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In this issue:
Stanford Chemist Receives Nobel for Work Conducted at SSRL
Profile Today: Tim Miller
Photo: Soccer at SLAC
History Channel to Feature Archimedes Research Tonight

SLAC Today

Wednesday - October 4, 2006

(Photo - Roger Kornberg)
Roger Kornberg

Stanford Chemist Receives Nobel
for Work Conducted in Part at SSRL

Congratulations to Stanford Professor Roger D. Kornberg, who has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for resolving the machinery that gives voice to DNA. Kornberg carried out a significant part of the research contributing to this prize at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL).

In order for our bodies to make use of the information stored in the genes, a copy must first be made and transferred to the outer parts of the cells. There it is used as an instruction for protein production—it is the proteins that in their turn actually construct the organism and its function. The copying process is called transcription. Roger Kornberg was the first to create an actual picture of how transcription works at a molecular level in the important group of organisms called eukaryotes (organisms whose cells have a well-defined nucleus). Mammals like ourselves are included in this group, as is ordinary yeast.

Transcription is necessary for all life. This makes the detailed description of the mechanism that Roger Kornberg provides exactly the kind of "most important chemical discovery" referred to by Alfred Nobel in his will.  Read the full press release...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

Tim Miller:
Expanding Horizons

(Image - Tim Miller and Al Ashley)
Tim Miller (left) with Al Ashley.
(Click on image for larger version.)

In his seven years at SLAC, Tim Miller has earned a Research Division Top Performer award, a service award, and a Globie. Now, he can add the Ashley Career Development Fellowship to the list.

"The Ashley Fellowship pretty much tops it," Miller says. The Help Desk supervisor and computing information system analyst was awarded the fellowship this summer after his supervisor encouraged him to apply for it.

Established in 1999 and awarded to one employee each year, the Ashley Fellowship provides financial support to pursue full or part-time coursework, training, projects, or other activities that enhance the employee's career while contributing to SLAC's mission. The fellowship honors Alonzo Ashley, who promoted diversity and career development during 30 years of service at SLAC.  Read more...

Photo: Soccer at SLAC

(Photo - soccer game)
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Yauck.
(Click on image for larger version.)

Stroll by the Green on a weekday afternoon, and chances are you'll catch a soccer game in action. Last Friday's game du jour matched Europe against the rest of the world. Organized by KIPAC visiting physicist Fabio Iocco, the game brought out more than 20 KIPAC members, including Institute Director Roger Blandford. "Everyone was so enthusiastic that we'll have to do it again," said Iocco.

History Channel to Feature Archimedes Research Tonight

Tonight, the History Channel's Modern Marvels series will feature an episode on ink and its crucial role in the development of civilizations.

Figuring prominently in the show will be the Archimedes Palimpsest research that took place at SSRL earlier this year. The show is scheduled to air at 10 p.m. Pacific Time.

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