Feature Stories

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A look at the structure of the HNF-4A protein, which plays a critical role by binding to specific DNA sequences and regulating the production of a number of key proteins for normal cellular processes. To view a larger version of the image, click on it.
Argonne researchers uncover structure of new protein implicated in diabetes

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory, in collaboration with researchers from the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, recently determined and analyzed the three-dimensional structure of a protein found in the nuclei of liver and pancreatic cells.

April 4, 2013
The SCU installed at the straight section of Sector 6 of the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. To view a larger version of the photo, click on it.

Photo courtesy Argonne National Laboratory.
First light from the first high-energy superconducting undulator

More than eight years of effort by Advanced Photon Source physicists, engineers, and technicians culminated on Jan. 21, 2013, with the production of the first X-rays from the prototype of a novel superconducting undulator.

February 1, 2013
This illustration of a metal-organic framework, or MOF, shows the metal center bound to organic molecules. Each MOF has a specific framework determined by the choice of metal and organic.
New nano trap protects environment

A new type of nanoscale molecular trap makes it possible for industry to store large amounts of hydrogen in small fuel cells or capture, compact and remove volatile radioactive gas from spent nuclear fuel in an affordable, easily commercialized way.

October 31, 2012
A rendering of the human adenovirus, showing the outer capsid proteins (shown in multiple colors).
Chasing a common cold virus

As the cold and flu season makes its annual visit, a team of researchers, using Argonne's Advanced Photon Source, continue to complete a detailed map of the human adenovirus—one of several viruses responsible for the common cold.

October 19, 2012
These drops of solution remain suspended for a long period of time, thanks to the vibrational force of sound waves that keep them stationary in an air column. (Photo by Dan Harris)
No magic show: Real-world levitation to inspire better pharmaceuticals

It’s not a magic trick and it’s not sleight of hand – scientists really are using levitation to improve the drug development process, eventually yielding more effective pharmaceuticals with fewer side effects.

September 12, 2012
Simulated structures showing the starting material of carbon-60 “buckyballs” (magenta) and m-xylene solvent (blue) before being compressed. (Credit: Carnegie Institute of Washington)
Scientists create new diamond-denting carbon

A new super-hard form of carbon has been created by an international team of scientists working with X-rays at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.

August 20, 2012
This is an image of a G-protein-coupled receptor signaling complex whose structure was identified in 2011. The receptor is in magenta while the different G protein subunits are colored green, red and blue. Stanford biochemist Brian Kobilka shared the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in determining the structure of this activated GPCR using X-rays provided by Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source.
Inside the Advanced Photon Source

Three projects and an upgrade at Argonne’s giant synchrotron.

July 1, 2012
A lost Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece may lie hidden behind this fresco in Florence's "Hall of 500". Photo courtesy Dave Yoder/National Geographic Society; to see more photos of the project, click on the photo.
Argonne scientist energizes quest for lost Leonardo da Vinci painting

Perhaps one of Leonardo da Vinci's greatest paintings has never been reprinted in books of his art. Known as the "Battle of Anghiari," it was abandoned and then lost—until a determined Italian engineer gave the art world hope that it still existed, and a physicist from Argonne National Laboratory developed a technique that may reveal it to the world once again.

September 28, 2011
“There’s a delicate balance you have to strike,” said Argonne physicist Byeongdu Lee, who led the characterization of the supraparticles using high-energy X-rays provided by Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source. “If the attractive Van der Waals force is too strong, all the nanoparticles will smash together at once, and you’ll end up with an ugly, disordered glass. But if the repulsive Coulomb force is too strong, they’ll never come together in the first place.”
A new way to go from nanoparticles to supraparticles

Controlling the behavior of nanoparticles can be just as difficult trying to wrangle a group of teenagers. However, a new study involving Argonne National Laboratory has given scientists insight into how tweaking a nanoparticle’s attractive electronic qualities can lead to the creation of ordered uniform “supraparticles.”

September 19, 2011
A team of researchers at Argonne has developed the new "multilayer Laue lens," that will let scientists study the nanoscale in greater detail than ever before. From left to right: Bing Shi, Lahsen Assoufid, Brian Stephenson, Jörg Maser, Chian Liu, Lisa Gades. Not pictured: Al Macrander.
Argonne-pioneered X-ray lens to aid nanomaterials research

A team of researchers at Argonne National Laboratory has developed the new "multilayer Laue lens". This lens focuses high-energy X-rays so tightly they can detect objects as small as 15 nanometers in size and is in principle capable of focusing to well below 10 nanometers.

August 15, 2011