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In this issue:
A Beamline is Born
Science Today: Helping Red Blood Cells Get Their Iron
Dehmer, Kovar Receive Presidential Awards
SLAC Training Calendar Launched

SLAC Today

Thursday - October 9, 2008

A Beamline is Born

(Photo - Beaamline 13-1)
The vacuum chamber at branch line 13‑1 houses the new scanning X-ray spectro-microscope, used to study the mechanics of magnetism. (Photo by Brad Plummer. Click for larger image.)

Synchrotron scientists are accustomed to shuffling equipment around the lab, moving detectors and experimental chambers as needed for different experiments. One recent move at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory took the idea a step further, relocating most of Beamline 5 to create an entirely new experimental facility, the dedicated soft X-ray Beamline 13.

The new Beamline 13 enables a variety of spectroscopic and imaging techniques using soft X-rays, which have a longer wavelength than "hard" X-rays and occupy the lower half of the X-ray energy spectrum. Two Beamline 13 branch lines started operation in late 2007. Now, at the start of the new beamline's second season, the final pieces are coming together, with an additional branch line set to enter service.  Read more...

(Daily Column - Science Today)

Helping Red Blood Cells Get Their Iron

(Image - Steap3 protein domain structure)
Structure of a portion of the Steap3 protein that helps red blood cells acquire iron. (Image courtesy of Montana State University.)

Iron plays an integral role in many biochemical processes essential for life. Now, working in part at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory's Beamline 9-2, a team of researchers led by Martin Lawrence from Montana State University has solved the structure of a protein critical to importing iron into cells. The results were published in the May 27 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In humans, iron is found  predominantly in hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component in red blood cells. As the cells mature, they incorporate iron into hemoglobin, with the help of a protein called Steap3.

In the current study, the team solved the structure of a portion of Steap3 that is responsible for changing the oxidation state of iron from 3+ to 2+. This step makes it possible for iron to enter the maturing cells. Understanding the unique structure of this segment of Steap3 could help researchers target drugs to specific aspects of disease and minimize side effects. 

For more details, read the press release and SSRL scientific highlight.

Dehmer, Kovar Receive Presidential Awards

Wednesday, the Department of Energy's Deputy Director for Science Programs Patricia Dehmer and Associate Director of Science for High Energy Physics Dennis Kovar received recognition for outstanding leadership, with 2008 Presidential Rank Awards. Kovar was named among the Distinguished Senior Professionals and Executives. Dehmer was named among the Meritorious Executives and Senior Professionals. Congratulations to both!

SLAC Training Calendar Launched

(Image - SLAC Training Calendar)
The SLAC Training Calendar.

SLAC has a new, site-wide calendar for training courses and events. This new resource provides a one-stop resource for internal training at a glance. Each item in the calendar links to course details, contact information and registration. The calendar is accessible with a SLAC login or from within the SLAC intranet.

Starting today, links to the calendar and training registration are available in SLAC Today, under Training in the right-hand column.

Special thanks are extended to Paul Bloom of Environment, Safety and Health, and Venkata Samineni of Scientific Computing and Computer Services for their collaborative efforts in creating the online calendar.

For more information and to post training events, please contact Charlotte Carlson (x2265) or Lauren Barbieri (x2354).

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