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In this issue:
Protecting Against DNA Invasion
Profile Today: A Spritely Old Car
LoopFest Wraps Up
New Addition to Career Development Program

SLAC Today

Wednesday - June 21, 2006

The structure of the protein named C.BclI has been determined at SSRL. (Click on image for larger version.)

Protecting Against DNA Invasion

X-ray studies conducted at SSRL have shed light on a sword-and-shield type of defense used by bacteria to protect themselves from viral attacks. This new knowledge could prove significant to medical research on human cancers caused by a similar defense mechanism gone awry.

Researchers from the City of Hope cancer research and treatment center in Duarte, California, determined the crystal structure of the protein that controls this defense system in bacteria called Bacillus caldolyticus. Unless stopped, viral DNA slips into bacterial DNA, where it gets copied many times over, and then destroys its host.  Read more...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

A Spritely Old Car

(Photo - Williams and Parish) SLAC's Sunnie Parish and Steve Williams are the two consecutive owners of this Austin-Healy Sprite. (Click on image for larger version.)

Sprite's its name, christened by the chaps at British Motorcar Corporation. But it's better known to SLAC Financial Analyst Sunnie Parish as Little Bit.

Sunnie spent the summer of 1966 in London and envisioned herself tooling about on a Vespa scooter. Her father, who had some say in the matter, considered zipping along the crooked streets of Covent Garden on such a contraption as appealing as dislodging a tooth. Sensible man. He insisted she go for the likes of a sparkly new Austin-Healy Sprite convertible sports car instead.

The car, with its plucky 1098 cc engine, was waiting for her when she arrived in London. Tiny thing that it is, Sunnie's friends took to hauling it about as a lark. One morning, Sunnie wandered down from her room to find that her friends had toted the car into the lobby.

Shenanigans aside, the green Sprite delivered her safely—and in style—to Brands Hatch for the Grand Prix. Another time, with two passengers perched on its minuscule trunk, the car lumbered to Brighton with all four travelers caterwauling Yellow Submarine. Read more...

LoopFest Wraps Up

(Photo - LoopFest) (Click on image for larger version.)

Fifty experts in higher-order calculations from countries including Switzerland, England, Germany, Austria and Italy tore themselves away from the World Cup and gathered this week at SLAC to present theoretical methods and results to help optimize the physics output from high-energy colliders. Originally focused on the International Linear Collider, LoopFest has grown to include projects involving the Tevatron and Large Hadron Collider. The conference wraps up today.

New Addition to Career Development Program

Benefits-eligible Stanford staff can now work confidentially with a career counselor on their career development and use up to $400 of their Staff Training Assistance Program (STAP) funds, without supervisory approval, to pay for the career counseling sessions. For staff to use their STAP funds, they must see a career counselor in the COMPASS Career Counselor Network (CCN).

This pilot program, which runs through November 30, is intended to increase staff retention and career mobility at Stanford by providing the opportunity for staff to receive individual assistance with their career development from independent, confidential career counselors. Click here to see a list of counselors and information on the payment/reimbursement process.

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