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In this issue:
Physics Online and Overseas
Science Today: SSRL - The Structure of SARS
SNIC Photos Now Online
Upcoming SLUO Events on the Future of HEP

SLAC Today

Thursday - April 6, 2006

(Photo - Cottrell in Pakistan)
Les Cottrell (center) visits with Prof. Dr. Atta-Ur-Rahman (right), the Federal Minister and Chairman of the Higher Education Commission, and Dr. Sohail Naqvi (left), the Executive Director of the Higher Education Commission, in Pakistan.

Physics Online and Overseas

International collaboration has long played a fundamental role in high-energy physics. Experimental results pass around the globe in seconds, making collaboration easier between far flung labs and scientists.

For decades, countries across the world have contributed to high energy physics by lending top minds to laboratories in developed regions like Asia, Europe and North America. Now, some countries in the developing world are aiming to play a bigger role in experiments through data analysis.

One such country is Pakistan. Les Cottrell, of the Scientific Computing and Computing Services (SCCS) Group, said Pakistani physicists are eager to take a more prominent role in high energy physics. Cottrell went to Pakistan in February to encourage the country's further involvement in the development of computing infrastructure for projects like the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the proposed International Linear Collider (ILC).  Read more...

(Daily Column - Science Today)

The Structure of SARS

SSRL data helped to determine the structure of one part of a SARS protein.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) emerged as the first severe and readily transmissible new disease of the 21st century. The debilitating pneumonia-like disease is caused by coronavirus, a virus that caused 916 deaths out of about 8,400 reported cases.

Scientists from the Scripps Research Institute in California have embarked on an ambitious program to characterize the structure and function of all the proteins built or used by SARS. Taking advantage of advances in robotics and automation at Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) as well as other new tools, the scientists ultimately hope to rapidly characterize the complete protein sets of emerging disease organisms and then provide structure information to design inhibitors to stop the organisms.

In a recent paper, the group reported the structure of a part of one SARS protein, one of the first resulting from the Scripps project. The high resolution structure is providing insights into mechanisms the virus uses to replicate itself.

SNIC Photos Now Online

(Photo - SNIC reception) Photos from the SNIC reception and poster session are now available online.  The conference focuses on the development of detectors for high-energy physics experiments.

Upcoming SLUO Events on the Future of HEP

Following years of decreasing budgets, the US government recently announced plans to double the funding for the physical sciences by 2017, with increases starting as early as 2007. In response, the SLAC Users' Organization (SLUO) has scheduled several informational events to help its members participate in making the proposed budget increases a reality.

"This [budget doubling] puts us in a totally different situation from what we have been used to over the past decade," said SLUO Chair Abi Soffer. "Whether or not this bright future will be realized depends to a significant extent on how actively we, the users of high-energy physics facilities, get behind it."

Through a series of events, SLUO seeks to encourage SLAC  users and employees to get informed, participate, and influence the direction of high-energy physics in the coming decade. See the series of events...

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