue is Friday, Oct. 1.