Neutrons paint atomic portrait of prototypical cell signaling enzyme
Illustration of the intricate organization of the PKA structure, wherein different parts of the protein are connected through elaborate hydrogen bonding networks (dashed yellow lines), glued together by the hydrophobic assemblies (light blue and orange volumes)—all working together to build the functional active site. Insert shows protonation of the transferred phosphoryl group (cyan mesh) and its many interactions with water and the active site amino acid residues. Credit: Jill Hemman/ORNL
Pearce James W Wed, 03/20/2019 - 14:00

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., March 20, 2019—Direct observations of the structure and catalytic mechanism of a prototypical kinase enzyme—protein kinase A or PKA—will provide researchers and drug developers with significantly enhanced abilities to understand and treat fatal diseases and neurological disorders such as cancer, diabetes, and cystic fibrosis.

Neutrons—Fighting superbugs
Neutron scattering allowed direct observation of how aurein induces lateral segregation in the bacteria membranes, which creates instability in the membrane structure. This instability causes the membranes to fail, making harmful bacteria less effective.
Shoemaker Sara C. Mon, 03/04/2019 - 17:17

As the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as superbugs threatens public health, Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Shuo Qian and Veerendra Sharma from the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre in India are using neutron scattering to study how an antibacterial peptide interacts with and fights harmful bacteria.

Neutrons—Capturing carbon in mid air
Using neutrons from the TOPAZ beamline, which is optimal for locating hydrogen atoms in materials, ORNL researchers observed a single-crystal neutron diffraction structure of the insoluble carbonate salt formed by absorption of carbon dioxide from the air.
Shoemaker Sara C. Mon, 02/18/2019 - 09:30

Researchers used neutron scattering at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Spallation Neutron Source to investigate the effectiveness of a novel crystallization method to capture carbon dioxide directly from the air.

Neutron study of glaucoma drugs offers clues about enzyme targets for aggressive cancers
The hCA II active site is flanked by hydrophilic (violet) and hydrophobic (green) binding pockets that can be used to design specific drugs targeting cancer-associated hCAs. Five clinical drugs are shown superimposed in the hCA II active site
Cramer Brittany N. Thu, 02/07/2019 - 14:39
New insights from neutron analysis of glaucoma drugs and their enzyme target may help scientists design drugs that more effectively target aggressive cancers. A team of researchers led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory used neutron macromolecular crystallography t...
Neutrons—Fueling better power
Researchers analyzed the oxygen structure (highlighted in red) found in a perovskite’s crystal structure at room temperature, 500°C and 900°C using neutron scattering at ORNL’s Spallation Neutron Source. Analyzing how these structures impact solid oxide f
Shoemaker Sara C. Mon, 02/04/2019 - 08:32
A University of South Carolina research team is investigating the oxygen reduction performance of energy conversion materials called perovskites by using neutron diffraction at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Spallation Neutron Source.
Neutrons—Quest for QSLs
18-G01703 PinchPoint-v2.jpg
Shoemaker Sara C. Tue, 01/08/2019 - 11:43
Researchers used neutron scattering at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Spallation Neutron Source to investigate bizarre magnetic behavior, believed to be a possible quantum spin liquid rarely found in a three-dimensional material. QSLs are exotic states of matter where magnetism continues to fluctuate at low temperatures instead of “freezing” into aligned north and south poles as with traditional magnets.
Precision experiment first to isolate, measure weak force between protons, neutrons
Shoemaker Sara C. Wed, 12/19/2018 - 12:23
A team of scientists has for the first time measured the elusive weak interaction between protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom. They had chosen the simplest nucleus consisting of one neutron and one proton for the study.
New composite advances lignin as a renewable 3D printing material
Using as much as 50 percent lignin by weight, a new composite material created at ORNL is well suited for use in 3D printing.
Pearce James W Tue, 12/18/2018 - 14:24
Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have created a recipe for a renewable 3D printing feedstock that could spur a profitable new use for an intractable biorefinery byproduct: lignin.
3D printed collimators for neutron scattering enables new science and lowers costs
Bianca Haberl and Amy Elliott hold 3d printed collimators
Cramer Brittany N. Fri, 12/07/2018 - 12:43

Disruptive technologies like 3D printing have made a big impact in manufacturing, in part by lowering costs and expediting production. Now, 3D printing might be making a similar impact on neutron scattering, too.

Researchers and engineers at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National L...

Neutrons—Nanosize matters
2018-P07635 BL-6 user - Univ of Guelph-6004R_sm[2].jpg
Shoemaker Sara C. Fri, 11/30/2018 - 14:37
A team of scientists, led by University of Guelph professor John Dutcher, are using neutrons at ORNL’s Spallation Neutron Source to unlock the secrets of natural nanoparticles that could be used to improve medicines.
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