From the Director
CHESS has been in user operation again for about a month now and it is very satisfying to see new and returning users on the CHESS experimental floor taking data with the new instrumentation built during the upgrade. We feature  Louise Debefve’s experiences as CHESS postdoc during the transition from construction to commissioning to user operation at the NSF-funded  PIPOXS beamline in this newsletter.

While new experiments are ongoing, CHESS users continue to publish important results obtained before the CHESS upgrade. Recent publications include research by the Urban group (Johns Hopkins University) resolving  ten steps of the proteolytic reaction catalyzed by the  Escherichia coli  rhomboid. Moreover, scientists from CHESS and APS collaborated to use real-space transformations of diffuse scattering to monitor the  Na intercalation in V 2 O 5 . Similar intercalation of alkali ions into layered materials plays an essential role in battery technology and monitoring intercalation processes will allow developing novel battery materials. 

For users interested in future experiments at CHESS, we are still accepting  beamtime requests (BTRs) for beamtime scheduled in the January to March 2020 cycle .

To continue to expand the CHESS user community, Darren Pagan (CHESS) and John Carpenter (LANL) lead a very successful workshop on “ Methods for Characterizing Defects in Advanced Manufacturing Processes ” at CHESS in October that introduced scientists in the manufacturing industry to advanced in-situ and ex-situ X-ray characterization tools.

The development of new detectors has long been recognized as crucial to advancing X-ray science. The research by Kate Shanks and her colleagues in Sol Gruner’s group, has enabled new experiments at CHESS and elsewhere.

In addition to supporting scientists doing experiments at CHESS, building new instrumentation and making sure that the facility operates safely, CHESS staff members make important contributions to the community in and around Ithaca. CHESS Operator Elizabeth Bodnaruck, for example, volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and we like to introduce you to her work here at CHESS and for Habitat for Humanity in this feature.

Joel Brock, Director
This month marks the official start of user operation at CHESS and all three partner programs: The NSF funded CHEXS, as well as MacCHESS supported by NIH and NYSTAR, and the Materials Solutions Network at CHESS, or MSN-C, funded by the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), all welcomed users to new hutches and beamlines. 
As a result of the CHESS-U upgrade the X-rays produced at CHESS are now brighter than ever.  Pairing these brilliant X-rays with new and inventive detectors being developed by the Cornell Detector Group will introduce new possibilities for imaging that is currently not attainable.
Step-by-Step: Revealing the mechanism of a protein-cleaving enzyme by crystallographic snapshots: These unusual enzymes have been implicated in diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to malaria, type II diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, cholera and tuberculosis.
CHESS recently hosted the workshop “Methods for Characterizing Defects in Advanced Manufacturing Processes” jointly with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).
Beyond the Lab: Elisabeth Bodnaruk Works with Habitat for Humanity: In this latest installment, we follow a CHESS Operator to a construction site, where three new houses are being built for families. “I think that it is good to be working with tools, working with a group, and trying to solve problems,” she says, as she stands atop some scaffolding of one of the houses.  
The ability to generate a real-space 'image' of interatomic vectors from reciprocal space data, makes this technique a powerful tool in the investigation of intercalation compounds.
Issue No. 66 2019.11.18