Argonne National Laboratory

Feature Stories

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In a 3D structure of the protein, the binding site is shown in pink, representing a potential drug target. The green molecule shows binding of an antibiotic to the protein. Click to enlarge. Image courtesy of Wladek Minor.
Newly ID’d protein provides target for antibiotic-resistant hospital bacterium

Researchers have made inroads into tackling a bacterium that plagues hospitals and is highly resistant to most antibiotics. They determined the 3-D structure and likely function of a new protein in this common bacterium that attacks those with compromised immune systems

November 26, 2013
The release of wastes associated with nuclear reprocessing from storage facilities into the underlying sediments and groundwater is an important environmental concern. Scientists working with two national laboratories have found evidence that iron-bearing minerals naturally abundant in some sediments can react with and immobilize contaminants such as technetium. Image courtesy Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory. Click to enlarge.
Iron-bearing minerals in sediments naturally reduce contaminant levels

The release of wastes associated with nuclear reprocessing from storage facilities into the underlying sediments and groundwater is an important environmental concern. Scientists working with two national laboratories have found evidence that iron-bearing minerals naturally abundant in some sediments can react with and immobilize contaminants such as technetium.

April 8, 2014
The Argonne Distinguished Fellow title is comparable in stature to an endowed chair at a top-ranked university and recognizes exceptional contributions in a person's field. The rank is given for sustained outstanding scientific and engineering research and can also be associated with outstanding technical leadership of major, complex, high-priority projects. (Click image to enlarge)
Argonne names Distinguished Fellows for 2014

Argonne has named scientists Paul Messina, Michael Borland, U. (Balu) Balachandran, and Yousry Gohar as Distinguished Fellows, the laboratory’s highest scientific and engineering rank.

September 9, 2014
This 3D structural model of the SemiSWEET protein was based on data collected at the NE-CAT beamline at Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source . The two colors (green and purple) represent two copies of the protein molecules that, when joined, function as a single unit to allow sugar molecules across the membrane. Credit: Feng et al. (Click image to enlarge)
X-rays unlock a protein’s SWEET side

Sugar is a vital source of energy for both plants and animals alike. Understanding just how sugar makes its way into the cell could lead to the design of better drugs for diabetes patients and an increase in the amount of fruits and vegetables farmers are able to grow. Stanford University researchers have recently uncovered one of these “pathways” into the cell by piecing together proteins slightly wider than the diameter of a strand of spider silk.

September 12, 2014
Argonne researcher Yuelin Li holds a sample holder containing a single gold nanorod in water. Li and colleagues discovered that nanorods melt in three distinct phases when grouped in large ensembles. Their research will inform the creation of next-generation technologies such as water purification systems, battery materials and cancer research. Photo by Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory. (Click to enlarge.)
Shape-shifting groups of nanorods release heat differently

Researchers at Argonne have revealed previously unobserved behaviors that show how the transfer of heat at the nanoscale causes nanoparticles to change shape in groups.

February 18, 2015
How Things Break (And Why Scientists Want to Know)

Breaking things can help scientists answer both the most elemental and the most everyday questions.

March 7, 2016
Researchers from the University of Guelph have visited the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory for the past three years to use the facility’s bright X-rays to study the structure of edible fats, present in foods like oils, milk fat, cheese and much more. In this photo, Braulio Macias Rodriguez, a University of Guelph graduate student, left, and Fernanda Peyronel, research associate, examine a sample of anhydrous milk fat at beamline 9ID-D, the ultra-small-angle scattering facility.
Tasty fat: X-rays finding the blueprint of why fat is yummy

Over three years, a University of Guelph team has brought increasingly complex samples of edible fat to the Advanced Photon Source for research. They are using data from the facility to characterize the nanoscale structure of different kinds of edible fats and applying the data to a model that predicts the effect of processes like heating and mixing on fat structure. If food manufacturers understand the unique structures of different fat compositions, they can better mimic the desirable tastes and textures of unhealthy fats with healthier alternatives, potentially affecting diseases closely tied to diet.

May 27, 2016
Neuqua Valley High School  students Anna Thomas, Vanessa Cai, Nadia Young and Natalie Ferguson discuss an experiment at Sector 20 of the Advanced Photon Source, a large synchrotron at Argonne National Laboratory. The students used X-rays to study ancient pottery. (Photo by Mark Lopez, Argonne National Laboratory)
High schoolers study ancient pottery at Advanced Photon Source

The experimental facilities of a typical high school physics classroom don’t usually include a synchrotron. But Natalie Ferguson and more than 60 of her schoolmates not only got to see the Advanced Photon Source: they used it to do research.

June 16, 2016