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Vol. LIX, No. 5
March 9, 2007


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Symposium on Chromosome Biology, Apr. 26-27 at Natcher

The NCI Symposium on Chromosome Biology will be held Apr. 26-27 at the Natcher Conference Center. Leading researchers from NCI and around the world will present highlights of recent advances, define novel directions of basic chromosome research and discuss the use and implications of these advances for clinical applications.

Topics include transcriptional regulation, chromatin structure, epigenetics, DNA replication and repair and nuclear architecture.

For information, registration and poster abstract submission visit There is no registration fee, but space is limited.

NIH Golf Association Seeks Members

The NIH Golf Association (18-hole coed league) is looking for new members for the 2007 season. We currently have seven teams of 25+ players each and schedule eight spring/summer stroke-play outings, plus up to five match-play outings each year at local courses (all mid-week and play is optional). We cap the year off in October with an outing including golf/cart/food for all members and their guests. Prizes and trophies are awarded and handicaps are maintained from 0-40, so all interested golfers are welcome. For more information contact Howard Somers at or visit

R&W Offers Circus, Baseball Tickets, and College Savings

The NIH Recreation and Welfare Association is hosting the 10th annual Children's Premiere Night with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Wednesday, Mar. 21 at 7 p.m. (with a pre-show event at 6 p.m.). The evening is a fundraiser for the NIH charities. Tickets are on sale at the R&W activities desk in Bldg. 31, Rm. B1W30 or call (301) 496-4600. Orders can be placed for tickets at any R&W store.

The R&W will also offer tickets to the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals home games to those with 2007 membership cards. Nationals tickets go on sale at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Mar. 22 in the Bldg. 31 gift shop. There are 4 seats in section 104, row 7 for $170. Orioles tickets go on sale Tuesday, Mar. 27 at 8 a.m. in Bldg. 31. There are both regular season tickets and tickets for 13 Sunday games.

R&W also offers a financial planning seminar focused on College Savings Plans of Maryland. It will be held Wednesday, Mar. 14 in Bldg. 31, Rm. 6C10 and on Thursday, Mar. at Rockledge II, Rm. 9112. Both seminars will be held 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The College Savings Plans of Maryland offer families a flexible way to start saving for college today. Families can "lock-in" tomorrow's tuition at today's prices. Call (301) 496-6061 for more information about this seminar.

STEP Forum on Use of eTools

The staff training in extramural programs (STEP) committee will present an Administrative Strategies forum on the topic, "eTools To Pump You Up!" on Thursday, Mar. from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Natcher Conference Center, Rms. E1/E2 (plus rooms C, F and G for computer demonstrations).

Do you know how to: Set up a web conference with ease from your desktop PC? Exploit all the resources currently on your desktop PC? Identify desktop and laptop software and web tools that are best for you and your job role? Swim efficiently through the flood of electronic communications that fill your inbox?

Attend this live interactive workshop and fair to learn ways you can employ the tools, tips and tricks that eGurus across NIH use every day to increase their job efficiency. Learn where to access and how to use applications that will pump up your job effectiveness. Visit kiosks for scientific review, grants management, program official and cross-role functions for hands-on demos in small group settings that will guide you through applications of performance-enhancing eTechniques and eTools.

Campus Bluebird Houses Seek Monitors

Volunteers are needed to help monitor bluebird houses on campus. "Monitoring would begin about Apr. 1 and end about Aug. 10," said Lynn Mueller, head of NIH grounds maintenance and landscaping. "We will have seven trails across the campus with 10 to 12 houses each." Volunteers would take a weekly lunch-time walk along the trail looking for bluebirds, periodically inspecting boxes, counting eggs and babies and noting when and how many babies mature and fly away. A second nesting season begins in late June. Each trail will have a team of volunteers, so individuals would not have to make every weekly tour.

The bluebird population has nearly tripled since spring 2001, when Mueller launched the bird house project as an Earth-friendly way to control pests.

If you are interested in helping take the bluebird census, contact Mueller via email at or by phone, (301) 496-4817.

What Is IT?
Enter the 2007 NIH Earth Day Contest

IT photo
You will find some of IT (l) growing wild out in the Karoo. That clue won't help you much because this area is a real biodiversity hotspot, home to about one-third of the world's approximately 10,000 succulent plant species. IT belongs to one of the large plant families that live there. Most of ITs many relatives are not of much interest in medicine but IT contains something so special IT was once used as currency. IT hopes this contest doesn't make you nervous because stressed-out humans are the main enemy of IT. They pick IT, smash IT up and leave ITs remains to rot. ITs species name suggests that ITs have been badly abused but that might be just because ITs leaf vein skeletons look like skin that has been peeled off. (Photo by Ed Rau)

NIH will celebrate Earth Day on Thursday, Apr. 26. As part of the event, the Division of Environmental Protection will be holding the second annual Name "IT" contest. In last year's contest, employees were asked to identify what "IT" was in a mystery photo. Last year's IT was the flower of a Hoodia plant, relevant to the NIH mission and to Earth Day because it contains an appetite-suppressing substance that offers great promise in treating obesity and because wild populations of the plant are now threatened. The need to protect endangered species is one of many important messages from our Earth Day observances.

We thought the bizarre close-up photo and limited clues on the identity of last year's IT would present a challenge, but NIH'ers were not stumped. There were many entries and correct answers. One contestant even got the exact species name correct - Hoodia juttae.

There is a new mystery plant for 2007. Like the Hoodias, this species is of potential importance for treatment of health conditions, and wild populations are becoming threatened by over-harvesting and other human activities. The story of this plant again affirms the important connection between protecting threatened species and the NIH mission.

The DEP will randomly select 10 winners and one grand prize winner from all the correct entries it receives. Submissions must be received by Mar. 30 and winners will be announced in the Apr. 20 issue of the NIH Record. Winners will be asked to pick up their prizes at Earth Day and come by for a group photo opportunity with IT. Randy Schools of NIH R&W will provide special prizes for winners. If you think you know ITs name (scientific or common) go to the NIH Environmental Management System web site [] to submit your answer. While you are there, tour the new site and find out how NIH is promoting a healthy environment and ways you can participate in these activities. Good luck!

CIT Offers Spring Semester of Classes

Registration is now open for the spring semester of CIT training. This term features the return of such NIH favorites as Seminars for Science, SPSS, SAS, Adobe Acrobat, PowerPoint, Windows XP Tips & Tricks. With many new offerings among more than 120 different subjects, there is something for everyone. All classes are free for NIH staff.

New courses include:

Grants – In order to keep up with expanding interest, QVR courses have been revised and expanded. New titles to look for are Search Strategies & Custom Download, Understanding
& Using Standard Reports, Advanced QVR - Using Excel Pivot Tables, and QVR Training Profile. There will also be courses in the Impac II Subproject Module.

Scientific Computing – New tools such as Promoter Analysis, Genomatix, Phylogenetics,
the NIH Biowulf Supercluster, Distributed Computing with MATLAB, Bioinformatics on the NIAID BioCluster, NCBI’s Correlation of Disease Genes, and ImageJ.

Networks/Security – Consolidated Network Monitoring System (CNMS), Network Sniffer Workshop, Windows Vista Security, ePolicy Orchestrator for Vista, and Perl Programming
for Network, System and Security Administrators.

Classes are also available in web development, personal computing and nVision. To register for any CIT class, visit For more information call (301) 594-6248, TTY (301) 496-8294.

FARE Abstract Competition for Fellows

The 14th annual Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE) 2008 competition will again provide recognition for outstanding scientific research performed by intramural postdoctoral fellows. FARE winners will each receive a $1,000 travel award to use for attending and presenting their work at a scientific meeting. One-quarter of the fellows who apply will win an award.

FARE applicants must submit an abstract of their research, which will be evaluated anonymously on scientific merit, originality, experimental design and overall quality/presentation. The travel award must be used between Oct. 1, 2007, and Sept. 30, 2008.

The FARE 2008 competition is open to postdoctoral IRTAs, visiting fellows and other fellows with fewer than 5 years total postdoctoral experience in the NIH intramural research program. In addition, pre-IRTAs performing their doctoral dissertation research at NIH are also eligible to compete. Visiting fellows/ scientists must not have been tenured at their home institute. Questions about eligibility should be addressed to your institute’s scientific director. Fellows are asked to submit their application, including abstract, electronically from Mar. 12 through Apr. 16 via Winners will be announced by the end of September 2007. More information is available on the web site above. Questions may be addressed to your institute’s fellows committee (Felcom) representative.

Snowmen Spring Up on Campus Lawn

Dr. Frosty and colleague recently welcomed visitors to the NIH campus for a seminar on global warming conducted on the lawn of Bldg. 12.

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