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ALSNews Vol. 307 Print

In This Issue
ALS Social Media is Here
Structures of the Ribosome in Intermediate States of Ratcheting
Structure Illuminates Mechanism of Fungal Polyketide Cyclization
New Infrared Beamline 5.4, BSISB Facility Open
ALS Controls Upgrade: Meeting the Needs of a Growing Facility
Ring Leaders: Accelerator Operations and Development

RingLeadersRing Leaders
Accelerator Operations and Development
Division Deputy for Accelerator Operations and Development David Robin gives an overview of the Accelerator Physics Group, Accelerator and Floor Operations Sections, and the ALS Procedure Center. Read the Article

Guest House Special
Visiting Berkeley Lab? Book your accommodations at the new Berkeley Lab Guest House, located on site. Through June 2010 there will be discounted rates, no occupancy tax, and free parking; visit the Web site for more information.
VUVX 2010
The 37th International Conference on Vacuum Ultraviolet and X-Ray Physics (VUVX2010) will take place July 11-16, 2010 at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Abstracts and submissions for the student prize (which includes free registration, a presentation during the plenary session, and $1000 prize) are due April 16, 2010. Early registration closes May 14, 2010. For further information please see the conference web site.

WhosintheNews Who's in the News
ALS Visitors - See who visited the ALS this month!

Awards - Lanzara, Ramesh, and Rotenberg

NewsLinks News Links
A Bold New Biology Beamline

Next Generation Light Source Information for Scientists Posted to Internal LBNL Site

Controlling X-Rays With Light: Step Toward Controlling How Matter Behaves

A Search for a Permanent Electron Electric Dipole Moment

Track 30: A Possible Interstellar Dust Particle

Greener Nanomagnets

LLNL Multilayer Mirrors Fly on NASA Solar Mission

LDRD Proposals Emphasizing CC2.0, NGLS Encouraged

Light Source Communicators Tour ALS

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Structures of the Ribosome in Intermediate States of Ratcheting

Using x-ray crystallography, Berkeley Lab and University of California, Berkeley researchers have solved ribosomal structures that provide mechanistic insight into the process of mRNA/tRNA translocation, revealing a choreographed set of discrete movements during ratcheting. This research contributes to the understanding of how some antibiotics inhibit bacterial protein synthesis by interfering with translocation, and will hopefully aid in the design of new antibiotics.  Read Full Highlight

Contact: Jamie Cate and Jack Dunkle

Structure Illuminates Mechanism of Fungal Polyketide Cyclization

Polyketides are synthesized in bacteria and fungi by a protein megacomplex called polyketide synthase (PKS), which is mediated by the enzyme's product template (PT) domain. A long carbon chain is created as an intermediate on the way to a wide variety of ring-shaped bioactive structures. The mechanism for aromatic ring formation from a linear intermediate with high fidelity has remained unclear. To reveal the cyclization mechanism, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, and The Johns Hopkins University solved the structure of the isolated PT domain of the PKS using data from the ALS Beamline 8.2.2 and SSRL Beamline 9-1.  Read Full Highlight

Contact: Sheryl Tsai

New Infrared Beamline 5.4, BSISB Facility Open
The Berkeley Synchrotron Infrared Structural Biology Program (BSISB) opened the doors to its new, premier beamline last week. At the large Beamline 5.4 hutch, located on top of the synchrotron ring, Peter Nico (Earth Sciences Division), Mike Martin, Paul Alivisatos, Roland Hirsch (DOE Biological and Environmental Research Program Manager), Hoi-Ying Holman (BSISB Program Director) and others welcomed attendees to the ribbon cutting ceremony. Speakers gave a brief history of infrared research at the ALS and the inspiration behind the BSISB Program.

BSISB Ribbon CuttingThe new beamline will use synchrotron radiation-based Fourier transform infrared (SR-FTIR) microscopy, a label-free non-invasive molecular technique that couples the high brightness of synchrotron radiation with the high throughput and vast analytical capabilities of FTIR spectrometers. Combining IR with complementary techniques will improve IR studies in fields such as carbon capture and storage, and the study of real-time biochemistry of living cells.

For more information about Beamline 5.4, please see the article in Today at Berkeley Lab, and look for a feature in the Berkeley Lab News Center next month.

ALS Controls Upgrade: Meeting the Needs of a Growing Facility
Software, hardware upgrades will improve beam stability, efficiency.

Users may never notice, but a major controls and instrumentation upgrade is underway at the ALS. The DOE has agreed to provide $2M a year for the next four years to upgrade the
controls system that runs all aspects of the synchrotron from injection to magnets, which will be decentralized and its instrumentation replaced. These improvements will coordinate with recent software upgrades to improve efficiency and "disaster scenario" control.  Read the Full Article

OpsInfoOperations Update
For the user runs from February 9 to March 13, 2010, the beam reliability [(time scheduled - time lost)/time scheduled)] was 97.1%. For this period, the mean time between failures (MTBF) was 29.0 hours, and the mean time to recovery (MTTR) was 57 minutes. There were no significant interruptions.

More 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 on the Web at 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) by 1:00 p.m. Friday. A Web page showing the ring status in real time can be found at

UEC Corner

ALS Users' Meeting Workshop Organizers Needed

Planning for the 2010 ALS Users' Meeting (October 13-15, 2010) is underway. If you have an idea for a workshop topic, or would like to lead a workshop, please contact the co-chairs for this years meeting: Brandy Toner or Hendrik Bluhm.

Check the Users' Meeting Web site periodically for the latest information, as it becomes available.

The UEC members are your representatives to the ALS Management. All users are welcome to contact their UEC representatives to raise issues of concern regarding their own research, or to alert us to issues facing our entire user community.

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