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The Structural Basis
Life as we know it depends on turning on and off the proper genes at the correct time. This process of gene expression starts when an RNA message is copied from DNA. Scientists have long known that an enzyme called RNA polymerase II plays the central role in this delicate transcription process. But the exact mechanism by which RNA polymerase II selects specific nucleotides and catalyzes the reaction that incorporates them into a growing RNA strand has not been well understood.
Tau Analysis Team to Resume Search for Lepton Flavor Violation
While much of the work at the SLAC B Factory has been on B-meson physics and the study of subtle matter-antimatter asymmetries in the laws of physics, a BaBar team has also been exploiting PEP-II's ability to produce copious quantities of another type of particle, the tau lepton.
ILC to Support Two Complementary Detectors
Over the last year, the ILC Global Design Effort (GDE) has concentrated on developing a complete design and cost estimate for the ILC.
Supersymmetry at Work for Quantum Chromodynamics
We do not have good mathematical tools to understand the long-distance forces that keep quarks confined.
Black Holes made with Silicon
Supermassive black holes existed even when the universe was less than one billion years old, and power some of the most luminous objects in the universe: quasars. But how do they form?
X-Ray Diffraction and the Fight Against Heart Disease
Endovascular stentstubes inserted into arteries to keep them from constrictingmanufactured from superelastic Nitinol represent a major component in the fight against heart disease. However, understanding the stress and strain distributions in such stents, which lead to deformation and fracture, is essential for their prolonged safe use in human arteries.
Particles Spin Mysteriously through the BaBar Detector
Physicists on the BaBar experiment exploit quantum effects every day.
Physicists Discover a New Structure of Cationic Lipid-DNA Complexes for Gene Therapy
Gene therapy is one of the most promising future approaches to fighting disease on the molecular level. By inserting genes into an individual's cells and tissues with a DNA carrier (also known as a vector), this novel medical approach seeks to cure cancers, inherited diseases, cardiovascular diseases and many others.
SLAC ILC Group Achieves Milestone
End Station B these days is the site of the largest International Linear Collider R&D effort at SLAC, the development of the L-band (1.3 GHz) radio frequency (RF) power source.
Subnuclear Scaling, Simplicity and Supersymmetry
Imagine a world which looks exactly the same at every scale, no matter how much you magnify it. A simple representation of this kind of world is a fractal, like the Koch snowflake, which looks the same when magnified by any power of three.
A Hunt for Gravitational Mirages
A recent explosive development in astrophysics research has revealed that 96 percent of the universe is filled by unknown components called dark matter and dark energy. The nature of these dark components is a central problem in modern cosmology. My collaborators and I are tackling the problem by making use of "gravitational mirages."
SSRL and Rocky Flats Plutonium Remediation
The Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS) is an environmental cleanup site located about 16 miles northwest of downtown Denver.
BaBar Searches for Super-Penguins
Can a penguin bring down the reign of the Standard Model of particle physics?
SLAC's LARP Phase II Collimator Program
When Jim Strait of Fermilab gave a seminar at SLAC in 2003 about technical challenges at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) as part of the SLAC Scenarios series, he highlighted the issue of LHC collimation.
The Mystery of the Higgs Particle(s) and Unification
One promising candidate for a theory of physics beyond the Standard Model is Supersymmetric Grand Unification.
Visualizing Dark Matter
Last Tuesday, KIPAC researcher Marusa Bradac asked if it would be possible to create an animation of the collision of two clusters of galaxies.
BaBar Tames the Mischievous Penguin
The BaBar collaboration is studying the phenomenon of "CP violation," Nature's preference of matter over antimatter in the universe. Physicists often illustrate this matter-antimatter asymmetry with the "Unitarity Triangle," a graphical representation of the fundamental processes that lead to CP violation.
Damping Ring for ILC
Surrounded by the beautiful mountains and bay of Vancouver, Canada, the damping ring group made an important decision during the recent International Linear Collider (ILC) Workshop VLCW06.
A Novel Form of Iron
Chemists have synthesized and characterized a new, highly reactive form of iron that promises to deepen our understanding of this important element.
Black Holes and Quantum Gravity
As the leading candidate for a theory of quantum gravity, string theory promises to unify two of the great achievements of twentieth century physics: quantum mechanics and general relativity. In doing so, string theory provides new insights into the physics of gravity at very short distances.
What will the Universe Look Like as Seen by GLAST?
Following its launch in late 2007, the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) will explore the universe using gamma-rays, the most energetic form of light.
BaBar Opens New Windows on Rare Hadronic Final States
Physicists are always on the lookout for the unexpected. BaBar was designed primarily for measurements of B mesons, but by virtue of the excellent luminosity provided by SLAC PEPII, new windows of unplanned physics are being opened.
ANITA Sheds Light in End Station A
Last week, researchers at SLAC's End Station A conducted a series of experiments intended to test NASA's Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA).
ATF2: A Model for Future ILC Collaboration
Last month, just as crews were busy dismantling the decade-old Final Focus Test Beam (FFTB), a group of International Linear Collider (ILC) experts from Asia, Europe and America gathered at SLAC's sister lab in Japan to plan a new facility to take its place.
Dark Matter at High-Energy Colliders
Eighty percent of the matter in the universe is unobserved except for its gravitational effects. Recently Ted Baltz (KIPAC), Marco Battaglia (LBL), Michael Peskin and Tommer Wizansky (SLAC) have described an experimental program that could uncover the nature of this "dark matter."
Revealing the Structure of a Hereditary Disease
X-ray light at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) recently shone on a human enzyme that helps synthesize heme, the iron-containing pigment that helps carry oxygen to all parts of our bodies.
BaBar: Revealing the Nature of New States
After discovering the DsJ states in 2003, which produced a lot of excitement among particle physicists, BaBar scientists are now studying the properties of these new states.
String Theory Searches
for the Standard Model
String theory offers the possibility of a route to the "Theory of Everything." It contains all of the ingredients that we see in nature: quarks, leptons, photons, gluons, and gravity.
A Happy Easter for ILC Ring to Main Linac Team
The team designing the International Linear Collider's Ring to Main Linac (RTML) transfer line was the first of the ILC's "area systems" groups to submit complete specifications for all their beamline magnets.
SSRL: Developing New Ways to Treat Arthritis
In rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease, the immune system overreacts, provoking excessive inflammation. One method of treatment is to inhibit the immune protein that incites inflammation, called tumor necrosis factor (TNF).
KIPAC: Computer Simulations of Pulsars
Many astrophysical environments, particularly those involving strong magnetic fields, are very difficult to model from first principles. In the absence of detailed models astrophysicists resort to drawing such objects as cartoons or "artist's impressions."
The Rarest B Decay
As the PEP-II accelerator creates ever increasing numbers of electron-positron collisions, BaBar experimenters are exploiting the large data sample to search for exceedingly rare particle reactions which could potentially reveal the existence of new spacetime dimensions and symmetries.
Theory Group: Interpreting LHC Data
It is unlikely that there is a single high-energy physicist in the world who is not eagerly awaiting the first results from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
The International Linear Collider (ILC) group at SLAC recently achieved a milestone with the first generation of 1.3 GHz rf power at End Station B.
The Structure of SARS
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) emerged as the first severe and readily transmissible new disease of the 21st century.
KIPAC: The Search for Cosmic Supernova Explosions
Several members of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC)Masao Sako, Roger Romani, Chen Zheng, Roger Blandford and Steve Kahnhave recently joined the Sloan Digital Sky Survey II (SDSS-II) collaboration to participate in a massive search for supernova explosions from the distant universe.
BaBar: Taming Theoretical Errors in a Quark Mixing Parameter
One of the main goals of the BaBar experiment is to make precision measurements of the elements in the quark mixing matrix involving the b quark.
Twin Higgs Models
The high energy community is practically holding its breath in anticipation of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
Toward a Global Effort on ILC Emittance Preservation Studies
The International Linear Collider (ILC) requires ultra-small emittances, or beam sizes, to maintain its high luminosity.
First Look at Key Enzyme's Assembly
SSRL and Stanford scientists, in collaboration with a team from UC Irvine, have gotten the first look into how the metal active center of an the enzyme largely responsible for fertilizing plants is assembled.