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ALSNews Vol. 293 Print
Wednesday, 26 November 2008 00:00

In This Issue

The ALS Prepares for DOE Office of Health, Safety, and Security Audit

Structure of the Ebola Virus Glycoprotein Bound to an Antibody from a Human Survivor

UEC Corner: The Election Results Are In!

Call for General User Proposals: Due January 15, 2009

Operations



Bulletin Board

ALS Holiday Schedule



News Links

New Insight into the Controls on a Go-To Enzyme

Hearing Highlights Importance of Basic Research to New Energy Technologies

A Beamline for Magnetic X-ray Microscopy


Mother of Pearl Secret Revealed



More Information

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The ALS Prepares for DOE Office of Health, Safety, and Security Audit

By: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , ALS Division Director; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , ALS EH&S Program Manager

Safety FirstOn Monday, November 17, 2008, the ALS held a division-wide safety stand-down. The day-long event started off with group meetings, which included reviews of training, Job Hazard Questionnaires, and Integrated Safety Management; safety presentations; and discussions of what to expect at the upcoming Health, Safety, and Security (HSS) audit. Time was set aside for "housekeeping," in which ALS employees and users reviewed their work sites and offices for safety compliance. Mock interviews and inspections throughout the day assessed individuals' understanding of their role in safety. All of these events were designed to raise the bar on safety knowledge, awareness and compliance, and kick-start the ALS's preparation for the HSS audit, which will be performed by the HSS Office of Independent Oversight.

The Laboratory-wide audit will take place during the weeks of January 26 through February 6, 2009. There will be a preliminary scoping visit on December 3–4, 2008, and a more intensive planning visit between January 6 and 8, 2009. The audit is part of a review of all DOE labs by the HSS office; Berkeley Lab is the last to be reviewed.

ALS users as well as employees are subject to the audit. The auditors will evaluate both our ability to explain our safety systems and the actual physical controls. ALS users need to demonstrate knowledge of their Experiment Safety Sheets and be able to answer questions about the nature of their work, the hazards associated with that work, any hazard analysis they have conducted, what controls are in place to mitigate or eliminate these hazards, as well as their personal responsibility in this process.

For more information on safety at the ALS, visit the Safety for Users page. If you have any questions about the upcoming audit, please contact the ALS EH&S Program Administrator ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 510-486-5013), or visit the Safety Staff page. For additional information about the audit itself, go to the ISM 2009 Review Web page. In particular, click on the "Information for Divisions" tab to see lists of likely questions ("McCallum-Turner Suggested Questions") and video clips ("Mock ISM Interview" and "Overview of Integrated Safety Management").

Structure of the Ebola Virus Glycoprotein Bound to an Antibody from a Human Survivor

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Ebolavirus, one of two members of the family of filoviruses, causes a severe hemorrhagic fever with 50–90% human mortality. That no vaccines or treatments are yet available combined with the frequent re-emergence of the virus, its high prevalence among wildlife, and ease of importation of the virus make it a significant public health concern. A team of researchers from the Scripps Research Institute, using diffraction data collected at Beamline 5.0.2, has recently determined the crystal structure of an oligomeric glycoprotein from the viral surface in complex with a rare antibody derived from a human survivor. This work explains how the glycoprotein, termed GP, mediates recognition of the host cell, drives fusion of the viral and host membranes (necessary for viral entry into the host), and masks itself from immune surveillance. The structure also explains why antibodies that neutralize the virus are so rare, identifies the very few sites to which a neutralizing antibody might bind, and thus, provides templates for vaccines and antibodies against the virus. Read more...

Deciphering the Ebola Virus

Publication about this research: J.E. Lee, M.L. Fusco, W.B. Oswald, A.J. Hessell, D.R. Burton, and E.O. Saphire, "Structure of the Ebola virus glycoprotein bound to an antibody from a human survivor," Nature 454, 177 (2008).

UEC Corner: Election Results Are In!

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Hendrik OhldagThe 2008 UEC election polls are closed. Congratulations to David Osborn (Combustion Research Facility, Sandia National Laboratories), Chris Jacobsen (Department of Physics and Astronomy, Stony Brook University), and Yayoi Takamura (Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, UC Davis), whom you have elected to represent you on the UEC for the next three years, starting in January 2009. Please join me in sending them a big, warm welcome! Becoming a member of the ALS UEC is an exciting opportunity to work for and advocate on behalf of your fellow colleagues and meet interesting people both within and outside the UEC. This moment is also an excellent opportunity to thank Elke Arenholz, Alessandra Lanzara, and Tony van Buuren, the three UEC members who are leaving the committee after their term expires at the end of 2008. Their contributions, ideas, and hard work have made a significant impact on the UEC over the past three years.

Since this is my last contribution to the ALS news as the chair of the UEC in 2008, I also would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support and your ideas. I have had many conversations with ALS users over the past year regarding UEC issues, and I learned that many of you care deeply about the future of this wonderful facility. The ALS is truly much more than just an instrument that we use to obtain data to advance our careers. It is a place where we come to meet colleagues, discuss ideas, and try to solve scientific puzzles that have a big impact on the world we live in. It is the excitement about the work we do, the people we do it with, and the opportunities that we are given that make this place special. In this spirit, the ALS UEC will, with your help and support, continue to work for you and make sure that the ALS continues to be a lab that we all enjoy coming to. I therefore ask that you give the same support to Kenneth Goldberg, who will take over as UEC chair in 2009, that you gave me and the 2008 UEC.

Thank you all very much. This was an exciting year for me.

Call for General User Proposals: Due January 15, 2009

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

The User Services Office is accepting general user proposals from scientists who wish to conduct research in the general sciences at the ALS during the running period from July through December 2009. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, January 15, 2009. (This deadline does not apply to protein crystallography proposals, which have a separate process and schedule.) To submit a new proposal, go to the ALS online forms page and choose to either begin a new proposal or edit an existing one. The following resources are available for further information:

  • This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • General user proposals
  • Beamline and contact information

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Bulletin Board

ALS Holiday Schedule

ALSNews will be taking the month of December off. We will return in the new year with our January 28, 2009, issue. Have a happy and safe holiday!

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Operations

For the user runs from October 22 to November 16 : Beam reliability*: 93.2%; Completion**: 86.7%.

Questions about beam reliability should be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Requests for special operations use of the "scrubbing" shift should be sent to Rick Bloemhard ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , x4738).

Long-term and weekly operations schedules are available here. View the ring status in real time here.
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*Time delivered/time scheduled
**Percent of scheduled beam delivered without interruption

 
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