- Number 373 |
- October 8, 2012
It’s not a magic trick and it’s not sleight of hand – scientists really are using levitation to improve the drug development process, eventually yielding more effective pharmaceuticals with fewer side effects.
Scientists at DOE's Argonne National Laboratory have discovered a way to use sound waves to levitate individual droplets of solutions containing different pharmaceuticals. While the connection between levitation and drug development may not be immediately apparent, a special relationship emerges at the molecular level.
At the molecular level, pharmaceutical structures fall into one of two categories: amorphous or crystalline. Amorphous drugs typically are more efficiently taken up by the body than their crystalline cousins; this is because amorphous drugs are both more highly soluble and have a higher bioavailability, suggesting that a lower dose can produce the desired effect.
A Horizon Lines container ship outfitted with meteorological and atmospheric instruments installed by DOE scientists from Argonne and Brookhaven national laboratories has begun taking data for a yearlong mission aimed at improving the representation of clouds in climate models. The study, a collaborative effort between DOE's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program Climate Research Facility and Horizon Lines, marks the first official marine deployment of the second ARM Mobile Facility, AMF2, and is likely the most elaborate climate study ever mounted aboard a commercial vessel. The study—dubbed MAGIC, for the Marine ARM GPCI Investigation of Clouds, where GPCI is a project comparing results from the major climate models—will take place through September 2013.
The Horizon Spirit makes a roundtrip journey from Los Angeles to Honolulu every two weeks, which allows for repeated measurements over the same transect at different seasons.
The name Sophia may conjure memories of the silver screen siren, but the Sophia tool developed at DOE's Idaho National Laboratory has a different type of allure. The software sentry offers an easy, elegant way to help network operators detect intruders and other anomalies. Developers named the software using the Greek word for wisdom because that's what it provides to SCADA control system network administrators watching for cybersecurity threats.
Sophia passively monitors communication pathways in a static computer network and flags new types of conversations so operators can decide if a threat is present. The tool was popular with initial users — a handful of utilities and the vendors that sell utility control systems. A second stage of testing involved dozens of companies, and INL is now evaluating deployment of the technology to industry.
Technicians have begun the assembly of the 14,000-ton particle detector that will be part of the largest, most advanced neutrino experiment in North America. The NOvA experiment, managed by DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, will explore the properties of neutrinos, such as their masses. Scientists will investigate whether neutrinos helped give matter an edge over antimatter after both were created in equal amounts in the big bang.The NOvA experiment will study a beam of neutrinos streaming about 500 miles straight through the earth from Fermilab near Chicago to the new particle detector in Ash River, Minnesota. The neutrinos, generated in what will be the most powerful neutrino beam in the world, will make the trip in less than three milliseconds.