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In this issue:
Public Lecture Tonight: Life Redefined
Colloquium Today: Jonathan Dorfan on the Okinawa Institute
Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief "Bento" Sale Monday

SLAC Today

Tuesday - March 22, 2011

Public Lecture Tonight: Life Redefined

(Poster by SLAC Information Management and Portal Services.)

Tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Panofsky Auditorium, researchers Sam Webb of SLAC and Felisa Wolfe-Simon from NASA will present "Life Redefined: Microbes Built with Arsenic." 

Life can survive in many harsh environments, coping with challenges from extreme heat to the presence of deadly chemicals. However, life as we know it has always been based on the same six elements: carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, sulfur and phosphorus. Now it appears that even this rule has an exception.

In the saline and poisonous environment of Mono Lake, researchers have found a bacterium that can grow by incorporating arsenic into its structure in place of phosphorus. X-ray images taken at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource at SLAC reveal that this microbe may even use arsenic as a building block for DNA. Please join us as we describe this discovery, which suggests a fundamental variation in how living cells can work.

The event is free and open to all.

Colloquium Today:
Jonathan Dorfan on the Okinawa Institute

(Image - SLAC Colloquium banner)

Today at 4:15 p.m. in Panofsky Auditorium, SLAC Director Emeritus Jonathan Dorfan will present "Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology: A New International Graduate University."

(Photo: OIST.)

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology is a thriving research center located on the sub-tropical island of Okinawa. In November of this year, a long process comes to a close as OIST officially becomes a fully fledged, PhD-granting graduate university. The OIST Graduate University is a bold departure by Japan from its traditional approach to administering national universities. The language of instruction and administration at OIST is English, and at least half of the faculty, students and research staff will be non-Japanese. Created as a unique entity by an Act of the Japanese Parliament (Diet), the University will be private and self-governing. In today’s colloquium, Dorfan will give a short history of the establishment of OIST, but will focus mainly on the founding precepts, the physical and human assets and the research program.

The colloquium is free and open to all.

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief "Bento" Sale Monday

Monday, March 28, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Kavli patio (west side entrance), you can buy a homemade bento (Japanese lunch box) and curry-rice. We will also have baked goods, so come by for a sweet treat and contribute to relief for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. If you order 10 or more lunches in advance, we can arrange delivery to your office. Check or cash donations are welcome as well, and are tax deductible. The proceeds from the bento sale and your donations will be given to the Red Cross Japan Relief Fund.

If you would like to place an advance bento order, please can fill out the online order form.

There was no major impact to the extended Japanese SLACer family, but we are very concerned about those in Japan with immediate needs and the long term process of Japan's recovery.

Please contact Naomi Nagahashi if you have any questions.

Thank you in advance for your generosity.




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