Biological Sciences

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October 14, 2015
X-ray research on 80-million-year-old fossilized burrows, likely the work of tiny marine worms, is helping scientists understand how living organisms affected the chemistry of the sea floor.
Image - This marine worm, commonly known as a ragworm, can grow up to 4 inches in length. It is part of a class of worms known as polychaetes. A far smaller variety of polychaetes was likely responsible for creating ancient burrows studied at SLAC.
October 7, 2015
News Feature
A tiny change in the length of a chemical bond makes a big difference in the activity of a molecule important in health, drug development and chemical synthesis
Image - Courtney Krest Roach (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)
September 16, 2015
News Feature
Using SLAC's X-ray laser, researchers have for the first time directly observed myoglobin move within quadrillionths of a second after a bond breaks and the protein releases a gas molecule.
Image - Ilme Schlichting (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)
September 9, 2015
News Feature
Visit the immersive Nobel Labs 360 website about Kobilka, including an interactive tour of his work at SSRL. To find the SSRL section, click twice on the window in the upper right corner.
September 1, 2015
News Feature
A major international effort at SLAC is focused on improving our views of intact viruses, living bacteria and other tiny samples using the brightest X-ray light on Earth.
Image - Researchers discuss technical details and monitor the performance of a single particle imaging experiment conducted by a global scientific collaboration in late July and early August at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser.
August 20, 2015
News Feature
Graham George and Ingrid Pickering, a husband and wife X-ray research team, are co-leading a new study in Bangladesh to test whether selenium supplements can protect people from arsenic poisoning.
Image - Ingrid Pickering and Graham George, a husband-and-wife X-ray research team, stand next to the controls of SSRL Beam Line 7-3 during a research sabbatical at SLAC. (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)
July 22, 2015
Press Release
A biomedical breakthrough reveals never-before-seen details of the human body’s cellular switchboard that regulates sensory and hormonal responses.
June 22, 2015
Press Release
Scientists for the first time tracked ultrafast structural changes, captured in quadrillionths-of-a-second steps, as ring-shaped gas molecules burst open and unraveled.
Image - This illustration shows shape changes that occur in quadrillionths-of-a-second intervals in a ring-shaped molecule that was broken open by light. (SLAC)
May 21, 2015
News Feature
An experiment at SLAC’s X-ray laser provides new insight into the ultrafast motions of a muscle protein in a basic biochemical reaction.
Image - This computerized rendering shows the 3-D structure of myoglobin, an oxygen-carrying protein found in many mammals’ muscles. The jagged green line represents a pulse of laser light that excites an iron atom (red sphere) at the core of the protein.
May 1, 2015
News Feature
A team led by Stanford University scientists is using software to breathe new life into results from past biological experiments at SLAC’s X-ray laser.
This illustration shows Tiny crystallized biomolecules in a liquid solution (right) are streamed into X-ray laser pulses (shown as a white beam) in this illustration of crystallography at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser.

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