Media Summary and Tip Sheet:
Canadian Light Source 14th Annual Users' Meeting

Understanding the environmental impacts of the oil sands, advances in health research illuminated by synchrotron light, and the role that synchrotron techniques play in nuclear energy research are all topics for discussion by scientists from around the world during the Canadian Light Source's 14th Annual Users' Meeting June 24 and 25.

Workshops, consisting of 20 to 30 minute presentations by researchers will be held June 24, starting at 9 am. The plenary users' meeting goes from 8:30 am to 4 pm. All sessions take place in the W.P. Thompson Biology Building and the adjoining Museum of Natural Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan, 14 Science Place, Saskatoon.

Members of the media are welcome. To arrange to attend a session or set up an interview, contact:

Matthew Dalzell
Communications Coordinator
Canadian Light Source Inc
Ph: (306) 657-3739 Cell: (306) 227-0978
matthew.dalzell@lightsource.ca

Follow the meeting on Twitter: @CanLightSource

Program Highlights:

June 24 Workshops

Digging into Canada's Oil Sands
W.P. Thompson Biology Building, Room 125

Alberta's oil sands are one of Canada's major natural resources, but their extraction has many other effects. In this workshop we will hear about familiar and unfamiliar issues associated with oil sands extraction, featuring diverse projects being carried out at the CLS.

9:00 Chris Ryan, Canadian Light Source
"Dropping acid at the synchrotron: Identifying components of napthenic acids derived
from oil-sands process-affected waters"
Napthenic acids are toxic bi-products produced from processing oil sands. Using the CLS, it is possible to identify chemical differences between naturally-occurring and man-made napthenic acids produced during the extraction process in order to determine the sources of these pollutants in the Athabasca watershed.
9:30 Kira Goff, Canadian Light Source
"Examining the effects of oil sands napthenic acids on Chlamydomonas reinhardtii"
Goff has been using the CLS infrared microscopes to investigate the effects of napthenic
acid on algae the base of the aquatic food chain.
10:00 Tracy Walker and Robert Blyth, Canadian Light Source
"Digging into the effects of acid deposition in Northern forests"
Many of the student-driven experiments conducted at the CLS have an environmental focus. Walker and Blyth will present findings from high school research groups who have been looking over the last three years at the effects of acid rain from industrial development in the North on boreal forest soils.

Illuminating Health from Anatomic to Atomic
W.P. Thompson Biology Building, Room 106

Synchrotron techniques are contributing to our understanding of the function and dysfunction of systems involved in human health from the level of the atomic (nutrients, pollutants and proteins) to the anatomic (tissues, organs and whole body). This research is impacting medicine, from imaging to the design of new treatments for disease.

9:15 Dr. Deborah Renaud, Mayo Clinic
"Neurology, Metabolism and Synchrotron Technology: A marriage made in heaven"
Dr. Renaud will share how synchrotron technology provides the tools needed to unlock the mysteries of the genetic and metabolic causes of neurological disease and to help develop innovative treatments.
10:30 Tracy MacDonald, University of Saskatchewan CIHR-THRUST program
"FISH: Findings in Sequestration of Hg (mercury)"
An update of some of the research being conducted into the toxic effects of mercury on developing embryos, using zebrafish as a model. Previous research on the topic by this University of Saskatchewan based group is featured here.
1:40 Ken Ng, University of Calgary
"Improving on the antibiotic paradigm: designing more specific treatments for infectious diseases"
The broad-spectrum antibiotics we have used for years are running into serious limitations including resistance and side effects for patients. Dr. Ng will talk about designing germ-specific antibiotics and antivirals using synchrotron data, including new treatments for the super bug C. difficile and ways to fight Norwalk virus infection, featured here.

June 25 Plenary Meeting
W.P. Thompson Biology Building, Room 106

8:30 Louis Delbaere Memorial Lecture
David Shuh, Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
"Synchrotron Radiation Spectroscopy of Actinide Materials: Fundamental Research Underpinning Energy Science"
Shuh, a senior staff scientist and principal investigator at the Glenn T. Seaborg Center, will describe synchrotron research that is leading to advances in nuclear energy, from improved nuclear fuels to the modeling of the long-term behavior of nuclear waste storage and environmental clean-up.
9:20 Mike McKibben, CLS Director of Technical Services
"Facility Update"
9:40 Thomas Ellis, CLS Director of Research
"CLS Science Highlights"
10:20 Filip Van Petegem, University of British Columbia
"Origin of cardiac arrhythmias and malignant hyperthermia"
A leaky molecular valve inside muscle cells that regulates contractions can lead to heart attacks and reactions to anaesthetics that cause dangerous spikes in body temperature. Van Petegem's work, using data obtained at the CLS, summarized here, was published last fall in Nature.
2:10 G. Michael Bancroft Ph.D. Thesis Award
Adam Gillespie, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
"Characterizing soil organic nitrogen using advanced molecular analytical techniques"
Nitrogen is a crucial soil nutrient. Despite decades of research, 30 to 50 percent of the nitrogen in soil is bound in chemical forms that remain unknown. Gillespie, who conducted his Ph.D. research in the University of Saskatchewan's Department of Soil Science, will talk about how the synchrotron is shedding light on the "unknown nitrogen" in soil.