February 22, 2002 Search the Currents Archive

Lab Launches Pilot Program: "Today at Berkeley Lab"

ALS "Ideal Machine" To Study Particles in Air from Ground Zero

New Findings on Breast Cancer Announced at AAAS
News from the AAAS Meeting
Congresswoman Barbara Lee Visits Berkeley Lab
Berkeley Lab Currents
New Website Addresses UC-Enron Issues
Trevor Hawkins to Leave Berkeley Lab
Nearly One Hundred Researchers Awarded Royalty Checks
Mathematician Honored by UC
Little Robot That Could Tracks Plankton Growth in Stormy Antarctic Waters
"Friends of Science" Reaches Out to Community
Bulletin Board
EH&S Classes – March 2002
Flea Market
Flea Market Policy

Lab Launches Pilot Program: "Today at Berkeley Lab"

Beginning March 4 employees will have a flashy new medium available to get up-to-the-minute information about daily events and activities at Berkeley Lab. Two large-format plasma video screens (24 by 40 inches) are being installed as part of a three-month pilot project, "Today at Berkeley Lab," designed to enhance internal communications for employees.

"I am excited about the potential for this project to provide every employee of the Laboratory with the information they need to be a full member of the Berkeley Lab team," said Lab Director Charles Shank.

Each morning the screens will post the day’s schedule of activities, general announcements regarding facilities and events, and other news about the Lab’s scientific programs, both around the Hill and farther afield. In addition to rotating messages, streaming video will be incorporated when available, using a new software, "Adapt." Viewers will have about 10 seconds to read each screen before it refreshes, with the information repeating every few minutes.

Looking for more information about a particular topic, or don’t have time to wait? No problem. A mirror site with the same information will be accessible via the Internet and linked to the Lab’s home page.

Initially, the screens will be mounted on pedestals in the cafeteria lobby and at the main entrance to Building 50. Evaluation forms will be available at each site for passers-by to comment on the value and content of the screens and the utility of the program, as well as to make suggestions for improvements. Questionnaires will also be available via the web site, and occasionally employees will be interviewed in person.

If the response is positive, the Lab hopes to expand the use of the screens to locations throughout the Lab community, on and off the Hill.

The project will be managed jointly by the Public Information and the Technical and Electronic Information departments. Members of the Information Systems and Services Department provided technical support.

ALS "Ideal Machine" To Study Particles
in Air from Ground Zero

By Paul Preuss

On Monday, February11, a group led by Thomas Cahill, professor emeritus of physics and atmospheric sciences at the University of California at Davis, announced the first results from an ongoing study of air quality near "ground zero," the site where the World Trade Center was brought down by terrorists last September 11.

In samples of particulate matter collected continuously from early October to mid-December they found unprecedented high concentrations of very fine particles — less than a quarter of a micrometer in size (less than a quarter-millionth of a meter) — plus abnormally persistent high levels of coarse particles presumably produced by fires that continued to burn underground.

Among many other pollutants, the level of very fine sulfur in the World Trade Center air was higher than in the Kuwaiti oil fields during the fires ignited during the Gulf War of 1991, Cahill says. "Can you imagine being a fireman digging through that stuff?"

The studies were carried out at UC Davis, where the DELTA Group (for detection and evaluation of long-range transport of aerosols) led by Cahill is based, as well as at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source.

As members of a Participating Research Team (PRT) at the ALS, Cahill, PRT Manager Steve Cliff, and their colleagues use beamline 10.3.1 for x-ray fluorescence studies of samples at very high resolution. When illuminated by x-rays in the right energy range, each element re-emits x-rays at characteristic energies, allowing the exact composition of the sample to be determined for elements from sodium to uranium in a single 30-second exposure.

"The ALS is from my point of view an ideal machine for our work," says Cahill, "with a virtually perfect energy range — not more energy than we need and not less." He lists several factors that make the ALS and beamline 10.3.1 "unique and powerful" for x-ray fluorescence studies.

"First, of course, is the extraordinary brightness of the ALS. Combined with the ability to focus the beam to a micron in diameter, this high flux means we can pour lots of x-rays into a small area quickly, then rapidly move to the next region."

Cahill credits Al Thompson of the ALS, spokesperson for beamline 10.3.1, with achieving the beam's remarkably small spot size. "Another factor that makes the ALS ideal is that the beam is polarized, which makes the typical x-ray background level go away and the characteristic fluorescence of each element stand out."

Finally, says Cahill, the ALS operates stably and steadily. "You can spend your time setting up a run, knowing that conditions won't change for hours. That allows tremendous throughput — virtually unlimited capacity." The World Trade Center study alone involved some 2,000 separate analyses, out of a total of 25,000 done during January. Most of the rest were from a study of air quality in Asia.

Although the DELTA Group has concentrated on studies of air quality, including volcanic eruptions, global dust storms, and Kuwaiti oil-well fires in the aftermath of the Gulf War, these are only one aspect of Cahill's wide research program.

"At present we’re using the beamline to do studies in vacuum, but soon we'll be able to do studies in air of such things as historical documents. I suspect we're going to find a few surprises." All in all, says Cahill, "I see a very bright future for a very bright source."

"The level of very fine sulfur in the World Trade Center air was higher than in the Kuwaiti oil fields during the fires ignited during the Gulf War of 1991."

For more on the DELTA Group, including details of work on World Trade Center air quality, visit http://delta.ucdavis.edu/.

New Findings on Breast Cancer
Announced at AAAS

By Lynn Yarris

New experimental findings by Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff, a cell biologist in the Life Sciences Division, show that exposure to ionizing radiation creates a microenvironment in the tissue surrounding breast cells that can cause even nonirradiated cells and their progeny to become cancerous. The discovery suggests new and possibly more effective means for preventing breast cancer.

Speaking in Boston at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Barcellos-Hoff described her study in which a special line of nonirradiated, nonmalignant breast cells were transplanted into irradiated mammary glands. Nearly 75 percent of the transplanted glands developed tumors, and the effect persisted up to 14 days after the radiation exposure. Tumors developed in less than 20 percent of the glands when Barcellos-Hoff transplanted the same type of cells into non-irradiated mice.

"Our studies demonstrate that radiation elicits rapid and persistent global alterations in the mammary gland microenvironment," says Barcellos-Hoff. "We believe that these radiation-induced microenvironments lead to changes in the physical characteristics (phenotypes) of cells and their progeny that promote carcinogenesis. In other words, radiation exposure can cause breast cancer by pathways other than genetic mutations."

These two images of a special line of breast cells compare non-irradiated cells on the left to irradiated cells on the right. Cell nuclei are dyed red, and E-cadherin, an important cell-to-cell adhesion molecule, is dyed green. The nonirradiated cells adhere together in a tightly organized clump, known as an acini, while the irradiated cells, lacking adhesion, are disorganized. Berkeley Lab researchers propose that extracellular communication disrupted by the irradiation is the cause.

Studies by Barcellos-Hoff and her research group indicate that one of these alternative pathways is damage to the tissue that surrounds a breast cell. This surrounding tissue, which includes a network of fibrous and globular proteins called the extracellular matrix (ECM), normally acts to suppress cells from becoming cancerous.

"Repairing damaged tissue so that it once again suppresses instead of promotes carcinogenesis is a simpler strategy for stopping the cancer process compared to trying to repair individual damaged cells," says Barcellos-Hoff. "Our data is pointing to the tissue surrounding breast cells as a primary target of ionizing radiation damage."

Ionizing radiation is a well-established carcinogen, but previous studies of its cancer-causing effects have largely focused on damage to the breast cells’ DNA. If repaired improperly, this damage gives rise to genetic mutations or chromosome damage that if passed on to daughter cells leads to cancer. In that context, the question for medical researchers has been: How do cells become cancerous?

Barcellos-Hoff has pursued a different tack. "It takes a tissue to make a tumor," she says. "Cells don’t become tumors without cooperation from the surrounding tissue. Cancer is a process that occurs at the tissue level and the question we ought to be asking is: How do tissues become tumors?"

To answer that question, Barcellos-Hoff and her group, which includes postdoctoral fellow Rhonda Henshall-Powell, have focused their attention on the extracellular signaling that takes place between a cell and the microenvironment of its surrounding tissue. Their studies and others have shown that proper communications between the cell and its microenvironment is crucial to normal functioning. The director of the Life Sciences Division, Mina Bissell, has shown that breakdown in these communications can initiate the cancer process, or cause an abnormally high rate of apoptosis — programmed cell death — another significant factor in the development of breast and other cancers.

"Ionizing radiation is like a wound in that it produces a defensive response from the affected tissue. Usually this helps to protect undamaged cells and eliminates those that have become abnormal," Barcellos-Hoff says. "However, if there is too much damage, the defense response can become a problem."

For example, exposure to just the right dose of ultraviolet radiation will cause skin tissue to respond by producing melanin, the protective skin-darkening pigment. Too much exposure at once, however, leads to sunburn, and repeated exposures over time will damage the tissue, causing wrinkles and possibly skin cancer. In the case of mammary glands exposed to low doses of ionizing radiation, the surrounding tissue has been programmed to send signals to the cells that would suppress genomic mutations and cause cell apoptosis. But as the exposure intensifies, the defense program becomes "corrupted" and the wrong signals get transmitted.

"We hypothesize that under certain conditions, radiation exposure prevents normal cell interactions, which in turn predisposes susceptible cells to genomic instability that can result in mutations," Barcellos-Hoff says.

In their study with cells transplanted into irradiated mammary glands, Barcellos-Hoff and senior research associate Shraddha Ravani, exposed specially created epithelium-free glands (mouse epithelium develops postnatally and is readily removed from the gland) to low-level radiation doses (4 grays, or 400 rads). Upon observing the persistent carcinogenic effects on the transplanted cells, they established that the radiation damage to the tissue was generating signals that altered how the cells’ genomes were expressed. This resulted in the creation of a new cell phenotype with physical characteristics that were cued by the extracellular signals to act cancerous. Breast cells acquiring the new phenotypes passed these characteristics onto their daughter cells.

Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff, a cell biologist with the Life Sciences Division, has shown that exposure to ionizing radiation can cause breast cancer by pathways other than genetic mutations.

"Genomes are like the keys on a piano, in that the same keys can be used to play a wide variety of music," says Barcellos-Hoff. "In our studies, the ionizing radiation elicited changes in how the genomes of the transplanted cells were being expressed by changing the extracellular signals they were receiving."

Barcellos-Hoff and her colleagues now want to identify the altered signals that are being sent from the irradiated tissue to the cells and determine the mechanism by which these signals are destabilizing breast cell genomes. To do so, they are using a model of organized human breast cells developed by Bissell.

In her AAAS talk, Barcellos-Hoff also discussed the preliminary findings of a study on which she is working in collaboration with Bissell and radiation oncologist Catherine Park. The team has found that irradiated human breast cells also show persistent phenotypic changes that affect their ability to interact with other cells. Such behavior is typical of cancer cells.

News from the AAAS Meeting

By Lynn Yarris

Terrorism Won’t Stop Science, Marburger Tells AAAS

"This administration is determined not to let terrorism deflect America from its trajectory of world leadership in science," said John Marburger, science adviser to President Bush and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

Speaking in Boston at the 168th national meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Marburger told a large and receptive audience that science in America and the world will forge ahead despite the war on terrorism.

"Having produced the means for great strides in science, and in accompanying technologies for improved health care, economic competitiveness, and quality of life, it would be foolish to turn aside now from the course of discovery while we engage the monster of terrorism — an evil force that denies the benefits of progress and the search for truth," he said.

As proof of the administration’s undiminished support for science, Marburger noted that the President’s FY03 budget adds nearly $4 billion to NIH funding and calls for increased spending on research into computers and information technology, and into a collection of activities that the science adviser described as "nanotechnology." The Bush budget also acknowledged that the war on terrorism, as well as homeland security and economic revival, are all served by investments in science, engineering, and education.

Calls For Environmental Action by AAAS President

 "The world has been converted in an instant of time from a wild, natural one to one in which human beings are consuming, wasting, or diverting an estimated 45-percent of total net biological productivity on land and using more than half the renewable fresh water."

So said Peter Raven, president of the AAAS, in the emotional address with which he opened the national meeting. Raven called upon the United States and other wealthy nations to "reach out to the poor and disenfranchised of the world, and to cut back on levels of consumption that are destroying the earth’s environment."

Raven is director of the Missouri Botanical Garden, one of the world’s leading tropical plant research facilities. He’s also a fierce environmentalist whose many books, articles, and public lectures call for an end to the global decimation of plants. In his address, Raven did not deign to tone down his rhetoric.

While acknowledging the importance of preventing acts of terrorism, he emphasized another priority.

"The overall goal should be no less than the empowerment of individuals throughout the world, and the ultimate construction of a society in which people can live in peace and justice."

Raven called upon AAAS members to "dedicate ourselves to expanding our global leadership role on behalf of science and society."

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Visits Berkeley Lab

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who represents Berkeley and Oakland in the U.S. House of Representatives, visited Berkeley Lab on Feb.11. Stops on her tour included facilities such as the Advanced Light Source, Life Sciences and Genomics laboratories, Environmental Energy Technologies, and the Compact Neutron Source lab.

She is pictured here with Lab Director Charles Shank and researcher Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff. Photo by Robert Couto

Budget Outlook: Ups and Downs for Berkeley Lab

By Reid Edwards

With the introduction of the Administration’s FY 2003 budget request, the process that will determine Berkeley Lab’s budget for the next fiscal year  moves into its Congressional phase. Committees in Congress have already begun hearings, and there will be increasing news about the ups and downs of this process as we move into the spring and summer months.

As to Berkeley Lab, a preliminary examination of the request points to a budget that, if approved as requested, would provide the Laboratory with overall DOE funding at a level equal to, or slightly above, that of the current year. The "as requested" qualifier is important, because the Congress is certain to make changes to the request, some of which may impact Berkeley Lab programs.

Perhaps one of the most exciting parts of the request is a significant increase in funding — from $500,000 this year to $6.8 million — to continue project engineering and design for Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry. This exciting new national user facility, to be located between Bldgs. 72 and 66, will support novel research into the design, modeling, synthesis, processing, and fabrication of nanoscale materials and their characterization.

Another positive part of the budget request is a $2.5 million increase in the operations budget for the Advanced Light Source. This is the largest percentage increase proposed for any of DOE’s synchrotron radiation sources, and reflects the tremendous progress made by the ALS in the last few years. The ALS is noted in the President’s DOE budget statement as a facility that went through some difficulties and has emerged as having "established areas of excellence in a number of important scientific areas."

The ALS increase is part of a larger increase throughout the Office of Science for its national user facilities. At Berkeley Lab, this also means an increase in the operating budget for the 88-Inch Cyclotron. This increase is part of an overall six percent increase proposed for the Nuclear Physics program.

The largest percentage increase for an Office of Science research program is in advanced scientific computing research. Both NERSC and ESnet are funded in this program, and both are proposed to be funded at the current year level. The proposed increase is in areas relating to scientific applications projects in nanoscience and genome applications, and for advanced computing research testbeds for topical applications (including some in which Berkeley Lab may play a role).

There is also a small increase for what will hopefully be a growing priority within the Office of Science. The Science Laboratories Infrastructure program is proposed to receive a $5.5 million increase. Last year’s funding will provide among other things, $2.5 million toward the ultimate cleanup and reuse of the Bevatron site, and additional funds for this effort are noted in the budget request.

The request for DOE’s energy efficiency programs is somewhat mixed. The request does propose an increase for the Federal Energy Management Program, whereby Berkeley Lab will help DOE make the federal government a more energy-efficient consumer. There is also an increase for advanced lighting R&D, and for appliance standards research. There is, however, a reduction in support for windows and daylighting research, as well as for battery research directed at future electric vehicles.

Again, all of this is subject to change during the congressional budget process — and this process will be different from last year in two important aspects. For the first time in many years, there is no agreed upon total for federal spending — either a surplus or deficit. The lack of this statutory cap may mean additional complications in determining the final outcome, particularly in conferencing the different funding levels between the House and Senate.

Secondly, this is an election year, so there is an incentive to complete the budget process closer to the October 1 start of the fiscal year so that House and Senate members can go home and campaign for reelection. It will all make for a very interesting, and hopefully positive, year.

Reid Edwards is the manager of Government and Community 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, [email protected]

STAFF WRITERS: Lisa Gonzales, 486-4698; Dan Krotz, 486-4109, Paul Preuss, 486-6249; Lynn Yarris, 486-5375

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Jon Bashor, X5849; Allan Chen, X4210

[email protected] /[email protected]

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Berkeley Lab is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy.

New Website Addresses UC-Enron Issues

In response to concerns regarding the Enron collapse and its impact on the University of California’s investment portfolio, UCOP’s Office of Strategic Communications has developed a website that addresses related issues at http://www.ucop.edu/news/enron. The site includes information regarding UC’s investment in Enron stock, the impact of recent developments on retirement plans, press releases, and details of the lawsuit.

UC lost $144.9 million as a result of its investments in Enron, including $115.5 million in the UC Retirement Plan portfolio. The Enron losses, however, represent less than 0.3% of the University’s total portfolio, which grew by more than $1.9 billion during the period of Sept. 30 – Nov. 30, 2001. Therefore, the Enron investments will have no impact on UC retirement benefits, according to James E. Holst, the University’s general counsel.

On Dec. 21, UC joined a class-action lawsuit against 29 senior executives of Enron Corporation and its accounting firm, Arthur Andersen. On Feb. 15, the United States District Court named the University lead plaintiff in the shareholders’ class action lawsuit, which seeks to recover investment losses resulting from the University’s purchase and sale of Enron stock between May 2000 and Nov. 2001.

For more information, contact Paul Schwartz at [email protected] ucop.edu.

Trevor Hawkins to Leave Berkeley Lab

By Monica Friedlander

Last week, Trevor Hawkins, head of the Joint Genome Institute and the Lab’s Genomics Division, announced he will leave his position here and join Amersham Biosciences, a leading company in the field of disease research and drug development and manufacturing. Hawkins, widely recognized as a pioneer in the field of genetic sequencing technology and analysis, will be responsible for setting the strategic direction of the company’s genomics business.

In a letter to his colleagues, Hawkins explained that his difficult decision to leave "this phenomenal institution" (the JGI) was prompted by his long term career interests.

"Although my experience at the JGI has been tremendous and I will greatly miss it, it is time for me to get back to the commercial sector again," Hawkins wrote.

He said he plans to continue his involvement with the JGI and DOE research in an advisory role.

Lab Director Charles Shank thanked Hawkins for his contributions to the Lab and the JGI.

"The Department of Energy, the University of California, and the three participating JGI national laboratories owe Trevor an enormous debt for his inspirational leadership and accomplishments since 1999," Shank said. "He directed the genomic sequencing efforts of Berkeley, Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories into a singular focus that enabled the JGI to become the first institute in the world to complete its portion of the draft sequencing of the human genome. This was a stunning achievement on the part of the entire team led by Trevor, and is an indication of his unique strength in utilizing cutting-edge technology to transform genomic research."

Shank added that in the coming weeks, he and Hawkins will work with their colleagues at Livermore and Los Alamos to develop plans for JGI’s future.

Hawkins started his career with the JGI in 1999 as deputy director. He was appointed head of the newly-formed Genomics Division in July 2000 and became director of the JGI in November 2000.

"The past three years have been truly wonderful, and JGI has come a very long way in such a short time," Hawkins wrote. "Together, we’ve undergone a complete rethinking of JGI’s mission as the sequencing phase of the human genome project is completed and we stand ready to take the next big leap."

A native of England, Hawkins earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Sussex in 1989 and his Ph.D. in biochemistry at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge in 1993. For four years he worked for the Whitehead Institute at MIT, one of the partners in the human genome consortium. Prior to joining the JGI, he served as vice president of genomics for CuraGen Corporation and taught at the University of Florida.

His years as leader of the JGI, Hawkins said, have been especially gratifying.

"I will carry the honor of working in such a talented and prestigious public facility in all my future endeavors."

Nearly One Hundred Researchers
Awarded Royalty Checks

By Pam Seidenman

On Friday, Feb. 8, Deputy Director Pier Oddone and the Technology Transfer Department awarded a total of $327,575 to Berkeley Lab inventors. These royalties were earned in FY 2001 for technologies licensed to companies to develop into commercial products and processes. More than $750,000 in additional royalty revenues will go to the Laboratory to cover patent costs and to support research and development at Berkeley Lab.

(Click to enlarge)

Ninety-nine inventors and software developers from eight divisions received royalty checks ranging from $100 to just over $50,000, with an average royalty payment of $3,309. The divisions represented were the ALS, AFRD, Engineering, EETD, Earth Sciences, Life Sciences, Material Sciences, and NERSC. Many of the recipients have received royalty awards in previous years, including Steve Visco, Lut DeJonghe, Chin-Fu Tsang, and Frank Hale, all of whom picked up a royalty check for the sixth time.

The wide variety of companies that returned royalties to Berkeley Lab include nine start-ups based on Lab technology. These include Syrrx, a structural proteomics company; PolyPlus, a manufacturer of lithium-polymer batteries; and Berkeley Heart Lab, which specializes in cardiovascular diagnostic testing. Several major multinational corporations, such as Bayer and Aventis Pharmaceuticals, also licensed from Berkeley Lab.

Technology Transfer presented the first royalty payment 10 years ago to Gisella Clemons, now retired from the Life Sciences Division. The royalty distribution growth rate has been robust throughout the last decade, and reached 18 percent last year.

For new inventions or copyrighted works, University policy allows inventors to receive 35 percent of the net royalties earned by their technologies. Each license begins with a disclosure of the technology. For more information on how to disclose an invention or piece of software, contact Pam Seidenman in the Technology Transfer Department at X6461.

Mathematician Honored by UC

Alexandre Chorin, a founding member of Berkeley Lab’s Mathematics Department and a professor at UC Berkeley, has been honored with the title of University Professor by the UC Regents. The title is reserved for scholars of international distinction who are also recognized and respected as exceptional teachers.

"We are delighted that Alexandre is being recognized with his appointment to University Professor," said Lab Deputy Director Pier Oddone. "We at Berkeley Lab have greatly benefited from Alexandre’s leadership of our applied mathematics program and are enormously proud of his achievements, both in his mathematical innovations and in his spawning whole generations of mathematicians in the Chorin mold."

Other Lab scientists accorded this recognition include Marvin Cohen, Melvin Calvin and Glenn Seaborg.

A native of Poland, Chorin, 63, grew up in Israel and Switzerland and joined UC Berkeley in 1971. He specializes in scientific computing, numerical analysis and computational methods of statistical mechanics. His true love, however, is one of the most difficult problems of applied mathematics: turbulence. For more than 30 years, Chorin has worked to develop computational methods for solving problems in fluid mechanics with the hope that they will eventually lead to an understanding turbulance.  

Chorin is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Little Robot That Could Tracks Plankton
Growth in Stormy Antarctic Waters

By Paul Pruess

A deep-diving SOLO float, specially equipped by scientists in the Earth Sciences Division to report on biological activity in the sea, has faithfully tracked a plankton bloom for over 200 kilometers through the stormy Southern Ocean — even helping the ship that fertilized the plankton growth with iron relocate the same watery patch three weeks later.

"This is the cloudiest place on the planet, and the winds have been awful," says Jim Bishop of ESD. He led the group who designed and equipped the SOLO floats, originally created by the instrument development group at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, as special "robotic carbon explorers." "But the float in the center of the fertilized patch just keeps sending — its antenna is spectacular. I call it ‘the little float that could.’"

Three times each day two of the SOLO floats — the one inside the patch and another outside, acting as a control — dive up and down several hundred meters to measure particulate carbon, most of it in the form of phytoplankton, or single-celled algae. The floats return to the surface daily and, weather permitting, report their Global Positioning System (GPS) positions and data to satellites overhead.

Making the Southern Ocean bloom

The floats were launched in mid-January from the research vessel Revelle, as part of the SOFeX experiment led by Moss Landing Marine Laboratory (MLML) and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). Three ships are involved, R/V Revelle and R/V Melville, both operated by Scripps, and the United States Coast Guard’s research icebreaker Polar Star.

The purpose of SOFeX, the Southern Ocean iron (Fe) experiment, is to test the "iron hypothesis" of the late John Martin. While director of MLML, Martin proposed that phytoplankton blooms can lower global temperature by removing carbon from the atmosphere. Since phytoplankton needs iron from sources like windblown dust to grow, Martin famously remarked "Give me half a tanker of iron, and I will give you an Ice Age."

One of the instruments deployed by Berkeley Lab researchers during SOFeX was the Multiple Unit Large Volume Filtration System, pictured aboard R/V New Horizon last summer.

The prospect of controlling atmospheric carbon through ocean fertilization and perhaps offsetting global warming are matters of intense interest to the Department of Energy and the other agencies and institutions participating in SOFeX. Consequently, under the scientific direction of MBARI’s Ken Johnson, R/V Revelle pumped an iron solution (somewhat less than half a tankerful) overboard in two regions of the Southern Ocean along 170 degrees west longitude.

The waters of the more northerly region, at about 55 degrees south latitude — the "howling 50s" of seagoing lore — are poor in the silicate that some phytoplankton need to form a shell. Thus plankton in that patch were expected to bloom sluggishly even after iron fertilization, while a more vigorous bloom was expected after fertilization of the silicate-rich (and iceberg-crowded) waters of the southern patch, at about 66 degrees south.

After Revelle "pumped iron" into these regions, Melville, led by principal SOFeX investigator Kenneth Coale of MLML, followed to measure changes in phytoplankton growth. Soon the Polar Star, under the scientific direction of Ken Buesseler of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, will visit the southern patch to begin assessing long-term carbon uptake.

Testing the waters

Most methods of testing the waters require towing instruments behind the ship or lowering them over the side, like the Multiple Unit Large Volume Filtration System (MULVFS) that Berkeley Lab researchers aboard Revelle used to trap particulate matter and haul it aboard ship. But the autonomous SOLO carbon explorers are unique.

To measure particulate carbon the robotic floats follow depth profiles that can be programmed and reprogrammed via satellite from virtually anywhere in the world. The floats surface daily to signal their positions and send data, saving up to 11 depth profiles if high winds interfere with transmission.

Revelle  started its voyage with four SOLO floats. One of the first two in the northern patch, designated SOLO2054, promptly drifted west when the fertilized water mixed and divided. The center of the main patch was recalculated and a third float, SOLO2104, was launched.

"We had programmed the depth profiles to keep the floats at a depth of 100 meters most of the time, instead of periodically ‘resting’ them at depth," Bishop explains. "We were a bit apprehensive, however, that by staying in the middle of the plankton bloom, the instruments — which measure particulate matter by how much light is transmitted through the water — might become fouled."

Revelle  headed south to fertilize a second patch of ocean. Fair skies there soon turned stormy. Because of its far-south location in the southern patch, the fourth and final SOLO float suffered raging storms and reduced satellite coverage. Heard from only once before February 14, that float reestablished contact and played back all its past profiles when the winds finally moderated.

Programming pays off

While Berkeley Lab researchers Todd Wood, Christopher Guay and Phoebe Lam were busy aboard Revelle, Bishop — using his laptop computer in Berkeley — was in daily contact with the floats tracking the northern patch. Although most of the time they were in relatively shallow waters rich in plankton, their instruments escaped biofouling.

"Our guess at how to program SOLO to stay with the patch seems to have paid off in a big way," Bishop says. "SOLO2104 has remained at or very near the center of the patch since it was deployed, and the control SOLO has maintained position nearby."

Revelle  returned to the northern patch on Feb. 7, guided by SOLO2104’s accurate GPS coordinates. Just before arrival, the ship finally received the first color image of the area in over three weeks, from NASA’s SeaWIFs satellite. The highest concentration of plankton was found near the float’s position, saving the ship enough search time, Bishop estimates, "to more than pay for the floats." 

Although winds throughout the region had exceeded 20 knots most of the time, and SOLO2104 was unable to transmit during the worst storms, "it played back its data faithfully afterwards," Bishop says. "We also have an almost unbroken record from the control SOLO, to make this part of the experiment a major success." Despite expectations that growth in the northern patch would be poor, "We can confidently say that particulate organic carbon in the patch has grown to be four or five times that outside the patch."

Revelle returned to dock in New Zealand on February 14, but the SOLO floats have enough power to continue profiling for at least three or four more months, long after ships have left the region. The information they report will play a crucial role in assessing the possible role of ocean fertilization in regulating carbon in the atmosphere through ocean carbon sequestration.

Berkeley Lab's participation in SOFeX was funded by the Ocean Carbon Sequestration Research Program, Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER), U.S. Department of Energy.

For more on the SOFeX project, visit http://www.mbari.org/education/cruises/SOFeX2002/. Logbooks of the three participating ships are available by pressing "Logbooks" on the navigation bar.

MLML’s website is at http://www.mlml.calstate.edu/index.html. For more about DOE research into ocean carbon sequestration, see http://www-ocean.lbl.gov/

"Friends of Science" Reaches Out to Community

By Ron Kolb

A new Berkeley Lab information and outreach program, titled "Friends of Science," has been launched in an effort to develop and support community interest in scientific research. Public Affairs is initiating a membership drive this month and has scheduled an evening kickoff lecture program on April 8.

Friends of Science is aimed at a San Francisco Bay Area audience, and membership is open to Lab employees. Benefits include regular e-mail communications about issues and programs, lectures, Laboratory tours, special mailings of publications (such as Currents and Research Review), and an interactive website (http://www.lbl.gov/friendsofscience) at which questions about science can be answered.

"The program is designed as a mechanism for providing information that will benefit those who maintain an interest in the value and impact of scientific research in our lives," said Public Affairs Director David McGraw. "For community members, teachers, students, community leaders and people who want to learn more about how science works, Friends of Science can be a worthwhile educational tool."

Brochures are currently being distributed to groups, school and local community prospects. Members will be invited to attend the inaugural April 8 event — a reception and talk to be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Perseverance Hall.

Laboratory Director Charles Shank is scheduled to welcome the group, and Deputy Director Pier Oddone and physicist Natalie Roe will speak about the challenges of subatomic investigations, such as the BaBar search for b-mesons.

McGraw said Berkeley Lab developed the Friends of Science concept from concern that decisions and policies guiding research activities should be understood by a scientifically informed citizenry.

"It is generally understood from various national studies," he said. "Broad public participation in developing those policies is encouraged, and effective participation requires a greater understanding of scientific programs and activities. We hope Berkeley Lab can contribute to this broadening of knowledge through enhanced communication and discussion."

Among Berkeley Lab’s missions is to improve science education in the schools and increase public understanding of science through outreach and service. Friends of Science is designed as a channel through which the Laboratory can meet those commitments.

Prospective members can sign up by returning the form on the brochure or by filling out an online application. There is no charge for participating. Brochures can be obtained from the Community Relations Office (X7292), or requested via e-mail ([email protected]).

Future lecture and discussion programs will be drawn from the "Did You Ever Wonder…?" campaign, promoted on Lab shuttle buses and the Lab web site. The first dozen in the series can be viewed at http://www.lbl.gov/wonder/.

Lab employees are encouraged to serve as ambassadors for the program and encourage participation from prospective Friends of Science members by distributing the brochures. For more information and brochures, contact Terry Powell, the Lab’s community relations coordinator at X7292.

Bulletin Board

Be a Part of Open House 2002

Informational Meeting on Feb. 26

Did you ever wonder how you might participate in planning and staging Berkeley Lab’s biannual Open House? Here’s your chance to help shape the nature and scope of the next one, scheduled for Saturday,  Oct. 5.

All interested employees are welcome to bring their lunch and join a noontime brown-bag discussion on Tuesday, Feb. 26 in Perseverance Hall. Coordinators of previous Open Houses will talk about their experience and invite comments and ideas for next fall’s event.

Building on the "Did You Ever Wonder…?" theme, publicized via bus sideboards and the Laboratory’s website, the 2002 Open House will offer visitors a variety of ways to get answers to their questions about science. The three previous Open House events have served as multi-media showcases of tours, activities and presentations for young and old alike. Kid-friendly hands-on demonstrations and activities have been especially well received.

An estimated 5,000 people attended each of the previous editions. Visitors were shuttled to the Lab from offsite parking lots and then given programs and maps filled with various options for viewing Laboratory research programs up close.

Planning for the event takes approximately six months, as individual programs, departments and divisions develop exhibits and tours to showcase their research. A central planning group will develop the overall strategy for transportation, schedule, staffing, and activity management.

Volunteers will be encouraged to sign up at the briefing for service during the planning stages and for Open House day.

Image:  openhouse.tiff

Lab Life

In Memoriam: Ralph Dufour

On Feb. 10, Ralph Dufour of El Cerrito passed away at the age of 81. A retiree from the Lab, he was a cyclotron operator for 28 years, from 1948 to 1975.

A graduate of UC Berkeley, Dufour served in the Army Air Corps from 1941 to 1945 in North Africa and Sardinia. He was a member of the 320th Bomb Group.

At the Lab, he met Alice Dodson, whom he married in 1951.

Dufour is survived by his wife Alice, daughter Marjorie Iafrate, sons John, Steven, Thomas, and William, and six grandchildren.

Science Fair Judges Needed

Judges are sought by Franklin Middle School in Vallejo, which will host a science fair on Wednesday, March 13. The judging will be at the display level only. No interviews will be conducted, but judges will be able to interact with some of the students at a noontime reception.

The teacher in charge is Shelley Collier who has been a participant in Berkeley Labs ISPP program over the last two summers. By participating in the fair, scientists can support and boost the partnership the Lab has established with the Vallejo City Unified School District.

Mentors Needed for CSEE Interns

Berkeley Lab’s Center for Science and Engineering Education (CSEE) is seeking mentors in scientific, engineering and technical fields to work with undergraduate students during the Summer and Fall 2002 semesters.

CSEE expects to host 50 to 75 students this year, who will participate through DOE’s Energy Research Laboratory Undergraduate Fellowship, the Community College Initiative, and the Pre-Service Teachers programs.

Summer interns from colleges and universities from around the country spend 10 weeks at Berkeley Lab. Students selected through DOE programs receive a stipend, travel and housing allowance through CSEE and are placed with individual mentors or groups. CSEE handles all administrative matters.

Mentors develop a student position description and select the students. If interested, send a brief position description to [email protected] Please include your name, contact information, a description of your group’s research, the student’s role, academic majors sought, and any other pertinent information.

For more information see http://www.lbl.gov/Education/CSEE/cup/mentors/ or contact Laurel Egenberger at X5190.

Black History Month at the Lab

In observance of national Black History Month, Berkeley Lab is sponsoring a number of activities, which are organized by the Workforce Diversity Office. Students from local area schools will attend the events, which include:

Wednesday, Feb. 27

Your Future:  Who's at the controls?
Presenter: Horace Mitchell, vice-chancellor of Business and Administrative Services, UC Berkeley
Noon, Building 50 auditorium

Friday, March 8

Racial Profiling Before and After September 11
Presenter: John Burris, Esq., Civil Rights Attorney from Oakland
Noon, Building 50 auditorium

Black History Month recognizes the richness of African American achievement. The tradition started during the 1920s, when Carter G. Woodson first created and promoted Negro History Week. Woodson, who earned a Ph.D. from Harvard, devoted his life to the scientific study of the African experience in America and throughout the world.

In 1976, a month-long celebration was implemented as a time for Americans to reflect on the history and contributions of African Americans; it is being observed now during the month of February.

Image:  black-history

LHS: Science Has Many Faces Feb. 1—March 31

Scientists and inventors come from diverse backgrounds and cultures. A special exhibit at the Lawrence Hall of Science celebrates Bay Area scientists of color and women scientists in this exhibit of photographs and life stories developed to inspire students to see themselves as scientists. Personal stories of these role models are infused with enthusiasm for their work and advice to young people interested in pursuing careers in science and technology.

Science Has Many Faces is being exhibited in conjunction with Black History Month (February) and Women in History Month (March).


General Interest

FEBRUARY 26, Tuesday

Noon, Perseverance Hall

FEBRUARY 27, Wednesday

Noon, Building 50 auditorium

FEBRUARY 28, Thursday

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

MARCH 8, Friday

Noon, Building 50 auditorium

Send us your announcements

Announcements for the General Calendar and Bulletin Board page may be sent to [email protected] Seminar & Lectures items may be mailed to [email protected] lbl.gov. You may also fax items to X6641 or mail them to Bldg. 65B. The deadline for the March 8 issue is 5 p.m. Monday, March 4.

Seminars & Lectures

FEBRUARY 25, Monday

Prediction of a Global Change on Jupiter
Speaker: Philip S. Marcus, Mechanical Engineering,
UC Berkeley
4:30 p.m., 1 LeConte Hall

Observation of CP Violation in the Neutral
B Meson System at Belle (With Modes Other than
the ‘Golden’ Modes)
Speaker: Masashi Yokoyama, University of Tokyo, Japan
4:00 p.m., Bldg. 50A, Room 5132

FEBRUARY 26, Tuesday

Semileptonic B Decays and CKM Parameter Determination:
The LEP Legacy
Speaker: Marco Battaglia, CERN, Switzerland
4:00 p.m., Bldg. 50A, Room 5132

FEBRUARY 28, Thursday

Unraveling the Solar Neutrino Problem at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory
Speaker: Josh Klein, University of Pennsylvania
4:00 p.m., Bldg. 50A, Room 5132

MARCH 1, Friday

Title TBA by the department.
Speaker: Peter Wittich, University of Pennsylvania
4:00 p.m., Bldg. 50A, Room 5132

MARCH 4, Monday

The ‘Friction’ of Vacuum, and other Fluctuation-Induced Forces
Speaker: Mehran Kardar, MIT
4:30 p.m., 1 Le Conte Hall

Cascade Physics at High-Energy Neutrino Telescopes
Speaker: Karl Hanson, University of Pennsylvania
4:00 p.m., Bldg. 50A, Room 5132

MARCH 5, Tuesday

Gene Expression in Inflammation: The Development of
Aptamer-Based Imaging Technology
Speaker: Marit Nilsen-Hamilton, Iowa State University
4:00 p.m., Bldg 66 auditorium

Search for Composite Fermions
Speaker: Brigitte Vachon, University of Victoria, Canada
4:00 p.m., Bldg. 50A, Room 5132

MARCH 8, Friday

Bifurcations in Asymmetric Non-Neutral Plasmas
Speaker: Joel Fajans, UCB
10:30 a.m., Bldg 71, Room 264 (Albert Ghiorso Conference Room)
Refreshments at 10:20 a.m.

EH&S Classes – March 2002







EHS 432

Radiation Protection-Lab Safety

8:00 – 12:00



EHS 279

Scaffold Users

9:00 – 10:00



EHS 116

First Aid

8:30 – 12:00



EHS 348

Chemical Hygiene

9:00 – 12:00



EHS 231

Compressed Gas

1:00 – 3:30



EHS 60

Ergonomics for Computer Users

2:00 – 3:30



EHS 10

Introduction to EHS at LBNL*

8:00 – 10:15

50 aud


EHS 123

Adult CPR

8:30 – 12:00



EHS 210


10:30 – 12:00



EHS 400

Radiation Safety/Fundamentals

9:00 –12:00



EHS 135

Earthquake Safety

11:00 – 12:00



EHS 432

Radiation Protection/Lab Safety

8:00 – 12:00



EHS 604

Hazardous Waste Generator

9:30 – 11:00



EHS 622

Radioactive & Mixed Waste

11:00 – 12:00



EHS 60

Ergonomics for Computer Users

1:00 – 2:30



EHS 530

Fire Extinguisher

10:00 – 11:30



EHS 260

Basic Electric Awareness

1:30 – 3:00



EHS 256


10:00 – 12:00



EHS 280

Laser Safety

1:00 – 4:00



EHS 275

Confined Space Hazards

8:30 – 11:00



EHS 274

Confined Space-Retraining

11:00 – 12:00



EHS 330

Lead Hazards Awareness

1:00 – 2:00



EHS 210


10:30 – 12:00



EHS 735/

Biosafety/Bloodborne Pathogen

1:30 – 2:45



EHS 154

Building ER Team

9:00 – 11:00


* Includes EHS 392/405, followed by the orientation. 

To enroll, contact Valarie Espinoza at [email protected] or enroll via the web at https://hris.lbl.gov/self_service/training/. Preregistration is required for all courses except  EHS 10. For a full, updated schedule, see http://www-ia1.lbl.gov/schedule/.

Flea Market


‘98 HONDA ACCORD Coupe EX, blk on blk, ac, sunrf, upgraded cd/stereo/ speakers, recently serviced, new tires, very clean, 54K mi, $15,000, Susan, X5429, 964-0007

‘94 JEEP WRANGLER 2.5L, hard top, blk, 76K mi, many extras & new parts, 1 owner, $7,700/bo, Max, X6524, (925) 937-9471

‘94 FORD ESCORT GT, hatch, 96K mi, white, at, ac, cruise, am/fm/cass, rear spoiler, pwr side mirrors, reg to 1/03, very good cond, $3,650 (well below Blue Book retail), Ron, X4410, 276-8079

‘93 TOYOTA XTRA CAB pickup, 46K mi, red, long bed w/ shell/bike rack/tow hitch, 5 spd, pwr steer, ac, am/fm/cass, exc cond, orig owner, $7,500/bo, Hugh, 339-1789

‘92 MERCURY SABLE, 4 dr, tan/brn, new tires, 93K mi, great cond, $1,600/bo, Hal, 841-0928, Jim, 237-6986 

‘90 HONDA ACCORD, 4 dr, 5-spd, am/fm/cass/cd, ac, good cond, blk, 156K mi, $3,300, Steve, X5396, 559-8669

‘78 VOLVO 4 dr sedan, stick-shift, new tires, radio, well maint, records avail, good commute car, $750/ bo, John, X5307, 841-7875

‘76 CADILLAC Coupe De Ville, 2 dr, lt blue w/ white vinyl top, 109K mi, body & int fair, runs well, $1,000/bo, Jennifer, X7438, 215-9738

‘68 LINCOLN CONTINENTAL, 2 dr, ac, pwr win/brakes/steer, not running, body is perfect, all chrome intact, nearly new tires, silver w/ blk top, 460 V8 w/ 3 spd at, can use paint job, needs new exhaust valves & valve job,  rare find, $1,000, Angelic or Kris, 276-6756

‘65 MUSTANG, 289/4brl, dual exhaust, at, ac, new upholstered bucket seats, brand new paint (honey green w/ blk int); new Dunlops, brakes, wiring & hoses, $7,000/bo, Bruce, 869-2016

16.5" FORD 8-LUG RIMS & tires, set of 4, tires in great shape, $50, Angelic or Kris, X4079, 276-6756

70s CHEVY Rally wheels, set of 4, chrome trim rings & center hubs, NOS in orig boxes, never used, $250, David, 495-2883


BERKELEY HILLS, 1 bdrm apt off Grizzly Peak, 1 blk to publ trans, 3 mi to Lab, deck, some views of SF, Mt. Tam, garage neg, $1,200/ mo incl util, first/last/sec, ($300), no pets, Lois, 524-0060

BERKELEY, furn rooms in 6 bdrm/2 ba "House of Scholars," $670-790/mo + 15% util, Anushka, 486-8153, [email protected] mindspring.com

CENTRAL BERKELEY, nice furn rooms, kitchen, laundry, TV, DSL, hardwood floors, linens, dishes, continental breakfast w/ homemade bread, walk to shuttle, campus, BART, shops, $950/mo incl util, $350/wk, Jin or Paul, 845-5959, [email protected], Paul, X7363

EL CERRITO, fully furn 2 bdrm/1 bth, liv & din rms, kitchen, 4 mi from Lab, walk to publ trans, gardening incl, avail 8/1, $1,700/ mo, $2,500 sec dep, [email protected], Jane, X2404

KENSINGTON, room avail 3/1 in 5 bdrm/3 bth house, 2 closets, hardwood floors, window overlooks backyrd garden, semi-cooperative/ almost vegetarian, non-smoking, lge kitchen, bay view, w/d, dishwasher, patio, hot tub, housemates age range 26-35 yrs, 2M, 2F, no pets, no TV in the common areas, recycle & compost, $450/mo+util+ $18/mo for cleaning, Christine, [email protected] gov, X4635

NORTH BERKELEY HILLS, 1 bdrm, 1 person garden apt, fireplce, off Grizzly Peak, 1 blk to pub trans, 3 miles to Lab, avail 3/15, $940/mo incl util & laundry, no smoking/pets, first/last/sec ($250), David, 524-5780, 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.

NORTH BERKELEY, comfortable study/bdrm in lge house, easy access to buses, BART & shops, ideal for short term visiting scholar, avail 2/13, $700/ mo incl util, Mimy or Paul, 524-3739, [email protected] berkeley.edu

NORTH BERKELEY, short-term rental avail 3/1 to early May, 1 furn bdrm in 2 bdrm house, panoramic view, front & back yrd, lge liv rm, near Tilden & Lab, quiet, friendly female housemate, $600/mo+ util, Heather, X2226, 527-7991

NORTH OAKLAND (first street at border w/ Berkeley, room in 2 bdrm/1 bth apt, lge liv rm w/ panorama window & kitchen, $800/mo, avail 3/01, Axel, X5446, [email protected] gov

WALNUT CREEK, 2 condos for rent, walk to downtown, Kaiser or John Muir Med Centers, 1 bdrm/1 bth ea, amenities, Angela, X7712, 724-9450


FRENCH STUDENT working at Lab 6/1 - 9/1 seeks room or shared apt close to pub trans, low cost pref, Fred Schlachter, X4892, [email protected], [email protected]

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


CAL-KING mattress set, firm, good cond, incl boxes & metal bed frame, $50; ski roof rack for Ford Mustang (‘96), $75, Daniela, X7814, 843-0425

FREEZER, 16.1 cu ft upright, white, Wards, $100; Fisher stereo/speakers, digital tuning, dual cass, $40; Patton comp heater, $10, Ron, X4410, 276-8079

FUTON SOFA/BED wood frame, queen, 2 covers, $75, Sue, X4828, 215-0873 eves

FUTON, blk metallic frame w/ 6" mattress, $130; TV table, blk, $20; table+2 padded chairs, $90; all in exc cond, Shirin, X5550, 965-0644 after 7 pm

SOFA, loveseat, corner unit, $350; 2 deck chaise lounges w/ thick cushions & wheels, deck table, deck umbrella w/ mount, cushion & umbrella like new, $200; portable heater, $10; upright quatz heater, $20; desk, $40; twin bed set, $100; queen bed frame, $10; queen headboard w/ storage, $30; microwave stand w/ wheels, $20; storage cabinets, $20/ea; fish tank w/ pump/water heater, $15; water ski board, $50; vacuum cleaner, $20; yard tools, more photos avail, Ming, X5616, 530-0462


SMALL DINING ROOM TABLE & chairs, computer desk w/ sufficient depth for large monitor, loveseat sofabed, Suzanne, X7564


KIHEI, MAUI, 1 bdrm condo, across the street from Kam 2 beach, fully equip, view of ocean & Haleakela, $450/wk, Fred or Shar 981-2073 days, 523-4150 eves

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


FOUND: bicycle tail light, 2/6 near Bldg 71, Lab Security Lost & Found, X4855

FOUND: gold (Karatclad?) ring in Bldg 64, men's restroom, approx 1/18, Ken, X4456


5' CAST IRON, built-in bathtub, exct cond, Duo, X6878, 528-3408

PING-PONG table w/ net, full size, Ming, X5616, 530-0462

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 ([email protected]), fax (X6641), or delivered/mailed to Bldg. 65B.

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

The deadline for the March 8, 2002  issue is Thursday, Feb. 28.