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In this issue:
Structural Genomics Research at SSRL Begins Exciting New Chapter
SSRL Reaches Seismic Upgrade Milestone
Open Enrollment Starts Today: Health Reform Brings Changes
Please Keep Off the… Absent Grass
Colloquium Today: Emission Reductions in the Electricity Sector by 2030

SLAC Today

Monday - October 25, 2010

Structural Genomics Research at SSRL Begins Exciting New Chapter

Ashley Deacon loads samples of crystallized proteins into an automated sample mounting system. (Photo by Elizabeth Buchen.)

Thanks to a $37.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, researchers at the Joint Center for Structural Genomics—including a 12-member team at SLAC's Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource—will continue to map the structures of proteins for the next five years.

The funding comes from the third phase of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences' Protein Structure Initiative, called PSI:Biology. Under the first two phases of the initiative, which began in 2000, JCSG contributed more than 1,000 new structures to the Protein Data Bank, a free, publicly available repository of all known protein structures.  Read more...

A collection of improvements, including new roof blocks, anchoring, chilled water pipes and stairway. (Photo by Lori Ann White.)

SSRL Reaches Seismic Upgrade Milestone

Structures at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource are bolstered against earthquakes, thanks to some hard work and funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The work completes the first of two phases in the Recovery-Act-funded seismic upgrades at SSRL, which is located at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Phase I, the Booster to SPEAR Seismic Retrofit Project, was completed on schedule on October 5, during SSRL's scheduled annual shutdown.  Read more...

Open Enrollment Starts Today

Health Reform Brings Changes

The deadline is November 15 for enrolling in, changing or updating medical, dental, vision and life insurance plans and flexible spending accounts. Some prescription drug copayments will increase next year. Employee contributions for some health plans will increase, while others will decrease. Plus, coverage is now available for adult dependent children up to age 26. Read more in the Stanford Report...

Please Keep Off the… Absent Grass

The fences are down, but work continues in the corner of the SLAC Green near Buildings 40 and 42. Until crews have wrapped up the project—including placement of new sod and time for it to settle in—please avoid the dug-up areas, and mind any cones and tape marking off the area from traffic. With your cooperation, the grass will grow green there again soon.

Colloquium Today: Emission Reductions in the Electricity Sector by 2030

High Resolution Modeling of Rapid Decarbonization Scenarios

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This week's colloquium will take place at 4:15 today in Kavli Auditorium, rather than Panofsky Auditorium. UC Berkeley energy researcher James Nelson will present "Emission Reductions in the Electricity Sector by 2030: High Resolution Modeling of Rapid Decarbonization Scenarios." 

Reducing carbon emissions from electricity production is central to greenhouse gas reduction. Exploiting intermittent renewable energy resources such as solar and wind power demands a new class of power system planning models with high time and spatial resolution. SWITCH, a software tool developed at the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at UC Berkeley, is used to analyze capacity expansion in the electricity grid of Western North America under various policy scenarios and hourly operational constraints at minimal cost. Nelson will discuss results from these studies.

Nelson is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemistry and the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley. He currently works in the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory under Professor Daniel Kammen. Nelson coordinates development of the SWITCH model, a capacity expansion and renewable integration model of the electricity grid with high temporal, geographic and technological resolution. His research focuses on the public policy implications of renewable electricity policies as well as the added infrastructure necessary to bring solar and wind electricity up to needed capacities. 

On Monday, November 1, Stanford particle physicist Giorgio Gratta will present "Geology of Neutrinos."


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