News and announcements

This page lists current employment opportunities, summer internships, workshops, summer schools and provides links to various news media.

On-site experiments

Users who are planning to come to SLAC to run their experiments or even to just drop samples, need to be aware of the New SLAC Access and Badging Procedures. Users from foreign countries should also make sure that they have the correct Visa stamp for getting a SLAC badge.

Run Schedule

All beamlines, including BL9-2, are operational and open to users. BL9-2 is equipped with a Pilatus 6M detector, a fast single axis microdiffractometer and an in-situ microspectrophotometer.

The Spear3 operation schedule for the 2015-2016 run is available here. Spear access and Machine Physics days are marked PAMM and AP respectively.

New User Facilities

We have updated the default versions of CCP4 and phenix to 7.0 and 1.10.1-2155 as of May 1st 2016.

It is now possible to stop and delay the beam optimization on BL12-2. This is only recommended if the users are not planning on using any of the microcollimators for data collection within the next few hours.

As of January 2016, we have completed the move to a new file server. To access your data, use the generic directory path /data/'username'. Note: Some software GUIs store the explicit file path, so that older projects or files can no longer be found. In many cases, you just need to replace the initial part of the path with /data/'username'. In the case of Phenix, a possible fix is to edit the file '*_jobid.eff' found under projectdirectory/phenix/project_data/

Changes to the Blu-Ice interface in the 2015/16 run:

  • The beam size selection widget is shown in the collect tab.
  • By default, Blu-Ice shows the beam transmission instead of the attenuation in the hutch and collect tabs. This is meant to make it easier to calculate changes in attenuation of the beam, as the transmission is directly proportional to the exposure. It is possible to toggle between transmission and attenuation.

Update to the Web-ice strategy: To speed up the calculation, the strategy will only be calculated for the supplied space group. The strategy calculation program (BEST or MOSFLM) is also selected automatically depending on the strategy options selected.

As of March, 2015, it is possible to notify SSRL staff that a group has finished using the beamline earlier via buttons on the Blu-Ice User Tab.

A new version of the NoMachine server is running on both smbnxs1 and smbnxs2. The older versions of the client still work, but the configuration must be changed. We recommend to download the latest version of the client from NoMachine. The detailed instructions to install and configure the client can be found here.

We have implemented a new sample mounting procedure that leaves the robot arm in the sample dewar for up to 20 minutes and "prefetches" the next sample to be while the current sample is on the goniometer. The actual mounting-dismounting cycle depends on the diffractometer, but it is significantly faster than on previous runs. It is down to 25 seconds on BL12-2.

The helical data collection tested during last run is now available to all users. Helical data collection is useful to mitigate radiation damage when the size of the crystal exceeds the maximum size of the beam; for example, for data collection at room temperature from large crystals. In the general case the optimal strategy for data collection is to match the beam size to the crystal dimensions. Fast helical collection with the PAD detector will be released during the user run.

Fast rastering on BL12-2: The crystal is continuously translated without stopping for image collection.

A script called multiscale is now available to merge several data set processed with autoxds. The script reads in the integrated intensity mtz files from the directories generated by autoxds, runs POINTLESS to ensure consistent indexing and scales and merges the data with AIMLESS. The script can also be optionally used to analyze the isomorphism of the data sets by using the program BLEND.