SLAC Today is available online at:
http://today.slac.stanford.edu
In this issue:
Loop Road Reopens on Monday
Science Today: SSRL - Developing New Ways to Treat Arthritis
Road Between Buildings 33 and 24 Closed Friday
Gear Up: Bike to Work Day is Coming to SLAC
Safety Tip: Electrical Equipment Safety

SLAC Today

Thursday - May 11, 2006

(Photo - Speed Hump)
A speed hump has been installed on Loop Road outside the ROB.

Loop Road Reopens on Monday

More Crosswalks and a Speed Hump Added
by Doug Kreitz

Next Monday, employees arriving through SLAC's main gate will be greeted with an unfamiliar decision: left or right?

Monday marks the full reopening of Loop Road. With major changes to the volume of visitor traffic and pedestrian activity in the area, SLAC has installed more crosswalks and a speed hump on the Loop Road outside the Kavli Building and the Research Office Building (ROB).

Because the Kavli Institute has dual locations at Stanford and SLAC, the lab's newest building will be a meeting place for researchers from both locations. We also expect a significant increase in visitors from other institutions—many of whom will be unfamiliar with SLAC, our traffic patterns, and our hilly terrain. Read more...

(Daily Column - Science Today)

SSRL: Developing New Ways to Treat Arthritis

(Image - arthritis) The structure of TNF, the immune protein that incites inflammatory responses. (Image courtesy of Molly He et al.)

In rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease, the immune system overreacts, provoking excessive inflammation. One method of treatment is to inhibit the immune protein that incites inflammation, called tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Although currently available anti-TNF therapeutics have made a significant difference to patients, they are costly to manufacture and require an IV or injection. Sunesis Pharmaceuticals of South San Francisco, in collaboration with Biogen-Idec, is searching for small molecules that will inhibit TNF. Small molecules can be administered orally and are inexpensive to produce.

A team of scientists from Sunesis used beamline facilities at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) to determine the structure of a potential TNF small-molecule inhibitor. X-ray diffraction studies showed that the small molecule had wormed its way into the center of TNF, where TNF's three sub-units normally join. The small molecule then dislodged one of the three sub-units, completely disrupting TNF. Turning a protein from a trimer (three parts) into a dimer (two parts) is an unusual, but clearly effective, method of inhibiting the action of a molecule.

This research will help pharmaceutical companies to systematically identify other small molecules that may have even more potent inhibitory effects.

"This compound is an early stage molecule and it may not possess certain necessary properties to become a real small molecule drug," said Sunesis scientist Molly He. "But it serves as a good lead compound to discover better small molecules that utilize the same trimer-disruption mechanism."

Road Between Buildings 33 and 24 Closed Friday

(Image - Map) (Click on image for full map.)

The road between Building 33 and Building 24 will be closed this Friday, May 12, to accommodate the shipping of the GLAST project. The road is expected to reopen Friday evening.

Gear Up: Bike to Work Day is Coming to SLAC

(Image - Bike to Work Day) SLAC will host an energizer station for cyclists on Thursday, May 18, for Bike to Work Day. This will be the 5th year SLAC has set up a table on Sand Hill Road to provide free refreshments, giveaways, and encouragement to cyclists.

The station will be located just outside the lab's main entrance and will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

"For Bike to Work Day, we find folks commuting from as far as San Francisco," said Rick Challman, the cyclist behind SLAC's energizer station. Read more...

Safety Tip: Electrical Equipment Safety

(EEIP Field Representative Critt Taylor) SLAC's new Electrical Equipment Inspection Program (EEIP) ensures that custom or modified electrical equipment does not shock, burn or catch fire when used properly.

All electrical equipment not tested and/or inspected by a nationally recognized testing laboratory (NRTL) like Underwriters Laboratory (UL) must be inspected on-site prior to use.

The SLAC EEIP has representatives trained to inspect, label and document equipment. They can also provide advice throughout the design, manufacturing and installation process. For more information, contact EEIP Program Manager Wayne Linebarger.

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