Status Updates

A Cryptic Site of Vulnerability on the Receptor Binding Domain of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Glycoprotein

SARS-CoV-2 is a zoonotic virus that has caused a pandemic of severe respiratory disease—COVID-19— within several months of its initial identification. Comparable to the first SARS-CoV, this novel coronavirus’s surface Spike (S) glycoprotein mediates cell entry via the human ACE-2 receptor, and, thus, is the principal target for the development of vaccines and immunotherapeutics.

Illinois Stay-At-Home Order

Per the Illinois Stay-At-Home Order, NE-CAT has only has available beamtime for COVID-19 related research.  On-site access is not available and all data collection must be conducted remotely.

TO:                All Employees

Zoom Motor Replacement

The MD2 Microdiffractometer on 24-ID-E has been at NE-CAT for almost a decade.  In that time, it has been in constant use.  Previously, NE-CAT had purchased spare parts for both microdiffractometers in anticipation of minimizing downtime in the event of mechanical failure.  For the past several months, 24-ID-E users have noticed an increasing occurencing of an inability to center their samples which required intervention by beamtime staff.  This was eventually narrowed down to an increasingly frequent failure of the zoom on the 24-ID-E.

Rapid Access Beamtime for COVID-19 Research

On February 18, 2020, in support of the COVID-19 outbreak, NE-CAT provided rapid access beamtime to researchers from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research working on the the SARS-CoV-2 S glycoprotein receptor-binding-domain. The novel coronavirus's surface Spike (S) glycoprotein mediates cell entry via the human ACE-2 receptor, and is the principal target for the development of vaccines and immunotherapeutics.

Rapid Access Beamtime is available for all research projects related to COVID-19.

EIGER2 X Installed on 24-ID-C

The APS is currently in shutdown for maintenance until the end of January and NE-CAT has used this opportunity to move the EIGER2 from the dry lab and onto the C beamline.  The new detector still needs its protective cover, colloquially called the guillotine, manufactured by Ed Lynch before commissioning proceeds.

EIGER2 X has arrived!

The first EIGER2 X 16M in the United States has arrived safely at NE-CAT.  This is the largest detector in the EIGER2 line with a 75 x 75 μm pixel and 18,093,576 pixels.  It will provide rapid and accurate photon counting. Pascal Hofer and Zachary Brown from Dectris are on-site for initial testing of the detector in the dry lab.  We can report that all 32 modules are alive.

Beamline Scientist Position, now accepting applications!

The Northeastern Collaborative Access Team (NE-CAT), located at the Advanced Photon Source at the Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, is seeking applicants for a beamline scientist position. The primary responsibilities of the staff scientist will be to provide user training and support using NE-CAT’s X-ray beamlines; assist in setting up experiments; provide crystallographic expertise to ensure the highest quality data and structures; and contribute to the continued development of software tools. 

Passing of NE-CAT Associate Director, Raj Rajashankar

It is with deep sorrow that we note the passing of our colleague, Dr. Kanagalaghatta R. Rajashankar, long-time Associate Director of the Northeastern Collaborative Access Team (NE-CAT) at Sector 24 of the Advanced Photon Source. Dr. Rajashankar passed peacefully in his sleep in the early morning of May 22nd, 2019, after an extended battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Suma, and two daughters, Medha and Manasvi.

New HFM Installation

During the September shutdown, new Horizontal Focusing Mirrors from Oxford FMB were installed on both 24-ID-C and 24-ID-E beamlines.  The mirrors narrow the width of the beam, increasing the flux density at the sample.

EIGER is Here!

The EIGER 16M has arrived from Dectris and has been placed in the dry lab until installation on 24-ID-E.