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ALSNews Vol. 356 Print
Monday, 25 August 2014 11:33

Infrared Mapping Helps Optimize Catalytic Reactions

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A pathway to more effective and efficient synthesis of pharmaceuticals and other flow-reactor chemical products has been opened by a study in which, for the first time, the catalytic reactivity inside a microreactor was mapped in high resolution from start to finish. Read more...

Contacts: Gabor Somorjai and Dean Toste

Validating Computer-Designed Proteins for Vaccines

Computationally designed proteins that accurately mimic key viral structures can help produce better vaccines. The resulting protein structures, validated at the ALS, encourage the further development of this strategy for a variety of vaccine targets, including HIV and influenza. Read more...

Contact: William Schief

Iron is Key to Preserving Dinosaur Soft Tissue

Researchers studying organic material from dinosaur bones have been able to show that the organic material in the samples contained original soft tissue material from Mesozoic dinosaurs. The x-ray techniques at the ALS were key to showing a possible mechanism for this unexpected preservation--iron nanoparticles associated with dinosaur blood vessels were identified at the ALS. Read more...

Contact: Mary Schweitzer

Ringleader: Monroe Thomas, Mechanical Technician

Monroe Thomas has been a part of the ALS "mech tech" team for the past 14 years and is the point person for all critical equipment and endstation moves. It's his reliability operating cranes and supervising moves of heavy equipment around the ALS that plays an integral role in keeping the facility going. Read more about why he's the person to call when something big needs to be moved...


Student UEC Member Goes Above and Beyond

As the student representative to the ALS Users' Executive Committee (UEC) for the past two years, Mahati Chintapalli has gained a better understanding of how the ALS functions as an organization, while the UEC has gained a devoted and outgoing member. Read about Mahati's scientific work and her contributions to the UEC.

Call for General User Proposals: Deadline September 3

The User Office is accepting new General User Proposals (GUPs) from scientists who wish to conduct research at the ALS in the January - June 2015 cycle.


Users need to log in to ALSHub to submit a new GUP or to make a Beam Time Request (BTR) for an existing active proposal. Read more about GUPs, how to apply for beamtime, maintaining an active proposal, and RAPIDD access proposals.

ALSHub: We Need Your Feedback!

The ALS User Office rolled out ALSHub, a new user portal, five months ago, but many users will be trying it for the first time when they submit General User Proposals for the September 3 deadline (see above). We are asking users to provide feedback on the new portal and let us know what works, what doesn't, and what changes and/or additions they would like to see implemented. Read about some of the recent changes to ALSHub and how they may affect proposal submissions (in a good way!)...

Around the ALS in Photos: A Passion for Science

Berkeley Lab and the ALS get lots of requests for specialized tours from scientists, VIPs, and the general public. But we have never received a request on behalf of a four-year-old boy who is fascinated with chemistry, has memorized the periodic table, and sports Tom Lehrer glasses when immersed in science. So, how could the request be refused? See the photos of his grand scientific adventure at Berkeley Lab and the ALS...

Events: 2014 ALS User Meeting: Register Now

Registration is now open for this year's user meeting. Visit the user meeting website to view the draft agenda and the list of thirteen planned workshops. Information about accommodation and the opportunity to nominate colleagues for scientific, technical, and user support awards is also available. Find out more...

UEC Corner

2014 ALS User Meeting and User Satisfaction Survey Request for Input

The 2014 ALS User Meeting is only a month and a half away, October 6-8th!  The meeting agenda will include a Town Hall Meeting where users can come with comments and questions for the UEC and ALS management. Students are encouraged to submit posters and participate in the poster slam to showcase their research for a chance to win the newly named Neville Smith Poster Award. Deadline for the poster award submission is September 22.


One of the tasks underway as a result of the last UEC meeting is a redesign of the ALS User Satisfaction Survey. Users with comments or suggestions on how to increase the effectiveness of this survey please contact the UEC ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). The next UEC meeting will be on September 4th, and as always, we are interested in hearing your experiences, thoughts, or concerns.


Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Operations Update

For the user runs from July 23 to August 17, 2014, (including two weeks of two-bunch user operations) the beam reliability [(time scheduled - time lost)/time scheduled)] was 95.9%. For this period, the mean time between failures (MTBF) was 25.4 hours, and the mean time to recovery (MTTR) was 70 minutes. There were no significant interruptions.

Detailed information on reliability is available on the ALS reliability bulletin board, which is located in the hallway between the ALS and the control room in Building 80. Questions about beam reliability should be directed to Dave Richardson ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , x4376).


Long-term and weekly operations schedules are available online. Requests for special operations use of the "scrubbing" shift should be sent to  ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) by 1:00 p.m. Friday. The ring status can be seen in real time at

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