From the Director
With the recent start of the current user run and the approaching holidays,
I want to extend gratitude to our staff and user community for all you do to
make SSRL a safe and successful place for great science. I look forward to
working with you to explore new opportunities in the coming year, and I welcome
your input to keep SSRL at the technological forefront.
Direct Imaging of Metal Additive Manufacturing
Processes – Contact: Johanna Nelson Weker,
3D printing is revolutionizing the manufacture of products, promising fast
and inexpensive ways to make quick prototypes, small batch parts, and unique
pieces exactly to specifications. The uses for 3D printed metal range from
specialized car parts to custom medical prosthetics. While the potential
applications are many, there are limitations due to variable quality and
strength of the products. To improve these materials, the science of the
manufacturing processes needs to be better understood. Laser powder bed fusion
(LPBF) additive manufacturing is a 3D printing process where a three
dimensional part is built layer by layer. Read more...
A Spider Toxin Catches a Sodium Channel Involved in Pain Perception
in Action – Contact: Jian Payandeh, Genentech
Nerve, muscle, and heart cells are activated by the influx of sodium ions
into the cells causing an increase in positive charge inside cells. In a
carefully regulated system, sodium passes across cell membranes via a variety
of sodium ion channels, which open during activation and close when not active.
Nav1.7 is a type of sodium channel that has an important role in pain
sensation. Dysfunction of Nav1.7 is implicated diseases that involve the
hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity to pain. Due to this role, Nav1.7 is a
potential target for therapies that address chronic pain. Read more...
SSRL-Related Science in the News
Stanford Researchers Create New Catalyst that can Turn Carbon
Dioxide into Fuels
Excerpt from Stanford News article by Andrew Myers
Imagine grabbing carbon dioxide from car exhaust pipes and other sources and
turning this main greenhouse gas into fuels like natural gas or propane: a
sustainability dream come true.
Several recent studies have shown some success in this conversion, but a
novel approach from Stanford University scientists yields four times more
ethane, propane and butane than existing methods that use similar processes.
While not a climate cure-all, the advance could significantly reduce the
near-term impact on global warming.
Previous efforts to convert CO2 to fuel involved a two-step
process. The first step reduces CO2 to carbon monoxide, then the
second combines the CO with hydrogen to make hydrocarbon fuels. The simplest of
these fuels is methane, but other fuels that can be produced include ethane,
propane and butane.
Matteo Cargnello, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at
Stanford, thought completing both steps in a single reaction would be much more
efficient, and set about creating a new catalyst that could simultaneously
strip an oxygen molecule off of CO2 and combine it with
“This nugget of ruthenium sits at the core and is encapsulated in an
outer sheath of iron,” said Aisulu Aitbekova, a doctoral candidate in
Cargnello’s lab and lead author of the paper. “This structure
activates hydrocarbon formation from CO2. It improves the process
start to finish.”
The team did not set out to create this core-shell structure but discovered
it through collaboration with SSRL distinguished staff scientist Simon Bare and
his group including Adam Hoffman and Alexey Boubnov. SSRL's x-ray
characterization technologies on Beam Lines 9-3, 4-1 and 2-2 helped the
researchers visualize and examine the structure of their new catalyst. Without
this collaboration, Cargnello said they would not have discovered the optimal
structure. Read more...
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018,
140, 13736-13745, doi: 10.1021/jacs.8b07615
Taking a Closer Look at the Causes of a Stroke
What if a blood test could indicate that a patient was going to have a
stroke? Vascular surgeon and SSRL user Dr. David Kopriva (MD) is working
towards that goal by determining how plaque in carotid arteries are activated
to cause a stroke. Kopriva is a Regina-based faculty member in the Department
of Surgery in the College of Medicine. Watch the video
Request for Publications Related to SSRL Beam Time
Publications are an essential metric of how productively SSRL beam time has
been utilized. As with other Department of Energy light sources we have
an upcoming triennial review in the spring. It will be especially
important to have current records of 2017-2019 publications related to work
done at SSRL.
Please take a few minutes to review our publications database to confirm that your most recent
SSRL-related publications are included and submit if they are not.
After data have been collected, analyzed and prepared for presentation or
publication, remember to indicate the SSRL beam lines used, acknowledge us, and
inform us of your peer-reviewed journal papers, book chapters, conference
proceedings, theses, and patents. Acknowledgement templates are provided on our website.
Thank you in advance for your assistance and continued support of SSRL.
CryoEM Practical Modeling Workshop, Menlo Park, CA, January
- Paul Adams, LBNL
- Tom Goddard, UCSF
- Greg Pintilie, Consultant, Stanford University
- Cathy Lawson, Rutgers
This workshop can be attended via Zoom webinar or in person.
December 20, 2019 is the deadline to register for onsite attendance.
Register at the workshop site
Cryo-EM Basics Practical Workshop, Menlo Park, CA, March
23–25, 2020 — Save the Date
RapiData 2020 at SSRL, March 30–April 4, 2020
RapiData 2020 Website
SLAC Guest House Update: Limited Availability during
Renovations Occurring January–March 2020
While the good news is that the Stanford Guest House plans to begin room
renovations during the holiday shut down, the bad news is that renovations are
expected to continue through March. They will start by renovating rooms on the
third floor which may mean construction noise and difficulty reserving limited
rooms during this period. So, if you have beam time or plan to visit for other
activities, don’t delay – reserve today!
Guest House User Reservation website
User Research Administration
The FY2020 SPEAR3 operations schedule is posted for users to
review planned operations, maintenance/accelerator physics, and holidays for
the current year. The FY2020 user run will continue through August 10, 2020,
with down time scheduled December 20, 2019 – January 12, 2020 (Winter
Break), and April 6–14, 2020 (Spring Break).
Beam Time Requests
- Jan 14, 2020 – Macromolecular Crystallography
(Mar–May 2020 scheduling)
- Feb 22, 2020 – X-ray / VUV (May–Aug 2020
- Mar 1, 2020 – S2C2 Cryo-EM Service/Training
- Apr 1, 2020 – Macromolecular Crystallography
- May 1, 2020 – X-ray / VUV
Submit beam time requests and proposals 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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