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Martin Wissink of ORNL’s Buildings and Transportation Science Division applies neutrons and other diagnostic tools at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in pursuit of cleaner, sustainable and more flexible transportation technologies. Credit: Genevieve Martin/ORNL, U.S. Dept of Energy

For a researcher who started out in mechanical engineering with a focus on engine combustion, Martin Wissink has learned a lot about neutrons on the job

ORNL has modeled the spike protein that binds the novel coronavirus to a human cell for better understanding of the dynamics of COVID-19. Credit: Stephan Irle/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

To better understand the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have harnessed the power of supercomputers to accurately model the spike protein that binds the novel coronavirus to a human cell receptor.

The 2021 Fuel Economy Guide, compiled by ORNL researchers, provides tips for keeping fuel costs down and helps consumers find the most fuel-efficient vehicle. Credit: ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

Fuel economy can take a tumble when temperatures plummet, according to the Department of Energy’s 2021 Fuel Economy Guide. Compiled by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the guide includes several tips to improve a vehicle’s fuel performance.

Oscar Martinez loads a special form capsule into the leak tester for a helium leak test in the packaging facility of the National Transportation Research Center. Credit: Jason Richards/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

As program manager for the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Package Testing Program, Oscar Martinez enjoys finding and fixing technical issues.

Drawing of air taxi

If air taxis become a viable mode of transportation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have estimated they could reduce fuel consumption significantly while alleviating traffic congestion.

Fungi use signaling molecules called LCOs to communicate with each other and to regulate growth. Credit: Jessy Labbe/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory and collaborators have discovered that signaling molecules known to trigger symbiosis between plants and soil bacteria are also used by almost all fungi as chemical signals to communicate with each other.

Chuck Kessel

Chuck Kessel was still in high school when he saw a scientist hold up a tiny vial of water and say, “This could fuel a house for a whole year.”

UTK researchers used neutron probes at ORNL to confirm established fundamental chemical rules can also help understand and predict atomic movements and distortions in materials when disorder is introduced, as arrows show. Credit: Eric O’Quinn/UTK

Pauling’s Rules is the standard model used to describe atomic arrangements in ordered materials. Neutron scattering experiments at Oak Ridge National Laboratory confirmed this approach can also be used to describe highly disordered materials.

ORNL assisted in investigating proteins called porins, one shown in red, which are found in the protective outer membrane of certain disease-causing bacteria and tether the membrane to the cell wall. Credit: Hyea (Sunny) Hwang/Georgia Tech and ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory used high-performance computing to create protein models that helped reveal how the outer membrane is tethered to the cell membrane in certain bacteria.

Shown here is an on-chip carbonized electrode microstructure from a scanning electron microscope. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee designed and demonstrated a method to make carbon-based materials that can be used as electrodes compatible with a specific semiconductor circuitry.