Synchrotron flicked on from Brazil

Publicado em 03/05/2012

Yahoo! News Canada, em 30/04/2012

An unlikely researcher piloted the Canadian Light Source synchrotron this weekend.

In an international demonstration of remote-control software developed in Saskatoon, University of Saskatchewan President Peter MacKinnon flicked on the synchrotron Saturday from Campinas, Brazil.

“This project opens a new frontier in scientific research since scientists can perform experiments from anywhere in the world, not only at the place where the laboratory is located,” says Dr. Antonio Jose Roque da Silva, director of the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory in a news release.

The ability to run synchrotron experiments remotely is made possible by ScienceStudio, a first-of-its-kind webbased application developed by researchers at the CLS, the University of Western Ontario in London, Concordia University, and IBM Canada. The project is funded by Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network.

It allows researchers to use a high-speed, secure fibre-optic network to transmit data from the synchrotron in real time.

The web-based portal allows users to collect data, collaborate on analysis, and schedule experiments from anywhere in the world.

MacKinnon is in Brazil with a delegation of Canadian university presidents and Governor General David Johnston. In the demonstration, they used an X-ray beam at the CLS to examine a tissue sample from a Saskatoon patient with Crohn’s disease.

The Brazilian synchrotron has recently agreed to use the ScienceStudio software and collaborate on experiments with the CLS, says Elder Matias, manager of controls and instrumentation for the CLS, and ScienceStudio project leader.

Although it’s still in testing, researchers have been using ScienceStudio for about a year to run experiments remotely.

Only about five or six collaborators currently have remote access to the CLS, he says.

“This is a good example of a platform that would more effectively permit grad students to travel to the CLS and work with their colleagues back in their home institution,” Matias said.

ScienceStudio is also giving researchers around the world access to the nanofabrication facility at the University of Western Ontario, the Advanced Light Source in Berkeley, Calif., and the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory.