November 17, 2000 Search the Currents Archive

Center for the Study of Aging Launched by Berkeley Lab, UCB

SHARES Campaign Lags Behind `99 Contributions

 


 

Center for the Study of Aging Launched by Berkeley Lab, UCB

By Lynn Yarris

 

Stories about the search for eternal youth are as old as literature itself, and while scientists still cannot keep any of us looking forever young, they are gaining new insights into the aging process. For example, it has been established that aging is the single largest risk factor for cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and a great many other disorders. A better understanding of why we grow old would be a major step towards slowing the process and extending our years of healthy life. But progress in this field has been stubbornly slow.

To speed the progress of research aimed at slowing the process of aging, researchers with Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have launched the Center for Research and Education on Aging (CREA). The purpose of this center is to generate funding that will support student and postdoctoral fellowships in basic aging research, plus "high-risk pilot or long-term research" projects at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley. CREA is also aimed at educating the scientific community as well as the general public about issues in aging research.

"It is widely recognized that aging is an extremely fertile ground for research and that the Bay Area has a lot of talent in this field, but traditional funding mechanisms are slow," says Judy Campisi, a cell biologist in the Life Sciences Division and a leading authority on aging research. "Often more than a year will go by between when a good research idea is proposed and when it finally gets funded."

Campisi joined with Paola Timiras, a UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus and pioneer in the study of hormonal effects on aging to create CREA. Timiras is now a visiting scientist with LSD and serves with Campisi as co-director of CREA. One of their major goals is to establish an endowment for funding aging research. A big step towards this goal was realized in an endowment of several hundred thousand dollars from BioTime, Inc., a Berkeley-based private research firm. The endowment was given in recognition of Timoras' lifetime of accomplishment in aging research and education.

"We want to use this and future endowments to make CREA a major force for mobilizing the research talent in the Bay Area to the study of aging," says Campisi. "There is a long history of aging research and education here and an exceptionally high-concentration of world-class biologists. We want to support promising young students and postdoctoral scientists, as well as creative established scientists who are dedicated to understanding and controlling aging."

For the educational component of CREA, Campisi and Timiras envision sponsoring additional courses on aging research at the UC Berkeley campus, plus public and scientific seminars, workshops, and lectures.

CREA's organizers say it will bring to the study of aging an approach that medical schools cannot emulate because their focus is on the study and treatment of specific diseases.

"Preventing or curing any one disease extends the human health span and possibly life span by merely a few years," Campisi says. "If, however, we prevent or ameliorate the underlying aging process, the extension of human health span, and possibly life span, is likely to be much greater."

By helping to integrate the biology talent in the Bay Area and providing speedier and more flexible funding opportunities, it is the mission of CREA to answer age-old questions about prolonging youthful health and vigor sooner rather than later.

For more information of CREA, its programs and its funding opportunities, check its website at http:// crea.berkeley.edu/.

 

 

 

SHARES Campaign Lags Behind `99 Contributions

By Lisa Gonzales

 

As Berkeley Lab's charitable giving campaign enters its final week, the Laboratory finds itself running behind in its goal to exceed last year's total of $94,000 in donations. As of this week, 182 of the more than 3,000 Lab employees have contributed through SHARES 2000, for a total of just over $52,000.

"The LBNL SHARES program helps our community organizations and makes the Laboratory's commitment to be a good neighbor and support our local community visible," said Deputy Director Pier Oddone, a member of the SHARES Policy Board. "We hope that employees who have not yet participated will use the time that is left in the campaign to review the information in their SHARES packets or at the SHARES website (www.lbl. gov/shares)," said Ron Kolb, one of the campaign coordinators. "There are so many wonderful charitable organizations and so many ways that their contributions can make a tangible difference in our community."

An admirable example in this campaign is Berkeley Lab's Washington D.C. office, with a participation rate of 100 percent -- for the second year in a row. All 20 employees have given through SHARES to their local United Way branch.

"It's just such an easy, no-brainer way to give back to the community which has given us so much," says Moira Howard-Jeweler. "It's amazing how just $20 a month can make a huge difference to a non-profit organization. So many great places need help that the hard part is deciding which charity to pick."

Back in Berkeley, employees have donated to a variety of charities. Jennifer Rosado of the Directorate chose the Hospice Foundation of America and to the Cancer Research Institute, both of which helped her family before her mother's passing six years ago from colon cancer. Sally Nasman in Materials Science chose the Berkeley Public Education Foundation because she believes that their practice of giving small grants to individual teachers will make her contribution "enough to fund one small project that will reach a classroom of twenty-five kids." Pat Butler in EH&S donated to both the Alameda Community Food Bank and the Bay Area Rescue Mission, two local organizations "that do a great job of helping the needy."

"A year and a half ago my husband's god-daughter and niece, Nicky, was born with Down Syndrome," says Heather Pinto of ICSD. She and her husband are donating to the Down Syndrome Connection, a non-profit agency that offers support to families affected by this condition, as well as pre-natal consultations, developmental therapy for children, and programs for teens and young adults. "Down Syndrome Connection has truly been a blessing to Nicky's family."

David Bailey of NERSC was inspired to give to the Chabot Space and Science Center after a visit to the observatory, which left him very impressed with the facilities -- an invaluable educational resource for the community. Paul Franke of Facilities donated to Feed the Children, a charity with a global reach that he had seen on television.

Pam Patterson of Public Information chose the Taylor Family Foundation for Camp Arroyo, a local charity dedicated to giving children with life-threatening diseases the opportunity to attend a residence summer camp. "How could I pass up the opportunity to help a sick child have a fun summer experience?" Patterson asks.

Representatives from the four donor umbrella federations -- United Way of the Bay Area, Earth Share of California, Community Health Charities and the Bay Area Black United Fund -- will be available every day in the cafeteria lobby until the end of the campaign to answer questions and provide information about the agencies they serve.

Employees who have not received donor forms may contact their ASD coordinator and request a packet of materials. The website at www.lbl.gov/shares also provides links to participating agencies.

Employees whose favorite charity is not included under these umbrella organizations may donate to the charity of their choice through the "Donor Choice Plan" option on the donor form, as long as the agency is designated as a tax-exempt IRS 501(c)(3).

While the official campaign is scheduled to conclude on Nov. 22, donor forms will be accepted through the end of the month for the payroll deduction option that will take effect on Jan. 1 and will apply in tax year 2001. One-time gifts by check are also being accepted.

 

As part of SHARES' daily presence in the cafeteria until the end of the campaign, Elana Vlahandreas of Community Health Charities answers questions regarding the more than 40 non-profit agencies within their federation.

 

 

A Better Way to Produce Pure Oxygen

By Paul Preuss

On December 1 the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will begin funneling almost $2 million into an effort originating at Berkeley Lab to find a way of separating oxygen from air and pressurizing it in a single step. The new, low-power electrolytic system is designed to produce oxygen right where it is needed -- in welding shops and other light industries, for example, and in hospitals.

The grant was made directly to Praxair, Inc., one of the world's largest industrial gases companies, under NIST's Advanced Technology Program, which supports high-risk research that companies can't fund entirely on their own. In turn, Praxair is directing $1.2 million to basic research and development by the oxygen system's originators, Steve Visco, Craig Jacobson, Lutgard de Jonghe, and their colleagues in the Materials Sciences Division.

 


Craig Jacobson (left), Steve Visco, and Lutgard de Jonghe developed a thin-membrane system to separate oxigen from air.

"We met Praxair representatives at a fuel-cell conference a few years ago," says Visco. "An important part of our work on solid-oxide fuel cells involved research on oxygen separation membranes, and we were getting excellent performance."

One reason Praxair is interested in new ways to produce oxygen on site, says Visco, is that "for every pound of oxygen they deliver, they're also delivering five pounds of steel."

Oxygen, worth many billions of dollars a year to the U.S. economy, is typically delivered in pressurized steel bottles or as a bulk liquid or gas in tube trailer trucks; tube trailers, many bearing Praxair's name, are a familiar sight around Berkeley Lab.

Oxygen is also produced at the point of use. On a large scale, as in the steel and glass industries, huge refrigeration plants liquefy air and separate the constituents. On a smaller scale, vacuum-pressure swing adsorption (VPSA) plants can be used even for home care, but "the large PSA units in hospitals are very noisy and vibrate a lot, and the concentrated oxygen is not pure," Visco says.

In search of a quiet, self-contained unit that can cheaply produce pure pressurized oxygen electrochemically instead of mechanically, Praxair and Berkeley Lab entered into a three-year cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) to adapt the solid-oxide fuel-cell work of Visco, Jacobson and De Jonghe.

"Like a solid-oxide fuel cell, the oxygen separation system is a kind of ceramic sandwich," says Visco. "A porous ceramic electrode supports a thin electrolyte membrane and another ceramic electrode layer. In this case, however, we aren't supplying air and fuel and producing electricity; instead we're supplying air and electricity and getting pure oxygen."

Air, a mixture of gases about one fifth oxygen, flows through a porous cathode and interacts with the electrolyte membrane, where the oxygen atoms are charged by the current. These ions are drawn through the anode, and molecules (paired atoms) of oxygen are reformed on the other side.

Visco, De Jonghe and chief technician Craig Jacobson investigated various materials under the CRADA. In a novel approach, Jacobson fabricated cathodes from a nonreactive ceramic, lanthanum strontium manganite (LSM). Thin membranes of ytria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) formed the electrolytes, and anodes were made of a 50-50 mix of both these compounds. Jacobson also devised a way to infiltrate dopants into the ceramics to improve their electrical performance.

The easiest structures to fabricate were planar cells, which demonstrated stable and efficient oxygen separation for up to a thousand hours. But to capture the oxygen and pressurize it in a single step, the researchers molded tubular cells, with the anode -- the so-called "air electrode" -- on the outside and the electrolyte and cathode applied in layers inside.

The tubular cells were heated to 800 degrees Celsius for efficient electrolysis. As oxygen collected inside the tube, pressure increased; in the CRADA tests, pressures reached 90 pounds per square inch.

When the CRADA ended this year, all its research goals had been met. However, "if we are going to demonstrate a commercially viable technology, we need to improve cell performance by an order of magnitude," Visco says. "We need to develop stronger cells, so we can compress oxygen to higher pressures, and we need to get the temperature down to 700 C or less -- about the temperature of the wires inside a kitchen toaster."

Under the new grant, the tubular cells Visco and his team are developing are intended to produce a hundred milliliters of oxygen a minute. Each about the size of a long cigar, many of them will be stacked together to build a unit capable of reaching 50 to 100 liters a minute. Devising the gas manifold and seals will be formidable tasks, to be tackled by other research partners of Praxair.

One of the most interesting challenges facing Visco and his colleagues is cell strength; one approach is to build the cell with a support electrode of metal instead of LSM ceramic. "We're hopeful, but we haven't overcome the challenges yet," Visco says. "That's why NIST funds this kind of research."

To build a competitive oxygen separator, it won't be enough to eliminate the need for steel containers and noisy or dangerous onsite machinery. The bottom line is cost. For example, a competing separation system based on ceramic membranes requires pressurizing the air to drive it through the ceramic, as well as pressurizing the resulting oxygen, and "it's expensive to compress high-purity oxygen," Visco remarks.

Nevertheless, Visco says, "the area of thin membrane separation is really taking off. For years we were getting great results in the lab, but finding money to support the research was both frustrating and difficult." With NIST's Advanced Technology Program grant to Praxair, he says, "support is finally coming in."

Screen Gems

Runaway Universe on NOVA

Saul Perlmutter of the Lab's Physics Division is one of the featured scientists on the next episode of Nova, airing on PBS next Tuesday, Nov. 21. "Runaway Universe" will focus on 1998's "completely unexpected" discovery that "the expansion of the universe is speeding up, propelled by some unknown force."

Produced in HDTV, the program boasts stunning three-dimensional maps and simulations created by the same artists who provided supercomputer graphics for the IMAX film Cosmic Voyage. An accompanying website launches today at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/universe/.

Me and Isaac Newton in SF, Berkeley

Ashok Gadgil of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division is one of seven scientists portrayed in the stunning documentary feature Me and Isaac Newton, which opened in New York last week. The review in the New York Times spotlighted Gadgil, "who was born in Bombay ... and has devoted his life to researching energy efficiency," as an example of the film's "vision of collective genius balanced by compassion, humor, and judicious self-assessment."

Me and Isaac Newton will begin a limited run at the Opera Plaza in San Francisco and Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley beginning today.

 

Washington Report

DOE Asked to Drop Research Fees

Seeking to make it easier for industry and other federal agencies to work with the national laboratories, Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) urged Energy Secretary Bill Richardson to drop the fees that DOE charges for outside collaborators.

"DOE has faithfully followed the law and stopped charging exorbitant fees," Domenici said in a letter to Richardson. "I think it's now time for DOE to take the last step and not assess any administrative fees for businesses that form research collaborations with national laboratories. We should aim to make it easier for businesses to utilize the expertise of scientists and resources at DOE sites."

In 1998, Congress passed legislation sponsored by Domenici that reduced from 25 percent to 3 percent the share of a project's costs that DOE charges as a fee for using national laboratory facilities. Now Domenici wants to eliminate the fee altogether because he says it discourages outside use of DOE's facilities.

New National Bioenergy Center

Secretary Richardson has announced the formation of a DOE-funded National Bioenergy Center to help the U.S. "meet its energy needs, manage its environmental challenges and strengthen economic opportunities in rural America."

The National Bioenergy Center, funded from existing DOE dollars, will be based at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. It is intended as the focal point for technology development and information about bioenergy in the United States, giving industry a "one-stop shopping place" for access to world class research and state-of-the-art laboratory facilities at several federal agencies.

Science Education Bill Defeated

A bipartisan bill to improve school science and math education was defeated following a last minute controversy, in which critics said the bill might violate a constitutional ban on government support for religion. The National Science Education Act, sponsored by Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-MI), the only trained physicist in Congress, was considered the major legislative vehicle this year for federal involvement in science and math education. According to a story in Science, Ehlers had forged a bipartisan coalition to raise the quality of teachers in elementary and secondary schools through a $50-million-a-year program to provide schools with master teachers who would help train staff and develop curricula. The House Science Committee passed the bill unanimously last summer. The day before the vote, however, legislators' offices began buzzing about a provision that would have created a program at the National Science Foundation "to make grants to a state or local educational agency or to a private elementary or middle school for the purpose of hiring a master teacher."

Some Congressional members saw this inclusion of private schools in the program as a violation of church and state separation. Ehlers rejected that interpretation noting that the NSF has long included teachers at private schools in training and curriculum development programs. Nevertheless, the bill failed to muster the two-thirds majority it required. Ehlers says he plans to reintroduce the bill in the next Congress.

 

 

Seamless Move: NERSC Computers Up and
Running in Oakland

After more than a year of planning, months of construction, and an intense week of moving and installation, NERSC's Cray supercomputers, High Performance Storage System (HPSS), and Parallel Distributed Systems Facility (PDSF) cluster for high-energy physics and auxiliary systems are up and running in Berkeley Lab's new Oakland Scientific Facility.

The moved systems were down for less than a week. NERSC's IBM RS/6000 SP Phase I computer remained in service during the move and will stay in Berkeley until the Phase II system, with 2,528 processors and a peak speed of 3.8 teraflops (3.8 trillion calculations per second), is installed in Oakland later this year.

Early next year, additional computers and some employees will move into the facility. A ceremony to dedicate it is being planned for early spring after all the systems and staff have been relocated. Staff from NERSC Computer Operations and Network Support and others are expected to work there. Offices are available for other staff on a temporary, as-needed basis.

The move was managed and executed by teams from the Lab's Facilities Department and Computing Sciences organization. "Everyone involved did a fabulous job," said Howard Walter, head of NERSC's Future Infrastructure, Networking and Security Group.Jon Bashor

 

Teenage Inventor Wins Apprenticeship at Berkeley Lab

By Paul Preuss

Jordan Sand, an 18-year-old 12th grader from Ellendale High School in Ellendale, North Dakota, is the winner of the third annual Lemelson-MIT Invention Apprenticeship award, designed to provide hands-on experience in a scientific and technological environment for promising high-school inventors.

The winning student spends up to three weeks at an Invention Mentor's worksite in order to learn more about the process of inventing firsthand. Sand's Invention Mentor will be Ashok Gadgil of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, who became involved with the program to "give an innovative student the opportunity to experience the excitement of inventing at a world-class research lab."

Sand was selected for inventions that help preserve the environment and help his community find new uses for local crops. One of his early inventions is a solar distillation device to purify water outdoors during the cold North Dakota winters, which he built for a seventh grade project. Another invention is a solar-heated birdbath that keeps the birds' water thawed during icy winters.

During the 1997-98 school year, Sand embarked on research to help farmers create alternative uses for their crops. His studies proved that various types of grain straw (flax, wheat, corn) and cattails can be used to make paper. These are annual plants that need no reseeding, herbicides or pesticides; using them to manufacture paper or other new products would provide additional income to farmers from crops that would not ordinarily be income-producing.

Winners of the Lemelson-MIT award can choose to work on a project of their own design or assist in one of the Invention Mentor's projects. In this case, Sands and Gadgil seem especially well matched; Gadgil is renowned for theoretical and technological research on drinking water disinfection -- including UV Waterworks, a portable, battery-powered water purifier -- as well as studies of indoor air pollutants and ways to increase energy efficiency.

"I look forward to working with Jordan," Gadgil said. "From what I already know about him, he is a creative young man with the persistence to see an idea through. That's very impressive."

 

 

Hawkins to Head Joint Genome Institute

Trevor Hawkins, the director of Berkeley Lab's recently established Genomics Division, has been appointed Director of the Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute.

Hawkins replaces Elbert Branscomb, who will assume a leadership role in the newest project of the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (OBER), "Bringing the Genome to Life -- Energy Related Biology in the New Genomic World."

The JGI in Walnut Creek is a consortium of the three UC laboratories at Berkeley, Livermore and Los Alamos.

Hawkins became deputy director of the JGI in 1999. His leadership of the Production Sequencing Facility (PSF) has placed the JGI among the leading sequencing centers in the world.

Hawkins obtained his B.S. at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom and his Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1993. That same year he joined the MIT/ Whitehead Institute Center for Genome Research, where he headed a new DNA sequencing group and in 1996 become the first MIT/ Whitehead Assistant Professor. In 1997 he was named vice president of genomics for the CuraGen Corporation and was appointed to the faculty of the University of Florida as an associate professor in the Department of Medicine.

Branscomb, the first director of the JGI, was responsible for uniting the genomic efforts of the three UC laboratories and for bringing their multidisciplinary strengths to the genome sequencing arena.

He will remain associated with the JGI in an advisory capacity, but his principal activity will be to develop the new OBER program "Bringing the Genome to Life," which is aimed at understanding and predicting the behavior of single cells and multicellular organisms in response to biological and environmental signals.

 

Benefits Corner: Open Enrollment Clock Ticking

With less than two weeks left until the end of the Open Enrollment period on Nov. 30, many of you are probably wrestling with important decisions that may directly impact you and your families over the next year and beyond. This is the time to weigh your options and, should you choose to do so, make changes to your medical, dental, vision, or legal plans, add or remove family members to the plans, or begin or end participation in the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DepCare).

All these actions will be effective Jan. 1, 2001.

If you are a career employee, by now you have received an Open Enrolment package with information on the wide range of choices open to you regarding your family's health providers and other related issues. These materials are your starting point, but other sources of information are also available to help you sort through the maze of options and plans.

This process may seem a little daunting, considering the multitude of choices and changes since last November. For instance, did you know that for the first time this year you have the option to change your HMO anytime throughout the year? Members may transfer into and out of the three California HMOs (Health Net, PacifiCare and Kaiser) outside of the Open Enrollment period as often as once a month, subject to payroll deadlines. This gives employees the option of trying out a new plan without fear of being locked into it.

In order to help you make informed decisions about Open Enrollment, the Lab's Benefits Department offers the following suggestions to help you with the process.

And keep in mind that one of these options is not to make any changes at all, in which case your current coverage will continue as is.

 

Actions You Can Take During Open Enrollment Period

  • Change to a different medical or dental plan.

     

  • Opt out of medical, dental and or vision coverage -- or if you previously opted out, you can opt back in.

     

  • Cancel or add the legal plan (you will need to use a form; call Benefits at X6403).

     

  • Enroll or cancel coverage for your eligible family members in your health plan.

     

  • Enroll in the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DepCare), or modify your salary reduction amount. (If you make no change, your 2000 amount will continue in 2001.)

     

  • Add same-sex domestic partners and their children/grandchildren to legal, life and AD&D.

     

Highlights of Changes to the 2001 Health Plans

  • Employee monthly costs: Health Net and UC Care premiums will increase, while Kaiser and PacifiCare premiums will decrease to zero.

     

  • HMO transfers: UC will offer a one year pilot program that allows you to switch HMOs (Health Net, PacifiCare and Kaiser) year-round.

     

  • Mental health coverage: All HMO's and UC Care will offer improved mental health benefits.

     

  • UC Care: In-area and out-of-area benefits will improve significantly.

     

  • Prescription drugs: Aetna U.S. Healthcare will administer retail and mail order drug benefits for employees enrolled in UC Care.

What You Need to Do

To make any changes, you will need to read through your Open Enrollment packet for specific details and then fill out the worksheet that will help you input the information using the interactive voice response phone system. You will also need your Open Enrollment four digit code number printed at the top of your statement. (You may use your benefits PIN.) Please note that Open Enrollment changes will not be accepted on a hardcopy form without prior approval from the Benefits Office.

If you need an extra packet contact your HR center or call Benefits at X6403.

 

Please Note: Deadline for Changes to 403(b) Deductions for Year-End 2000

For monthly paid employees, chan-ges to the 403(b) plan contributions must be made by Nov. 20, 2000 for this calendar year. (The Dec. 1 check will be the last one for calendar year 2000). For bi-weekly paid employees, the last day to make changes for the calendar year 2000 is Dec. 13, 2000.

Meet the Providers: Vendor Fair

All employees are invited to attend the Employees Open Enrollment Vendor Fair on Wednesday, Nov. 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Perseverance Hall. Health plan and LBNL Benefits representatives will be available to answer questions regarding UC group insurance plans. Complimentary blood pressure screenings, body fat screenings and head/neck massages will be offered.

 

 

Other recommended resources:

BeNe the Bee Fun Facts

  • What colors can bees see that people can't?
    Ultraviolet

     

  • How long ago did the first bees appear on earth?
    About the same time as flowering plants, 160 million years ago

     

  • What is the oldest record of beekeeping?
    6,000 b.c.e., from a rock painting in Spain.

-- Benefits Office

 

Lab Presence Strong at Supercomputing Event

By Jon Bashor

 


Attendees at the SC2000 conference listen to a technical presentation in the Berkeley Lab booth, which showcased the Lab's achievements through talks, computer demonstrations and posters.

 

The Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences organization again demonstrated its achievements and leadership in high-performance computing and networking at the annual SC conference (formerly known as Supercomputing Conference), held last week in Dallas.

The event drew 5,200 attendees and 153 exhibitors, including vendors and research organizations such as the DOE labs. Berkeley Lab's booth highlighted the release of new software, the development of technologies to advance DOE's Science Grid, which links computers and facilities around the country, and applications for computational science. Traffic at the booth was the highest in the Lab's participation over the past six years.

"This year we focused on those areas where we have recognized leadership and used computer demonstrations, informative posters and a strong lineup of technical talks in our booth to reinforce our leadership position," said NERSC Division Director Horst Simon. "Based on comments from DOE program managers, conference attendees and our own staff, this was our most successful SC to date."

Highlights of Lab participation at the conference included:

NERSC Deputy Division Director Bill Kramer led the design and deployment of a network with massive connectivity to support high-bandwidth applications at the conference. The conference network, called SCinet, offered a combined capacity more than 196,000 times faster than a typical residential Internet connection and 200 times faster than the connections used by many universities. Kramer was interviewed for the regional edition of the Wall Street Journal and by local TV and radio news reporters.

A Berkeley Lab team made up of Brian Tierney, Wes Bethel, Jason Lee, and Dan Gunter won the "Fastest and Fattest" prize for best overall performance in the SC2000 Network Challenge for Bandwidth-Intensive Applications. In demonstrating Visapult, Bethel's prototype application and framework for remote visualization of terascale datasets, the team recorded a peak performance level of 1.48 gigabits per second over a five-second period. Overall, the team transferred 262 gigabits of data in 60 minutes from LBNL to the SC2000 show floor in Dallas.

Another winner in the Network Challenge, taking top honors as the "Hottest Infrastructure" application, was a team representing the University of Southern California/Information Sciences Institute and Argonne and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories, with help from Berkeley Lab's Arie Shoshani and Alex Sim, running "A Data Management Infrastructure for Climate Modeling Research."

Berkeley Lab released three software packages at the conference, and all 300 copies were gone within two days. The first package, Berkeley Lab AMR, or Adaptive Mesh Refinement, serves as a "numerical microscope," allowing researchers to "zoom in" on the specific regions of a problem that are most important to its solution. AMR has been under development for 15 years by scientists in NERSC's Center for Computational Sciences and Engineering and the Applied Numerical Algorithms Group (ANAG). The Visualization Group has also been actively working with ANAG on developing a new AMR visualization tool.

The second software package, developed by NERSC's Future Technology Group, contains M-VIA and MVICH, two pieces of software to allow very high performance over cluster networks.

The third software package was Akenti, an authorization system designed to address issues raised by granting users access to distributed computing and networking resources controlled by multiple stakeholders.

Lab scientists also presented three papers. NERSC's Adrian Wong, Lenny Oliker, Bill Kramer and David Bailey presented "ESP: A System Utilization Benchmark;" The Visapult team spoke on "Using High-Speed WANs and Network Data Caches to Enable Remote and Distributed Visualization;" and Bill Johnston was a coauthor of "Computing and Data Grids for Science and Engineering."

A fourth paper, "A Comparison of Three Programming Models for Adaptive Applications on the Origin 2000," by Hongzhang Shan of Princeton University and coauthored by NERSC's Lenny Oliker, was recognized as Best Student Paper at SC2000.

 

Berkeley Lab's DC Branch Office Has a New Home

Consolidated Location for Five National Labs

Berkeley Lab is putting the finishing touches on the new location for its Washington, D. C. Projects Office, with the imminent installation of a high speed (T1) link to ESnet by the Networking and Telecommunications Department.

"We're back in business," said Rob Johnson of the Directorate, who has Lab-wide responsibility for the office. "We're able to offer Berkeley Lab's scientific community and our Department of Energy sponsors the same high level of service they were accustomed to before the move -- conference rooms, direct access to LBLnet, and knowledgeable, problem-solving staff."

The new location in Suite 950 of the Aerospace Building at 901 D Street, S.W., is a good stone's throw from the former location on Maryland Avenue, which was vacated in June. The office shares the ninth floor with four other national laboratories: the National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest, and Brookhaven. The move was necessitated by DOE contractor management measures that reduced the number of national laboratory offices in the Washington, D. C. area from 13 to 3 and the number of lab employees from 675 in 1997 to 220 the next year.

 

"The consolidated office has numerous benefits," said Jeff Harris, group leader for the EET Division's Government and Industry Programs group in Washington. "We are right next door to DOE headquarters and co-located with other national lab offices which, like us, mainly support DOE's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other Washington-based energy organizations. That's bound to increase the opportunities for informal collaboration, as we rub shoulders on a daily basis with colleagues from other labs, and can substitute real faces for those e-mail addresses."

Harris leads a staff of 15 professionals who provide technical support to DOE and EPA for voluntary partnership programs and energy-efficient government purchasing, develop tools for measuring and verifying savings, and conduct research on how decision-making affects energy use.

The Washington Seminar Series, organized by Heinz Heinemann, will continue to provide scientific talks in the new office on topics of timely interest to DOE and other Washington-based program managers. The speaker series this year includes Alex Pines on "Lighting Up- NMR and MRI in Biomedicine"; C. Judson King on "Research Universities-Past and Future"; Adam Arkin on "Exploring the Biochemical Basis of Cell Organization"; Mark Alper on "Novel Materials and Instruments for Sensitive and Specific Biosensors"; Rob Ritchie on "Life Prediction and Quality Control for Medical Implants"; Amtoni P. Tomsia on "Graded Bioactive Coatings for Medical Implants"; John Clarke on "Squids and Biomagnetism"; and Sally Benson on "Geologic Sequestration of CO2." The full schedule can be found at http://www.lbl.gov/msd/WashDC.html.

For more information on the seminar series or on other aspects of the office, call the main telephone line at (202) 646-7950. Moira Howard-Jeweler is responsible for administration and office-wide operations. The mailing address is 901 D Street, SW, Suite 950, Washington, D. C. 20024.

 

Bulletin Board

Come and Get your SHARE

SHARES coordinators Meg Holm (left) and Sally Nasman, along with Jeri Edgar, enjoyed a few laughs at the MSD Bake Sale they organized to benefit Earth Share of California.

"The bake sale was quite spirited," says Nasman. "At one point, two senior scientists upped the ante by giving $20 contributions for a cup of coffee." Along with earnings from the sale of pumpkin bread, cookies and brownies, the donations raised over $250 for the charity.

Nasman and Holm are extending their thanks to Russ and Enrique at the cafeteria for donating the coffee and tea. Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt

 

Payroll Notice: Deadlines for Changes to Withholdings

Monthly-paid employees wishing to make changes to their 403(b) plan or federal or state tax withholdings for this calendar year must submit requests to Payroll by Nov. 20, 2000. (The Dec. 1 paycheck will be the last one for calendar year 2000.) For biweekly-paid employees, the last day to request changes for calendar year 2000 is Dec. 13.

 

Open Enrollment Vendor Fair

As part of Open Enrollment activities, the Lab Benefits Office is organizing a vendor fair on Wednesday, Nov. 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Perseverance Hall. Health plan and LBNL Benefits representatives will be onsite to answer questions regarding UC group insurance plans. Complimentary blood pressure screenings, body fat screenings and head/neck massages will be offered.

 

 

Runaround Correction

Due to a data entry error, Run-around participant Hauyee Chang, originally listed as second in the 30-to-39 age bracket, has been moved to the winner in the women-under-30 category. The revised standings for the two age groups are:

 

Women under 30

 

1. Hauyee Chang, 14:23.4
2. Therese Enright, 4:32.9
3. Hanna Friedman, 14:43.2

 

Women 30-39

 

1. Julie Osborn, 13:49.2
2. Claudia Wiese, 14:37.4
3. Chaincy Kuo, 15:46.7

 

Tickets for Oakland Ballet's Nutcracker, Dec. 22

The Employees Arts Council is now selling discount tickets for the Dec. 22 performance of Oakland Ballet's Nutcracker at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland. The ballet is accompanied by the Oakland East Bay Symphony. The discounted tickets must be ordered by Nov. 22. Orchestra seats are $31 each and orchestra terrace seats are $24 each. To order, contacting Mary Clary at X4940, MMClary@lbl.gov.

 

 

Flu Shots Canceled

The flu and pneumonia clinic scheduled for last Thursday and for Nov. 30 has been canceled after Health Services received word from the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) that their vaccine shipment was smaller than anticipated. Under the circumstances, the VNA will offer the vaccine to the neediest at-risk populations first. No flu clinc is planned at the Lab at this time. For public administions of the flu vaccine call the VNA hotline at 1 (800) 500-2400.

 

 

Surplus Chemicals Currently Available

Berkeley Lab's Surplus Chemical Exchange Program offers unused chemicals to employees for use in DOE-funded research. Technicians from the Hazardous Waste Handling Facility deliver the materials free of charge within two days. All chemical

containers are sealed and have never been opened. A complete list of chemicals can be found at www-ehs.lbl.gov/wastemin/chemicals.html. For more information contact Shelley Worsham at X6123, saworsham@lbl.gov. Items available now include:

 

Toy, Food and Coat Drive Continue

Berkeley Lab's annual drive to collect toys, food and now coats to be donated to local charities continues through Dec. 19. Donation areas are located in the lobbies of the cafeteria, Bldg. 90, Bldg. 937, and Bldg. 62.

 

Donation guidelines:

 

  • Food donations: nonperishable items (canned and dry goods)
  • Toys: new and gently used items for all ages (books, games, stuffed animals, etc.
  • Coats: adult and children (all sizes), gently used

For more information contact Shelley Worsham at X6123.

 

 

Golf Club

Results of the Tournament played at Peacock Gap Golf Course on Nov. 4:

 

 

Surplus Chemicals Currently Available

Berkeley Lab's Surplus Chemical Exchange Program offers unused chemicals to employees for use in DOE-funded research. Technicians from the Hazardous Waste Handling Facility deliver the materials free of charge within two days. All chemical

containers are sealed and have never been opened. A complete list of chemicals can be found at www-ehs.lbl.gov/wastemin/chemicals.html. For more information contact Shelley Worsham at X6123, saworsham@lbl.gov. Items available now include:

 

 

Calendar

General Interest

NOVEMBER 22, Wednesday

OPEN ENROLLMENT VENDOR FAIR
11 a.m-3 p.m., Perseverance Hall

NOVEMBER 23, Thursday

THANKSKIVING HOLIDAY

NOVEMBER 24, Friday

THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY

Send us your announcements

Announcements for the General Calendar and Bulletin Board page may be sent to MSFriedlander@lbl.gov. Seminar & Lectures items may be mailed to currents_ calendar@lbl.gov. You may also fax items to X6641 or mail them to Bldg. 65B. The deadline for the Dec. 1 issue is 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 27.

 

Seminars & Lectures

NOVEMBER 20, Monday

PHYSICS DEPARTMENT COLLOQUIA
Complexity and Robustness
Speaker: Jean M. Carlson, UC Santa Barbara
4:30 p.m., 1 LeConte Hall

NOVEMBER 27, Monday

PHYSICS DEPARTMENT COLLOQUIA
Single Protein Mechanics
Speaker: Julio M. Fernandez, Mayo Foundation
4 p.m., 100 Lewis Hall

NOVEMBER 28, Tuesday

LIFE SCIENCES DIVISION SEMINAR
High Performance Analysis of 3D Sites in Proteins
Speaker: Russ Altman, Stanford University Medical School
4 p.m., Bldg. 84-318

CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL BIOTECHNOLOGY
Groundwater Remediation using Vitamin B12
Speaker: Suzanne Lesage, National Water Research Institute
12 p.m., 338 Koshland Hall

NOVEMBER 29, Wednesday

SURFACE SCIENCE AND CATALYSIS SCIENCE SEMINAR
Surface Functionalization for Applications in Biochemistry
Speaker: Nicholas Spencer, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
1:30 p.m., Bldg. 66-317 auditorium

NOVEMBER 30, Thursday

PHYSICS DIVISION RESEARCH PROGRESS MEETING
The BTeV Program at Fermilab
Speaker: Sheldon Stone, Syracuse University
4 p.m., 50A-5132

SURFACE SCIENCE AND CATALYSIS SCIENCE SEMINAR
Chemical Characterization and Optimization of Diagnostic Immunoassays
Speaker: Salvatore J. Salamone, Roche Diagnostics
1:30 p.m., Bldg 66 auditorium

 

EH&S Classes - December 2000

 

 

 

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

 

For more information or to enroll, contact Susan Aberg at Saberg@lbl.gov or enroll via the web at http://www-ehs.lbl.gov/ehstraining/registration/. Preregistration is required for all courses except EHS 10 (Introduction to EH&S). Times and locations are subject to change. For a full, updated schedule of EH&S training sessions see http://www-ehs.lbl.gov/schedule/.

 

Award-winning writer and director Peter Bratt discussed the film "Follow Me Home" after the screening held in the Bldg. 50 auditorium on Nov. 7 as part of Native American Month activities. The film explores issues of race and identity by means of a defiant, humorous, and poetic tale about four artists and their journey. It earned Bratt the best director award at the 1996 American Indian Film Festival and was an official selection at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival. Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt

Flea Market

Autos / Supplies

'99 FORD WINDSTAR SE, minivan, top of the line, fully loaded, very clean, garaged, reg servicing, forest green/gray int, 26K mi, $20,000, Mike, X6832, (925)625-1342

`88 MAZDA 323, 2 dr hatchback, man trans, sunroof, 106K mi, good cond, clean, newly smogged, $1,500/bo, Bjorn, X7045, 525-8460

'77 CHEVROLET 3/4 TON PICKUP camper special, dual gas tanks, sliding rear window, bacpac camper shell, draw tite class 4 trailer hitch, $3,500/bo, Jack, X6750, 471-4921

Housing

BERKELEY HILLS, 2 rooms in fully furn house near 65 bus, avail 12/30-5/31, Tilden Park view, hardwd flr, deck, w/d, d/w, share w/ 2 physics grad students (M/F), $527.50/$427.50 + util, Michael, 524-9225 Manya, manya@ socrates.berkeley.edu

BERKELEY room for short term sublet, 1 blk from UCB & LBL shuttles, furn, new carpet, $500/ mo, avail through mid-March '01, Lisa, 665-9683

DOWNTOWN BERKELEY, lge studio apt, full kitchen, bath, sec entr, 1 block to LBNL bus, 2 blks to BART, hardwd floors, no pets, no parking, avail 11/20, approx $780-800/mo incl heat & hot water, Rebecca, X7802, 843-0432

NORTH BERKELEY room avail for visiting scholar, 2 wks-6 mos, $650/ mo + util; house has laundry, yard, one cat; walking distance to BART, bus, cafes; no smokers/pets, must be quiet for housemate w/ early schedule, Karen, ktayl@earthlink.net

NORTH OAKLAND condo in duplex, 3 bdrm, 2 w/ loft beds, 1-1/2 ba, indoor hot tub, furn, fireplace, 2 cats, no smoking, grn yard, walk to shopping, BART or bus or LBL shuttle to UC, avail 1/30-5/20/01; $2,216/mo incl hot tub, util & 1 local phone line; $2,116/mo w/ out tub, $4,000 sec dep, Jim, 654-1900

ROCKRIDGE house for rent, 2+ bdrm/1 bth, walk to BART & College Ave shopping, remodelled victorian, sunny kitchen, high ceilings, wood-burning stove, wood floors, garden , deck, garage, avail 12/1, $2,400/mo, Rebecca, 653-4325

WALNUT CREEK, downtown, 1 bdrm apt in luxury complex, 4 pools, jacuzzi, gym, 50 yds to publ trans/shopping, avail 11/15-7/31, $1,100/mo, $600 sec dep, Inna, (925) 933-1747 eve

Housing Wanted

POSTDOC FELLOW seeks studio/ 1 bdrm apt near busline or BART, up to $900, single, non-smoker, Song Seung-Wan, swsong@lbl.gov

VISITING FRENCH RESEAR-CHER seeks shared living arrangement or studio w/ in biking distance of LBNL, up to $500, single, non-smoker, arriving Dec for 16 mos, Olivier Renon, o.renon@edf.fr, Kathy, klellington@lbl.gov

Misc Items For Sale

BIKES, Flandria German road bike, $75/bo; specialized road bike, $150/bo, Randy, X7026, (925) 228-7427

COMPUTER DESK, solid wood, med oak finish, exc cond, 37x19x30 in high, $120, Jennifer, X7107, 849-9949

EPSON INK JET PRINTER, color stylus 600, 1 epson blk ink cart, 2 epson color ink cart, 2 partially used cart in printer, software cd and manual, printer in perfect cond and able to print near-photographic quality, $40, Bill, X5263

FAX MACHINE, Sharp UX510, $90; vaccum cleaner, dirt devil, $35; jigsaw puzzles, different motives, $5/ea, Jan, X6676

FULL SIZE FUTON, 2 yrs old w/ frame, mattress, & cover, $95; 25" Samsung Stereo TV w/ remote, $125; 20" Sony Trinitron stereo TV w/ remote, $125, Sang, 205-6146

GRAND PIANO, Harrington, 5'2", newly refinished ebony, exc cond, $4,100/bo; mech metro-nome, $15, sewing machine, $40/bo, Duo, X6878, 528-3408

MOVING SALE: German stroller, full suspension board for 2nd child $125; sm fridge, $80; kid's bike, $15; futon sofa, beige, 1 yr old, $120; washer, $70; ladies bike, 10 gears, Peugeot, incl child seat, $60; Italian stroller, blue, $30; kitchen work table w/ 2 stools, $20; sm vacuum, medicine cabinet, sideboard w/ drawers, rug, 2 tents for 3 persons, wooden folding chairs, camping chairs, hairdryer and many other household items, Jens, X6174, 524-7216 eves

PEDESTAL TABLE, round, 42" diam, expandable to 78", needs refinishing but usable as is, $40, Jane, 652-3116

REFRIGERATOR, 22 c ft Amana w/ bottom freezer, white, relatively new & in exc cond, $300/bo; older lge microwave oven, $60/ bo, Fred, X4892

REFRIGERATOR, Amana bottom-freezer, 22 cu ft, white, 5 yrs old, exc cond, $225/bo, Nan, 514-5185

SOFA SET, off-white, 3-pc, exc cond, price neg, William, 814-9097, eves & wknds

SONY CAMCORDER w/ bag and existing cable, 8 mm, 1 yr old, paid $400, asking $150, Mario, X5353, 540-1960

SONY CCD-V5 video-8 videocam, very light use, best offer, Mark, X6581

WOMEN'S 18 spd bike, rarely used, $25; PC monitor & hard drive, mobile comp desk & chair, good shape, $50 for all; Darlene, X4737

YAMAHA MT4X 4 track recorder, never used, $300; Yamaha MU5 midi tone generator, never used, $150; Toshiba PDR-M1 1.5 megapixel dig camera w/ 16MB smart medi,a $300; Microtech USB cameramate flash memory reader $60; Diamond Rio 500 MP3 player additional 32 MB memory, $180; Microtek USB 3600 scanner, $60; HP Deskwri-ter 600 inkjet color printer (Mac serial), $50, Henry, 658-7807

Wanted

GO-CART or go-cart frame for grandkids, Shirley, 527-0697

Vacation

SPARKS, NEVADA, 980 Red Falcon Ct, Spanish Springs off of Pyramid Hwy, 3 bdrm/2 bth, 3 car gar, avail now, kitchen w/ stove & frig, lots of closets, new & never lived in, professionally landscaped, lge back yd, view of Mt Rose, $1,395/mo + util, landscape maint incl, 20 min to Reno, Julie, X4583, 232-6919, JRJones@ lbl.gov

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE condo, New Year's week (12/29-1/5), 2 bdrm/2bth, fully equipped, sleeps 6, swimming pool, free shuttle to ski lifts & casinos, $1,500, Alex, X6849, (925) 945-1131

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

TAHOE KEYS at S. Lake Tahoe, 3 bdrm house, 2-1/2 bth, fenced yard, quiet, sunny, close to attractions, prvt dock, great view, $150/ night, 2 night min, Bob, (925) 376-2211

Car/Vanpool

VAN POOL from SF (Haight, Noe Valley & Castro) to UCB and LBNL, 8 am/5pm, David, X6013

Flea Market Policy

Ads are accepted only from LBNL employees, retirees, and onsite DOE personnel. Only items of your own personal property may be offered for sale.

Submissions must include name, affiliation, extension, and home phone number. Ads must be submitted in writing via e-mail (fleamarket@lbl.gov), fax (X6641), or delivered/mailed to Bldg. 65B.

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

The deadline for the Dec. 1 issue Thursday, Nov. 23.