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ALSNews Vol. 327 Print
Wednesday, 25 January 2012 00:00

Direct Kinetic Measurements of a Criegee Intermediate
"Criegee intermediates" are elusive molecules that play a pivotal role in atmospheric chemistry and are also byproducts of key combustion reactions. At the Chemical Dynamics Beamline, the reaction rates of one form of Criegee intermediate was directly measured for the first time, with some surprising results. Read more...

Contacts: David Osborn, Craig Taatjes
Structure of DNA-Bound FEN1 Reveals Mechanism of Action
Among the legions of proteins required for DNA replication, the "flap endonuclease" FEN1 plays a key role. An international team of scientists working at the SIBYLS beamline has now solved the structure of human FEN1 bound to DNA, revealing the surprising mechanism behind its speed, accuracy, and versatility. Read more...

Contact: Susan Tsutakawa
NGLS@Noon: Friday, February 3
The next in a series of lunchtime science discussions focusing on scientific opportunities at a next generation light source at Berkeley Lab will be held Friday, February 3, in the User Support Building 15-253. This month's featured talk, "Real-time studies of interfacial electron dynamics using ultrafast x-ray techniques," will be presented by Oliver Gessner (Ultrafast X-Ray Science Lab). Attendees are advised to arrive early as this popular series is routinely filling the room! The talk will also be webcast locally.
New Video Series Features ALS Beamlines
The ALS is proud to announce its new Beamline Highlights video series. Videos produced for this series will showcase the researchers, their science, and the techniques used at beamlines around the ALS. Videos will be accessible via the ALS's YouTube channel, or on each beamline's information page on the ALS Web site.

The first two videos of the series (Beamlines 8.2 and 1.4) are on now online. Keep an eye out for more to be released each month. If you are interested in having a video produced about your beamline, please contact ALS Communications.
ALS "Sampler" Handout Available
In today's fast-paced, info-saturated world, how do you quickly convey what the ALS does and how it can benefit society? A new handout, developed by the ALS Communications Group and Berkeley Lab's Federal Government Relations Office, provides a broad overview of the ALS and a sampling of its science. Share it at meetings, conferences, and symposiums, with guests and colleagues at the Lab, or keep it as a handy reference right at your desk.
ALS in the News: Keep Up with Our News Releases, and Let Us Keep Up with Yours
Visitors to the ALS Web site will notice a new "ALS in the News" section under "Recent Science Highlights" on the main page. In this section, all recent news features and press releases featuring ALS research performed by users and staff will be posted as soon as they are made available, and archived for future reference. All researchers are invited to let the ALS Communications Group know about any upcoming news releases so we can feature them to the widest possible audience. Users are particularly urged to contact us if their home institution is issuing a news release based on research conducted at the ALS.
Winter 2012 Shutdown Update
The new klystron is moved into place by the 30-ton crane and a careful crew.
The first shutdown of 2012 is underway. Numerous maintenance and upgrade projects are being performed, among them the testing and installation of two new Thales klystrons. When the shutdown ends in mid-February, one of these new klystrons will power the ALS while the old one remains in place as a backup. The old klystron will later be replaced with the second Thales tube with the eventual goal of running both simultaneously at partial power.

Steve Rossi, Project and Facility Management Group Leader, members of the SWAMP (Shutdown Work and Maintenance Planning) team, and many others meet daily during the shutdown to discuss the progress of the more than 500 line items that must be completed before the end of the shutdown. These daily meetings are a mix of rigor and congeniality, where everyone checks in and balances work schedules based on each others' progress, and safety implications of all work are reviewed.

The shutdown is from January 3 to February 13, 2012. Regular user operations will resume February 14.
ueccornerUEC Corner
Changes to Active Proposal Structure
I'd like to use my first UEC Corner to thank retiring UEC members, Holly, Chris, and Yayoi for their excellent contributions to the ALS in the last 2-3 years. Also a big thanks to David Osborn who has been a fantastic chair of the UEC for the last two years, leading the UEC to work closely with the ALS on a variety of issues.


Welcome to our new members:
Yuri Suzuki
Peter Nico
Adam Hitchcock
Chris Cappa
Jian Liu (student representative)

Several UEC members have worked with ALS management to agree upon and implement changes for maintaining active proposals. These changes affect the mechanism of score adjustment and are fully described on the ALS web site.

The goals of these changes:

  • Reduce the workload on users and reviewers by eliminating the need to resubmit a similar proposal to continue a program.
  • Allow proposals that fall just below the cutoff to get beam time in the next cycle, thus giving users a chance to get some data before writing a new proposal.
  • Retain fairness in the system.

Contact: Brandy Toner
opsinfoOperations Update
For the user runs from November 17 to December 21, 2011 (the conclusion of user operations for 2011), the beam reliability [(time scheduled - time lost)/time scheduled)] was 97.1%. For this period, the mean time between failures (MTBF) was 38.7 hours, and the mean time to recovery (MTTR) was 76 minutes. On December 2, a series of SRRF crowbar faults and subsequent troubleshooting resulted in a loss of 11.3 hours of user beam time. From January 3 to February 13, 2012, the ALS will be in shutdown for maintenance and upgrade. User runs will resume on Tues, Feb 14.
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
http://www-als.lbl.gov/index.php/beamlines/schedules.html. 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 http://www-als.lbl.gov/index.php/beamlines/beam-status.html.
In This Issue
Direct Kinetic Measurements of a Criegee Intermediate
Structure of DNA-Bound FEN1 Reveals Mechanism of Action
NGLS@Noon: Friday, February 3
New Video Series Features ALS Beamlines
ALS in the News: Keep Up with Our News Releases, and Let Us Keep Up with Yours
Winter 2012 Shutdown Update
Ring Leaders: Director's Address


ringleadersRing Leaders
Director's Address
ALS Director Roger Falcone looks forward to a prosperous year, giving an overview of upcoming construction and research projects, collaborations, and ALS activities. Read the article.
announcementsAnnouncements
Science Cafés
Presenters are needed for the next ALS Science Café, to be held on Tuesday, March 20. If you are interested in presenting, please go to the ALS Science Café Web page.
Rep. George Miller Highlights ALS Tour
Last month, Congressman George Miller visited Berkeley Lab and toured the ALS. He featured his tour in his January 2012 newsletter. A slideshow of his tour is also online.
newslinksNews Links
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