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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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Computational biophysicist Ada Sedova is using experiments and high-performance computing to explore the properties of biological systems and predict their form and function, including research to accelerate drug discovery for COVID-19. Photo credit: Jason Richards, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy.

Ada Sedova’s journey to Oak Ridge National Laboratory has taken her on the path from pre-med studies in college to an accelerated graduate career in mathematics and biophysics and now to the intersection of computational science and biology

Members of the international team simulated changes to the start times of monsoon seasons across the globe, with warm colors representing onset delays. Credit: Moetasim Ashfaq and Adam Malin/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Scientists from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and a dozen other international research institutions have produced the most elaborate set of projections to date that illustrates possible futures for major monsoon regions.

Selenium atoms, represented by orange, implant in a monolayer of blue tungsten and yellow sulfur to form a Janus layer. In the background, electron microscopy confirms atomic positions. Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

An ORNL team used a simple process to implant atoms precisely into the top layers of ultra-thin crystals, yielding two-sided structures with different chemical compositions.

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.

Yanwen Zhang

In the search to create materials that can withstand extreme radiation, Yanwen Zhang, a researcher at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, says that materials scientists must think outside the box.

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.

Omar Demerdash

With the rise of the global pandemic, Omar Demerdash, a Liane B. Russell Distinguished Staff Fellow at ORNL since 2018, has become laser-focused on potential avenues to COVID-19 therapies.

Simulations forecast nationwide increase in human exposure to extreme climate events

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., May 5, 2020 — By 2050, the United States will likely be exposed to a larger number of extreme climate events, including more frequent heat waves, longer droughts and more intense floods, which can lead to greater risks for human health, ecosystem stability and regional economies.

Ecosystem Ecologist Verity Salmon captures and analyzes field data from sites in in Alaska and Minnesota to inform earth system models that are being used to predict environmental change.

While some of her earth system modeling colleagues at ORNL face challenges such as processor allocation or debugging code, Verity Salmon prepares for mosquito swarms and the possibility of grizzly bears.

Coronavirus research

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have used Summit, the world’s most powerful and smartest supercomputer, to identify 77 small-molecule drug compounds that might warrant further study in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which is responsible for the COVID-19 disease outbreak.