SLAC Today is available online at:
http://today.slac.stanford.edu
In this issue:
Beamline 7 Gets a Makeover
Colloquium: Bringing Hearing to the Deaf
SLAC Welcomes New Employees
Update: Owls Thrive in Wild and Captivity

SLAC Today

Friday - June 9, 2006

Bill Fukuba of the SSRL vacuum group applies a liquid metal as part of the heat exchanger for a mirror in beamline 7, experimental station 2. (Click on image for larger version.)

Beamline 7 Gets a Makeover

The upgrades to Beamline 7 at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) are nearly complete, and will soon reward users with three state-of-the-art experimental stations illuminated by a modern insertion device and optics.

BL7, which was one of the first hard x-ray insertion device beamlines in the world, has contributed important scientific results in the fields of macromolecular crystallography, materials scattering, and biological x-ray absorption spectroscopy.

The $7.5 million upgrade was funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Research Resources and by the Department of Energy's Basic Energy Sciences. In August 2005, SSRL staff began a complete makeover from the insertion device (the magnet in the SPEAR3 ring that generates x-rays for a particular beamline) all the way to the three end stations. Commissioning began on May 3 and test data will be taken before SPEAR3's current run ends in early August.  Read a more technical description of the upgrade in SSRL Headline News.

Colloquium Monday

Ian Shipsey: Bringing Hearing to the Deaf

(Image - Cochlear Implant) A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted device that converts sound waves into electrical impulses.
(Image courtesy of Stanford Medical.)

On Monday, June 12, Purdue University's Dr. Ian Shipsey will present the colloquium "Bringing Hearing to the Deaf" at 4:15 p.m. in Panofsky Auditorium.

In his talk, Shipsey will discuss the cochlear implant, the first device to successfully allow the profoundly deaf to regain some sense of hearing. A cochlear implant is a small electronic apparatus. Unlike a normal hearing aid, which amplifies sound, a cochlear implant is surgically implanted behind the ear where it converts sound waves into electrical impulses.

These implants have instigated a popular but controversial revolution in the treatment of deafness, and they serve as a model for research in neuroscience and biomedical engineering. Shipsey will discuss the physiology of natural hearing from the perspective of a physicist. He will also touch on the function of cochlear implants in the context of historical treatments, electrical engineering, psychophysics, clinical evaluation of efficacy and personal experience. Finally, Shipsey will address the social implications of cochlear implantation and the future outlook for auditory prostheses.  Learn more...

SLAC Welcomes
New Employees

(Photo - New Employees) (Click on image for larger version.)

SLAC welcomed six new employees yesterday at orientation. From left to right, they are: Brad Plummer (Communications), Philippe Grenier (BaBar), Nicole Thomas (Library), William Zangara (Purchasing), Scott Talafuse (Joint Center for Structural Genomics) and Bernardo Aguas (Controls and Power Electronics).

Update: Owls Thrive
in Wild and Captivity

(Photo - Owls) A pair of owls nested on End Station B this spring, hatching two eggs.  (Image courtesy of Bill Fakuba.)

To the delight of birders around the lab, a pair of Great Horned Owls nested on End Station B this spring, hatching two eggs. Last April, one of the hatchlings was discovered under a trailer in the research yard. The owlet was transported to an animal rescue shelter, where it is being rehabilitated. It now has its own enclosure, where it is learning to hunt live prey.

In several months the owl will be released into the woods near SLAC, where animal rescue workers hope it will reunite with its family. Its mother, father, and sibling were seen recently in a stand of trees on the SLAC site.

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