Significantly Shorter Fe-S Bond in Cytochrome P450-I is Consistent
with Greater Reactivity Relative to Chloroperoxidase
– Contact: Courtney Roach (Krest), SSRL
Bonds between carbon and hydrogen atoms are ubiquitous in organic molecules
important for life. Generally considered to be unreactive, C-H bonds are
not easily activated so that the hydrogen can be replaced with a different
chemical group. A mechanism that would allow chemists to selectively activate
C-H bonds to become reactive would open up numerous new possibilities for
synthetic chemistry and is the subject of intense interest. Read more...
Citation: C. M. Krest et al., Nat. Chem., 03 August 2015
More SSRL-related Science
Microscopic Rake Doubles Efficiency of Low-cost Solar
Excerpted from August 12, 2015 SLAC News Feature
Researchers have developed a manufacturing technique that could double the
electricity output of inexpensive solar cells by using a microscopic rake when
applying light-harvesting polymers.
When commercialized, this advance could help make polymer solar cells an
economically attractive alternative to those made with much more expensive
In experiments, solar cells made with the tiny rake doubled the efficiency
of cells made without it and are 18 percent better than cells made using a
microscopic straightedge blade.
The research was led by Zhenan Bao, a chemical engineering professor at
Stanford and a member of the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy
Sciences (SIMES), which is joint between SLAC and Stanford.
“The fundamental scientific insights that come out of this work will
give manufacturers a rational approach to improving their processes, rather
than relying simply on trial and error,” Bao said.
“We also expect this simple, effective and versatile concept will be
broadly applicable to making other polymer devices where properly aligning the
molecules is important.” Read more...
Citation: Y. Diao et al., Nat. Commun., 12 August 2015
Structural Studies could Aid in Better Drug Design
Excerpted from The Scripps Research Institute August 31, 2015 News &
For the first time, researchers have uncovered the structural details of how
some proteins interact to turn two different signals into a single integrated
output. These new findings could aid future drug design by giving scientists an
edge in fine tuning the signal between these partnered proteins—and the
drug’s course of action.
“Thyroid, vitamin D and retinoid receptors all rely on integrated
signals—their own signal plus a partner receptor,” said TSRI
Associate Professor Kendall Nettles, who led the study with TSRI colleague
Associate Professor Douglas Kojetin. “These new findings will have
important implications for drug design by clearly defining exactly how these
signals become integrated, so we will be able to predict how changes in a
drug’s design could affect signaling.” Read more...
Citation: D. J. Kojetin et al., Nat. Commun., 20 August 2015
X-ray Duo's Research Helps Launch Human Trial for Treatment of
Excerpted from August 20, 2015 SLAC News Feature
Graham George and Ingrid Pickering, a husband and wife x-ray research team,
have worked for decades to understand how contaminants in water and soil are
taken up by the body and affect human health. Much of that research has taken
place at SSRL, where both are former staff scientists.
Now George and Pickering are co-leading a new study in Bangladesh that is
testing whether giving people selenium supplements can protect them from
arsenic poisoning caused by naturally contaminated drinking water, which
affects more than 100 million people worldwide and can lead to cancer, liver
disease and other severe health problems.
The clinical trial, which runs through July 2016, is paid for by the
Canadian federal government and is sponsored by the University of Saskatchewan,
where Pickering and George have been professors since 2003.
The idea for the treatment dates back to the 1930s, when a scientist
discovered that rats fed wheat containing enough selenium to kill them could
actually survive if they were also given arsenic-contaminated water.
Decades later, Jürgen Gailer, a scientist at the University of Calgary
in Canada who was conducting related research on this biological oddity, asked
Pickering and George if they could use x-ray techniques to find out how
combining these two toxins could seemingly cancel out their dangerous effects
in mammals. Read more...
SSRL Users' Organization Update
Mark your calendar and plan to participate in the SSRL/LCLS Users’ Meeting and Workshops October 7-10,
2015 as well as the combined SSRL and LCLS Users' Organization discussion
with facility management, scheduled to take place on Thursday, October 8.
Please take a few minutes to consider throwing your hat into the ring or
nominating candidates interested in standing for election to the SSRL Users' Executive Committee to fill vacancies in
the following areas:
Send your nominations via email to Cathy Knotts or submit using the online nomination form by September 30. A ballot will
be compiled and voting will take place the week of October 6 during the
The SSRL UEC welcomes your comments, feedback and suggestions. We look
forward to seeing you at the Annual Users' Meeting.
Upcoming Workshops and Conferences
– Joint SSRL/LCLS Annual Users' Conference,
October 7-10, 2015
Register to attend the joint SSRL/LCLS Annual Users' Conference on
October 7-10. To get started, click on "Create an Account". The $175
registration fee covers meeting logistics, light refreshments and lunch.
The registration fee is waived for students and postdocs who register
to present a poster and share their latest research or development
The activities scheduled over this multi-day event provide opportunities to
learn about the latest user research results, current/future capabilities and
new science opportunities as well as to interact with other scientists and
vendors of light source related products and services. Meeting highlights
Director's Welcome and Facility Updates
Invited Plenary Session Talks --
Patricia Dehmer (DOE): Perspectives on
the Office of Science after 20 Years in Washington
Axel Brunger (Stanford U): Using LCLS to
Determine the Crystal Structure of a Complex that is Central to Synaptic
Stefano Bonetti (Stockholm U): Spin
Currents: The Key to Nanometer and Femtosecond Magnetism
Matt Kanan (Stanford U): Chemical and
Electrochemical CO2 Recycling
Michael Lubell (CCNY/American Physical
Society): Thinking Big and Outside the Box
Feng Lin (Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory) -- 2015 Spicer Young Investigator
Science Poster 'Blitz,' Poster Session and Reception
of synchrotron-related equipment, supplies or services
The plenary session talks, award presentations, exhibits, user poster
session and reception will be held on October 8. Several parallel workshops are
scheduled for October 7, 9, 10.
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 – Parallel Workshops
Applications of Ptychography
Beyond SASE at the LCLS & LCLS-II
Characterization of Ultrafast Magnetization Dynamics Using
Coupled Cycling of Biogeochemical Critical Elements and
Hybrid Methods for Integrative Structural Biology (Oct 6
at ALS, Oct 7 at SLAC)
Time Resolved Studies with Femtosecond X-ray Pulses:
Towards Molecular Movies of Molecules at Work
Friday, October 9, 2015 – Parallel Workshops
Advances in High Resolution X-ray Spectroscopy
Attosecond FELs: Capturing the Dynamics of Electrons in
the Time Domain
LCLS Data Collection, Diagnostics, Analysis,
New Discoveries in Biology with XFELS
Probing Structure and Dynamics of Quantum Materials via X-ray
Scattering at LCLS
Science Opportunities at SLAC in the Tender X-ray Range (2-5
keV) (Oct 9-10)
Scientific Opportunities with PS-Pulses at SSRL
Single Particle Imaging Initiative: Year One
Please encourage colleagues, particularly students, to attend and present a
poster. Visit the conference website for the latest program details.
– Symposium 'Celebrating Artie Bienenstock',
October 10, 2015
Please join us on Saturday, October 10, for a special symposium to honor Arthur Bienenstock. This
symposium is scheduled immediately following the SSRL/LCLS Annual Users' Conference and Workshops.
There is no registration fee to attend this symposium but separate
registration is required. During the registration process, participants also
have the option of signing up to attend a dinner honoring Artie (dinner cost is
$50 per person).
– ALS Users' Meeting, October 5-7, 2015 – Berkeley,
User Research Administration
September 1 is the deadline for submitting new X-ray/VUV
proposals for beam time eligibility starting February 2016.
Fall Beam Time Request Deadlines
September 17 is the next deadline for Macromolecular
Crystallography Beam Time Requests covering mid-November through February
November 15 is the next X-ray/VUV Beam Time Request deadline
for February - May scheduling
Submit proposals and beam time requests through the user
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