Press Releases

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The reduction of iron(III) oxide minerals is an important component of iron cycling in the subsurface. For example, certain bacteria couple carbon oxidation and iron reduction to obtain energy from growth. Although iron oxides are poor conductors of electricity, electrons that are transfered to an iron oxide mineral are quite mobile, using thermal energy to hop from one iron atom to another. New research used time-resolved X-ray absorption spectroscopy to quantify the hopping rates for different iron(III) mineral phases and to confirm a theoretical picture of how the electron at one site alters the positions of the atoms around it.  This work contributes to our understanding of how soil mineralogy evolves when geochemical or biochemical processes create reducing conditions. (Image courtesy Benjamin Gilbert, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory).
A clearer look at how iron reacts in the environment

Using ultrafast X-rays, scientists for the first time have watched how quickly electrons hop their way through rust nanoparticles.

September 6, 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.
Advanced Photon Source lights the way to 2012 Chemistry Nobel

Thanks in part to research performed at Argonne National Laboratory, the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded today to Americans Brian Kobilka and Robert Lefkowitz for their work on G protein-coupled receptors.

October 10, 2012
Schematic drawing of the double-stage diamond anvil cell assembly. The typical diameter of nano crystalline diamond semi-balls seen in the center of the drawing is 12-20 micrometers. The starting size of the sample is about three to four micrometers in diameter and about three micrometers thick.

Image by GSECARS/Argonne National Laboratory.
High-pressure science gets super-sized

The study of materials at extreme conditions took a giant leap forward with the discovery of a way to generate super high pressures without using shock waves whose accompanying heat turns solids to liquid.

October 23, 2012
The complicated evolution of an air film during drop impact. (a) Schematic description of air film evolution; namely, when an air film is entrapped during drop impact on a solid surface, it should evolve into a bubble to minimize its surface energy. (b) Schematic of ultrafast x-ray phase-contrast imaging, which enables the tracking of dynamic changes of air- liquid interfaces in real time. To view a larger version of the image, click on it.
Bubble study could improve industrial splash control

For the first time, scientists witnessed the details of the full, ultrafast process of liquid droplets evolving into a bubble when they strike a surface. Their research determined that surface wetness affects the bubble's fate.

December 10, 2012
Argonne physicists (from left) Stephen Southworth, Marcel Demarteau, John Arrington and Glenn Decker were named 2012 fellows of the American Physical Society. To view a larger version of the image, click on it.
Four Argonne physicists named APS fellows

Four scientists at Argonne have been named fellows of the American Physical Society for 2012.

December 18, 2012
Among the Picasso paintings in the Art Institute of Chicago collection, The Red Armchair is the most emblematic of his Ripolin usage and is the painting that was examined with APS X-rays at Argonne National Laboratory. To view a larger version of the image, click on it.

Courtesy Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Saidenberg (AIC 1957.72) © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
High-energy X-rays shine light on mystery of Picasso’s paints

The Art Institute of Chicago teamed up with Argonne National Laboratory to unravel a decades-long debate among art scholars about what kind of paint Picasso used to create his masterpieces.

February 6, 2013
An illustration of a titanium-europium oxide cage lattice studied in the experiment. To view a larger version of the image, click on it.

Image by Renee Carlson.
New classes of magnetoelectric materials promise advances in computing technology

Thanks to new research by an international team of researchers led by Argonne, physicists have developed new methods for controlling magnetic order in a particular class of materials known as “magnetoelectrics.”

February 7, 2013
NDM-1, present in a number of pathogenic bacteria, including Klebsiella pneumonia and Escherichia coli, is able to defeat many of the world’s most widely used antibiotics, including penicillin derivatives, cephalosporins, monobactams and carbapenems.
Breakthrough could lead to drugs that better combat 'superbugs'

In the never-ending battle between antibiotic developers and the bacteria they fight, scientists at Argonne have made a key breakthrough that could allow for the development of new drugs to more effectively combat antibiotic-resistant “superbugs.”

February 28, 2013
The evolution of the viral protein (green) from 14 weeks through 100 weeks post-transmission is compared with the maturation of the human antibody. To view a larger version of the image, click on it. Image courtesy Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Antibody evolution could guide HIV vaccine development

According to a recent study, observing the evolution of a particular type of antibody in an infected HIV-1 patient has provided insights that will enable vaccination strategies that mimic the actual antibody development within the body.

April 5, 2013
Metal distribution in zone II of M. truncatula nodule. To view a larger version of the image as well as a detailed description, click on it.
X-ray analysis could boost legumes, thus reducing fertilizer pollution

The overuse of nitrogen fertilizers in agriculture can wreak havoc on waterways, health and the environment. An international team of scientists aims to lessen the reliance on these fertilizers by helping beans and similar plants boost their nitrogen production, even in areas with traditionally poor soil quality.

April 19, 2013