DOE sponsors medical research to understand underlying biological,
genetic, and molecular processes.
This knowledge can then be
used to develop new therapies, drugs, and vaccines leading to longer, healthier
lives. A leader in the application of science to longstanding and emerging
public health threats, DOE also sponsors cutting-edge research designed to
create a healthier environment.
For living organisms proteins are an essential part of their body system and are needed to thrive. In recent years, a certain class of proteins has challenged researchers' conventional notion that proteins have a static and well-defined structure.
Researchers have long sought alternatives to morphine -- a powerful and widely used painkiller -- that curb its side effects, including dependency, nausea and dizziness. Now, an experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has supplied the most complete atomic-scale map of such a compound docked with a cellular receptor that regulates the body's pain response and tolerance.
The Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.