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In this issue:
Researchers Reconstruct Complete Protein Network
SLAC Run and Walk Coming November 19
Around SLAC: Fire Safety

SLAC Today

Tuesday - October 13, 2009

Researchers Reconstruct Complete Protein Network

(Image - structure of two Thermotoga proteins
Two proteins from the central metabolic network of Thermotoga maritima. (Image courtesy JCSG.)

Researchers at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource have helped resolve the structures of 73 proteins involved in the metabolic processes of Thermotoga maritima, a heat-loving bacterium found in deep-sea thermal vents. The work is part of a larger study conducted by the Joint Center for Structural Genomics and collaborators to reconstruct the organism's central metabolic network—a complex system that encompasses more than 478 different proteins. Published in the September 18 issue of Science, the study is the most comprehensive of its kind ever completed. The results could help explain how metabolic networks evolve, and could help drive further research in both medicine and energy science.

After screening the samples, researchers used the SSRL protein crystallography beam to create X-ray diffraction patterns of the crystallized proteins. Analyzing the patterns, they were able to determine each protein's three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research then combined the SSRL data with 358 protein structures determined using computer modeling techniques, creating a map of how the different proteins interact with other molecules.

"We have complete coverage for all the pathways that perform all of the organism's essential functions," said SSRL Senior Staff Scientist Ashley Deacon, core leader for the JCSG Structure Determination Core.  Read more...

SLAC Run and Walk Coming November 19

(Photo - 2008 SLAC Run and Walk winners)
Winners of the 2008 SLAC Run and Walk. (Photo by Kelen Tuttle.)

The 38th annual SLAC Run and Walk will take place on Thursday, November 19. Registration and T-shirt sales begin at 11:45 a.m. on the north side of the Klystron Gallery at Sector 30. Pre-registration is not required. The run itself starts at 12:05 p.m. sharp.

Runners will compete on the usual 3.8-mile track, starting on the linac’s south side, going around the end of the Klystron Gallery and finishing on the north side near sector 30. The top three finishers will receive prizes. The noncompetitive walk event covers a two-mile course, which takes a shortcut through the Klystron Gallery at door 14.4.

Participants include both SLAC employees and non-employees, as long as a person with a SLAC ID will sponsor them. To sponsor someone, fill out the SLAC ID Request Form in advance.

Each year, the SLAC Run and Walk committee designs a new T-shirt, which can be bought for around $12. All sizes are available but you should pre-order to reserve your size. A gallery of T-shirt designs from every year since 1983 is available in the run Web site under T-shirt Design, A History.

Volunteers are always welcome and are offered one shirt at half price as thanks for their participation. Please contact the committee for volunteer opportunities.

Results and more photos from last year are available online.

(Photo - fire extinguisher training class)
Lance Lougee instructs participants in proper use of a portable fire extinguisher as part of the ES&H Fire Extinguishing Training Course. (Photo by Lauren Knoche.)

Around SLAC:
Fire Safety

Fifteen SLAC employees received hands-on training last Tuesday, September 29, in fire extinguisher use. The Environment, Safety and Health course is mandatory for SLAC employees who perform work with increased risk of fire such as welding, metal cutting and heating. Participants learned which type of fire extinguisher is appropriate to fight paper, electrical and grease fires. Participants also took turns dousing flames controlled by ES&H employee and course leader Lance Lougée.

"It's basically a barbeque with no legs," he said of the new contraption—a commercial live fire training device—used to contain the practice fire. It won't be used for any grilling, but it will help protect the lab by better preparing employees to respond to fires. "Live fire training is back at SLAC!" Lougée said.

Fire Extinguisher Training courses are offered every month at SLAC. If you are due for retraining or would like to know more about fire safety, see the Course 108 Web page for dates and registration.

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