Contents of this Issue:
1. Science Highlight —
The Flip-side of MsbA Transporter
(contact: Geoffrey Chang, email@example.com)
|Overall structure of MsbA in complex with ADP, vanadate, Mg2+ and Ra lipopolysaccharide (LPS)|
To learn more about this research published in
the May 13, 2005 issue of Science see:
2. Science Highlight — The First Known Native Cadmium Enzyme Found in Marine Phytoplankton
(contact: Graham George, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cadmium is known to be extremely toxic to mammals, and is generally viewed alongside mercury as an environmental problem and toxic element that is not used by nature in any way. A Brief Communication in the May 5 issue of the journal Nature shows that we need to revise our opinion of cadmium. The paper reports the purification and characterization of a previously unknown metalloenzyme from the marine diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii that specifically uses cadmium to achieve its
|The marine diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii.|
To learn more about this research see:
3. X-rays Illuminate Ancient Archimedes Text
(contact: Uwe Bergmann, email@example.com)
|Abigail Quandt, The Walters Art Museum, slides a framed page of the Archimedes parchment into a holder that moves in front of the x-ray beam like a book being read by a stationary eye. (Photo by Diana Rogers)|
4. Fallen Tree Interrupts User Operations for Several Days
Shortly before 8 a.m. on Wednesday, May 18, a 100-foot pine tree growing in the
wooded Skyline hills west of the laboratory snapped off at its base and severed
two of the three 230 kilovolt transmission lines providing power to SLAC. This
immediately halted all electric power to the entire SLAC site for three days.
All users and staff, except those designated for essential safety and
maintenance work, were asked to stay away from the site during the outage.
Following a very smooth and safe restart of the SPEAR3 accelerator, user
operations had resumed on most SSRL beam lines by Monday, May 23.
5. DOE Site Review of SLAC in Washington DC
(contact: Keith Hodgson, firstname.lastname@example.org)
On May 27, SLAC presented its plans for the coming decade to the DOE Office of Science. Representing SLAC at the meeting in Washington were Jonathan Dorfan, Persis Drell, John Galayda, Keith Hodgson and Mimi Chang. Attendees from DOE-SC included Raymond Orbach (Director of DOE-SC), Pat Dehmer, Ari Patrinos, and Robin Staffin (Directors of the 3 offices primarily responsible for funding that comes into SLAC) as well as a number of other DOE officials. As with each of the other DOE-SC labs making these presentations, SLAC described strategic future in terms of a business plan - its strategic business units, core competencies and supporting initiatives. SLAC stressed that the most important single element in the near future was the on-time and on-budget completion of the LCLS and the delivery of the performance of this remarkable new light source. In the photon science area, the SSRL program on SPEAR3 was stressed as providing a strong complementary component - which together will position the laboratory to have world leading capabilities by 2009. Significant time was also devoted to the evolution and future of the particle and particle astrophysics programs and the vision that they will remain a strong piece of the SLAC science portfolio. Overall, we felt that the business case for SLAC was communicated well and DOE-SC gained a better understanding of the important assets and future science opportunities at SLAC.
6. Keith Hodgson Named Deputy Director of SLAC
7. DOE Review of LCLS Project and Proposed LUSI Project
(contacts: John Galayda, LCLS Project Director, email@example.com; John Arthur, LUSI Project Director, firstname.lastname@example.org)
In addition, this review included a look at the proposed LCLS Ultrafast Science Instruments (LUSI) Project, which expects to build most of the instruments that will be used to do cutting-edge science with the LCLS x-ray pulses. This project is in its formative stage, seeking DOE/SC approval for funding in the near future. The LCLS expects to enter its operational phase in the spring of 2009, producing extremely brief but incredibly bright pulses of x-rays: approximately as many x-ray photons as are delivered by an SSRL beam line in one second will be delivered to an LCLS experiment in about 100 femtoseconds (one hundredth of a trillionth of a second). It will offer a unique scientific tool for studying the ultrafast processes that occur on an atomic scale.
The reviewers were pleased with the rapid increase in LCLS staffing levels and the award of long-lead procurements for the undulator systems. The long-lead procurements comprise a limited set of construction activities approved by DOE for FY2005. At the next review, scheduled for December 2005, the LCLS Project will seek Critical Decision 3: approval to begin LCLS construction on all fronts.
8. Director of OSTP Visits SLAC
9. Axel Brunger Elected to National Academy of Sciences
See also: The National Academies article
10. Spring Meeting of the SLAC Scientific Policy Committee
(contact: Keith Hodgson, email@example.com)
The spring 2005 meeting of the SLAC Scientific Policy Committee (SPC) took place May 13-14. The SPC, which reports to Stanford President John Hennessy, is the highest level advisory board for science programs and policy at SLAC. Several new members were welcomed to the committee including Martin Blume (American Physical Society), William Brinkman (Princeton University), Reinhard Brinkmann (DESY), Helmut Dosch (Max Planck Institute for Metallforschung), Craig Hogan (University of Washington), Young-Kee Kim (The University of Chicago and the Enrico Fermi Institute) and Jeff Richman (University of California, Santa Barbara).
SLAC Director Jonathan Dorfan, Keith Hodgson and Persis Drell gave presentations that related to "The Changing Landscape at SLAC - The next Ten Years". Also related to photon science, Jo Stöhr gave a report on the near and longer-term plans for SPEAR3. John Galayda, Jerry Hastings and Mark Reichanadter followed with updates on the LCLS construction and experimental program. The photon science portion of the program concluded with an update by Gordon Brown on SSRL faculty development.
11. Machine Readable Passports Required for All Visa Waiver Program Travel as of June 26, 2005
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is reminding travelers from 27 Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries that as of June 26, 2005, they must have a machine-readable passport to enter the United States without a visa, as mandated by Congress. Machine-readable passports have a sequence of lines that can be swiped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers to confirm the passport holder's identity quickly and to obtain other information about the holder typically found on a passport's inside cover.
Sample of machine readable passport
SSRL Headlines is published electronically monthly to inform SSRL users, sponsors and other interested people about happenings at SSRL. SSRL is a national synchrotron user facility operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Additional support for the structural biology program is provided by the DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research, the NIH National Center for Research Resources and the NIH Institute for General Medical Sciences. Additional information about SSRL and its operation and schedules is available from the SSRL WWW site.
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