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.
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.
Ada Yonath, a pioneer in using crystallographic techniques to visualize ribosome structure, was the most recent Eugene P. Wigner Distinguished Lecturer at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Her work continues to contribute to ribosomal research, prompting researchers to look more closely at antibiotics that target bacterial ribosomes, including those of pathogenic bacteria species, an avenue that could help reverse current levels of antibiotic resistance. At the talk, she steered conversation to species-specific antibiotic resistance.
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.