25-Mar-2015 Protein shake-up
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.
17-Mar-2015 Part II, Tackling grand challenges in geochemistry: Q&A with Andrew Stack
In this Q&A Andrew Stack, a geochemist at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, advances understanding of the dynamics of minerals underground. Stack and his team make discoveries that will help to improve our understanding of a wide range of energy-related issues, such as geologic storage of carbon dioxide, oil and gas discovery and development, and remediation of toxic contaminants. His current research spans three disciplines -- geology, chemistry and computing.
4-Mar-2015 The making of a geochemist: Q&A with Andrew Stack
In this Q&A Andrew Stack of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory calls on expertise in geology, chemistry and computing to advance understanding of the dynamics of minerals underground. He investigates chemical processes that take place on mineral surfaces at scales ranging from individual atoms to entire rocks. These processes can trap contaminants, such as nuclear waste, carbon dioxide and toxic by-products from hydraulic fracturing.
12-Feb-2015 Yonath discusses visualizing ribosomes and antibiotic resistance
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.
12-Jan-2015 Water, water, everywhere -- Controlling the properties of nanomaterials
Properties of water molecules on the surface of metal oxides can be used to better control these minerals and use them to make products such as more efficient semiconductors for organic light emitting diodes and solar cells, safer vehicle glass in fog and frost, and more environmentally friendly chemical sensors for industrial applications.
7-Jan-2015 'Seeing' hydrogen atoms to unveil enzyme catalysis
A multi-institutional research team led by Chris Dealwis from Case Western Reserve University has used the new IMAGINE instrument at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's High Flux Isotope Reactor to map an enzyme that could play an important role in anti-cancer drug development.
18-Dec-2014 Crown ethers flatten in graphene for strong, specific binding
A team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has discovered a way to dramatically increase the selectivity and binding strength of crown ethers by incorporating them within a rigid framework of graphene. Strong, specific electrostatic binding of crown ethers may advance sensors, chemical separations, nuclear-waste cleanup, extraction of metals from ores, purification and recycling of rare-earth elements, water purification, biotechnology, energy production in durable lithium-ion batteries, catalysis, medicine and data storage.
17-Nov-2014 Spiraling back in time
Using a code developed for GPU supercomputing architectures, including that of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Cray XK7 Titan, to simulate the evolution of the Milky Way galaxy, a team of researchers from the Netherlands and Japan is a Gordon Bell Prize finalist.
17-Oct-2014 Atomic trigger shatters mystery of how glass deforms
A new study at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, published Sept. 24 in Nature Communications, has cracked one mystery of glass to shed light on the mechanism that triggers its deformation before shattering. The study improves understanding of glassy deformation and may accelerate broader application of metallic glass, a moldable, wear-resistant, magnetically exploitable material that is thrice as strong as the mightiest steel and ten times as springy.
17-Sep-2014 Predicting performance
Lignin, a low-cost byproduct of the pulp, paper and biofuels industries, can be transformed into a cheaper version of highly engineered graphite through a simple and industrially scalable manufacturing process.
28-Aug-2014 Materials scientists play atomic 'Jenga' and make a surprising discovery
Researchers got a surprise when they built a highly ordered lattice by layering thin films containing lanthanum, strontium, oxygen and iron. Although each layer had an intrinsically nonpolar (symmetric) distribution of electrical charges, the lattice had an asymmetric distribution of charges. The charge asymmetry creates an extra 'switch' that brings functionalities to materials when 'flipped' by external stimuli. The material defects induced polar behavior and can provide a new mechanism for manipulating electricity and magnetism in energy and information technologies.
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.