Today at Berkeley Lab nameplate Berkeley Lab
Friday, October 22, 2004

10:30 a.m.
Center for Beam
Tevatron Run II: A Cinderella Story
Vladimir Shiltsev, FNAL
Building 50 Auditorium

Employee Activities Assoc.
Yoga Class with Naomi Hartwig ($10/$12)
Bldg. 70A-3377

2 p.m.
Berkeley Nanoscale Science & Engineering
Self-Assembling Efficient Organic Electronics
Rachel Segalman, UC Berkeley
390 Hearst Mining Building

4 p.m.
College of Chemistry
The Enigma of the Itinerant Iodide
Peter Maitlis, U. of Sheffield
120 Latimer Hall


Employee Activities Assoc.
Yoga Class with Inna Belogolovsky ($10/$12)
Bldg. 70A-3377

4 p.m.
Materials Sciences
Ultrafast Magneto-Optical Spectroscopy of Ferromagnetic (III, Mn)V Semiconductors
Jigang Wang, Rice U.
Bldg 6-2202

4:30 p.m.
Physics Department
Optical Whispering Gallery Mode Resonators & Artifical Atoms
Lute Maleki, JPL
1 Le Conte Hall


Morning Editions: Two Eggs with Biscuits & Gravy
Market Carvery: Lemon Hoki Stir-Fry with Jasmine Rice
The Fresh Grille: Hot Wings with Vegetable Crudite & Fries
Viva La Burrito! Chicken or Pork

B'fast: 6:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Lunch: 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Full menu

Work Suspended at SLAC, Dorfan Works
To 'Reinvigorate' Safety at the Laboratory

As reported in "Today at Berkeley Lab" last week, a technician was seriously injured due to an electrical fire at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC). All non-critical work at that Laboratory has been suspended as employees address safety issues in their work areas. "We have to actively engage in a process that reinvigorates our strong commitment to safety so that never again will we have to experience at SLAC an accident of this magnitude," said director Jonathan Dorfan in a letter to his employees. Phyllis Pei, director of Berkeley Lab's Environment, Health and Safety Division, cautions all employees and contractors here to use lockout tagout prior to beginning work on electrical systems. If energized work must be performed, workers should be properly trained and receive supervisor authorization, an approved work plan, and wear protective equipment. Any questions or concerns should be directed to a safety coordinator or liaison. Go here for more information on electrical safety.


Estimate for Number of
Human Genes Slashed


In a blow to human vanity, researchers now say that people have about the same number of genes as a small flowering plant or a tiny worm. The new estimate is down sharply from just three years ago. The new estimate is 20,000 to 25,000 genes, a drop from the 30,000 to 40,000 the same group of scientists published in 2001. Berkeley Lab life scientist Gerald Rubin, who did not participate in the analysis, said the result "is as good a guess as one can make at this point.... I think the estimate is unlikely to change very much. We just have to get used to the fact that we don't have many more genes than a worm." Full story.

NEC Strikes Blow In
Supercomputer Battle

Simon, top, Bailey, center, Strohmaier, bottom.

The battle for supercomputing supremacy took a new twist when Japan's NEC launched a new generation of computational building blocks that could be laced together to form the most powerful supercomputer in the world. David Bailey, Erich Strohmaier, and Horst Simon, with the Lab's Computational Research Division, share their expertise in an analysis of this development in Go here to read the article.


Open Enrollment
Starts Next Month

November is Open Enrollment month, the time of the year when employees can make changes to their health plans for 2005. Open Enrollment runs Nov. 1 to 30. An Open Enrollment pamphlet will be mailed to your home at the end of October. The Lab's Benefits Office will be providing more information about all upcoming Open Enrollment activities, including Lab-wide employee presentations and the Vendor Fair, in "Today At Berkeley Lab." Our first Open Enrollment presentations will be held on Nov. 2, in Bldg. 937-647 from 10 to 11 a.m. and on Nov. 2, in the Building 50 Auditorium from 2 to 3 p.m.

Employee Orientation
Session Added

Due to popular demand, an additional New Employee Orientation and EHS 10 "Introduction to EH&S at the Lab" class has been scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 3, in the Building 66 Auditorium. The orientation begins at 8 a.m. and EHS 10 begins at 9:10 a.m. To view the full EH&S Training Schedule and enroll in EHS 10, go here. For more information, call x2228.

Mice Thrive After Loss of 'Junk' DNA


The mouse genome was published nearly two years ago. Mice and men share 99 percent of their genes, including so-called junk DNA, which has no known function. Intrigued to find out what junk DNA does, scientists removed swathes of these sequences from mice. It made no difference in the rodents. "It was an architectural approach. If you want to question whether a wall is weight-bearing, you remove it and see if the ceiling falls in," said Edward Rubin, director of the Joint Genome Institute. Full story.

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