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SSRL Headlines Vol. 5, No. 8  February, 2005


Contents of this Issue:

  1. User Run Resumes at SSRL
  2. Science Highlight — Structure of the ESCRT-II Endosomal Trafficking Complex
  3. DOE-BES Review of SSRL
  4. Swedish Research Council Grant for X-ray FEL Lasers in Structural Biology
  5. Stanford-Berkeley Physical Sciences Summer School June 13-17, 2005
  6. Global Light Sources Website Launched
  7. SSRL Proposal Review Panel Meeting
  8. User Administration Update

1.  User Run Resumes at SSRL
      (contact: Cathy Knotts,

SPEAR received restart authorization in January, and the first users returned to SSRL on February 3, a few days ahead of the projected start date of February 7, 2005. Since that time, user activities have resumed on a number of beam lines, including: 1-4, 2-1, 2-3, 4-2, 5-1/2/4, 7-2, 8-2, 9-1, 9-2, 9-3, 10-1,
SPEAR Status
10-2, 11-1 and 11-2. BLs 1-5, 6-2, 8-1, 11-3 are expected to open within the next couple of weeks, BL2-2 in about a month and BL3-1 will open in May. Except for a few weather-related power outages in February, the SPEAR start up continues to proceed smoothly. SPEAR fills, which are taking approximately 5 minutes each, are currently occurring three times a day at 6 am, 2 pm and 10 pm. We are extremely pleased to again be serving our user community.

The 2005 SPEAR operating schedule is available at:

SPEAR updates are available by telephone at 650-926-SPEAR, or up-to-the-minute information on SPEAR status can be found at:

2.  Science Highlight — Structure of the ESCRT-II Endosomal Trafficking Complex
      (contact: James H. Hurley,

The lysosome is the "digestive system" of an animal cell. Molecules taken up from the outside are sent to the lysosome to be broken up into a form that can be safely used by the rest of the cell. A network of membrane vesicles called the endocytic pathway moves cargo destined for the lysosome from the surface of the cell. One of the last steps before the cargo reaches the cell is the pinching-off of small vesicles into the center of a big vesicle. When the big vesicles join the lysosome by fusion, the small vesicles inside it are released into the lysosome and broken down by powerful degradative enzymes. The stage where small vesicles reside inside the bigger vesicle is called a "multivesicular body" (MVB). The machinery for making MVBs is hijacked by the HIV virus to escape from cells and is considered a potential target for HIV therapeutics. In its normal functioning, the MVB machinery breaks down proteins that can cause cancer when they are present in excess. Using x-ray diffraction data collected at the APS and SSRL Beam Line 9-2, collaborators from the NIH and the University of California at San Diego have determined the first structure of an ESCRT complex.

ESCRT-II Structure To learn more about this research recently published in Nature see: or

3.  DOE-BES Program Review of SSRL
      (contact: Keith Hodgson,

A team of six scientists, accompanied by four DOE-BES program officials, visited SSRL on January 31 - February 1 to conduct a review of SSRL's operations (which are funded through the DOE-BES Scientific User Facilities
DOE-BES logo
Division). The review team had been provided written material prior to the review in response to a set of questions. The review began with a series of global overview presentations on SSRL's programs then turned to focus on SSRL operations, projects, R&D and future plans. Breakout sessions were held where reviewers talked individually and in detail with beam line responsible scientific staff. The first day ended with an on-site dinner for the reviewers and SSRL staff and users. On the second day, presentations focused on scientific developments and covered areas that included molecular environmental science, hard and soft condensed matter, correlated materials and structural biology. The review team also met in closed session with representatives of the SSRL Users' Organization. Ending the second day was a verbal closeout and a written report is expected within a month or so. A total of 31 scientists, staff and users were involved from the SSRL side in the discussions and presentations. I would like to thank everyone involved for their strong help and support during this important review and contributing so much to its success.

4.   Swedish Research Council Grant for X-ray FEL Lasers in Structural Biology
      (contact: Britt Hedman,

A grant for "X-ray Free-electron Lasers in Structural Biology" has been awarded to Professor Janos Hajdu, University of Uppsala, Sweden, by the Swedish Research Council. This new five-year grant was selected from a very strong competition (10 proposals were selected from a total of 261) based upon the evaluation and recommendation by an international panel of experts. The grant is for the further development of new imaging tools for non-crystalline biological materials. SSRL is one of the collaborating institutions with a focus toward future applications with LCLS. Dr. Hajdu is currently spending his sabbatical at SSRL.

5.   Stanford-Berkeley Physical Sciences Summer School June 13-17, 2005
      (contact: Anders Nilsson,

The fourth Stanford-Berkeley summer school will provide basic lectures on the synchrotron radiation process, requisite technologies, and a broad range of scientific applications. Visits to both the Advanced Light Source (ALS) in Berkeley and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) will be included, with opportunities to interact with the professional staff and graduate students at both facilities. The summer school will be limited to approximately forty graduate students, with a preference for those pursuing doctoral research in the physical sciences in which synchrotron radiation is expected to play a significant role. The summer school is jointly sponsored by the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory. Lectures will be presented by professors and scientists from these four organizations and their user communities. The summer school will be housed at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Co-chairs of the summer school are David Attwood and Anders Nilsson.

Details describing the summer school, planned lectures, housing, costs and how to apply will be posted at

6.   Global Light Sources Website Launched
      (contact: Cathy Knotts,

On February 17, the international light source community launched the first website dedicated to providing the media, general public and scientific community with the latest news and information on the world's accelerator-driven light sources (synchrotrons and free-electron lasers) and the science they produce. Visit for the latest news on cutting-edge areas of advanced light source applications for science and technology from facilities around the world. Subscribe to "News Flash" to receive the latest news releases by email. Also available on the website is an image bank of light source-related photos and graphics, clippings of news stories, and links to light source facility websites. SSRL is one of 16 facilities that were founding sponsors of this collaborative project; the other sponsors include: ALS, APS, CLS, ELETTRA, ESRF, HASYLAB, NSRRC, NSLS, Photon Factory, PLS, SPring-8, SRC, SURF III, SLS, and the Free-Electron Laser at JLab. Additional members are encouraged and welcomed.

7.   SSRL Proposal Review Panel Meeting
      (contact: Keith Hodgson,

On February 4, the SSRL Proposal Review Panel (PRP) met for the 57th time to review and rate 52 new proposals as well as to provide strategic advice and guidance on SSRL's programs and long-range planning. During this meeting, several presentations were made including: SSRL Director's Report (Keith Hodgson), Beam Line Development Update (Tom Rabedeau), Imaging Structural Dynamics with Ultrafast X-rays (Kelly Gaffney), SSRLUO Executive Committee Report (Glenn Waychunas, LBNL) and User Administration (Cathy Knotts). Significant discussion on strategic issues followed and the PRP provided advice on a number of topics to the SSRL Director.

8.   User Administration Update
      (contacts: Cathy Knotts,; Lisa Dunn,

Proposal Submission: If your current proposal is getting close to its expiration date or if you are planning to conduct new experiments, consider submitting a new Macromolecular Crystallography proposal by the April 1 deadline or a new X-ray and VUV proposal by the May 1 deadline. For more information of the proposal submittal, review and scheduling process, visit:

SLAC Guesthouse
SLAC Guest House

Lodging: Contact the SLAC Guest House to secure reservations for onsite lodging (specify SSRL) 650-926-2800 -

User Check-In Procedures: All on-site users need to review and complete the following items before ID badges will be issued and users allowed to begin their experiments:

These requirements apply to all users coming to SSRL and provide a mechanism to ensure that everyone utilizing the facility receives the appropriate training and that we have procedures to accurately track all on-site users during the run year. We thank you in advance for your help in complying with these requirements.


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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Last Updated: 28 FEB 2005
Content Owner: L. Dunn
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