Unlocking enzyme synthesis of rare sugars to create drugs with fewer side effects
September 26, 2014 — A team led by the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has unlocked the enzymatic synthesis process of rare sugars, which are useful in developing drugs with low side effects using a process more friendly to the environment.
ORNL researcher is working to predict electric power blackouts before they happen
September 25, 2014 — The largest power outage in United States history, the 2003 Northeast blackout, began with one power line in Ohio going offline and ended with more than 50 million people without power throughout the Northeast and the Canadian province of Ontario.
Despite the apparent failure of the electric grid during such cascading events, blackouts aren’t necessarily grid failures.
ORNL team first to fully sequence bacterial genome important to fuel and chemical production
September 25, 2014 — Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are the first team to sequence the entire genome of the Clostridium autoethanogenum bacterium, which is used to sustainably produce fuel and chemicals from a range of raw materials, including gases derived from biomass and industrial wastes.
Materials science matchmaker
September 25, 2014 — Scientific research may be the primary focus of the Department of Energy’s national laboratories, but for David Mandrus, the institutions play an equally important role in shaping the instruction and career paths of students.
Interface Surprises May Motivate Novel Oxide Electronic Devices
September 22, 2014 — OAK RIDGE, Tenn., September 22, 2014—Complex oxides have long tantalized the materials science community for their promise in next-generation energy and information technologies. Complex oxide crystals combine oxygen atoms with assorted metals to produce unusual and very desirable properties.
ORNL researchers develop ‘Autotune’ software to make it quicker, easier and cheaper to model energy use of buildings
September 22, 2014 — There are many ways to save energy in residential and commercial buildings. There are products that use less energy for lighting, heating and cooling; materials that better insulate and seal building envelopes; and architectural and engineering designs that lower utility bills through efficient use of space and renewable energy.
ORNL and DOE team stay ahead of the computing curve in monumental climate modeling project
September 22, 2014 — Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is one of eight Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories that will use high-performance computing (HPC) to develop the most sophisticated Earth system model to date for climate change research with scientific and energy applications.
OLCF Researcher to Work with Clean Combustion Center at Saudi University
September 17, 2014 — If you were to do an internet search for what causes engine knock, you’d receive a number of answers.
September 16, 2014 — When Orlando Rios first started analyzing samples of carbon fibers made from a woody plant polymer known as lignin, he noticed something unusual. The material’s microstructure -- a mixture of perfectly spherical nanoscale crystallites distributed within a fibrous matrix -- looked almost too good to be true.
Best of two worlds
September 12, 2014 — Traditional science and business are coming together in a way that Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education student Beth Papanek believes will help graduates advance their careers.
Imaging Fuel Injectors with Neutrons
September 12, 2014 — Blowing bubbles may be fun for kids, but for engineers, bubbles can disrupt fluid flow and damage metal.
A Metallic Alloy That is Tough and Ductile at Cryogenic Temperatures
September 09, 2014 — A new concept in metallic alloy design – called “high‐entropy alloys” - has yielded a multiple-element material that not only tests out as one of the toughest on record, but, unlike most materials, the toughness as well as the strength and ductility of this alloy actually improves at cryogenic temperatures.
September 08, 2014 — Keeping food fresh is no easy feat. Trials of transporting ice over long distances and the hazards of systems that rely on toxic gases riddle the pages of refrigeration history. And although cooling science has come a long way in the past two centuries, modern refrigeration has an environmental cost that poses new challenges.
Materials Scientists Play Atomic ‘Jenga’ and Make a Surprising Discovery
August 28, 2014 — Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory got a surprise when they built a highly ordered lattice by layering thin films containing lanthanum, strontium, oxygen and iron. Although each layer had an intrinsically nonpolar (symmetric) distribution of electrical charges, the lattice had an asymmetric distribution of charges.
Neutron science workshops seek to define field’s grand challenges
August 27, 2014 — OAK RIDGE, Tenn., August 27, 2014 — The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory concluded a series of workshops this month that engaged scientists from around the country to identify grand scientific challenges and how they might be addressed through application of neutron science.
Scientists learn to control reactions with the shape of a rare-earth catalyst
August 27, 2014 — Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have discovered they can control chemical reactions in a new way by creating different shapes of cerium oxide, a rare-earth-based catalyst. Their finding holds potential for refining fuels, decreasing vehicle emissions, producing commodity chemicals and advancing fuel cells and chemical sensors.
Health data + ORNL computing = Smarter health care
August 26, 2014 — As the United States strives to improve health care, the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory is using computing to delve deeper into big health data and is proposing innovative solutions to grand challenges in the country’s health care system.
Scientists develop low-voltage water splitter that uses abundant materials
August 25, 2014 — In 2015, American consumers will finally be able to purchase fuel cell cars from Toyota and other manufacturers. Although touted as zero-emissions vehicles, most of the cars will run on hydrogen made from natural gas, a fossil fuel that contributes to global warming.
August 25, 2014 — If such a designation existed, Nazanin Bassiri-Gharb would be on the fast track to becoming an Oak Ridge National Laboratory “super user.
Signatures of Selection Inscribed on Poplar Genomes
August 25, 2014 — One aspect of the climate change models researchers have been developing looks at how plant ranges might shift, and how factors such as temperature, water availability, and light levels might come into play. Forests creeping steadily north and becoming established in the thawing Arctic is just one of the predicted effects of rising global temperatures.
Catalytic Gold Nanoclusters Promise Rich Chemical Yields
August 22, 2014 — Old thinking was that gold, while good for jewelry, was not of much use for chemists because it is relatively nonreactive.
July 31, 2014 — In the early 1980s, the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory was just beginning to explore transfer of technology from the lab to industry. Now it's the norm, and one historical example illustrates the long-term benefits.
Nobel Laureate speaks on antibiotics and drug resistance
July 29, 2014 — Many antibiotics work by blocking protein production in the ribosomes of bacteria. But irresponsibly or incorrectly using antibiotics can contribute to bacterial immunity to antibiotics. Monday's Eugene P. Wigner Distinguished Lecturer, Dr.
A record-breaking month for ORNL’s Spallation Neutron Source
July 02, 2014 — The Spallation Neutron Source at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory broke records for sustained beam power level as well as for integrated energy and target lifetime in the month of June.
Students Learn to Use Neutrons and X-rays at Oak Ridge and Argonne
June 27, 2014 — The 16th National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering, or NXS 2014, at Argonne and Oak Ridge National Laboratories came to an end on June 27. A whirlwind 14-day experience jointly conducted by Oak Ridge and Argonne, NXS immerses graduate students in national user facilities to learn in a hands-on environment how to use neutrons and X-rays in their research.