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.
Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute and the Crucell Vaccine Institute have now designed a protein fragment called mini-HA that stimulates the production of antibodies against a variety of influenza viruses. A key part of the work took place at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, a DOE Office of Science User Facility at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, where the scientists used a technique called X-ray crystallography to look at the atomic structure of the mini-HA at each stage of its development.
Time-lapse imaging can make complicated processes easier to grasp. Berkeley Lab scientists are using a similar approach to study how cells repair DNA damage. Microscopy images are acquired about every thirty minutes over a span of up to two days, and the resulting sequence of images shows ever-changing hotspots inside cells where DNA is under repair.
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.