Luciano Maiani, President of Italian CNR, visits EPN campus
On 8 April 2011, EPN campus welcomed a delegation from Italy headed by Professor Luciano Maiani, President of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), the entity that funds and coordinates a major part of the country’s public research. CNR also represents the Italian interests in the ESRF and ILL Council.
Professor Maiani was accompanied by the Heads of the Italian delegations to the Councils of the ILL and ESRF along with other high-ranking officials. [More on the ESRF website]
How Arctic fish antifreeze proteins work
Neutron scientists at ILL have discovered for the first time how ‘antifreeze’ in arctic fish blood kicks in to keep them alive in subzero conditions. The results could provide benefits for areas as diverse as cryosurgery, food processing and agriculture. [more]
Understanding the magnetic glue of superconductivity at ILL
New evidence suggests fluctuating magnetic stripes are the cause of mysterious hourglass magnetic spectrum of high temperature superconductors.
Colloidal Quasi-Crystals discovered
Micelles, as many other colloids, can self-assemble in aqueous solution to form ordered periodic structures. So far these structures exhibited classical crystallographic symmetries. In recent experiments at D11 with its new detector, and for the first time, colloidal water-based quasi-crystals with 12-fold diffraction symmetry have been observed. Results have just been published in PNAS. [more]
A new bacterial strategy to control immunity
Scientists from the IBS, Pasteur Institute, INRA, INSERM and CNRS laboratories have demonstrated that Listeria monocytogenes, a pathogenic bacterium, is capable of reprogramming genes in order to activate or not the immune system. This work, published online by Science on January 20, 2011 received funding from the European Community (ERANET PathoGenoMics program and ERC). Read more
Good chemistry between ESRF and ILL and local 'Pôles de Compétivités'
40 industrialists from the local 'Pôles de Compétitivité' visited the EPN Science Campus on 18 January, to discover our facilities and the opportunities for industrial R&D. [more]
Ammonites’ last meal: new insight into past marine food chains
Scientists have discovered direct evidence of the diet of one of the most important groups of ammonites, distant relatives of squids, octopuses and cuttlefishes.
The discovery may bring a new insight on why they became extinct 65.5 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous. [more]
Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), together with scientists from Nagoya University and the ESRF, have been able to describe the 3D structure of a complete egg receptor that binds sperm at the beginning of fertilization. The results, published in the journal Cell, will lead to better understanding of infertility and may enable entirely new types of contraceptives.
Scientists from the IBS have recently developed a now approach combining protein crystallography and biomimetic chemistry to observe all the steps in oxygen activation, an essential reaction of life. In order to accomplish this, they have designed and crystallized an artificial metallo-enzyme consisting of a synthetic catalyst and a protein.
In September 2010, EMBL-Grenoble hosted a two-day conference for which Scientists and Instrument Control Engineers came together for further developing multi-axis data collection methods in Macromolecular Crystallography. Next to the representatives of 8 European Synchrotrons, the meeting could also be remotely joint by US scientists from NE-CAT at APS.
New neutron research has revealed that the proteins making up silkworm silk have unexpected properties: effectively the proteins become more concentrated as they are diluted. The study published earlier this month in the RSC journal Soft Matter is a big step forward in understanding the amazing properties of silks and how to synthesise them.
The "ILL 2020 Vision" user meeting was organised in Grenoble on 15-17 September 2010 with the aim of discussing with the neutron user community the development of a programme of upgrades to the ILL instrument suite and infrastructure for the period 2013-2017 and beyond.
Transport proteins carry molecules in the cell, but in some diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, they fail to do so. A team from the Max-Planck Institute for Biophysics in Frankfurt (Germany) has gained insight in a carnitine transporter, which, when faulty, causes the incurable Crohn’s disease. Their research is published this week in Nature.
Deadline to submit your proposals: 1st September
Summer is, in many countries, a quiet period when scientists can catch up with ongoing papers and work that has been slowly piling up. It is also a great time to start writing your proposals for experiments at the ESRF and ILL. The deadline is on 1 September, for both institutes: keep it in mind!
The complementarity of X-ray and neutron diffraction techniques is again demonstrated by the study of the enzyme D-xylose isomerase (XI) (EC 220.127.116.11), a crucial enzyme in sugar metabolism, with important commercial applications, notably in the production of biofuels and soft-drink sweeteners.
Winners of the EU contest for young scientists visit the EPN science campus
Each year, the ESRF and ILL welcome two winners of the European Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) which is organised by the European Commission to promote co-operation and exchange between young people interested in science.
The students - Damian Steiger from Switzerland (left) and Karl Larsson from Sweden (right) - are first selected at a national level and then compete at the European level. The final stage of the contest is a showcase of the best of European student scientific achievement. As prizes, the winners receive an invitation to visit the European research organisations of EIROforum.
Eva Pebay-Peyroula appointed Chairwoman of the National Research Agency (ANR)
Eva Pebay-Peyroula has been chosen to succeed Jacques Stern as President of the National Research Agency (ANR), the French national funding agency for research projects.
Next ILL experiments cycle delayed to mid-June
Due to an unexpected problem encountered during the filling in of the ILL reactor pool with heavy water, the reactor’s restart – foreseen on 10 June -was delayed. The experimental cycle (cycle #158) therefore started on 15 June and will stop on 30 July.
Researchers from the NMR group at the Institut de Biologie Structurale have reported the first direct experimental evidence of biological XH/π interactions, a weak hydrogen bond-like interaction long believed to contribute to biomolecular structure and function. XH/π interactions are weaker than canonical hydrogen bonds and are commonly identified indirectly from high resolution 3D structures.
Contaminated water causes more than 2 million deaths a year. Water treatment usually involves chemical coagulants but some, for example aluminium salts, have health implications. This has led to a search for alternative natural solutions and the most promising is from the Moringa tree. Scientists, in order to develop future treatments from Moringa seeds, need to know exactly what processes take place during the purification. Thanks to the ILL, researchers are now a step closer to understanding how these seeds work.
EPN-campus future development
The ILL and ESRF have launched an ambitious project to extend the facilities already offered by our international site. Both institutes have agreed on a joint plan defining the facilities required to modernise the site and further boost its scientific appeal. The plan includes scientific partnerships along with labs, to be hosted in a new Science Buidling of about 3000 m2.
Supercooling, a state where liquids do not solidify even below their normal freezing point, still puzzles scientists today. A good example of this phenomenon is found everyday in meteorology: clouds in high altitude are an accumulation of supercooled droplets of water below their freezing point. Scientists from the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA), the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the ESRF have found an experimental explanation of the phenomenon of supercooling...
The ILL and ESRF will be attending together BIO 2010 International Convention on 3-6 May 2010 in Chicago (USA) which is the largest global event for the biotechnology industry with an expected 20000 participants and 1700 exhibitors. The convention's 2010 theme is "healing, feeding and fuelling the world".
The first GIANT "business start-up day" organised on 11 March by the CEA and the seven partner institutes of the GIANT initiative, was a real success. Over 200 participants took part, with many requests for one-to-one interviews with innovation specialists and advisers.
On 25 and 26 March, a special symposium at Minatec celebrated the 20th anniversary of Hercules, the Higher European Research Course for Users of Large Experimental Systems. The event brought together many past Hercules participants along with several dozen participants at the Hercules session 2010 who had been in Grenoble since 12 February 2010.
4th International Workshop on Dynamics in Confinement
CONFIT 2010, ILL, Grenoble, France
The posters will be presented in the Joint ILL-ESRF library on:
XX symposium, 25 and 26 March.