APS User News-at-a-Glance Issue 41: February 27, 2007

Advanced Photon Source,
Argonne National Laboratory



-- Operations budget expected to be restored
-- President's fiscal year 2008 budget is promising

1. Cross-cut Review of Protein Crystallography
2. Current Research Highlights

3. Scientific Advisory Committee--2007 Meeting, New Members
4. "New and Improved" Beamline and Technique Directories Now Available

5. Proposal Deadline Is March 9; Consult System for Proposal Expiration
6. User Meeting Is Now User Week --Web Site Open for Abstracts, Registration

-- George Srajer Heads X-ray Operations and Research

-- User room rate increased slightly to $57.50

Instructions for subscribing, unsubscribing, and submitting info:


Operations Budget Expected to Be Restored
Thank you! Through the advocacy of our user community and the scientific community at large for the importance of large-scale facilities, the Department of Energy's Office of Science and physical sciences in general, we now expect a good outcome to the budget stalemate that put our 2007 operations in jeopardy (see issue 40).

On February 15, President Bush signed a modified continuing resolution permitting the U.S. government to continue the rest of fiscal year (FY) 2007 at FY06 funding levels. However, this resolution included a few select exceptions. One exception added, in effect, about $330 million to the discretionary budget for the Office of Science. That figure is about two thirds of the FY07 increase which the President had originally requested. Although the details of how this money will be allocated among programs and facilities is still to be finalized in the next few weeks, it is very likely that APS will be able to operate normally in run 2007-2.

Unfortunately, it is now too late to reverse the loss of the last week from run 2007-1, which was previously announced. All users who were denied time as a result of that reduction in operating hours will be given priority in run 2007-2. We apologize for this inconvenience.

President's Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Is Promising
There is further good news. President Bush released his FY08 budget in early February. He supports the doubling of the budget for the Office of Science in a decade, as authorized by Congress last year, and the budget includes a 7.8% increase for the Advanced Photon Source. If appropriated, that would lead to an FY08 budget for APS operations of just over $117M, which is more than 22% higher than our funding in FY06. This budget will allow us to operate fully, move towards staffing our beamlines adequately, and carry out needed maintenance and upgrades. Encouraged by our sponsors, we are also submitting a white paper this month to the DOE laying out our R&D plans in support of an Energy Recovery LINAC upgrade to the APS and also developing a proposal for instrumentation of the four remaining sectors at the APS. So after glimpsing dire circumstances, we find ourselves contemplating a heartening future. Thank you again: without your support and involvement, none of this could happen.


1. Cross-cut Review of Protein Crystallography

The fourth in the APS series of cross-cut reviews sponsored by the APS Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), this year's review of protein crystallography pioneered a new review structure.  John Helliwell, APS SAC member and Chair of the review, began the public morning session with an excellent overview presentation entitled "Structural Biology:  The World Scene--What it Means to the APS." This comprehensive talk-- spanning global facilities and user perspectives, with a summary of published long-term strategies--set the stage for the eight presentations that followed, one from each sector hosting research in structural biology.  Presenters were asked to focus their presentations on vision, describing how the particular sector fits into the current scientific structure of the APS, as well as how it fits into the future of the APS and the world scene.  In addition, each speaker presented examples of current research.

Following the presentations, John Helliwell and invited reviewers Sine Larsen (ESRF) and Douglas Ohlendorf ( University of Minnesota ) held a panel discussion, noting specific strengths identified in the presentations and responding to questions from the audience.  Of particular interest were topics such as screening for good-quality crystals in membrane protein research and paths to higher-brilliance x-ray sources.  A poster session held during lunch enabled SAC members, funding agency representatives, audience participants, and speakers to discuss research conducted at each of the beamlines and a more detailed level and meet many of the other beamline staff members.

The afternoon session was closed, with only SAC members, invited reviewers, and one management representative from each structural biology sector in attendance.  Topics ranged from demand for beam time, funding issues, competition worldwide, ease of access for crystallographers, statistics, and most important at present for the APS, the major expansion in available beam time for protein crystallography, with new sectors coming on line complete with canted undulators.  Beamline representatives, SAC members, and reviewers discussed possible solutions to the most pressing issues.  A comprehensive report with recommendations to the APS is being prepared by the Cross-cut Review Committee.  Highlights of this report will be made available shortly.

2. Current Research Highlights

Check out the latest additions to our gallery of science highlights available at http://www.aps.anl.gov/Science/Highlights/, which report on discoveries in these areas: molecular causes of deafness, formation of a depletion layer in water at hydrophobic surfaces, fabrication of conductive nanowire networks, repair of DNA double-strand breaks, ultrainsulating materials, and demonstration of the first x-ray prism.


3. Scientific Advisory Committee--2006 Meeting, New Members

The APS Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) met on January 23-25, 2007, at Argonne . The meeting included two days of informational updates, discussions of the proposed APS upgrade and strategic planning, as well as the formulation of recommendations to the APS on the following: 10 sectors reviewed during 2006, new Letters of Intent to develop beamlines, new undulator proposals, and responses to the 2006 SAC recommendations. In addition, the meeting included one day devoted to a cross-cut review of structural biology at the APS (see separate news item).

During the meeting, Murray Gibson recognized retiring SAC members, thanking them for their major contributions to the APS. J. Michael Rowe and Denis McWhan were recognized not only for their efforts on the SAC since its inception in 2002, but also for their long-time service on the APS Program Evaluation Board (PEB), predecessor to the SAC. Mike Rowe served on both bodies not only as a member, but also as Chair. Also retiring at the end of the SAC meeting were Paul Bertsch (Savannah River Ecological Laboratory), Katherine Faber (Northwestern), and John Helliwell (University of Manchester).

Joining the SAC at the January meeting were new members Patrick Gallagher (NIST), and Wei Yang (NIH). Although their terms did not officially begin until February 1, 2007, they were able to attend this meeting and provide valuable insights. Three more individuals also agreed to participate as SAC members beginning on February 1: Jens Als-Nielsen (Københavns Universitet), Michelle V. Buchanan (Oak Ridge National Laboratory), and Glenn Waychunas (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

Further information about the APS SAC and its members can be found at http://www.aps.anl.gov/About/Committees/Scientific_Advisory_Committee/

4. "New and Improved" Beamline and Technique Directories Now Available

The online directories of APS beamlines and techniques available to General Users have been redesigned to be more informative and functional. Both are available from the Facility menu of the main APS web site, http://www.aps.anl.gov.

In the beamline directory, each beamline has a page that gives a technical overview in the following areas: general capabilities, beam specs, controls and data acquisition, detectors, and additional equipment. Contacts are given for each beamline. Each page can also be generated for printing in a factsheet-type PDF format. (For beamlines not yet participating in the General User Program, information may not be available.)

The techniques directory is based on a matrix of techniques adopted in common for the four light sources operated by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences in the U.S. Department of Energy. It groups available techniques under the broad headings of spectroscopy, scattering, imaging, with more specific topics in each category, and gives links to the pages for the beamlines offering that technique.

Beamlines: http://beam.aps.anl.gov/pls/apsweb/beamline_display_pkg.beamline_dir
Techniques: http://beam.aps.anl.gov/pls/apsweb/beamline_display_pkg.technique_dir
Geographical view of beamlines: http://www.aps.anl.gov/About/Research_Teams/beamline_information.htm


5. Proposal Deadline Is March 9; Consult System for Proposal Expiration

The deadline for General User and Partner User proposals is midnight Chicago time on Friday, March 9. Please ensure that you have access to your proposals well before the deadline. Please note that, with upgrades made in October 2006, the system now indicates the number of shifts remaining on a proposal and whether it has expired.

If you did not submit a proposal for the 2007-1 cycle, please be sure to consult the "New for 2007-1" link given below for information on important changes in the proposal policy and system. Most important, note the change to proposal lifetimes and the introduction of "project" status.

Contact: Meg Vigliocco-Hagen, gu_program@aps.anl.gov
New for 2007-1: http://www.aps.anl.gov/Users/Communication/2007/UN41_new_for_2007-1.html
Story on upgrades, Issue 39: http://www.aps.anl.gov/Users/Communications/User_News/2006/user_news_39.html - 02
Proposal system: http://beam.aps.anl.gov/pls/apsweb/gup0005.start_page

6. Users Meeting Is Now User Week: Web Site Open for Abstracts, Exhibit Registrations

The Users Week 2007 web site is now open for business. Check out  the new scheme for the meeting--it's different this year!

On Monday, May 7, (not Wednesday, please note) a plenary session  kicks off the meeting; Tuesday features facility-specific talks on  x-ray science, neutron science, and electron microscopy; Wednesday  and Thursday are workshops. But, you say, that's not a whole week!  It is--on Thursday through Saturday, May 11-13, the focus is the  users meeting for the Center for Nanoscale Materials. The web site  gives the details--descriptions of the workshops, exhibitor  information, abstract submission forms, and registration.

Workshops are planned on the following topics: intermediate energy  science at the APS, coherent x-ray microscopy, time-resolved  studies, kinetics and dynamics in soft condensed matter, drug  discovery at the APS, frontiers of structure analysis using  powders, in situ studies of interfacial reactivity, hard x-ray  nanoprobe--present and future, nanotomography, synthesis and self- assembly of nanomaterials, and nanoelectronics.

Nominations are still being taken for APS Users Organization Steering Committee; contact a member of the nominating committee: Paul Evans (chair), Simon Billinge, Keith Brister, Barbara Golden, or Ward Smith (see link below for contact info).

Here are the deadlines:

--April 2, Poster abstracts due
--April 10, Registration deadline for non-U.S. citizens without current access badge
--April 22, Housing reservation deadline to obtain meeting rate
--April 30, Registration for all others (without late fee)

Meeting: http://www.aps.anl.gov/Users/Meeting/2007/
APSUO Steering Committee: http://www.aps.anl.gov/About/Committees/APS_Users_Organization/Members/


George Srajer Heads X-ray Operations and Research
After a world-wide search, George Srajer has been named leader of X-ray Operations and Research and Associate Director of the APS X-ray Science Division. George has been at the APS since its earliest days, participating in the construction of the first beam lines on the experimental floor. He led the extraordinarily successful development of magnetic x-ray scattering at sector 4, brought in a diverse and illustrious community of researchers in nanomagnetism, and recently published a remarkably comprehensive review of research in magnetic materials--as well as preview of future opportunities--in this rich field of physics. In recognition of his leadership and the deeper understanding of the nature of magnetic interactions that he has brought to the field, George Srajer received the University of Chicago Distinguished Performance Award in 2003. For the past nine months he has served with distinction as Acting Associate Division Director. The APS will surely benefit greatly from his leadership of this very important area.


Change in Guest House rates
As of February 1, 2007, the single room rate for APS users staying at the Argonne Guest House was raised slightly to $57.50 per night. See the Guest House web site for information on their facilities and reservations: http://www.aps.anl.gov/travel/anlghhome.html.