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Berkeley Lab Currents

November 6, 1998


Breast Cancer Awareness--Part I
Too Young for Cancer: Fighting Back

By Monica Friedlander

Last Sunday Sonia Mueller joined a team of Berkeley Lab employees and thousands of others in the Bay Area's first annual "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" pledge walk, held in Golden Gate Park and benefiting the American Cancer Society. The event was one of many similar fundraisers held as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities nationwide.

Everyone who walked on Sunday had a personal reason for participating in the fight against this disease. But few had as big a stake in it as Mueller. For the past two years the assistant to the Lab's deputy director has faced the reality that cancer is not something that happens to someone else.

The most common cancer among women, breast cancer claims the lives of more than 40,000 Americans each year. The risk of developing the disease increases with age and becomes the leading cause of death for women between the ages of 40 and 55. But when Mueller was given the shattering news that the lump she detected in her breast was malignant, she was hardly a candidate for such a cruel verdict. Mueller was only 28.

What's more, she was at the highest point of her life. Mueller had just graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a masters in classics. "I felt on top of the world," she recalls. "I was the first person in my family to go through graduate school. There were so many things I wanted to do. And then suddenly I had to face mortality. I thought, `I'm too young to die.' "

Fortunately for Mueller, her cancer was detected early. She was young and otherwise in excellent health and had a wonderful support group to rely on, including her parents, siblings and long-time boyfriend, still by her side today. Nevertheless, the next two years were a traumatic journey she will never forget.

After overcoming the initial shock of the diagnosis, Mueller had to make some crucial decisions about treatment, including surgery. She opted for a lumpectomy (local removal of the tumor) plus removal of the lymph nodes under the arm, chemotherapy and radiation. If it sounds bad, the reality was worse.

The six rounds of chemotherapy stretched out over a five-months period. Mueller lost her appetite and--most depressing for her--all her hair. The removal of the lymph glands cut nerve endings and it took her some time to get movement back in her arm. And the breast cancer support group she joined in Boulder only served to increase her apprehensions, since all the women in the group were much older, and their concerns--such as the possibility of early onset of menopause --only served to frighten her more.

Those dark days are far behind her now. Mueller finished her treatment in April of last year and has had good checkups and test results since. She moved back to her native Berkeley, started working at the Lab one year ago, joined a much more appropriate support group at Alta Bates, and recently took up running again. Most importantly, Mueller shifted the focus of her life back to things other than her illness.

"My life had been on hold, and now I am starting where I left off," she says. "All the focus for two years had been on that. I felt like I was doing something. Now it's up to fate. But I'm putting it behind me gradually."

Mueller's success in fighting breast cancer, and that of millions of other women, is made possible by the continuos medical advances that have raised the survival rate through early screening, detection and improved treatment. Funds for research are made available thanks to the ever-growing awareness about the disease. Champions in this fight include doctors, scientists, elected officials, corporate sponsors, celebrities, and--not the least--concerned individuals who participate in events such as "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" and the "Race for the Cure" running series, held in 86 cities this year and benefiting the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Celebrities who joined the cause include Olympic figure skater Peggy Fleming, diagnosed with the disease just one year ago, whose informational magazine insert reached more than 16 million readers; and Spanish TV talk show host Cristina Saralegui, who is currently raising awareness through her television, radio and print ads nationwide.

But ultimately the key to conquering breast cancer still lies with research, which is going on at a furious pace across the country and the world, including here at Berkeley Lab. Right now dozens of Lab scientists are tackling major research initiatives that cover a tremendous range of approaches to the study of breast cancer.

Whether they focus on novel 3-D imaging and analysis techniques, new detection methods, gene therapy, or the study of the cell microenvironment, Lab scientists are bringing the latest technological tools and individual ingenuity to the fight to save lives.

In the second part of our Breast Cancer Awareness feature, Currents will cover some of the critical research being conducted at Berkeley Lab.

As for Mueller, she says the experience of the last two years, for all its heavy toll, has had a positive impact on her life as well. "I feel it gave me a chance to reassess life," Mueller says. "I don't see the cancer as a wake up call, but as a gift. Going through a process like that changes a person.

"I guess I am older and wiser," she laughs heartily. "I'm more focused. I don't let little things get to me, such as the dishes not being washed. I think there's no time like the present to do what you feel like doing."

Optimism aside, Sonia Mueller's battle against breast cancer is not yet over. Having passed the two-year mark with a thumbs-up from her doctors was a critical milestone. A more important one will be the five-year anniversary, after which the risk of cancer recurring decreases dramatically. For now, the 30-year-old is living life to the fullest, looking forward to the most important moment in her battle with this disease.

"One day I'll be able to say "I had cancer."

In the second part of our Breast Cancer Awareness feature, Currents will cover some of the ground-breaking research being conducted at Berkeley Lab.

Photo: Berkeley Lab employees walked as a team in the "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" pledge walk in Golden Gate Park. Photos by David Gilbert (walk.tif)

Photo: Sonia Mueller (right) with fellow Lab walker Saki Khalsa (XBD9811-02705.tif)

Photo: Sonia Mueller, who now works in the deputy director's office, is shown with her boyfriend Steve during one of her chemotherapy sessions less than two years ago. (XBD9811-02704.tif)


Breast Cancer Facts and Figures

For more information about breast cancer, call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 or look up ACS's website at

Source: American Cancer Society


Joint Genome Institute Hails Sequencing Milestone

By Ron Kolb

Using Berkeley Lab as its celebratory center, the Department of Energy announced on Oct. 23 that its Joint Genome Institute (JGI), an integrated three-laboratory effort to help decipher the human genetic code, surpassed its ambitious goal of sequencing 20 million base pairs for fiscal year 1998.

"This achievement marks an unprecedented ten-fold increase in production output over the previous year," Martha Krebs, the DOE's director of the Office of Energy Research, told an assembled group of JGI staffers and news media at the Genome Sciences Building (84). "With this milestone, the JGI rises to the third position worldwide in terms of its total contribution of human DNA sequence to public databases, and signals great promise for completion of the entire project in five years."

Krebs called the program's progress over one year "remarkable." Along with DOE's Ari Patrinos, director of the Office of Biological and Environmental Sciences, she praised the JGI for having met and exceeded "what were very ambitious goals we set for it. It demonstrates the power, not only of the individual laboratories, but of what can happen when they link together as a system."

The JGI, established in 1996, is a consortium of scientists, engineers and support staff from the Berkeley, Livermore and Los Alamos national laboratories. The JGI has assumed a key role in the international effort to determine all three billion base pairs ("letters") that comprise the human genome. This worldwide project, the largest biological undertaking in history, promises untold opportunities to understand the basic molecular underpinnings of life and to improve human health.

"What we're doing here will change the way biology is being turned out," Krebs added. "We're very proud of the role DOE has played, and honored to celebrate the completion of this first part of the project."

During its first full year of operation, the JGI successfully sequenced over 20 million base pairs. Thanks to improved technologies (some developed by JGI researchers) and streamlining techniques, the JGI has been able to reach rates of over 2.5 million base pairs per month. The JGI's sequencing goal for 1999 is 70 million high-quality bases--30 million finished bases and 40 million "draft" bases.

Thus far, the international human genome sequencing effort has cracked only about seven percent of the ge-nome's three billion letters, or 195 million bases. An accelerated five-year plan for the U.S. Human Genome Program calls for the completion of the first high-quality set of human genome sequences by 2003, two years ahead of the original schedule.

The Joint Genome Institute will begin moving into its new Walnut Creek operations center, the Production Sequencing Facility (PSF), in November. The PSF will provide 56,600 square feet of laboratory and office space, accommodating at its capacity 200 researchers working in three shifts around the clock.

Photo: Energy Research director Martha Krebs and Ari Patrinos, director of the Office of Biological and Environmental Sciences, were among the participants at the Joint Genome Institute celebration held at Berkeley Lab last week. (XBD9810-02685.tif)


B-Factory Officially Dedicated Last Week

By Lynn Yarris

Seven years after the idea was first proposed by Berkeley Lab Deputy Director Pier Oddone, the B-Factory, a $177-million particle accelerator facility unlike any other before it, was officially dedicated on Oct. 26 at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC). The project is a collaboration between SLAC, Berkeley Lab and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, whose department funded the B-Factory's construction, joined approximately 800 other persons who came from around the world to help celebrate the dedication.

"The B-Factory will help examine one of nature's great secrets: why matter exists in the Universe," said the Secretary. "I congratulate the three laboratories involved for once again demonstrating why our national laboratories are the crown jewels of this nation."

Other participants at the dedication ceremony included Congresswomen Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren, Martha Krebs, head of DOE's Office of Energy Research (soon to be the Office of Science), Berkeley Lab Director Charles Shank, SLAC Director Burton Richter, Livermore Director Bruce Tartar, DOE's Oakland Operations Manager James Turner, and Stanford University Provost Condoleezza Rice.

"B-Factory" is the popular name given to the conversion of SLAC's PEP collider (Positron-Electron Project) into PEP-II, an "asymmetric" collider in which the two colliding beams of particles are not of equal energies. The collider's mission is to produce copious quantities (with factory-like reliability) of B mesons--sub-atomic particles containing a "bottom" quark, the fifth of the six quarks believed to be fundamental constituents of matter.

Measuring the lifetime of a B meson and a B-bar meson--the B meson's antimatter counterpart--offers scientists their best opportunity to study differences between matter and antimatter, particularly the phenomenon known as CP violation (charge-conjugation/parity). This phenomenon is widely believed to be responsible for the fact that during the first split seconds of the Big Bang, the process of creation favored matter over antimatter.

Oddone first proposed the use of an asymmetric collider to produce B particles while he was the director of the Lab's Physics Division. His idea was to create a separation in space between the decay products of individual B particles. A collision between an electron and a positron--the electron's antimatter counterpart--yields a particle known as the upsilon 4S, which immediately decays into a B meson and a B-bar meson. These B particles in turn decay into a host of other charged and neutral particles whose detection can provide a wealth of information.

In a collider where the energies of the two beams are equal, the newly created B particles would remain nearly stationary, making it all but impossible to study the time evolution of their decay products. Under Oddone's asymmetric scheme, when the two beams collide, the B particles are carried downstream in the direction of the higher energy beam. This forward motion with respect to a laboratory frame of reference enables the decay products to separate, allowing scientists to observe the distance between their points of decay.

For the B-Factory, the asymmetric rings are the High Energy Ring (HER), which will store electrons at an energy of 9 GeV (billion electron volts), and the Low Energy Ring (LER), which will store positrons at 3.1 GeV. The rings, both of which measure nearly 2.2 kilometers in circumference (1.36 miles), are stacked together in the same tunnel with the LER positioned immediately above the HER.

The HER is an upgrade of the old PEP ring. The LER is something brand new, among the most challenging storage rings ever designed. Berkeley Lab had primary responsibility for the LER's design, construction, and commissioning, which was achieved under the leadership of Michael Zisman, a physicist in the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division.

Because the decay of a B particle is such a rare event, tens of millions of B/B-bar pairs must be produced in order for scientists to record any significant data. This requires unprecedented "luminosity"--a measurement of the rate of particle collisions. The B-Factory's design calls for a luminosity of 3 x 1033 (3 followed by 33 zeros) collisions per square centimeter per second, which is at least 10 times better than the highest luminosity achieved with the best machines in the world today.

Collisions of such luminous magnitude generate a tremendous volume of data. Sifting through this data for interesting physics will be a challenge for BaBar, the B-Factory's sole detector. Construction of the $80 million, 1,000 ton BaBar detector is another huge collaboration, involving researchers from ten countries. Berkeley Lab researchers are playing a key role in the design and construction of BaBar as well (see "Trigger" story below).

Photo: Energy Secretary Bill Richardson (richardson.tif)



Election Results


News Digest



Budget Figures Spell Good News for Lab

By Reid Edwards

With the federal budget finally completed upon passage of the massive omnibus appropriations bill on Oct. 21, Congress adjourned for elections last Tuesday. The Energy and Water Development appropriations bill, signed into law by the President on Oct. 7, contained most of the funding for the Department of Energy. The omnibus bill contained eight uncompleted appropriations bills, including the Interior bill that funds DOE's energy efficiency and fossil energy programs.

Overall, the bills contain good news for Berkeley Lab. Our overall Lab budget is currently estimated to be a few percentage points above that of last year. Within the Interior appropriations bill, energy efficiency programs are funded above the FY 1998 level, although well below the Administration's request. This increase projects to an approximate $2 million increase in Berkeley Lab's efforts this year. The fossil energy program was funded at the approximate request level, which includes funding in a number of areas of potential lab interest.

The Energy and Water bill holds even better news for DOE and Berkeley Lab. The overall budget for the Office of Energy Research--recently renamed the Office of Science--was increased by $213 million to $2.68 billion. A majority of this increase went to construction and related costs for the proposed Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Berkeley Lab is a partner in this project, building the front-end accelerator. In High Energy Physics, Congress added $4.5 million to a requested $11 million increase over FY 1998. Similarly, Congress added $2.5 million on top of a $12 million increase for the Nuclear Physics program.

The Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program, slated for a proposed $14 million drop in the FY99 request because of the completion of a number of projects, actually received a significant increase in its budget. Congress provided $443.6 million for BER for this year, an increase of $51 million over the proposed budget. More than $40 million was added in new projects and programs directed to particular universities and research centers. Despite that, Berkeley Lab expects to see a significant increase in its BER efforts in the coming year.

Funding for a new research area that will involve Berkeley Lab was included in the Renewable Energy program area. With electricity deregulation spreading across the country, there is increasing concern about the reliability of our nation's electricity system. Berkeley Lab, whose effort in this area is led by Mark Levine and the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, participated in the creation of CERTS--the Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions. CERTS is comprised of Berkeley Lab, Sandia National Laboratories, Edison Technology Solutions, and a number of other industrial, government and academic partners. This is a major new initiative for the Laboratory, whose energy and computing expertise can play a major role in resolving this growing concern.

Finally, there were a few last minute surprises in the 4,000 page omnibus funding bill. DOE was given $15 million to participate in the Next Generation Internet (NGI) program, contrary to previous prohibitions against such activities. It is unclear at this time, however, what the specific DOE role in this program will be. Additionally, the Spallation Neutron Source was given an additional $27 million to fully fund its construction request.

Overall, with significant increases for the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, among others, FY 1999 will be a good year for federally supported science. These increases were originally proposed by the Administration to be funded from a tobacco settlement. Despite the failure of that settlement, the overall popularity of science and technology among our elected officials led to these increases, and this popularity shows no signs of waning. The only cloud on the horizon could be a change in the state of the economy, both domestically and globally. A domestic economic downturn would mean lower tax revenues, higher domestic "safety net" expenditures, and a tighter budget picture for everyone, including science. Like the old television announcer advised every week, "stay tuned".

Reid Edwards is Berkeley Lab's manager of government relations. He can be reached at X6601 or by e-mail at [email protected]

DOE Day: Spotlight on Energy Future

Photo: UC Vice Provost for Research Robert Shelton stands next to a UV water purifier developed by Berkeley Lab and exhibited during DOE Day, held on Oct. 22 at the Oakland Federal Building. The event was organized by DOE's Oakland Operations Office. Photo by Michael Barnes (robert-lbl.tif)


Business Partnership Law Expands Technology Transfer Pacts

A new piece of legislation signed by President Clinton on Oct. 17 will make it easier for national labs and businesses to combine their expertise to create new research partnerships. The Department of Energy's Small Business and Industry Partnerships Enhancement Act, incorporated into the 1999 Defense Authorization Bill, removes existing barriers to such partnerships, expands the types of technologies that can be used in interactions with businesses, creates a new program to help small businesses, and reforms the contracting process for such alliances.

"Several features of the new legislation are very encouraging in our ongoing efforts to work with the private sector," says Cheryl Fragiadakis, the head of Technology Transfer at Berkeley Lab. "I'm particularly pleased with two aspects: the endorsement of labs working with small businesses, and the relatively low (three percent) DOE surcharge on funds-in from the private sector. This will further encourage collaborations."

The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Pete Domenici (D-NM) and written in consultation with DOE laboratories. The new law includes a five-year pilot program for labs to set their overhead rates for private industry so that only costs for services used by the private sector are included. It also requires an evaluation in 2003 of the impact of these lower overhead rates before making them permanent. Another provision will enable labs to conduct contract research in areas in which they have a capability not available in the private sector.

--Monica Friedlander


City Council Postpones Action On Tritium Issue

By Ron Kolb

After hearing reassurances from representatives of regulatory agencies that Berkeley Lab's tritium emissions are well within health and safety guidelines, the Berkeley City Council on Oct. 20 postponed actions on the issue until staff recommendations are brought forward on Nov. 10.

The Council had been considering proposals by two of its members. One urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to add Berkeley Lab to its toxic management priority list (the so-called "Superfund" sites). The other sought $31,000 for a review of past and present tritium emissions by an environmental public interest organization supported by local activists.

Instead, after nearly two hours of testimony and discussion, the Council elected to wait until next Tuesday, when city staff is expected to make recommendations based upon the information presented. The Laboratory again reiterated its support for an independent tritium sampling program under the auspices of the non-partisan Tritium Issues Working Group.

The City Council heard emphatic messages from Lab employees and spokespeople from the EPA, the State Department of Health Services (DHS), and the Department of Energy citing data and analysis that confirmed the National Tritium Labeling Facility's successful and safe operation within all regulations. Several speakers compared the NTLF's minute tritium emission levels with radiation doses the public experiences every day from natural and man-made sources.

Howard Matis, a Berkeley Lab nuclear scientist and one of seven Lab employees addressing the Council during its public comment period, came equipped with a Geiger counter and a bag of potash fertilizer typically applied to gardens. The audible clicks on the counter offered dramatic testimony to radiation's presence in commercial products.

Ed Bailey of the DHS used geographic elevation as a means of comparison. He noted that Berkeley Hills residents who live 1,100 feet above sea level receive an annual dose of cosmic radiation that is 11 millirem more than those who live at sea level. In contrast, the NTLF's annual dose in 1997 was .16 millirem, more than 60 times below the federal safe emission standard of 10 millirem.

And Betsy Curnow, representing the EPA's superfund program, said the agency has "no immediate plans to put the Laboratory on the superfund list. [The emissions] do not pose a significant risk to health and the environment."

Several speakers representing environmental groups in the city challenged those contentions with their own concerns about both the risks posed by emissions and the accuracy of the data cited by the regulators.

Berkeley Lab's David McGraw, director of the Environmental Health and Safety Division and the only Lab representative invited to speak at the forum, urged the Council to "stay the course" by supporting the work of the Tritium Issues Working Group. Formed over a year ago, the group was charged with gathering and analyzing data to measure the validity of the Laboratory's own rigorous monitoring program. Lab Director Charles Shank has supported this third-party effort by pledging $100,000 to fund an independent sampling plan, which is now being designed.

"Before talking about dose reconstruction or even calling for an epidemiological study [as some community members have requested], let's get the data we promised each other we would get through independent sampling," McGraw told the Council in his five-minute allotment of time. "Independent sampling will determine the validity of our current data, providing the regulators and the community with a level of confidence in our historical data."

Carl Schwab of the DOE's Berkeley site office similarly asked the Council to "let the [Tritium Issues Working Group] finish their job before addressing other proposals." He reiterated that the Lab's tritium emissions are far below the regulatory standards.

Terry Powell, Berkeley Lab's community relations coordinator, read an open letter to the Council written by Sue Markland Day, president of the Bay Area Bioscience Center. In it, Day strongly defended the work of the NTLF and its contributions to biomedical research. "No health or safety hazards have been identified for this facility by those responsible for enforcement of local, state and federal air emissions regulations," she wrote.

Others speaking in the public comment period on behalf of the Lab were NTLF manager Phil Williams, Iraj Javandel of the environmental monitoring program, Gary Zeman of the radiation protection group, nuclear scientist Gordon Wozniak, and former lab employee Bob Clear. Paul Lavely of UC Berkeley's radiation protection program reassured the Council of the safety of visitors to the Lawrence Hall of Science, based on his own independent testing results.


Science News

Trigger Component Ready in Time for Dedication

Just prior to last week's dedication of the B-Factory at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, 24 copies of the most complex digital printed circuit board ever produced at Berkeley Lab were installed in BaBar, the B-Factory's sole detector. These circuit boards, the product of a close collaboration between physicists and engineers, will work together as a critical component of a trigger system unlike the detector trigger system for any other high energy physics colliding beam facility.

"When I first heard the specifications for this circuit board, I was skeptical it could even be built!" says Krista Marks, the chief engineer for the 24 circuit boards.

"We aimed the specifications extremely high and made it work because we had a world class team," says Fred Kral, the chief physicist for the entire BaBar trigger system.

The 24 circuit boards constitute the Track Segment Finder modules, the linchpin for the Drift Chamber Trigger, one of the five subsystems that make up the BaBar trigger system. Each of these boards bristles with 900,000 logic gates, a formidible array of hardware which will enable the boards to sift through the 238 million beam crossings that will occur every second in the B-Factory and select the estimated four events of significance to the B-Factory's primary mission.

"Unlike trigger systems that essentially throw away a large percentage of the physics events they produce, the BaBar trigger system will save all interesting events," says Kral.

Adds Marks, "Also, unlike other trigger systems which merely signal that something interesting happened, this electronics system processes data to also describe when the event occurred."

The Drift Chamber Trigger, which was one of the many exclusive responsibilities Berkeley Lab has for BaBar, is among the first components to be installed in the massive detector.

"I don't know of any other high energy physics detector for which this powerful a trigger was one of the first pieces in place," says Kral. "But we were able to complete it within only one and a half years, thanks to our design methodology and the quality of our team."

Marks says the team was the strongest she's ever worked with, and agrees that the design methodology made possible the timely production of the Track Segment Finder, as well as the other circuit boards that make up the complete Drift Chamber Trigger.

"The functional specifications were very mature after three years of simulation studies of how the BaBar detector would respond to various physics and background events," she says.

Rather than the usual physical testing through a series of prototypes, the trigger team tested their board design using extensive simulation in state-of-the-art Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools. The result was a prototype board with no layout or fabrication errors that could serve as a production version.

"This methodology will be valuable for future projects in which we need to make an errorless circuit board in a short amount of time," says Marks. "And it will be essential for circuit boards with computer-like complexity."

The complete set of BaBar trigger electronics will feature a Drift Chamber Trigger, a Calorimeter Trigger, and a Global Trigger. The first two receive and process data from the Drift Chamber and the Calorimeter detectors, respectively, then send the results to the third. The Global Trigger determines whether or not to transmit the event on to BaBar's computers, which will perform subsequent background rejection.

Says Kral, "In terms of the response time for our electronics, collisions in the B-Factory are essentially continuous. To meet this challenge, we designed a trigger that is always live (in operation) and we therefore lose no data."

In addition, Kral says the trigger system's background rejection power will enable physicists to use the B-Factory and BaBar to study other important phenomena besides CP violation.

Other members of the BaBar trigger team included Antal Berenyi, Helen Chen, Khang Dao, Scott Dow, Stefan Gehrig, Mandeep Gill, Carl Grace, Richard Jared, Jimmie Johnson, Armin Karcher, Daniel Kasen, Frederick Kirsten, Christopher LeClerc, Michael Levi, Henrik von der Lippe, Ted Liu, Andreas Meyer, Robert Minor, Alex Montgomery, and Alexandru Romosan.

Photo: Krista Marks of Berkeley Lab, the chief engineer for these unique trigger circuit boards now at the B-Factory. (XBD9810-02471.jpeg)


Lawrence Awards Announced

Three physicsis and three chemists won this year's E. O. Lawrence Award, given for outstanding contributions in the field of atomic energy. They were chosen from over 2,000 nominees.


Around the Lab


Berkeley Lab Mathematician Honored

By Jon Bashor

Phillip Colella, a mathematician and leader of the Applied Numerical Algorithms Group at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), is the recipient of the 1998 Sidney Fernbach Award, given for outstanding contributions in the application of high performance computers.

The award is sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society, and will be presented on Nov. 12 during SC98, the annual conference on high-performance networking and computing in Orlando, Florida.

Colella is being recognized "for fundamental contributions in the development of software methodologies used to solve numerical partial differential equations, and their application to substantially expand our understanding of shock physics and other fluid dynamics problems."

Mathematics, Colella says, exerts a tremendous intellectual pull and is a "beautiful system" for solving theoretical problems with a very high level of precision. In fact, he says, much of modern math was invented as scientists looked for ways to learn more about mechanical systems, giving rise to such areas of study as fluid dynamics. But until the advent of computers, he says, it was difficult to use this information to accurately predict the behavior of specific physical events.

"Computing allows you to take this beautiful information and apply it to the real world," says Colella. "The computer reifies mathematics--it makes the abstract concrete."

Colella, who has worked primarily at Berkeley and Livermore National Laboratories, now combines the fields of math and computing in the development of algorithms aimed at better understanding such complex problems as fluid dynamics. One key area of research for Colella's group is creating more accurate computer models to increase fuel efficiency and reducing emissions.

The group is working with two leading vehicle manufacturers to develop more accurate models of combustion processes, which will require even greater computing resources, such as NERSC's Cray T3E-900 supercomputer. Those models are then compared with experimental data, matching predictions with actual results.

"Applying more computing power will allow us to incorporate more details and create better models," Colella says. "You can't just throw bigger computers at the existing models, though. You have to create better models."

The next generation of simulation and modeling technology will arrive within five years, Colella predicts. "Such models will allow engineers to explore many different design options at much less expense."


Al Ghiorso Presents Annual J.M. Nitschke Awards

By Paul Preuss

Janis Dairiki and Diana Lee of the Nuclear Science Division were the recipients of the second annual J. M. Nitschke Awards for Technical Excellence, consisting of engraved, framed citations and checks for $3,000. Albert Ghiorso presided over the brief, well attended ceremony in Perseverance Hall last Tuesday, Nov. 3.

The awards were established to honor the memory of physicist J. M. "Mike" Nitschke, who joined Berkeley Lab in 1966 and made many contributions to the study of nuclear physics before he succumbed to AIDS in 1994.

Deputy Director Pier Oddone thanked Ghiorso for his role in establishing the award, describing the Nitschke awards as a good way, outside standard means of scientific recognition, to honor Berkeley Lab people who display "the broad range of talents needed to get things done here on all scales, as well as those who convey to the community what the Lab does."

Nuclear chemist Darleane Hoffmann presented the engraved citation to her colleague Diana Lee, citing Lee's participation in nuclear studies at the Lab and the University since the 1960s, including the search for superheavy elements by Glenn Seaborg's group and Hoffman's own work with the chemistry of heavy elements. Of Lee and Dairiki, Hoffman said, "Both these women always go the extra mile."

Presenting the award to Janis Dairiki, NSD Division Director Lee Schroeder said, "As the deputy of NSD, she is the heart and soul of our division: a colleague and friend, and a hell of a dancer."

Dairiki was cited for her outreach to the Department of Energy offices on the one hand and the community on the other, and for such programs as the internationally distributed Table of Isotopes and the Nuclear Science Wall Chart for high schools.

Dairiki thanked her colleagues, saying, "I just had a good time doing my job. This citation is for the work of all of you."

Ghiorso concluded the proceedings by inviting those in attendance to submit ideas for next year's awards.

Photo: Diana Lee and Janis Dairiki were presented with the J.M. Nitschke Awards. Photo by Don Fike (XBD9811-02710.tif)


Currents Online

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

To set up your computer to access the web, call the Mac and PC Support Group at X4357.


SHARES Fair Focuses on Giving

Photo: Lab employees talked with representatives from the many charity organizations who participated in the SHARES Fair, held last Wednesday at the cafeteria. The fair served as an official kick-off of the Lab's SHARES giving campaign. Information about SHARES is available at the cafeteria or on the web at Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt (XBD9810-02653-01.tif)


Career Development Workshops

Berkeley Lab's Postdoctoral Society is sponsoring a Research and Career Development Workshop Series for 1998-1999. The first workshop, "Away from the Bench," will be offered on Thursday, Dec. 3, at the Lab cafeteria.

The workshops will provide a unique opportunity for participants to interact with scientists who are involved in important work outside of the academic or industrial setting. Discussions will be held with patent lawyers, consultants, publishers, product managers and many others.

For more information visit the Postdoctoral Society's website at


LabVIEW Training

National Instruments is presenting a LabVIEW training seminar in the cafeteria conference room on Friday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to noon. The hands-on class will cover the applications of the LabVIEW software, used by scientists and engineers for data acquisition, instrument control, and analysis. To register contact Nevra Latham at nevra. [email protected]


EX-L's Fall Luncheon

The Ex-L's, the Lab's retiree association, will hold its fall luncheon on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at Hs Lordship's restaurant on the Berkeley Marina. Lab Director Charles Shank will speak at the event. The cost is $17 per person and the deadline for reservations is Nov. 13. Checks (payable to Ex-L's) may be sent to Ingeborg Henle, 820 Villa Lane #3, Moraga, CA 94556.


Berkeley Crush Festival on Sunday

The Berkeley Chamber of Commerce is hosting the annual Crush Festival at the Berkeley Radisson (formerly Marina Marriott) this Sunday, Nov. 8. The Crush, now in its fourth year, is a fine food and wine tasting celebration catered by some 25 restaurants and 25 wineries. Festivities start at 2 p.m. for those willing to pay $45 to meet culinary luminaries. General admission ($20) begins at 3 p.m.

The event includes a wine cellar raffle and silent auction. The grand prize is a lavish wine country weekend getaway with two nights' accommodations and a hot air balloon ride. Proceeds from the event will benefit the "The Edible Schoolyard" program at Martin Luther King Jr. High in Berkeley. For ticket information call the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce at 549-7003.


Discounted Tickets for Christmas Revels--Lab Employee to Perform

For the fourth year in a row, Ken Woolfe of the Engineering Department will trade his daytime attire for a period costume to participate in a unique form of musical theater, celebrating the winter solstice. In keeping with the boisterous atmosphere of the winter holidays, The Christmas Revels, to be held the weekends of Dec. 4-6 and Dec. 11-13 at the Scottish Rite Theater in Oakland, is a theatrical celebration combining song, dance and drama from different cultures while focusing on a different historical era each year.

This season the theme is the Renaissance--again, with a unique twist: interactive technology. Working with Silicon Valley engineers, the show's designers will use high-tech effects in a traditional setting.

"This theme is particularly pertinent to my experince at the Lab, since it explores the uses of technology," Woolfe says. "We often think we are the first era to experience rapid or dramatic change, but others have felt similarly shaken by change. This year's use of a few interactive technological effects will hopefully be an exicting addition and help illuminate the theme while maintaining many of the Revels' traditional elements."

The cast will include a rare appearance by baritone John Langstaff, who founded the show in Boston 25 years ago, as well as early music performers, dancers, and comedians. Audience participation is also an integral element of the show.

Berkeley Lab has reserved a block of discounted tickets for the Dec. 5 performance ($17 for adults and $7 for seniors and childern) through the Employeess' Arts Council. Tickets must be reserved by Nov. 13 (contact Mary Clary, X4940, [email protected]). To purchase tickets, send checks payable to Mary Clary, MS 936A.

The Scottish Rite Theater is located at 1547 Lakeside Drive in Oakland. For more information look up the Christmas Revels' website at http:// home.

Photo: Ken Woolfe (XBD9811-02679.tif)



Calendar of Events at Berkeley Lab


The Berkeley Lab Calendar is published biweekly here on the World Wide Web and in Currents by the Public Information Department. Employees can list a meeting, class, or event in the Calendar by using this submission form. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. on Monday in the week that Currents is published.

In addition to the events listed below, Berkeley Lab's Washington, D.C. Projects office is hosting a Science and Technology Seminars series. 

Scientific Conferences



November 1998

General Interest


Berkeley Crush Festival
3-5 p.m., Berkeley Radisson, Marina


Music Club
Noon, lower cafeteria


EX-L's Fall Luncheon
Noon, Hs Lordship's restaurant

Items for the calendars may be sent via e-mail to [email protected], faxed to X6641 or mailed to Bldg. 65B. The deadline for the Nov. 20 issue is 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16.


Seminars & Lectures

NOVEMBER 9, Monday

Physics Department, UCB
"High Tc Superconductors: Why Haven't We Explained Them by Now?" Robert Dynes, UC San Diego. Tea at 4, 375 LeConte
4:30 p.m., 1 LeConte.

NOVEMBER 10, Tuesday

Life Sciences
"Controlling Centrosome Duplication and DNA Replication by Ubiquitin: Dependent Proteolysis"; Peter K. Jackson, Stanford
4 p.m., Bldg. 66-316

Center for Environmental Biotechnology
"From Catalysis to Materials: Lessons from the Immune System"; Peter Schultz, UC Berkeley
Noon, Bldg. 50A-5132

Earth Sciences
"Oral Bioavailability of Organic Compounds from Solid Environmental Matrices"; Mark Conrad, Earth Sciences
Noon, 50A-5132

Center for Environmental Biotechnology
"From Catalysis to Materials: Lessons From the Immune System"; Peter Schultz, UC Berkeley
Noon, Bldg. 50A-5132

NOVEMBER 11, Wednesday

Computing Sciences, Mathematics Department
"Fracture II"; Gregory Barenblatt, UC Berkeley
4:30 p.m., Bldg. 50B-4204

NOVEMBER 12, Thursday

Environmental Energy Technologies Division
"Applications of IR Thermography for Building Science Research"; Brent Griffith, EETD
Noon, Bldg. 90-3148

NOVEMBER 16, Monday

Physics Department, UCB
"The Origin of Galactic Cosmic Rays: New Results from the Russian Space Station"; Andrew Westphal, UC Berkeley.
4:30 p.m., 1 LeConte. Tea at 4 p.m., 375 LeConte

NOVEMBER 17, Tuesday

Life Sciences
"Challenging the Standard Paradigms for Low-Dose Radiation Carcinogenesis"; John B. Little, Harvard University
4:00 p.m., Bldg. 66 auditorium

NOVEMBER 18, Wednesday

Nuclear Science Division
"Physics with the PHENIX Experiment"; Barbara Jacak , SUNY Stony Brook
10:30 a.m., Bldg. 50 auditorium

Computing Sciences, Mathematics Department
"High Contrast Impedance Tomography"; George C. Papanicolaou, Stanford University
4:30 p.m., Bldg. 50A-5132

NOVEMBER 19, Thursday

Environmental Energy Technologies Division
"Energy Efficient Fume Hoods"; Helmut Feustel, EETD
Noon, Bldg. 90-3148

NOVEMBER 20, Friday

Center for Beam Physics
"A New Kind of Two-Beam Accelerator"; Ron Ruth, SLAC
10:30 a.m., Bldg. 71 conf. rm.


Computer Training Available Regularly

Berkeley Lab, in conjunction with AIM Computer Training, Inc., regularly provides the following on-site, PC-based computer classes to Lab employees:

The Scheduling/Calendaring classes will continue to be offered during the month of November to coincide with the rollout of the new system to Laboratory users.

Class information, including schedules and online registration, is available on the Employee Development and Training website at EDT/computers/PC_Classes.html.

For more information contact the computer help desk at 486-HELP or call AIM Computer Training at (925) 988-0128.


Runaround XXI Results

Photo: XBD9810-02613.tif


Flea Market


`65 MERCEDES, 190D, diesel, beige, 4 dr, 375K mi, single owner, runs ok, needs some work, $1,000/b.o., Mark, X5021, 524-7125

`74 PORSCHE 914 1.8L, runs good, car cover, $2,500/b.o., Jon, 482-5473

`74 MERCEDES 280, runs but will need some work, very strong engine, clean body, $1,600/b.o., Chris, X7448

`83 TOYOTA Longbed pickup, 173K mi, passed smog (August), 2 wd, 15" wheels, rancho suspension, good shell, $1,950/b.o., Warren, X7964, 531-1726

`83 CHRYSLER New Yorker, rebuilt eng, 10K mi, new battery, starter, 2 new tires, leather int, sun-roof, pwr windows, a/t, ac, good cond, $850, Wei-Tai, X2234

`85 HONDA Civic DX, hatchback, silver, 5 spd, 205K mi, well maintained, good around town car, $600, Nance, X7328

`86 FORD Taurus station wagon, very good running cond, well maintained, clean, needs minor work, $2,500/b.o., call Lori, pager, 615-7089, leave phone # + *86# (exmpl: 222-2222*86#)

`88 FORD Thunderbird Sport, 5.0L-V8, auto overdrive trans, 74K mi, orig owner, exc cond, fully loaded, $4,100, Harry (415) 566-5856

`88 TOYOTA Corolla Wagon, auto trans, ac, ps, fm/cass, lots of miles, runs great, must sell because of move, $1,500, Winni, X4588, (415) 4319230

`90 VW Corrado, very good cond, 110K mi, limited edition, incl Thule Ski Rack for six prs (worth $500) asking $7,500 Nadia, Hafdi, 891-0304

`90 SUBARU Justy Hatchback, mechanic's special, needs transmission work, good cond otherwise, incl two new tires, $475/b.o., Victor, X7030, 510-639-7070

`91 VOLKSWAGEN Cabriolet, Etienne Aigner edition, convertible, midnight blue, 69K mi, 94 horsepwr, 5 spd, airbag, pwr steering, pwr windows, ac, premium sound system, cruise control, new brakes, great cond, $7,800, Nik, X7802, (415) 931 8335

`92 SUZUKI, DR350, dirt model w/ street legal kit, great shape, runs strong, $2,200/b.o.; camper shell from `85 Nissan pickup, $150/b.o.; wheels, chrome custom, KMC, allow 15"x10" from `89 Toyota, $250 for 4/b.o., Bob, (915) 432-2383

`95 JEEP Cherokee Sport, Command-Trac 4 wd, red, exc cond, 4 drs, 5-spd manual, ac, driver air bag, am/fm, cassette, pwr tilt & steering, roof rack, new tires, full size spare, 88K mi, $11,000, Edith, X5553, 222-6385

`97 HONDA Civic ex coupe, fully loaded, 27K mi, 5 spd, blk/blk, moon roof, 6 chg. CD, $16,000/ b.o., X4319, (925) 833-1668

TONE cover for Toyota short bed pickup, 75x60 inches, gray, $150/b.o., Richard, 654-7526


APARTMENT, Berkeley, close to Lab shuttle stop (McGee Ave), 2 bdrm, now avail, Rivka, (650) 692-3593

BERKELEY, furn, pleasant, 1 bdrm apt in duplex, short term only, avail, mid-Dec, non-smoking, $800/mo + deposit, Lara, X7276

EL CERRITO foothill, 3 bdrm, 2 bth, partly furn, quiet & very safe area, lg backyard, ideal for visiting scholar w/ family, non-smoking, $1,375/mo, Claudia, Pierre, 236-7546

EL CERRITO, sublet 11/15-1/15, 2 bdrm, 1 bth house, cozy, cul-de-sac off Moeser, no pets, no smoking, $920/mo + util, $300 deposit, Steve, X6941, Barbara, 527-3751

SAN FRANCISCO, 1 roommate or couple wanted to share flat in prime Noe Valley neighborhood, 2 full sized rms w/ extra closet space, share lg kitchen, bth, & living rm w/ one professional, 11 yr old border collie, $850/mo + 1/2 gas/electric, w/in 1 blk of coffee shops, post office, grocery, restaurants, John, X6944 (415) 550-1901 (eve)

TRUCKEE, rm for one person in furn, sunny quiet private home, own bath, beautiful view, flat driveway, perfect for skiier or quiet study space, $450/mo incl util, Heed, 495-2946, (530) 587-6405


AU PAIR, looking for family w/ 1 or 2 children, already in the Bay Area, Xavier, X5039, 845-3830

BEANIE babies, many retired and newly released, call for list and prices, Matt, X5241, Bo, (415) 252-7553 or (510) 913-7849 (eve)

BEDROOM FURNITURE: dresser (8 drawers), headboard (queen), draftsman desk, wooden rocking lounge chair, misc items, John, 709-0866, eves

BICYCLE Saddlebags (2), Jaand, lg, used 1 year, $40; hi fi VCR, 1 yr old, used infrequently, $60, Cooper, X5417, 517-1945

BICYCLE, Schwinn Sidewinder, boy's, red, 20", exc cond, $250 new, asking $100, Steve, X4304, 631-0719

CARDIOGLIDE, $100; entertainment center, 72" x 72", 1829 mm multiple shelves, reconfigurable, plus TV port, $100, Warren or Arline, 531-1726

CAR STEREO, Jennies, detachable face, am/fm/cass, fade, only used for 6 months; futon, queen size, light wood frame w/ green cover, exc cond, after 11/16, $95, Nik, X7802

ENTERTAINMENT CENTER, Thomasville, oak, 14 ft sectional, fits 32" TV, beautiful mirrored cabinets w/ lights, 2 yrs old, $3,500; apiary/bee keeping equip, extractor & accessories, $200; electric washer & dryer, like new, $450, Teresa X6615, Ron, 243-1351

LATERAL FILE UNIT, beige, good cond, commercial quality steel construction, lockable, 49"x42"x20", 2 lateral file drawers & one pullout shelf w/ dr, planter top w/ plastic liner, $150; Koa wood, contemporary queen size platform bed frame w/ 12 full ext drawers, solid wood frame & drawer fronts, lots of storage, $750/b.o., Nick, X6314

MOVING SALE: bdrm, 3 drawer night stand, 6 drawer dresser made of redwood (Bois Rouge), 6 mo old, leather sofa bed, brn, 3 months old, all from Scandinavian Designs; JVC 32' TV, RCA VCR; Hitachi 17' TV w/ VCR; also coffee maker, pop corn maker, etc., Nadia, Hafdi, 891-0304

MOVING SALE, toaster, $5; breadmaker, $40; iron, $30; VCR, $60, all 1-2 years old; 20'' color TV, $30; several nice plants & pots (some 9 ft. high), b.o., Winni, X4588, 415) 431-9230

MOVING SALE, 9-pc modular boys bdrm furn, exc cond, $350; elab childs study desk, $60; ping-pong table & equip, $50; 10 spd bike, $50; metal patio furn, $25, (925) 376-4075

OPERA, S.F., Sat eve, 12/5, Peter Grimes, balc pr, 2nd row ctr, $100/pair, Paul, X5508, (510) 526-3519

OPERA TICKET, S.F., Norma, single, 11/28 mat., dress cir, $75, Claire, 530-7118

PING PONG TABLE & equipment, $50, Earl, 526-3458

SKIS: Volki P9, 201cm, equip bndgs; P9 race, Ess bndgs; Salomon 200cm, Ess bndgs; head 160cm "new," look bndgs (unmounted); Tecnica (boots) TNT (purple) 9-1/2 size, $125 ea/b.o.; white water raft, 10 ft, $150/b.o.; camera, Monitola, 7000 w/ 200mm zoom lens, case, other, $325/b.o.; Bob, (915) 432-2383

TABLE, antique mahogany, drop leaf, $175; mahogany parlor organ in very good cond, pump style, $175; sofabed, $150 & 2 matching chairs, $70; Cardio Glide, $90; jacuzzi, orig unit for bathtub, good working order w/ manual, $65; Turkoman Takke Rug, $1000, Anne, X7337, Peter 525-3552

TV, `87 Toshiba, color; $150/b.o., Ed, X6047

TREADMILL, $150/b.o., Lisa, X5314, (925) 906-9786


BICYCLE, used, Fanqing, X7857, 540-8126

CONDO or townhouse, 2 bdrms for visiting Singapore scientist w/ small family, 2/99-11/99, good neighborhood, [email protected]

DAYCARE PROVIDERS, reliable, moderately priced, Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito, or Richmond area, seek part-time care (3 days a week) for 1 yr old toddler, starting Jan `99, Tara, X7370, X2908

GARDENER, experienced/reliable for reg maintenance at Berkeley home, Miguel, X6443, 526-5291

HOUSING for rent needed for visiting UC Berkeley psychologist, fully furn house, min 3 bdrm, 2 bth, for 1-3 months starting 1/99, quiet, responsible nonsmoking family, 2 adults, 3 children, no pets, prefer North Berkeley or Claremont hills area, Miguel, X6443, 526-5291, [email protected]

HOUSING, North Berkeley or North Oakland for visiting LBNL professor & family (2 adults and 2 small children), for March of `99, [email protected]

HOUSING for Japanese visiting scholar arriving 11/23, seeking 1 bdrm or lg studio, prefer furnished, in nice neighborhood w/in 1 mile of campus, start 12/1, Barbara, X6898, Shaolin, 528-3243

HOUSING for 2 visiting scientists from Europe, 2 bdrm apt to share for at least 1 year, prefer Berkeley or North Oakland, Nicolas or Chris, X7448

TENNIS players, female, intermediate level, for friendly Saturday am round robin dbls in El Cerrito, Carol, X6696

Real Estate

MORAGA, 4 bdrm, 2 bth, remodeled, 0.58 acre lot, great views, open, airy & private, walk to school, $525,000, Ken (925) 376-4075


BAHAMAS Condo, luxurious, spacious, 1 bdrm, in Taino Beach, sleeps up to 4, every amenity, on beautiful beach, pool/tennis, maid service, $500/week, Marlene, X6005

HAWAII, 20 mi below Hilo on rainy side of Big Island, convenient to Univ of Hawaii campus & orchid plantations, 2 bdrm, 2 bth house for rent, unfurn, $450/mo or buy for $55,000, as is, nr schools, shopping, 1 mi to ocean bluff, Marlene, X6005

Lost and Found

EARRING of bloodstone and agate (green) & other mixed colored beads, lost 10/21, med length, dangle shape on a gold ear wire, Marsha, X4443

Flea Market Policy

Flea Market items may be e-mailed to [email protected], faxed to X6641, or mailed/delivered to Bldg. 65B. The deadline for the Nov. 20 issue is 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13. No ads will be accepted after that time.

Flea Market Ad Policy

Ads are accepted only from Berkeley Lab 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 telephone number.

Flea Market ads may be e-mailed to [email protected], faxed to X6641, or mailed/delivered to Bldg. 65B. No ads will be taken by phone.

Ads will run one week only unless resubmitted in writing. They will be repeated only as space permits.

The deadline for the Nov. 6 issue is 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30. No ads will be accepted after that time.


Flea Market ad policy

Due to the large volume of ads received each week, ads are accepted only from LBNL employees, retirees, and on-site DOE personnel. No other ads will be accepted. We encourage past contributors to the Flea Market to use other local services, such as LBNL's online housing listing (call X6198 for information), and the UC Housing Office.

Please note also:


Currents/The View and the Communications Department Staff

Published once a month by the Communications Department for the employees and retirees of Berkeley Lab.

Reid Edwards, Public Affairs Department head
Ron Kolb, Communications Department head

Pamela Patterson, 486-4045, [email protected]
Associate editor
Lyn Hunter, 486-4698, [email protected]

Dan Krotz, 486-4019
Paul Preuss, 486-6249
Lynn Yarris, 486-5375

Ucilia Wang, 495-2402
Allan Chen, 486-4210
David Gilbert, (925) 296-5643

Caitlin Youngquist, 486-4020
Creative Services Office

Berkeley Lab
Communications Department
MS 65, One Cyclotron Road, Berkeley CA 94720
(510) 486-5771
Fax: (510) 486-6641

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

Flea Market is now online at


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