28-Apr-2015 Ground control
The United Nations General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils. Soil is critical for food production and climate regulation. It's a complex underground ecosystem of organisms that process decaying debris to enrich the land as well as store and release carbon into the atmosphere. However, human activity and changing climate are impacting this environmental system. Scientists working at EMSL are trying to understand the complexities of soil to develop better sustainable land management to protect it.
10-Apr-2015 Bacteria tracked feeding nitrogen to nutrient-starved plants
An international team of researchers, including three from Brookhaven National Laboratory, tracked nitrogen as soil bacteria pulled it from the air and released it as plant-friendly ammonium. This eco-friendly process -- called biological nitrogen fixation -- substantially promoted growth in certain grass crops.
31-Mar-2015 BigNeuron: Unlocking the secrets of the human brain
To find a standard 3-D neuron reconstruction algorithm, Big Neuron will sponsor a series of international hackathons and workshops where contending algorithms will be ported onto a common software platform to analyze neuronal physical structure using the same core dataset. All ported algorithms will be bench-tested at DOE's NERSC and ORNL, as well as Human Brain Project supercomputing centers.
2-Mar-2015 Giant virus revealed in 3-D using X-ray laser
For the first time, researchers have produced a 3-D image revealing part of the inner structure of an intact, infectious virus, using a unique X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The virus, called Mimivirus, is in a curious class of 'giant viruses' discovered just over a decade ago.
23-Feb-2015 Zeolites: The inside story
Zeolites have been used for decades as catalysts and in other industrial applications, but the molecular transformations occurring within the porous material is not well understood. Scientists from universities, national laboratories and industries are using EMSL's staff expertise and advanced instrumentation to gain an atomic-level understanding of these materials to improve energy production and address environmental issues.
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.
6-Feb-2015 Energy Secretary Moniz dedicates the world's brightest Synchrotron Light Source
US Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Ernest Moniz today dedicated the world's most advanced light source, the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). The NSLS-II is a $912-million DOE Office of Science User Facility that produces extremely bright beams of x-ray, ultraviolet, and infrared light used to examine a wide range of materials, including superconductors and catalysts, geological samples, and biological proteins to accelerate advances in energy, environmental science, and medicine.
4-Feb-2015 Record keeping helps bacteria's immune system fight invaders
Bacteria have a sophisticated means of defending themselves, and they need it: more viruses infect bacteria than any other biological entity. Two experiments undertaken at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory provide new insight at the heart of bacterial adaptive defenses in a system called CRISPR, short for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat.
2-Feb-2015 Five ways to put tiny targets in front of an X-ray laser
X-ray devices have long been used to see the inner structure of things, from bone breaks in the human body to the contents of luggage at airport security checkpoints. But to see life's chemistry and exotic materials at the scale of individual atoms, you need a far more powerful X-ray device. Enter the Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
28-Jan-2015 X-ray study reveals division of labor in cell health protein
Researchers working in part at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have discovered that a key protein for cell health, which has recently been linked to diabetes, cancer and other diseases, can multitask by having two identical protein parts divide labor.
22-Jan-2015 SLAC scientists search for new ways to deal with US uranium ore processing legacy
Researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory are trying to find out why uranium persists in groundwater at former uranium ore processing sites despite remediation of contaminated surface materials two decades ago. They think buried organic material may be at fault, storing toxic uranium at levels that continue to pose risks to human health and the environment, and hope their study will pave the way for better long-term site management and protection of the public and environment.
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.
5-Jan-2015 2014's top-10 scientific achievements at Brookhaven Lab
From new insights into the building blocks of matter to advances in understanding batteries, superconductors, and a protein that could help fight cancer, 2014 was a year of stunning successes for the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory.
30-Dec-2014 MSL's Radiochemistry Annex: It's getting hot in there
Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis, Washington State University and Savannah River National Laboratory are among the principal investigators seeking innovative solutions to environmental and energy production challenges in subsurface science. They are also among the scientists who submitted applications to the Special Science Call for Proposals to use EMSL's Radiochemical Annex. Learn more about three research projects using the Annex's resources.
11-Dec-2014 DESY's Henry Chapman awarded Leibniz Prize for X-ray laser research
Henry Chapman, a scientist at Germany's DESY lab who participated in pioneering studies at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray laser, has been awarded the Leibniz Prize. The 2.5 million euro ($3.1 million) scientific award is bestowed by a German research foundation. LCLS is a Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility.
8-Dec-2014 Study may help slow the spread of flu
An important study conducted in part at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory may lead to new, more effective vaccines and medicines by revealing detailed information about how a flu antibody binds to a wide variety of flu viruses.
4-Dec-2014 X-ray laser reveals how bacterial protein morphs in response to light
Researchers have captured the highest-resolution snapshots ever taken with an X-ray laser that show changes in a protein's structure over time, revealing how a key protein in a photosynthetic bacterium changes shape when hit by light. They achieved a resolution of 1.6 angstroms, equivalent to the radius of a single tin atom.
21-Nov-2014 Robotics meet X-ray lasers in cutting-edge biology studies
Scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory are combining the speed and precision of robots with one of the brightest X-ray lasers on the planet for pioneering studies of proteins important to biology and drug discovery.
11-Nov-2014 Researchers take snapshots of potential 'kill switch' for cancer
A study conducted in part at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has revealed how a key human protein switches from a form that protects cells to a form that kills them -- a property that scientists hope to exploit as a 'kill switch' for cancer.
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.