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Vol. 18, No. 8 - March 2018

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Science Highlights ______________________________________________________


Understanding the Reactivity of CoCrMo-implant Wear Particles  – Contact: Mary P. Ryan, Imperial College London

During their popularity in the mid 2000’s, CoCrMo-based metal-on-metal (ball in socket) hip implants accounted for about a third of hip replacements in the US. It was believed that this alloy would be longer-lived than previous materials. However, unforeseen issues with mechanical wear and corrosion of the material caused a high failure rate.  Read more...


Structural Study of Potent Peptidic Fusion Inhibitors of Influenza Virus Hemagglutinin – Contact: Ian A. Wilson, The Scripps Research Institute

The influenza virus constantly mutates, helping to make “the flu” a costly human disease year after year. Because of these mutations, flu vaccines change every year and are a best guess of what strains will be dominant in that year’s flu season. Our best therapeutic options are the seasonal flu vaccine and antiviral medications like Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamivir), but their effectiveness is declining.  Read more...


Muscle Disorders at High Resolution: Native American Myopathy and Beyond – Contact: Filip Van Petegem, University of British Columbia

Native American Myopathy (NAM) is a genetic disorder that affects about 1 in 5,000 members of the Lumbee in North Carolina. A mutation in the gene stac3 causes a variety of severe symptoms affecting muscles, joints, spine, hearing, breathing, and speech.  Read more...


SSRL-Related News _____________________________________________________

X-ray Analysis Used to Predict Sulfur Corrosion Rates in Crude Oil

Excerpt from February 1, 2018 Materials Performance article by Ben DuBose


Scientists are working on the development of a new analysis tool to better predict the corrosion rates of sulfur compounds in crude oil.

Driven by x-ray analysis, a team of researchers from Chevron (San Ramon, California, USA) and the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada) are performing a series of studies at SSRL to closely examine different forms of sulfur in crude oil.  Read more...

Hidden Medical Text Read for the First Time in a Thousand Years

Excerpt from March 22, 2018 DOE Science News Source


An influential physician and a philosopher of early Western medicine, Galen of Pergamon was the doctor of emperors and gladiators. One of his many works, “On the Mixtures and Powers of Simple Drugs,” was an important pharmaceutical text that would help educate fellow Greek-Roman doctors.

The text was translated during the 6th century into Syriac, a language that served as a bridge between Greek and Arabic and helped spread Galen’s ideas into the ancient Islamic world. But despite the physician’s fame, the most complete surviving version of the translated manuscript was erased and written over with hymns in the 11th century – a common practice at the time. These written-over documents are known as palimpsests.

An international team of researchers is getting a clear look at the hidden text of the Syriac Galen palimpsest with an x-ray study at SSRL.  Read more

Video from CBS Bay Area: Bay Area Scientists Reveal Hidden Ancient Texts

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry Visits SLAC

Excerpt from March 28, 2018 Stanford Report article

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry visited SLAC, where he toured the site of a superconducting upgrade to the accelerator that powers the lab’s x-ray laser and met with employees in a town hall meeting.  Read more...

Professor Bruce Gates on the Molecules That Can Drive Chemical Reactions

Excerpt from March 26, 2018 SLAC Today article by Amanda Solliday


Bruce Gates, a professor of chemical engineering at University of California, Davis, describes his innovative work to search for simple, selective catalysts. We asked him about his most recent work at SSRL, where he has teamed up with researchers to develop new approaches that take a close look at the fine details of these materials and how they perform.  Read more


Honors and Awards _____________________________________________________

SSRL User, Assistant Professor William Chueh, Wins Outstanding Young Investigator Award

Excerpt from February 27, 2018 Stanford Report article by Ashley Boney


William Chueh, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Center Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy, recently received the Materials Research Society’s 2018 Outstanding Young Investigator Award for his groundbreaking research in ionic and electronic charge transport and

Chueh leads a group of 25 students and postdocs tackling the challenge of decarbonizing various energy transformation pathways. Specifically, his group seeks to understand and engineer electrochemical reactions at the levels of electrons, ions, molecules, particles and devices, using a bottom-up approach, for applications in energy storage (such as lithium-ion and flow batteries) and in energy conversion (such as fuel cells, electrolyzers and photoelectrochemical cells).  Read more

Upcoming Events ______________________________________________________

  • Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation (SRI 2018): June 10-15, 2018, Taiwan  Conference website

  • 50 Years of Synchrotron Radiation in the UK and Its Global Impact (UKSR50): June 26-29, 2018, Liverpool, UK  Conference website

  • 9th SSRL School on Synchrotron X-ray Scattering Techniques in Materials and Environmental Sciences: July 16-18, 2018

    This 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.  School website

  • PULSE Ultrafast X-ray Summer Seminar 2018: June 24-28, 2018  Seminar website

  • Argonne National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory – 2018 National School on Neutron & X-ray Scattering: July 22-August 4, 2018  Event website

  • SSRL EXAFS Summer School: August 13-17, 2018

    The five-day session will provide training in XAS and EXAFS theory, experimental design, data acquisition strategies and FEFF based EXAFS data analysis useful to both new and experienced users. It will include training material for SSRL's expanding chemical catalysis user base, and a one-day session at the beam lines with focus on sample preparation and advanced experimental instrumentation for standard and in-situ/operando measurements. Data processing and analysis techniques will include introductions to EXAFS data fitting on simple systems leading to involved data analysis methods with focus on advanced EXAFS fitting and interpretation. A half-day session will be targeted towards experienced users and will include lectures on near-edge analysis techniques, combining advanced spectroscopic techniques with EXAFS and guidelines for proper reporting of EXAFS data. A web site will be available soon.

  • SSRL/LCLS Annual Users' Meeting at SLAC: September 25-28, 2018  Meeting website

Society for Science at User Research Facilities (SSURF) Activities __________________

Capitol Hill Exhibition: April 25, 2018, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.

SSURF (formerly the National User Facility Organization, NUFO) will hold a user science exhibition with a theme of Science as Infrastructure. The expo will showcase a diverse set of research projects and capabilities contributed by SSURF's member facilities and is open for all to attend.  SSURF Events website

Contact Cathy Knotts with your suggestions of science/technology highlights to be shared with SSURF.

SSURF Annual Meeting 2018: June 26-28, 2018, College Park, Maryland

This year’s meeting will focus on user facilities as a critical and under-recognized component of the nation’s infrastructure. Early Bird registration is available until April 15, and all attendees must pre-register by June 1.  Registration website

Announcement _________________________________________________________

Change to Stanford Marguerite S Line Bus Stop at SLAC

Due to an increase in the number of travelers on the S Line Marguerite bus service running between SLAC and the Palo Alto train station, Stanford Parking & Transportation Services (P&TS) has replaced the small Marguerite Shuttle S Line bus with a larger electric bus, increasing rider capacity from 16 to 32. Line S operates weekday mornings 6:23 a.m. to 9:23 a.m. and weekday evenings 4:28 p.m. to 6:34 p.m., year round (except university holidays). The larger bus won’t be able to access the Stanford Guest House parking lot, where the S Line used to stop at SLAC. Instead, it will stop at the parking lot to the right of the SLAC Main Gate. Marguerite S Line Schedule

User Research Administration ______________________________________________

SSRL user operations will be shut down during these scheduled breaks:

  • May 29 - June 4, 2018
  • July 4, 2018
  • July 23, 2018 through mid-October 2018 for facility upgrades and maintenance before the FY2019 user run resumes

SSRL Beam Time Request Deadline

  • April 18, 2018 – Macromolecular Crystallography requests for June – July 2018

SSRL Proposal Deadlines

  • May 1, 2018 – X-ray / VUV  (for beam time eligibility beginning fall 2018)   
  • July 1, 2018 – Macromolecular Crystallography (for beam time eligibility beginning fall 2018)

**With our user operations resuming in October instead of November, we need to move up our call for SSRL X-ray and VUV proposals. Submit new proposals by these new deadlines:  May 1, August 1, November 1.  See SSRL Proposal & Scheduling Guidelines

Submit proposals and beam time requests for both facilities through the User Portal.



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

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Questions? Comments? Contact Lisa Dunn or Tomoko Nakai