28-Jul-2015 Rigors of the road: ORNL invention will support licensing and transport of spent nuclear fuel
With support from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have devised the Cyclic Integrated Reversible-bending Fatigue Tester. Combined with ongoing fuel transportation research, data from the CIRFT system will help facilitate cask designs and transportation protocols that ensure safe transportation of spent nuclear fuel.
27-May-2015 The 'why' of models
An international team of researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Macquarie University, the University of Western Sydney and the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry set out to assess how two Free-Air CO2 Enrichment projects compared to eleven vegetation models that simulate various ecological processes. Instead of only benchmarking whether or not an individual model matched the experimental data, the researchers developed an 'assumption-centered' approach to evaluate why certain models performed better than others.
21-May-2015 Shape-shifting plastic
Researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Washington State University and the University of Idaho have developed a process to make a thermoset that can be reshaped and reused. The new plastic is a shape-memory polymer, so named because the material can 'remember' its original shape and return to it after being deformed with heat or other forces.
13-May-2015 Digitizing neurons
Supercomputing resources at Oak Ridge National Laboratory will support a new initiative designed to advance how scientists digitally reconstruct and analyze individual neurons in the human brain.
12-May-2015 ORNL group leads calorimeter upgrade for Large Hadron Collider experiment
Run-2 for the Large Hadron Collider -- the world's largest and most powerful particle collider -- began April 5 at CERN. In preparation, Thomas M. Cormier, who leads the LHC Heavy Ion group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, led an upgrade of the electromagnetic calorimeter used for LHC's experiment called ALICE (for A Large Ion Collider Experiment). This detector measures the energies of high-energy electrons and gamma rays emitted from the quark-gluon plasma.
27-Apr-2015 Unexpected success
While experimenting with a heat treatment process he modified by eliminating a couple of steps, Klett made a discovery that caused quite a stir and prompted hundreds of inquiries from scientists, academia and industry.
27-Apr-2015 Sticky fingers
Researcher applies materials science techniques to the field of forensics, and some of her research has helped crime scene investigators rebuild fingerprints after they have faded over time.
27-Apr-2015 NSF students gain hands-on experience in neutron sciences at ORNL
A group of 13 Ph.D. students from three partnering universities gathered at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in April for an intensive course in how to apply neutron scattering to their studies of materials science and biological systems with hands-on use of instruments at ORNL's Spallation Neutron Source and High Flux Isotope Reactor.
27-Mar-2015 Collaborative vision, saving sight
A meeting to explore research collaborations between the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee set the foundation for a company that provides accessible and remote health screenings for patients concerned about diabetic related eye diseases.
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.
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.