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ORNL's Communications team works with news media seeking information about the laboratory. Media may use the resources listed below or send questions to news@ornl.gov.

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An organic solvent and water separate and form nanoclusters on the hydrophobic and hydrophilic sections of plant material, driving the efficient deconstruction of biomass. Credit: Michelle Lehman/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Scientists at ORNL used neutron scattering and supercomputing to better understand how an organic solvent and water work together to break down plant biomass, creating a pathway to significantly improve the production of renewable biofuels and bioproducts.

The protease protein is both shaped like a heart and functions as one, allowing the virus replicate and spread. Inhibiting the protease would block virus reproduction. Credit: Andrey Kovalevsky/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A team of researchers has performed the first room-temperature X-ray measurements on the SARS-CoV-2 main protease — the enzyme that enables the virus to reproduce.

Scientists holding 3D printed collimators

Oak Ridge National Laboratory has licensed a novel method to 3D print components used in neutron instruments for scientific research to the ExOne Company, a leading maker of binder jet 3D printing technology.

A nanobrush made by pulsed laser deposition of CeO2 and Y2O3 with dim and bright bands, respectively, is seen in cross-section with scanning transmission electron microscopy. Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A team led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory synthesized a tiny structure with high surface area and discovered how its unique architecture drives ions across interfaces to transport energy or information.

Using the single-crystal diffractometer TOPAZ, Oak Ridge National Laboratory confirmed the exact position of deuterium atoms from selective deuteration of benzene molecules. Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Scientists have found a new method to strategically add deuterium to benzene, an aromatic compound commonly found in crude oil. When applied to the active ingredient of drugs to incorporate deuterium, it could dramatically improve the drugs’ efficacy and safety and even introduce new medicines.

Solid radium sulfate sits in the bottom of a flask during the recovery process. Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have discovered a better way to separate actinium-227, a rare isotope essential for an FDA-approved cancer treatment.

Nuclear — Seeing inside particles

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers working on neutron imaging capabilities for nuclear materials have developed a process for seeing the inside of uranium particles – without cutting them open.

Illustration of a nitrogen dioxide molecule (depicted in blue and purple) captured in a nano-size pore of an MFM-520 metal-organic framework material as observed using neutron vibrational spectroscopy at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Image credit: ORNL/Jill Hemman

An international team of scientists, led by the University of Manchester, has developed a metal-organic framework, or MOF, material

Neutrons—Insight into human tissue

Researchers used neutron scattering at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Spallation Neutron Source and High Flux Isotope Reactor to better understand how certain cells in human tissue bond together.

The configurational ensemble (a collection of 3D structures) of an intrinsically disordered protein, the N-terminal of c-Src kinase, which is a major signaling protein in humans. Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy.

Using the Titan supercomputer and the Spallation Neutron Source at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, scientists have created the most accurate 3D model yet of an intrinsically disordered protein, revealing the ensemble of its atomic-level structures.