6-May-2014 What lies beneath
The effects of biogeochemical and geochemical processes in the ground under us are on massive scales. Understanding what's going on down there and how it effects what's going on up here is an enormous undertaking. Scientists working at EMSL are getting a handle on these gigantic macroscopic processes by focusing on the microscopic scale. By creating micromodels and incorporating supercomputer simulations, researchers are connecting the molecular level with processes that affect our entire ecosystem.
29-Apr-2014 Label-free, sequence-specific, inexpensive fluorescent DNA sensors
Using principles of energy transfer more commonly applied to designing solar cells, scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a new highly sensitive way to detect specific sequences of DNA, the genetic material unique to every living thing. As described in a paper published in the journal Chemistry of Materials, the method is considerably less costly than other DNA assays and has widespread potential for applications in forensics, medical diagnostics, and the detection of bioterror agents.
11-Apr-2014 Simulation solves mystery of how liquid-crystal thin films disintegrate
Approximately four decades ago, theoreticians believed that only one of two mechanisms could explain rupture of liquid-crystal thin films. They also believed that these two mechanisms could not coexist. But 10 years ago experiments showed that these two mechanisms in many cases do coexist, according to Trung Nguyen of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, who ran unprecedented large-scale molecular dynamics simulations on Titan, America's fastest supercomputer, to model the beginnings of ruptures in thin films.
11-Apr-2014 Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers contribute to prestigious climate report
Thomas Wilbanks and Benjamin Preston, both of the Climate Change Science Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, are among the 309 coordinating lead authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Working Group II report. The report, which was released in Japan on March 31, found that climate change isn't just a problem for future generations, but also impacts humans in the present day.
27-Mar-2014 Human-induced climate change reduces chance of flooding in Okavango Delta
Researchers at the University of Cape Town, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the United Nations Development Programme have analyzed how human-induced climate change has affected recent flooding in an ecologically and geographically unique river basin in southern Africa -- the Okavango River. After running a number of simulations, they found that greenhouse gas emissions have substantially reduced the chance of the floods in the region.
18-Mar-2014 Tapping into the metabolome
Metabolomics -- a field often called "the last 'omics frontier" -- seeks to understand the fundamental metabolic workings of a cell in a changing environment. Scientists at EMSL use mass spectrometers, nuclear magnetic resonance, imaging devices and other cutting-edge instruments to glean the information to help produce better fuels, crops and other bioproducts.
12-Mar-2014 Deep insights from thin layers
Imaging -- and understanding -- proteins may become a bit easier thanks to a team of researchers led by scientists at DOE's Pacific Northwest and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories.
20-Feb-2014 Brookhaven Lab's Jian Wang to help understand rainforest atmosphere dynamics
US Department of Energy researchers are joining scientific collaborators from the US, Brazil, and Germany to launch a two-year field study in the Amazon Basin. Data obtained during the Green Ocean Amazon (or GOAmazon) field campaign will enable scientists to study the intricacies of the natural state of the Amazon rainforest atmosphere and land systems and how these may be perturbed by human influences such as pollution and deforestation.
6-Jan-2014 Protein puzzles and scientific solutions
Researchers at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory used powerful new capabilities to -- for the first time -- generate a complete 3-D model of a protein without making use of any previous clue to its structure.
12-Dec-2013 Energetic science and piranha-proof armor
Scientists using Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source have identified the unique structure of a tough, flexible and adaptable armor that keeps the Arapaima gigas (a fish) safe in the piranha-infested waters of the Amazon basin.
29-Oct-2013 NREL brings precision, savings to energy audits
An energy audit tool that more accurately pinpoints potential energy savings while potentially costing 35 percent to 75 percent less than traditional audits is set to hit the multi-billion-dollar energy retrofit industry next year.
17-Oct-2013 Architects and building engineers flock to NREL
Eight busloads of architects and mechanical engineers toured one of the world's largest net-zero-energy office building this summer at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and came away inspired with new ideas for how to design and build beautiful, eco-friendly structures on a budget.
27-Aug-2013 Third consecutive IEEE Cherry Award for NREL
Keith Emery always had amazing computer programming skills, but he lacked that special gift for creating solar cells. So, 30 years ago he switched to something more in his wheelhouse -- characterizing and measuring the efficiency of solar cells and modules.
13-Aug-2013 Wood-boring gribbles intrigue researchers
Tiny wood borers known colloquially as gribbles make their own enzymes and use them to eat through docks in harbor towns, earning enmity from fishermen all around the world.
18-Jul-2013 Hurricane season: Predicting in advance what could happen
The Department of Homeland Security's National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center, jointly housed at Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories, studies how hurricanes and other disasters disrupt critical infrastructure, such as roads, electricity and water systems.
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.