Public Release: 21-Apr-2016
Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research Advances in extracting uranium from seawater announced in special issue
The oceans hold more than four billion tons of uranium--enough to meet global energy needs for the next 10,000 years if only we could capture the element from seawater to fuel nuclear power plants. Major advances in this area have been published by the American Chemical Society's journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research. Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory led more than half of the 30 papers in the special issue.
DOE/Office of Nuclear Energy
Contact: Dawn Levy email@example.com
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Public Release: 19-Apr-2016 Chemistry consortium uses Titan supercomputer to understand actinides
A multi-institution team led by the University of Alabama's David Dixon is using Titan to understand actinide chemistry at the molecular level in hopes of designing methods to clean up contamination and safely store spent nuclear fuel.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 18-Apr-2016
Nature Biotechnology Mapping a path to improved cassava production
Though cassava is easy to cultivate, it is particularly vulnerable to plant pathogens, which can significantly reduce crop yields. To help improve breeding strategies for this root crop, a team led by UC Berkeley and DOE JGI researchers have described cassava's genetic diversity in the journal Nature Biotechnology. With the help of genomics, researchers hope to apply advanced breeding strategies that can improve cassava's resistance to diseases and improve crop yields.
DOE/Office of Science, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UK Department for International Development, NEXTGEN Cassava Breeding Project
Public Release: 13-Apr-2016 Powerful mass spectrometer opens new vistas for scientists
Scientists now have access to a powerful new resource to help them address pressing science challenges related to the environment, biology and energy. The new 21 Tesla Ultra-High-Resolution Mass Spectrometer, or the 21T for short, allows scientists to analyze and separate atoms and molecules according to their size and molecular structure with a clarity and precision well beyond conventional mass spectrometers.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 11-Apr-2016 ORNL hosts Southeast bioenergy meeting, study tour
Researchers and others interested in establishing a sustainable bioeconomy in the US are taking part in a five-day study tour led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Public Release: 7-Apr-2016
Nature Communications Microbes take center stage in workings of 'the river's liver'
Scientists have found evidence that rising river waters deliver a feast of carbon to hungry microbes where water meets land, triggering increased activity and altering the flow of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 6-Apr-2016
Angewandte Chemie International Edition Plastic proteins: Synthetic material mimics essential characteristics of natural proteins
PNNL researchers hoping to design new materials for energy uses have developed a system to make synthetic polymers -- some would say plastics -- with the versatility of nature's own polymers, the ubiquitous proteins. Based on an inexpensive industrial chemical, these synthetic polymers might one day be used to create materials with functions as limitless as proteins, which are involved in every facet of life.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Public Release: 5-Apr-2016
Nature Energy NREL reveals potential for capturing waste heat via nanotubes
A finely tuned carbon nanotube thin film has the potential to act as a thermoelectric power generator that captures and uses waste heat, according to researchers at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Public Release: 5-Apr-2016
Nature Communications NREL, SLAC scientists pinpoint solar cell manufacturing process
Scientists at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have been able to pinpoint for the first time what happens during a key manufacturing process of silicon solar cells.
Public Release: 5-Apr-2016 Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, April 2016
This tip sheet includes: ORNL researchers focus on minimizing impact of natural and man-made disasters hit; Aberrated probes helping to detect magnetic properties in materials; Thermoelectric heat pump dryer potentially uses 40 percent less energy; ORNL researchers discover structures designed to monitor fish movement are potential obstacles.
Public Release: 4-Apr-2016
Nature Nanotechnology Tiny tubes move into the fast lane
For the first time, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have shown that carbon nanotubes as small as eight-tenths of a nanometer in diameter can transport protons faster than bulk water, by an order of magnitude.
Public Release: 4-Apr-2016 Major upgrade will boost power of world's brightest X-ray laser
Construction begins today on a major upgrade to a unique X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The project will add a second X-ray laser beam that's 10,000 times brighter, on average, than the first one and fires 8,000 times faster, up to a million pulses per second.
Public Release: 31-Mar-2016
Agewandte Chemie Proving the genetic code's flexibility
Three-letter codons in a genome sequence can represent one of the 20 regularly used amino acids or stops. In the journal Angewandte Chemie International Ed., researchers from the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute and Yale University have discovered that microorganisms recognize more than one codon for selenocysteine. The finding adds credence to recent studies indicating that an organism's genetic vocabulary is not as constrained as had been long held.
DOE Office of Science, National Institute for General Medical Sciences
Public Release: 30-Mar-2016
Nature Communications Revealing the fluctuations of flexible DNA in 3-D
Scientists have captured the first high-resolution 3-D images from individual double-helix DNA segments attached to gold nanoparticles, which could aid in the use of DNA segments as building blocks for molecular devices that function as nanoscale drug-delivery systems, markers for biological research, and components for electronic devices.
Public Release: 29-Mar-2016 City resilience: Sandia analyzes effects of rising sea levels in Norfolk
Sandia National Laboratories created an Urban Resilience Analysis Process to help cities become more resilient. The process is a holistic framework that includes Sandia's critical infrastructure modeling and simulation tools, risk consequence assessment and systems analysis expertise to show cities the most effective investments they can make to become more resilient.
Public Release: 24-Mar-2016
Science Scientists part the clouds on how droplets form
A new Berkeley Lab study reveals that much more is happening at the microscopic level of cloud formation than previously thought. The findings could help improve the accuracy of climate change models.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 23-Mar-2016
Nature Unlocking the secrets of gene expression
Using cryo-electron microscopy, Berkeley Lab scientist Eva Nogales and her team have made a breakthrough in our understanding of how our molecular machinery finds the right DNA to copy for making proteins, showing with unprecedented detail the role of a powerhouse transcription factor known as TFIID. The study was published this week in Nature.
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences, Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness
Public Release: 22-Mar-2016
Advanced Functional Materials ORNL researchers invent tougher plastic with 50 percent renewable content
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have made a better thermoplastic by replacing styrene with lignin, a brittle, rigid polymer that, with cellulose, forms the woody cell walls of plants. In doing so, they have invented a solvent-free production process that interconnects equal parts of nanoscale lignin dispersed in a synthetic rubber matrix to produce a meltable, moldable, ductile material that's at least ten times tougher than ABS, a common thermoplastic.
ORNL's Technology Innovation Program
Public Release: 22-Mar-2016 NREL's capabilities boost a wide range of innovative ARPA-E research
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will play key roles in a variety of projects recently funded by the Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). NREL's innovative approaches have received five awards across three different ARPA-E programs for advancing transformational technologies to generate, store, and use energy more efficiently, at lower costs and with reduced emissions.
Public Release: 21-Mar-2016
Analytical Chemistry Lighting up disease-carrying mosquitoes
Robert Meagher, a chemical engineer at Sandia National Laboratories, has developed a simple technique for simultaneously detecting RNA from West Nile and chikungunya virus in samples from mosquitoes. He is now working to add the ability to screen for Zika virus.
Public Release: 15-Mar-2016
Nature Geoscience Nature study reveals rapid ice-wedge loss across Arctic
Permafrost covers a considerable part of the Arctic; it's been thawing in recent decades, releasing greenhouse gases. New research reveals that similarly ancient ice wedges that form the prevalent honeycomb pattern across the tundra appear to be melting rapidly across the Arctic.
DOE Office of Science
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.