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ALSNews Vol. 372 Print
Tuesday, 10 May 2016 00:00

Copper-based catalysts are widely used in chemical industries to convert water and carbon monoxide to hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methanol. There are theoretical models used to explain this reaction, but a complete understanding of the process has been lacking. However, recent research at the ALS has shed light on the process, giving scientists key data about how copper-based catalysts function at the atomic level. Read more...

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Researchers have used protein crystallography at the ALS to understand how a drug molecule that has shown some efficacy against Ebola in mice inactivates a membrane protein, called TPC1, used by viruses to infect host cells. Watch the video and read more...

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For the past eight years, Hewlett Packard Labs, the central research organization of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, has been using cutting-edge ALS techniques to advance some of their most promising technological research, including vanadium dioxide phase transitions and atomic movement during memristor operation. Read more...
ALS Science Briefs

Driving Skyrmions Along a Racetrack

Researchers have demonstrated the ability to generate stable skyrmion lattices and to drive trains of individual skyrmions by short current pulses along a magnetic racetrack at speeds exceeding 100 m/s, as required for spintronic applications. Read more...

 

Reducing Plant Lignin for Cheaper Biofuels

Scientists have identified and validated a novel approach to reducing lignin in plants by tweaking a key lignin enzyme. Their technique could help lower the cost of converting biomass into carbon-neutral fuels to power cars and other sustainably developed bio-products. Read more...

The Proposal Study Panel (PSP) met on April 15 to oversee and finalize the scoring of General User Proposals for the 2016-2 July-December operating cycle and to make recommendations to the ALS Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) on Approved Program applications. Beam time allocations are completed, and users will be notified by May 13 to view the results by logging in to ALSHub. Read more...

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ALS Role in Best-Ever Views of Mercury Transit View our videos on YouTube
NASA's stunning video of the transit of Mercury across the Sun on Monday, May 9, was made possible in part by work done at the ALS. Regina Soufli and her group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory collaborated with Eric Gullikson of Berkeley Lab's Center for X-Ray Optics and with Reflective X-ray Optics, LLC, on the multilayer mirrors used in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) telescopes of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) mission. The mirrors were calibrated and tested at Beamline 6.3.2 before being launched into space in 2010. Since then, SDO telescopes have been recording solar activity in exquisite spatial, spectral, and temporal resolution 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including Monday's spectacular transit. This project was managed by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and by Lockheed Martin Corporation, for NASA.
On Saturday, April 23, over 200 Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and their troop leaders arrived on the hill for Berkeley Lab's sixth annual Nuclear Science Day. They learned the ABC's of nuclear science from distinguished researchers and participated in a number of exciting and educational activities, including tours of the ALS. See photos of the event in our photo essay.

 

Operations Update

For the user runs from March 23 to May 2, 2016, the beam reliability [(time scheduled - time lost)/time scheduled)] was 97.3%. For this period, the mean time between failures (MTBF) was 33.5 hours, and the mean time to recovery (MTTR) was 63 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 http://www-als.lbl.gov/index.php/beamlines/beam-status.html.

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