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In this issue:
Information about the Layoffs
Science Today: Novel Embrace Of Protein And Metal
SLAC Welcomes New Employees
Symmetry Explains it in 60 Seconds: E=mc2

SLAC Today

Thursday - January 17, 2008

Information about the Layoffs

As you know, this is a difficult time for us at the lab. We have a voluntary layoff program in process and have announced an involuntary program. The Human Resources Department plans to notify staff of the involuntary layoffs during the first part of February. This notification process will occur over a several day period; each directorate or department head will be given exact notification dates in advance.

Human Resources has had several requests for additional information that may be useful to staff who are laid off—either voluntarily or involuntarily.

To address this need, we have established a website devoted to layoff-related information. There you will find the policies and bargaining unit contract language which guide layoff decisions, determine the amount of severance to be paid and govern the post-layoff hiring preferences accorded to staff who are laid off. Also posted to the website are FAQ documents related to both the voluntary and involuntary layoff programs. There is no difference in benefits or severance pay between the two programs; the only difference is the personal choice that the volunteers made to leave the lab.  Read more...

(Daily Column - Science Today)

Novel Embrace Of Protein And Metal

The bacterial copper-trafficking protein CusF. (Image courtesy of Chemical and Engineering News.)

Last week, Chemical and Engineering News published an online article relating to two papers reporting on x-ray diffraction research conducted in part at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory. The text of that article is reprinted here.

A copper-trafficking protein has been found to have a unique type of metal-binding mechanism that may ease copper release.

A team led by chemistry professor Thomas V. O'Halloran of Northwestern University reports that the bacterial copper-trafficking protein CusF binds copper via a strong cation-π interaction between Cu(I) and a key tryptophan. Proteins usually bind metals through covalent interactions. 

Read more in Chemical and Engineering News...

Purchasing: Blanket Order Agreements Now Available Online

SLAC's Purchasing Department has now made available a listing of the lab's most commonly used Blanket Order Agreements (BOAs) on the department's homepage.

Interested individuals should contact the individual buyer if you want to have access to the order and become an authorized user of the BOA. The BOA is a rapid purchasing technique that avoids the need to submit a requisition through the Purchasing Department. The listing includes a record of all commodities and services organized by its assigned buyer and will be updated periodically. The webpage also contains information about how to use a blanket purchase order for those who are not familiar with the process.

If you have any questions about BOAs, please contact Bob Todaro at x2425.


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