Contents of this Issue:
1. Science Highlight — The Elusive Active Fold of a Catalytic RNA
(contact: W.G. Scott, wgscott at chemistry.ucsc.edu)
Many academic and industrial laboratories are engineering ribozymes for potential use in fighting infectious and chronic diseases.
To learn more about this research see the full technical highlight at:
2. Call for Abstracts for SSRL33, October 12-13
(contact: C. Knotts, firstname.lastname@example.org)
3. Calling Interested Users to Serve on the SSRLUO Executive Committee
(contact: J. Andrews, CSU East Bay, SSRLUOEC Chair, email@example.com)
4. Several Workshops Offered on October 11
(contact: C. Knotts, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ultrafast Dynamics on Surfaces and in Liquids - Anders Nilsson and Aaron Lindenberg, Organizers: This workshop is aimed at bringing together researchers interested in the ultrafast dynamics that occur on surfaces and in the liquid state of matter, as well as the development of techniques for probing such diverse phenomena. These include optical spectroscopy, x-ray spectroscopy, x-ray scattering, high harmonic generation, THz spectroscopy, photoemission, free electron lasers, as well as theoretical techniques. It will consist of a series of invited talks with time allotted for contributed or walk-in talks.
Electron Dynamics in Spin Systems - Yves Acremann, Peter Fischer, and Andreas Scholl, Organizers: The spin relaxation time of electrons controls the spin accumulation in ferromagnetic/nonmagnetic junctions, the current driven motion of domain walls in nanowires, the demagnetization time in laser-driven demagnetization experiments, and the life time of a spin population after optical pumping. Time-resolved X-ray dichroism techniques offer new ways of detecting spin dynamics and understanding the underlying physics. Because of their element specificity, the sensitivity to spin and orbital magnetization, and the possibility to reach nanometer spatial resolution, they are particularly suited for complex materials, multilayers, nanostructures, junctions, and multicritical systems with coupled spin, orbital, electric, and charge orders. This workshop aims at identifying the new science that can be addressed with next-generation ultrafast x-ray source applying bunch compression, laser slicing, and free electron lasers.
Register today to participate in these workshops or any of the other joint SSRL
and ALS workshops including: Doing Research at Synchrotrons-An Introduction;
Using the Uni-Puck and Web-Ice at ALS and SSRL (Joint Macromolecular
Crystallography Workshop); Ultrafast Dynamics on Surfaces and in Liquids by
Soft X-rays; Advanced Magnetic Spectroscopy; Opportunities and Challenges with
Momentum-Resolved Inelastic X-ray Scattering; and Soft X-Ray Resonant
Scattering and Reflectivity/Structure from Coherent Scattering: Dynamics and
Static Imaging. Workshops will be held in conjunction with the ALS Users'
Meeting on October 9-11 and the 33rd Annual Users' Meeting on October 11-13.
We look forward to an interesting and informative meeting, and we encourage you to join us! http://www-conf.slac.stanford.edu/ssrl/2006/default.htm
5. Staff Director for the House Subcommittee on Energy Visits SLAC
6. Ancient Science Revealed through X-ray Fluorescence Imaging
(contact: U. Bergmann, email@example.com)
For more on the history of the Archimedes palimpsest and an image bank of the pages of this historical document including those "seen" for the first time during the recent experiment, see: http://www.archimedespalimpsest.org/
7. Small-Angle X-ray Scattering and Diffraction Studies Workshop Wrap-up
(contact: H. Tsuruta, firstname.lastname@example.org)
The SSRL SMB Bio-SAXS/D team hosted a practical workshop July 28-30, 2006 to complement the bio-SAXS/D workshop held in October, 2005 with additional hands-on experimental tutorial sessions. The first half of the workshop was focused on oral presentations by invited expert speakers on mostly non-crystalline x-ray diffraction studies in structural biology, ranging from fundamentals of bio-SAXS/D techniques to cutting-edge advanced applications conducted at SSRL and elsewhere. These talks covered a comprehensive review of the structural biology research by SAXS/D techniques, interplay between small angle scattering and macromolecular crystallography, nucleic acid structures, virus maturation kinetics, a modeling approach based on atomic structures, membrane systems, the use of neutron scattering to complement x-ray studies, as well as a review of the SSRL SMB program and the prospect of SMB research using LCLS. Bio-SAXS/D staff discussed BL4-2 developments, practical issues in bio-SAXS/D experiments and software developments for data collection and processing.
The second half of the workshop was devoted to two half-day computational
sessions and a series of experimental tutorial sessions. The computational
practical sessions were given by Dmitri Svergun (EMBL-Hamburg), whose group has
developed a number of powerful computational tools for solution scattering. A
number of participants were given the opportunity to measure their own samples
during a couple of hours of individually allocated beam time on BL4-2, and many
managed to obtain encouraging results. These practical sessions were
enthusiastically received by the participants, who engaged in active discussion
with speakers and staff on scientific and practical issues in bio-SAXS/D
8. Remote Macromolecular Crystallography Data Collection
(contacts: A. Cohen, email@example.com; S.M. Soltis, firstname.lastname@example.org)
|Workshop participant pours liquid nitrogen into dewars as part of hands-on session.|
9. SLAC Kids Day 2006 - the Biggest and Best Yet!
Over the past 5 years a volunteer committee of SLAC staff members, including SSRL's Teresa Troxel and Michelle Steger, has devoted a great deal of energy towards putting together a top-notch annual Kids Day event - building upon lessons learned and past successes each year. Their hard work paid off with a record high number of 254 kids attending this year's much anticipated event on Wednesday, August 16. The children were ushered into the SLAC Panofsky Auditorium to begin their day by listening to Chloe Zubieta, Joint Center for Structural Genomics at SSRL, give a talk on how she became a scientist. Following the talk children took part in workshop activities covering a wide variety of topics including cryogenics, biology, radiation, magnetics, metrology, vacuum, welding, waves and astrophysics. 18 workshops were offered in all, depending on the participant's age group. To cap off the day the children were treated to an ice cream social and a science talk with KIPAC's Phil Marshall.
All-in-all the event was a great success. SLAC Director Jonathan Dorfan
commented in the August 21 edition of SLAC Today that, "Kids Day 2006 was the
biggest and best yet." He went on to say, "Kids Day owes its success to the
untiring volunteers who clearly made extra effort to create a memorable day for
all. A day like this can change a child's life and trigger a permanent interest
in science, and I believe this year's event did just that." Read more at:
10. Even Electrons Need a Vacation
—Brad Plummer, SLAC Today, August 7, 2006
On August 7, SPEAR3 shut down for annual maintenance and upgrades. The shutdown, which will last until October, gives engineers an opportunity to perform maintenance and equipment upgrades. This year many of the accelerator upgrades are geared toward implementing top-off injection in SPEAR3. Among these upgrades is a new ejection septum chamber, a device located at the point where electrons leave the booster ring to be injected into the SPEAR3 main storage ring. With the present chamber, the beam spreads out slightly as it passes through a special vacuum-tight window, reducing the efficiency of injecting electrons into SPEAR3. The new septum chamber will eliminate that problem and give operators a tighter beam out of the booster.
Also slated for upgrade is the 9-meter-long linear accelerator that creates the initial pulses that are boosted and injected into SPEAR3. The SPEAR3 linac, which is a miniature version of the 2-mile linac at SLAC, is receiving a second klystron that will roughly double the energy of electrons entering the booster. This extra energy should improve the capture of electrons into the booster and make top-off injection into SPEAR3 more efficient.
Preparations for the new BL12-2 will also continue during the shutdown with the installation of a new in-vacuum undulator, the first of its kind at SSRL. This undulator will give users a much higher degree of control over the x-rays produced. BL12-2 experimental hardware will also be installed in the new hutches that are being built this summer. The new beam line, which is for macromolecular crystallography and funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore foundation in a collaboration with Caltech, is scheduled to be commissioned in 2007.
11. Hydrogen: Key to a Sustainable Future - Excerpts from SLAC Today
A Microscopic Solution to an Enormous Problem: Hydrogen, the most plentiful element in the Universe, could potentially meet much of the world's demand for energy while reducing or eliminating our dependence on carbon-based fuels. The promise of carbon-free energy has researchers hunting for better ways of isolating this plentiful element, but for all its abundance, hydrogen has proved prohibitively tricky to produce. One answer may lie in sunlight. By directly applying the sun's energy to water within a special solar cell, scientists are inching closer to making usable hydrogen. "It's a materials issue," said SSRL researcher Theanne Schiros. "Hydrogen doesn't exist freely in nature, but with the right materials we can isolate it from other compounds." Read more at http://today.slac.stanford.edu/a/2006/08-10.htm
Billions of Fuel Tanks May be Better than One: Meeting the world's future energy demands will be an enormous challenge on many fronts. While hydrogen gas has piqued the interest of researchers as a clean, renewable energy resource, a number of major obstacles remain before an integrated system of producing, storing, and using hydrogen can supplant fossil fuel usage in a meaningful way. Perhaps the biggest of these problems is how to store this plentiful gas. Viable techniques for producing and using hydrogen, while still years away, have been proven, at least in principle. But a workable option for containing-and therefore, distributing-hydrogen gas remains elusive. "The problem now is that at the most basic level, the technology simply doesn't exist," said Anton Nikitin, a PhD student conducting research at SSRL. "And if you don't have all the pieces of the puzzle, you can't build the system." Read more at http://today.slac.stanford.edu/feature/hydrogen3.asp
12. Photon Science Job Opportunities
A number of positions are currently available at the LCLS, LUSI and SSRL.
Please refer to the Photon Science Job Openings page for more information about
these job opportunities.
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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