Structural Rearrangement in Ebola Virus Protein VP40 Creates
Multiple Functions – Contact: Erica Ollmann Saphire, The
Scripps Research Institute
Proteins are molecules with a wide range of functions in all living
organisms. As potential drug targets, they are of great interest for
pharmaceutical and medical research. Proteins are built from long amino acid
chains that fold up into three-dimensional structures, which determine the
proteins’ functions. In most cases, proteins fold into only one specific,
albeit, dynamic structure. Now, scientists have determined that the protein
VP40 of the Ebola virus assumes three completely different structures with
three very different biological functions. Read more...
Fatty Acid Biosynthesis Caught in the Act –
Contacts: Shiou-Chuan Tsai, University of California–Irvine and
Michael Burkart, University of California–San Diego
Fatty acids are key components of a variety of biological functions ranging
from cellular membranes to energy storage. In addition, they are of great
interest as potential “green” biofuels and targets in the
development of novel antibiotics. In order to fully exploit their potential,
researchers must first understand in detail how organisms synthesize fatty
acids. However, due to the dynamic nature of the process, structural and
functional studies of fatty acid biosynthesis are very challenging. A team of
scientists has recently made a giant leap forward by determining the structure
of a protein–protein complex that represents a snapshot of fatty acid
biosynthesis in action. Read more...
More SSRL-Related Science
Fossil Leaves Preserve Living Chemistry
Excerpted from March 26, 2014 SLAC Newsflash
X-ray studies conducted at SSRL and at the Diamond Light Source in the
United Kingdom have resurrected the detailed chemistry of 50-million-year-old
leaves from fossils found in the western United States and found striking
similarities to their modern descendants.
Using the same nondestructive x-ray fossil-scanning techniques that revealed
color patterns in the plumage of an early "dinobird," researchers
mapped for the first time the traces of various metals that remain in the
fossil leaves and compared those to the location and concentration of the same
metals in modern leaves.
Based on detailed images and related research, the researchers concluded
that the metals present in the fossil leaves are a product of their living
chemistry. Read more...
Upcoming Onsite Events
SSRL School on Synchrotron X-ray Scattering
Techniques in Materials and Environmental Sciences, June 3-5, 2014
The 7th SSRL SRXRS (Synchrotron Radiation-based X-ray
Scattering techniques) School will provide a practical users' guide to
planning and conducting scattering measurements at SSRL beam lines, and will
cover important techniques including small angle scattering, thin-film
scattering, powder diffraction, structure refinement and surface x-ray
scattering. The school will address topics that are not commonly included in
text books or class lectures, and typically obtained only through
on-the-experiment training. There will be hands-on sessions at SSRL beam lines
and session of diffraction theory and on data analysis. The school will also
cover new instrumentation at SSRL scattering beam lines. This year's
school, which will take place June 3-5, is organized by: Apurva Mehta, Stefan
Mannsfeld, Chris Tassone, and Mike Toney. See website
PULSE Institute - Ultrafast X-ray Summer Seminar, June 15-19,
Hosted by the Stanford PULSE Institute, the UXSS is organized in
collaboration with the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science at DESY in
Hamburg, Germany, and the Helmholtz Virtual Institute for Dynamic Pathways in
Multidimensional Landscapes, Germany.
The goal of UXSS 2014 is to disseminate information and train students and
post-docs on new opportunities in ultrafast science, particularly using x-ray
free electron lasers. See website
SSRL School on Synchrotron X-ray Microscale Imaging Techniques, July
11-15, 2014 - Save the Date
The 1st SSRL SXRMI (Synchrotron X-ray MicroXAS Imaging) School will provide
a practical users' guide to planning and conducting microXAS imaging
experiments at SSRL beam lines. Students will participate in hands-on sessions
at the beam lines, including on the following facilities: hard x-ray microXAS
imaging (BL2-3), hard x-ray mesoprobe XAS imaging (BL10-2), and the newest
microXAS imaging “tender” energy beam line (BL14-3). The
hands-on sessions will be paired with several sessions of data analysis and
data mining of imaging data. The School will also cover new instrumentation and
techniques at SSRL microXAS imaging beam lines and will include topics that can
only be learned by direct access and experience at the facility through
on-the-experiment training. This initial school, which will take place July
11-15, is organized by Sam Webb and Courtney Roach. Watch for the School's
webpage to appear soon on the SSRL News & Events page.
High Power Laser Workshop, October
7-8, 2014 - Save the Date
SSRL/LCLS Annual Users'
Conference and Workshops, October 7-10, 2014 - Save the Date
Macromolecular Crystallography: Stanford AutoMounter
(SAM) Developers' Forum Workshop,
October 10, 2014 - Save the Date
NUFO Annual Meeting at PNNL, April 30-May
The 2014 Annual Meeting of the National User Facility
Organization (NUFO) will be hosted by EMSL April 30-May 2 at PNNL in Richland,
Washington. The meeting theme, “Bridging Science Across National User
Facilities,” will challenge attendees to look for new ways of
collaborating across national user facilities to accelerate scientific
advancement. Keynote speakers, including DOE Office of Science Public
Affairs Director Rick Borchelt, will address the benefits of team science as
well as the potential challenges. Facility Directors, User Executive
Committee members, managers/administrators, and researchers will break out into
groups to explore the potential opportunities and barriers in policies,
operational requirements and user concerns for multidisciplinary joint
science. Read more
Call for User Science Demonstrations, Videos for
NUFO Science Exhibition in DC, June 10
A National User Facility Organization (NUFO) User Science
Exhibition will be held on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 in the foyer of the U.S.
House of Representatives Rayburn Office Building. Discovery and energy are the
themes for the NUFO exhibition. Users are encouraged to participate in this
event, which will feature hands-on demonstrations, videos, and examples of user
and industry research. Contact NUFO Vice Chair Stephen Wasserman
(firstname.lastname@example.org). The Future of
America is the Research of Today
User Research Administration Announcements
X-ray/VUV proposals can be submitted three times a year:
June 1, and September 1 and December 1
Macromolecular Crystallography proposals can be submitted
April 1 and July 1 and December 1.
— Submit beam time requests and proposals through the
Inform Us of Publications, Awards,
SSRL provides technical tools for world-leading science at
no charge for scientists who conduct non-proprietary research, with the
understanding that significant results are to be publicly disseminated.
Scientists must acknowledge use of the facility in presentations and
publications and must inform us of all publications, theses, awards, patents
and other forms of recognition resulting from research conducted fully or
partially at SSRL. These metrics of scientific achievements and productivity
are extremely important to the facility, and to our funding agencies
Reminder: Please also contact us as research results
are about to be published so that we can work with you to more broadly
communicate your research.
Temporary Food Service Available during Construction of New
Cafeteria in Science and User Support Building
The SLAC Cafe, auditorium and visitor center are closed and will be
replaced by a new Science and User Support Building (SUSB). During this
construction (2013-2015), temporary food service will be provided by the
Cardinal Chef Mobile Gourmet food trucks, 11am - 2pm in front of SLAC Building
27. Lunch menus are posted online. See map
In an effort to expand the food service available onsite
SLAC has also launched a "Virtual Cafeteria" using services provided
by the "Eat Club". Eat Club is a local lunch delivery service.
They collaborate with local restaurants to provide quality food fitting a
variety of tastes at an affordable price. Orders are placed and paid for
through their online service. The SLAC community can review the
daily selections and place an online order in the morning using a personal
credit card. Drop-off delivery will be made around noon each day to several
locations around the site. A drop-off location has now been added in the
SSRL Building 120 Experimental Hall.
Individual on-line registration takes just a few minutes.
The url for sign-up for a free account and for pre-order is www.myeatclub.com/slac-cafeteria
A Starbucks kiosk near the Guest House parking lot will open
early this summer to offer daily walk-up coffee and takeout pastries and cold
sandwiches. The kiosk will be open from 6am to 6pm Monday through Friday, and
tentatively on weekends from 6am to 2pm.
User Input Requested for Stanford Guest House Survey
If you have tried to get reservations at the Guest House within the last
year, and have not yet completed a survey, please contact Jonathan Faulker, email@example.com, who is gathering
Guest House utilization data. Your input could help the Guest House to provide
better services or to increase the capacity or availability of rooms for
There are several construction projects currently underway at SLAC in
addition to the above mentioned Starbucks kiosk and patio dining area.
From March to mid-May, construction of the Scientific User
Support Building (SUSB) will involve excavation and removal of dirt from the
SUSB site, so please exercise caution when moving around the site, particularly
between the SLAC entrance and Sector 22.
During this time, people interested in exercising (walking,
running, etc.) along the linac are advised to take the less traveled south side
of the road. More updates will be provided as they become available.
At times, flagpersons will be directing traffic. Please
drive with caution, obey all traffic signs and plan for additional travel time
along Loop Road.
The Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) is a third-generation
light source producing extremely bright x-rays for basic and applied
research. SSRL attracts and supports scientists from around the world who
use its state-of-the-art capabilities to make discoveries that benefit society.
SSRL, a U.S. DOE Office of Science national user facility, is a Directorate of
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, operated by Stanford University for the
U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. The SSRL Structural
Molecular Biology Program is supported by the DOE Office of Biological and
Environmental Research, and by the National Institutes of Health, National
Institute of General Medical Sciences. For more information about SSRL science,
operations and schedules, visit http://www-ssrl.slac.stanford.edu.
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Questions? Comments? Contact Lisa Dunn