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In this issue:
Around SLAC: LCLS Prepares for Second Run
Cow Brain Protein May Hold Alternative Energy Promise
Richter Launches New Book on Climate Change and Energy

SLAC Today

Tuesday - April 20, 2010

Around SLAC: LCLS Prepares for Second Run

The LCLS X-ray beam. (Click on image for larger version.)

The Linac Coherent Light Source is lasing again. After months of scheduled downtime, the machine started producing free-electron laser light again on Saturday, April 17. The LCLS staff has already successfully tested the laser at three different energies and is now busy prepping for users who will arrive in early May. This image was taken of the X-ray beam 50 meters downstream of the undulator.

Cow Brain Protein May Hold Alternative Energy Promise

Sarah Heilshorn in her lab on the Stanford campus. (Photo by Julie Karceski.)

Of all the ideas that hold promise in alternative energy, cow brains are an odd candidate. They do not fit into the list of usual plant-based subjects, such as corn or switch grass. But cow brains contain an abundance of clathrin, an important protein in cellular biology, regenerative medicine and perhaps even alternative energy.

Sarah Heilshorn of the Stanford Institute of Materials and Energy Science, a joint SLAC and Stanford venture, is interested in investigating the capabilities of this nifty protein in collaboration with SIMES colleagues Nick Melosh, Andy Spakowitz and Seb Doniach. The scientists are curious how clathrin might be used to form nanostructured inorganic materials for applications in batteries and solar cells.  Read more...

Richter Launches New Book on Climate Change and Energy

(Photo Burton Richter)
Nobelist and SLAC Director Emeritus Burton Richter signs a copy of his book at the April 8 event. (Photo courtesy Judy Meo.)

Earlier this month, Nobel laureate and SLAC Director Emeritus Burton Richter launched his new book, Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Climate Change and Energy in the 21st Century, with a celebration and book signing. Appropriately, the event took place at the Menlo Park showroom of high-performance electric car pioneer Tesla Motors.

(Photo courtesy Judy Meo.)

Attendees were treated to snacks, conversation with the author and a few words from Richter about the book and its development. The work is available in hardback and paperback. More information including links to vendors can be found on the book's Web site.

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