Press Releases

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In a study published in Nature Chemistry, Northwestern researchers have discovered that in the mammalian egg, zinc is stored in tiny packages just below the cell surface. These packages are released in waves following fertilization in events called ‘zinc sparks.’ These sparks are akin to neurotransmitter release in the brain or insulin release in the pancreas. This fluorescence image of an egg labeled for zinc (green) and DNA (blue) depicts how the egg stores zinc in thousands of tiny packages. These are released during fertilization to form the zinc spark. Image credit: Northwestern University. Click to view larger.
Stunning zinc fireworks when egg meets sperm

Sparks literally fly when a sperm and an egg hit it off. The fertilized mammalian egg releases from its surface billions of zinc atoms in “zinc sparks,” one wave after another, found a Northwestern University-led interdisciplinary research team that includes experts from the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne.

December 17, 2014
Researchers with Argonne’s Virtual Engine Research Institute and Fuels Initiative have teamed up with Cummins, Inc., and Convergent Science, Inc., to explore the complex inner workings of engine fuel injectors. The work, which combines complex computer modeling validated through experimental data, is part of an ongoing effort to increase the use of computer simulations in engine designs, thereby decreasing cost and time to market for new technology. Click image to view larger.
Argonne, Convergent and Cummins cooperate to discover the secrets of fuel injectors

A team of researchers at Argonne has created integrated modeling of the fluid dynamics of fuel injectors in modern engines

December 8, 2014
Butterflies are drawn to water from the deep Guarani aquifer as scientists sample it to determine how long the water has been underground. The study found that helium filters from the Earth’s crust into aquifers, where it is carried to the surface and released. Photo by Wei Jiang, Argonne National Laboratory. (Click image to enlarge)
Underground helium travels to the Earth’s surface via aquifers, new study says

Before it can put the party in party balloons, helium is carried from deep within the Earth’s crust to the surface via aquifers, according to new research published this week in Nature Geosciences.

December 5, 2014
This picture combines a transmission electron microscope image of a nanodumbbell with a gold domain oriented in  direction. The seed and gold domains in the dumbbell in the image on the right are identified by geometric phase analysis. Image credit: Soon Gu Kwon. (Click image to enlarge)
Atomic 'mismatch' creates nano 'dumbbells'

Thanks to a new study from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, researchers are closer to understanding the process by which nanoparticles made of more than one material – called heterostructured nanoparticles – form.

December 4, 2014
Funded by the Dept. of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Lab-Corps is a year-long program aimed at improving the rate of commercialization of technologies created at national labs that are in line with the EERE mission. (Click image to enlarge)
New Lab-Corps program marries science and business to help move technologies to the market

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory is one of five DOE national laboratory sites that have been selected to feed into Lab-Corps, the nation’s newest scientist-to-entrepreneur program.

December 3, 2014
The synchrotron X-ray scanning tunneling microscopy concept allowed Argonne National Laboratory and Ohio University researchers to achieve a recording-breaking resolution of a nanoscale material. They combined of a synchrotron X-ray as a probe and a nanofabricated smart tip as a detector to fingerprint individual nickel clusters on a copper surface at a two-nanometer resolution and at the ultimate single-atomic height sensitivity. And by varying the photon energy, researchers successfully measured photoionization cross sections of a single nickel nanocluster – opening the door to new opportunities for chemical imaging of nanoscale materials. (Click image to enlarge)
Powerful new technique simultaneously determines nanomaterials' chemical makeup, topography

A team of researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and Ohio University have devised a powerful technique that simultaneously resolves the chemical characterization and topography of nanoscale materials down to the height of a single atom.

December 2, 2014
Jack Gilbert was named to the Crain's list for his work on the American Gut Project, which is collecting samples of bacteria from broad swaths of the U.S. population, analyzing the results, and sending customized reports to each volunteer. Photo courtesy Crain's Chicago Business.
Argonne microbial ecologist named to Crain's Chicago Business's '40 Under 40' list

Microbial ecologist Jack Gilbert has been honored in being named to the 2014 Crain’s Chicago Business "40 under 40" list, an annual compilation of proven leaders in their fields.

December 1, 2014
An Argonne-led research team found that when uranium dioxide melts, the number of oxygen atoms around uranium changes from eight-fold to a mixture of six- and sevenfold, which alters how it interacts with other materials. The discovery about will help scientists select the best computational model to use when simulating severe nuclear reactor accidents. (Click image to enlarge)
Discovery sheds light on nuclear reactor fuel behavior during a severe event

A new discovery about the atomic structure of uranium dioxide will help scientists select the best computational model to simulate severe nuclear reactor accidents.

November 20, 2014
This wafer of nanocrystalline diamond provides one example of the technology that AKHAN Semiconductor has licensed from Argonne. Photo courtesy of Ani Sumant. (Click image to enlarge)
Argonne announces new licensing agreement with AKHAN Semiconductor

Argonne has announced a new intellectual property licensing agreement with AKHAN Semiconductor, continuing a productive public-private partnership that will bring diamond-based semiconductor technologies to market.

November 19, 2014
The surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensor detects frequency changes in waves that propagate through its crystalline structure. This makes it ideal for detecting the presence of chemicals or biomarkers present in a liquid or gas. For example, it can detect cancer proteins attached to a receptor on the sensor surface. Image credit: Shutterstock. (Click image to enlarge)
Researchers develop new acoustic sensor for chemical and biological detection

A new microscopic acoustic device that has been dramatically improved by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory has the potential to form a new test for ovarian cancer or the presence of a particular chemical.

November 17, 2014