APS User News
Issue 75, November 30, 2011



-- APSUO Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award Nominations Now Accepted
-- Call for APS Workshop Ideas and APS Invited Speaker Suggestions--Due January 9, 2012!
-- Small-angle Scattering Short Course 2012: Beyond RG, March 17-21, 2012
-- Tab Talk: Tips for Successfully Completing the ESAF
-- 2011-2012 Laboratory Holiday Gate Closure Schedule
-- Safety Snippets: Laboratory Safety = Good Science

-- DCS@APS: Dynamic Compression Sector User Workshop, January 19-20, 2012
-- European XFEL Users’ Meeting at DESY, Hamburg, Germany, January 25–27, 2012
-- Fundamental Physics of Ferroelectrics and Related Materials 2012 Workshop, January 29-February 1, 2012
-- International Workshop on Uranium Biogeochemistry: Transformations and Applications, March 11-16, 2012
-- Next General User Proposal Deadline is March 9, 2012
Instructions for subscribing, unsubscribing, and submitting info

While the APS attracts more than 4,000 users each year in all fields of science, the largest fraction of users (almost half) carry out research in the life sciences area. To provide a stronger linkage with the life sciences community, the appointment of a Senior Advisor for Life Sciences at the APS ("SALSA") has been recommended by APS review committees and has been a priority over the last year. Furthermore, ongoing preparations for a major upgrade to the APS require strategic decisions that will benefit from the advice provided by an expert in this field. Following the recommendation of a search committee composed of APS management and users, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Prof. Keith Moffat of the University of Chicago to this position.

Prof. Moffat is a long-time leader in life sciences at x-ray synchrotrons and a pioneer of time-resolved x-ray studies. He received his undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Edinburgh, and his Ph.D. in protein crystallography from the University of Cambridge. As a professor at Cornell University, he developed MacCHESS, which was among the world's first synchrotron facilities to serve structural biologists. He moved to the University of Chicago in 1990, where he is the Louis Block Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and a founding member of the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics. Prof. Moffat is the Principal Investigator for the BioCARS team at sector 14 of the APS, the structural biology component of the interdisciplinary University of Chicago’s Consortium for Advanced Radiation Sources, which he directed from 1993 to 2000. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2011 Patterson Award of the American Crystallographic Association.

Prof. Moffat's responsibilities as our "SALSA" will include:

  • Providing advice to APS management on the priorities, challenges, and future directions of the life sciences community at the APS.
  • Coordinating the development of a strategy for life sciences facilities and policies at the APS in the context of the APS Upgrade project that will foster and stimulate world-class achievements.
  • Interacting with life science advisors and senior staff at other synchrotron facilities.
  • Working with groups within the life sciences community to advocate for funding.

Please welcome Prof. Moffat as he takes on these new responsibilities, which open a stronger relationship between APS and the life sciences community and a new era in the growth of this critical area.

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APSUO Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award Nominations Now Accepted
Do you know a promising young scientist who should be recognized? If so, consider submitting a nomination for the 2012 APS Users Organization Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award. This will be the fifth Franklin award presented, and the 2012 winner will be recognized at the 2012 APS/CNM/EMC Users Meeting, May 7-9, 2012. The deadline for receipt of complete nominations is February 17, 2012. The award winner will be notified no later than March 23, 2012.

This biannual award was established in 2004 to recognize an important scientific or technical achievement by a young investigator (within two years of his or her Ph.D. degree) accomplished at or strongly beneficial to the APS. The award consists of a plaque and $1000. The award recipient will also be asked to present a 20-minute lecture on his or her research at the APS/CNM/EMC Users Meeting. The award was named for Rosalind Franklin, who in the 1950s when she was in her early thirties, performed the x-ray crystallographic studies of DNA that were a critical contribution to the solution of the molecule's structure. More information about this award and the four previous winners (Alexis Templeton, Wendy Mao, Oleg G. Shpyrko, and Rafael Jaramillo) can be found here. Nominations for this award should be made on-line by the nominator, who will be responsible for collecting information from the nominee as well as supporting letters. For further information, click here.

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Call for APS Workshop Ideas and APS Invited Speaker Suggestions--Due January 9, 2012!
The 2012 APS/CNM/EMC Users Meeting is scheduled for May 7-10, 2012. The APS Users Organization (APSUO) Steering Committee is now calling for suggestions for APS plenary session speakers and proposals for APS-specific workshops. These proposals should be no more than one page long and include a description of the workshop's scientific or technical focus, a list of suggested speakers (it need not be a final list), and the names of at least two workshop organizers.

Funds will be available to help cover costs associated with workshop organization, but identification of other support would be useful. The workshop schedule will be announced after the first APSUO Steering Committee meeting of 2012.

This combined meeting is being held the second week in May (one week later than last year) and includes the user communities of the Advanced Photon Source, Center for Nanoscale Materials, and the Electron Microscopy Center. The general meeting schedule is as follows:

Monday, May 7:
Opening Plenary Session (morning)
Three Parallel Facility Plenary Sessions (afternoon)
Conference Banquet and Social Event (evening)

Tuesday, May 8:
Three Cross-facility Thematic Workshops, co-chaired by representatives from each of the three facilities (all day)
Poster Session and Reception (evening)

Wednesday, May 9:
Parallel Facility-specific Workshops (all day)

Thursday, May 10:
CNM Short Courses (all day)

More details about this exciting conference will be coming soon! Please send all APS invited speaker suggestions to Matthew Miller (mpm4@cornell.edu) and Robert Suter (suter@cmu.edu), and submit APS workshop proposals to Lahsen Assoufid (assoufid@aps.anl.gov), Jeremy Kropf (kropf@anl.gov), or Alec Sandy (asandy@aps.anl.gov) no later than January 9, 2012.

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Small-angle Scattering Short Course 2012: Beyond RG, March 17-21, 2012
Postdoctoral or higher level participants are invited to register for "Beyond RG," the 2012 Small-angle Scattering Short Course that will be held at the Advanced Photon Source March 17-21, 2012. The course is intended to provide attendees with a better understanding of the theory and technique behind small-angle scattering and grazing-incidence small-angle scattering at the APS. The course includes both a hands-on experiment session and a lecture component. There is no fee for registration and the number of attendees is limited to 25. Please visit the short course web site at http://small-angle.aps.anl.gov for full details. Contact Rachel Reed in the APS User Office with any questions, rreed@aps.anl.gov.

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Tab Talk: Tips for Successfully Completing the ESAF
This is part two of a two-part article all about the APS web-based ESAF system. Here are some useful tips for each of the ESAF tabs that will help you complete the form accurately and quickly. The more complete the information in your ESAF, the fewer questions that will have to be answered after submission to help with the safety review, so be sure to complete all tabs that are visible.

The General tab: used to gather basic administrative information for the experiment. 

  • If the ESAF is being created from a Beam Time Request (or BTR) submitted through the General User Proposal System (or GUP), information such as sector number, experiment title, and more will be filled in automatically for you using information provided in the proposal.
  • If your work is proprietary, use the checkbox at the bottom of the page to indicate. A pop-up window will request the account number for beam time charges.

The Experimenters tab: collects information about the group that will be participating in the experiment.

  • List the Principal Investigator for the experiment in the first row and all other experimenters in following rows.
  • One person should be designated as the On-site Spokesperson (using the OS check box) to simplify communication.
  • Use the “Find” link in the experimenters table to automatically upload badge number, contact information, and training status for each member of the experiment team into the ESAF. This link allows you to search the APS User Database for a person by last name. The list of experimenters can be updated at any time without changing the approval status of the ESAF.
  • Choose the proper User Type for each experimenter. Training requirements are determined based on the User Type field. 
  • When an experimenter is identified, his or her APS training status is displayed in the table. A training date shown in red means that training for that class will be expired during the visit and the user will be required to take the indicated class(es) prior to working. If no date is visible for a course, it means the course has never been taken and must be completed prior to any work. Users must be current in all required training before the ESAF will be approved. Training can be completed remotely on the APS training web site.
  • Can’t find one of your experimenters in the database? Make sure that all of your experimenters are registered in advance with the APS User Office and have been given a badge number.

The Description tab:

  • Choose the x-ray station you will be using and start/end dates/times if known.
  • Attach relevant files that provide a good, thorough description of the experiment that you’ll perform. Remember, APS reviewers do not work in your laboratory and may not be familiar with the work you want to do.
  • If you will be studying proteins, remember to give the expression system used.
  • If you’ll be using the chemistry laboratory associated with the beamline, provide a clear description of the work you want to do in the lab.
  • Caution: At present, the system does not offer the option to delete an attached file.

The Materials tab: Used to collect the identity of materials used, information about the hazards they may present, waste disposal considerations, and beamline laboratory usage. 

  • List all materials and samples that will be used for your experiment (including those needed for any sample preparation activities) using proper chemical names, not acronyms. If the Chemical Abstract Services (CAS) number for the material is known, provide that as well. This information can assist in the hazard review process.
  • Properly identify the hazards associated with your materials/samples (e.g., toxic, biohazard, flammable, radioactive, carcinogen, corrosive, oxidizer, etc.)
  • If you indicate you will be using the beamline's laboratory facilities, radioactive materials, human materials, or regulated soils, additional tabs will become visible that will need to be completed.
  • Radioactive materials and all experiments using human tissues/materials/cell lines require additional review—please be sure to allow extra time for these review processes.

The Equipment tab: List the all equipment that you will use. This includes both equipment that belongs to the beamline and that you will bring to use for your experiment.

The Requirements tab: A view-only screen that lists a set of requirements for your experiment based on the information you have provided. This screen cannot be edited by users. 

The Comments Summary tab:  A summary of comments added by the beamline or APS staff during the safety review.

WARNING: If you log out of a draft ESAF without clicking the "Save" button, some changes may be lost. ESAFs need to be submitted at least seven days in advance of the work. If your experiment involves higher risk hazards, contact the beamline and APS staff well in advance of your scheduled start date. For any questions about the ESAF system or experiment safety at the APS, please contact Bruce Glagola (glagola@aps.anl.gov) or Nena Moonier (nmoonier@aps.anl.gov). You can read the companion article to this here.

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2011-2012 Laboratory Holiday Gate Closure Schedule


Main Gate

West Gate

East Gate

December 23

OPEN 24 hours

6:00 a.m.-6:00 pm


Saturday - Monday December 24-26

OPEN 24 hours



Tuesday - Friday
December 27-30

OPEN 24 hours

6:00 a.m.-6:00 pm


Saturday - Monday December 31-January 2

OPEN 24 hours



January 3

Laboratory resumes normal operations.

The official 2011-2012 Laboratory holiday dates are:
Christmas Eve: Friday, December 23
Christmas Day: Monday, December 26
New Year's Eve: Friday, December 30
New Year’s Day: Monday, January 2

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Safety Snippets: Laboratory Safety = Good Science
Experimenters prepare samples and perform tests, reactions, and analyses for research projects. They work with chemicals and glassware as well as manual and automatic laboratory equipment. In addition to all these materials, safety in the laboratory should also be a known quantity.

Dress for safety in the laboratory. Wear long pants and long sleeves or a lab coat to protect yourself. Avoid open-toed and woven shoes that could allow or absorb a chemical splash on your feet.

Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the materials and chemicals you use. Read Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and follow the PPE guidelines. Generally, safety glasses with side shields are adequate for laboratory use. Where there is a danger of splashing chemicals, goggles are required. When using strong caustics or acids, a face shield and glasses may be appropriate. Choose your gloves based on the materials you use. Butyl rubber gloves work for aromatic and halogenated hydrocarbons, ketones, and inorganic solvents. Natural rubber, neoprene, or nitrile gloves work for concentrated acids and alkalis and organic solvents. Check the glove compatibility chart to ensure that you have the right glove material for the chemical(s) you are using. Use insulated gloves made of leather or Nomex when handling hot objects and cryogenic gloves when working with very cold or cryogenic materials. Inspect your gloves for tears or perforations before each use. Discard and replace gloves when they become overly dirty, worn, or contaminated.

Use chemical fume hoods to minimize exposure to fumes, mists, and vapors in the laboratory. Always use mechanical devices for pipetting procedures; never use mouth suction. Never eat, drink, or smoke in the laboratory. Maintain good housekeeping and hygiene in the lab. Do not drink from the laboratory sinks or out of laboratory glassware or store food in lab refrigerators. Wash your hands frequently while in the laboratory and always before leaving, eating, or smoking.
Practice good laboratory ergonomics. Repetitive motions and procedures can lead to injuries over time; take frequent breaks and try to rotate tasks. To avoid contact stress, don’t rest your arms against a sharp or hard work surface. Use ergonomic pipetting equipment that requires less pressure from the thumb or a finger to activate it. Keep your materials and tools close to you in order to reduce reaches.

Safety in the laboratory makes good science!

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-- DCS@APS: Dynamic Compression Sector User Workshop, January 19-20, 2012
The Dynamic Compression Sector User Workshop will be held January 19-20, 2012, at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory. Please visit the web site at http://dcs-aps.wsu.edu/ for further information and on-line registration.

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-- European XFEL Users’ Meeting at DESY, Hamburg, Germany, January 25–27, 2012
The European XFEL Users' Meeting 2012 will be held at DESY Hamburg on January 25-27, 2012. The meeting will be organized jointly with the HASYLAB Users' Meeting 2012. The European XFEL Users’ Meeting is an annual opportunity to strengthen the interaction between the European XFEL project and the scientific user community. The program includes plenary sessions of the European XFEL and HASYLAB, a poster session, satellite meetings and workshops, the HASYLAB Users' Meeting 2012, and more. The organizers are pleased to announce that they are once again able to offer a financial contribution to a limited number of young scientists. All current PhD students, as well as scientists who obtained their doctoral degree after January 1, 2010, are eligible. The deadline for application is January 6, 2012.

Please see the meeting web site at www.xfel.eu/2012-users-meeting for registration information and further details. Click here to view the meeting poster.

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-- Fundamental Physics of Ferroelectrics and Related Materials 2012 Workshop, January 29-February 1, 2012
The workshop “Fundamental Physics of Ferroelectrics and Related Materials 2012” will be hosted at Argonne National Laboratory from January 29-February 1, 2012. A list of invited speakers, program information, and other workshop details can be found on the conference web site at http://www.msd.anl.gov/science/fpf. Abstracts are now being accepted; the deadline for abstract submission is December 2, 2011. Registration deadlines are December 2, 2011, for non-US citizens and January 6, 2012, for US citizens. Hotel registration deadline is January 13, 2012

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-- International Workshop on Uranium Biogeochemistry: Transformations and Applications, March 11-16, 2012
Full details about this workshop, being held in Monte Veritá, Ascona, Switzerland, can be found at http://www.univie.ac.at/uranium_biogeochemistry/home.html.

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-- Next General User Proposal Deadline is March 9, 2012
The submission deadline for 2012-2 run cycle is March 9, 2012. The on-line proposal submission form can be found at http://www.aps.anl.gov/Users/apply_for_beamtime.html.

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