Public Release: 28-Jun-2016
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences See and sort: Developing novel techniques to visualize uncultured microbial cell activity
In a study published online the week of June 27, 2016 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Caltech and DOE Joint Genome Institute researchers utilized a recently refined technique to identify both individual active cells, and single clusters of active bacteria and archaea within microbial communities. The DOE is interested in learning how the planet's 'microbial dark matter' can be harnessed for energy and environmental challenges.
NSF/Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Austrian Science Fund, DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 16-Jun-2016
Journal of Virology Sandia researchers discover mechanism for Rift Valley fever virus infection
Viruses can't live without us -- literally. As obligate parasites, viruses need a host cell to survive. Scientists are exploiting this characteristic by developing therapeutics that close off pathways necessary for viral infection, essentially stopping pathogens in their tracks.
Rift Valley fever virus and other bunyaviruses may soon be added to the list of viruses denied access to a human host. Sandia National Laboratories researchers have discovered a mechanism by which RVFV hijacks the host machinery to cause infection.
Public Release: 27-May-2016
Nature Microbiology PNNL helps lead national microbiome initiative
Scientists Janet Jansson and Ljiljana Paša-Toli are part of a core group of scientists leading a national effort to understand communities of microorganisms and their role in climate science, food production and human health.
Public Release: 23-May-2016
Trends in Microbiology A rallying call for microbiome science national data management
In a paper published online May 16, 2016, in Trends in Microbiology, researchers from the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute call for the formation of a National Microbiome Data Center to efficiently manage the datasets accumulated globally. By integrating and harnessing all available microbiome data and metadata, researchers could conduct larger-scale comparative analyses in order to address global challenges related to energy, environment, health and agriculture.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 20-May-2016
Science Chemists settle longstanding debate on how methane is made biologically
Like the poet, microbes that make methane are taking chemists on a road less traveled: Of two competing ideas for how microbes make the main component of natural gas, the winning chemical reaction involves a molecule less favored by previous research, something called a methyl radical. Reported today in the journal Science, the work is important for understanding not only how methane is made, but also how to make things from it.
Department of Energy
Public Release: 11-May-2016
Physics Review Letters Scientists take a major leap toward a 'perfect' quantum metamaterial
Scientists have devised a way to build a 'quantum metamaterial' -- an engineered material with exotic properties not found in nature -- using ultracold atoms trapped in an artificial crystal composed of light. The theoretical work represents a step toward manipulating atoms to transmit information, perform complex simulations or function as powerful sensors.
Public Release: 4-May-2016 Three PNNL scientists receive DOE Early Career Research awards
Three scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have been selected to receive 2016 Early Career Research Program research grants from the US Department of Energy. Scientists Yingge Du, Kirsten Hofmockel and James Moran will receive funding to further their studies in climate science, energy storage, and other areas important to the nation.
US Department of Energy
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: 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: 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
PLOS ONE Microbes may not be so adaptable to climate change
Microbes in soil -- organisms that exert enormous influence over our planet's carbon cycle -- may not be as adaptable to climate change as most scientists have presumed.
DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 10-Mar-2016 PNNL gives a helping hand to small green businesses
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will help three small businesses reduce the cost of hydropower, cut building energy use, and make adhesives from plants through new projects announced today by DOE's Small Business Vouchers program.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 18-Feb-2016
Science Biofuel tech straight from the farm
Nature's figured it out already, how to best break down food into fuel. Now scientists have caught up, showing that fungi found in the guts of goats, horses and sheep could help fill up your gas tank too.
US Department of Energy Office of Science, US Department of Agriculture, Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies
Public Release: 8-Feb-2016
Nature Structural & Molecular Biology Scientists propose 'pumpjack' mechanism for splitting and copying DNA
New close-up images of the proteins that copy DNA inside the nucleus of a cell have led a team of scientists to propose a brand new mechanism for how this molecular machinery works. The scientists studied proteins from yeast cells, which share many features with the cells of complex organisms such as humans, and could offer new insight into ways that DNA replication can go awry.
National Institutes of Health, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Brookhaven Lab Biology Department
Public Release: 3-Feb-2016 Algae raceway paves path from lab to real-world applications
In a twist of geometry, an oval can make a line. The new algae raceway testing facility at Sandia National Laboratories may be oval in shape, but it paves a direct path between laboratory research and solving the demand for clean energy.
Public Release: 27-Jan-2016
Nature Communications Uncovering hidden microbial lineages from hot springs
Although global microbial populations are orders of magnitude larger than nearly any other population in, on or around the planet, only a fraction has been identified thus far. In a Nature Communications study published Jan; 27, 2016, a team led by researchers at the DOE Joint Genome Institute, a DOE Office of Science User Facility, utilized the largest collection of metagenomic datasets to uncover a completely novel bacterial phylum that they have dubbed "Kryptonia."
United States Department of Energy Office of Science
Public Release: 21-Jan-2016
ACS Chemical Biology Microbes take their vitamins -- for the good of science
Scientists have made a 'vitamin mimic' -- a molecule that looks and acts just like a natural vitamin to bacteria -- that offers a new window into the inner workings of living microbes.
U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science
Public Release: 5-Jan-2016
Physical Review Special Topics - Accelerators and Beams Thor's hammer to crush materials at 1 million atmospheres
Thor, expected to be 40 times more efficient than Sandia's Z machine, the world's largest and most powerful pulsed-power accelerator, is expected to dramatically improve the design of similar machines aiming for high-yield fusion.
Sandia's Laboratory Directed Research and Development office, National Nuclear Security Administration's Science Campaign
Public Release: 22-Dec-2015
Nano Letters Nature's masonry: The first steps in how thin protein sheets form polyhedral shells
Scientists have for the first time viewed how bacterial proteins self-assemble into thin sheets and begin to form the walls of the outer shell for nano-sized polyhedral compartments that function as specialized factories. The new insight may aid scientists who seek to tap this natural origami by designing novel compartments or using them as scaffolding for new types of nanoscale architectures, such as drug-delivery systems.
US Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health
Public Release: 11-Nov-2015
Scientific Reports Microbes map path toward renewable energy future
In the quest for renewable fuels, scientists are taking lessons from a humble bacterium that fills our oceans and covers moist surfaces the world over. Cyanothece 51142, a type of bacteria also called blue-green algae, produces hydrogen in robust fashion, and scientists have found that it taps into an unexpected source of energy to do so.
US Department of Energy
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.