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Friday, Jan. 16, 2009

Research News

MEK Inhibitors Hold Promise for Breast Cancer Treatment

MEK enzyme mutations are players in cancer cell proliferation and metastasis; drugs that inhibit MEK are a promising treatment for cancers including breast cancer. A team led by Michael Korn of UC San Francisco and including Debopriya Das, Laura Heiser, Sanchita Bhattacharya, Nora Bayani, Nicholas Wang, Richard Neve, Yinghui Guan, Zhi Hu, Heidi Feiler, Philippe Gascard, Bahram Parvin, Paul Spellman, Andrew Wyrobek, Mina Bissell, Wen-Lin Kuo, and Joe Gray of Berkeley Lab’s Life Sciences Division have found that basal-type breast cancer cells are particularly susceptible to some MEK inhibitors. Their results, the cover story of the Jan. 15 Cancer Research, suggest how clinical trials of these drugs can benefit from better patient selection and a rational combination of therapies. More>

shenPeople: Physicist Yuen-Ron Shen Honored by Chinese Academy of Sciences

[China View] The Chinese Academy of Sciences honored three foreign scientists last week for their outstanding contributions to facilitating cooperation in science and technology. Among the recipients of the “International Scientific Cooperation” award was Yuen-Ron Shen, with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division. Shen is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and initiated the annual National Laser Physics Workshop in Qingdao in 1980. More>

UC sealUCOP: Applications Now Accepted for Staff Advisor to the Regents

Berkeley Lab staff are invited to apply for the junior delegate position of staff advisor to the UC Regents. After one year of service, the junior delegate becomes the senior delegate. The position helps foster two-way communication between the Regents and UC staff. Staff advisors serve as non-voting advisors to designated Regents’ committees and participate in committee and board meetings throughout their term of service. Berkeley Lab employee Bill Johansen (Life Sciences) is the outgoing delegate. Deadline for applications is Monday, March 2, at 5 p.m. More>

citizen scientistsOp-Ed: A New Kind of Big Science that Involves Citizens

[New York Times] In physics, a slow drift toward centralization was given a sudden shove during the Second World War — think Manhattan Project — so it is perhaps not surprising that colliders today epitomize what historians have called “Big Science.” A similar evolution is now evident in virtually every discipline, such as synchrotrons and sequencing centers. But there is another way to extend our scientific reach…citizen science, which involves the enlistment of large numbers of relatively untrained individuals in the collection of scientific data. More>

rocking chairCampus: Six-Week Program on Pre-Retirement Planning

The UC Berkeley Retirement Center is sponsoring a six-session workshop on retirement planning, covering such topics as housing, legal and estate planning, government benefits, as well as personal and emotional issues. The Friday sessions, which run from 2 to 5 p.m., start Feb. 6 and continue through March 13. More>

In The News: Stop Power Leaks; Smile at Savings

plug[Boston Globe] Consumers who want to monitor their home energy use can purchase a Kill A Watt, a user-friendly electric meter that allows you to figure out exactly how much power an electrical device uses, for as little as $20. While it's an informative little device, yet you can get by without it. Berkeley Lab publishes a heap of data about the power consumption of various home appliances and digital devices. While not as precise as doing your own measurements, this data provide a good idea of your gadgets' thirst for power. More>