Medical - Instant diagnoses
June 01, 2001 — Detection and diagnosis of diseases could be simplified and made more accurate with an instrument being developed by researchers at ORNL. The device, which detects genetic mutations by identifying mismatches in DNA strands, is based on miniature micro-machined silicon cantilevers one-tenth the width of a human hair.
Biology - Fetal development in spotlight
June 01, 2001 — Working with SpectruMedix Corp., researchers at ORNL could soon find mutations in mice in months instead of years. Researchers are using the Temperature-Gradient Capillary Electrophoresis system to identify mutations simultaneously in 96 samples in less than an hour. This scanning technique has 13 times the capacity of conventional approaches and is also less expensive.
Sensors - Miniature mobile snoop
June 01, 2001 — Most criminals know about robots armed with cameras and shotguns, but there's a new law enforcement weapon on the horizon. Actually, the weapon is a micro-robot about the size of a june bug, so it's only on the horizon if you're at floor level. And that's the idea, according to developers in ORNL's Robotics and Process Systems and Life Sciences divisions.
Environment - The mercury mystery
June 01, 2001 — Thousands of landfills around the nation may be serving as bioreactors, turning inorganic mercury into methylated - or organic - mercury, according to a study by researchers at ORNL. An unknown but likely significant amount of methylated mercury, which is far more toxic than inorganic mercury, is being produced in landfills as they reduce waste by generating methane.
Physics - Looking for a break
March 01, 2001 — While Greg Maddux's curveball might break 19 inches at Atlanta's Turner Field, conditions at Denver's Coors Field can cut the amount of break by 10 percent, according to some groundbreaking research performed at ORNL.
Exploration - Real-world survivors
March 01, 2001 — According to popular culture, survival depends on rugged individualism, ruthless cunning and athletic prowess. In practice, however, real-world survivors more often exhibit benevolent leadership, personal sacrifice and endurance born of sheer will, says Jerry Dobson, a geographer at ORNL and director of Exploration of the American Geographical Society.
Engineering - Paying dividends for businesses
March 01, 2001 — ORNL researchers are saving key industries of the future hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs with a process that starts by simply taking a look around. The DOE program, called BestPractices, encourages industries to examine their most energy-intensive plant utility systems and make improvements to increase energy efficiency.
Medical - The digital pig
March 01, 2001 — Like the Visible Man and Visible Woman, the Digital Pig could serve as an important model in cardiovascular and pulmonary studies as well as other areas of biomedical research. Researchers at ORNL, Walter Reed Army Institute Research and the University of South Florida envision the digital pig as being a tool to detect and diagnose lung problems and other internal disorders in people.
Environment - Zebrafish is perfect guinea pig
March 01, 2001 — Turning the drab brownish-gray zebrafish green isn't a St. Patrick's Day stunt for researchers at ORNL. Actually, the research is helping scientists study the effects of contamination on fish and relates the effects back to other wildlife and people.
Health - Obesity gene discovered
February 01, 2001 — Genetically, mice are similar to humans, so the discovery of a fat gene in mice at ORNL could lead to a better understanding of why some people have more problems than others keeping their weight under control. Even though researchers had these particular mice on a low-fat diet since they were born, the mice are 35 percent to 50 percent fatter than their litter mates.