Press Releases

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Protein crystal samples are placed on a small metal tip so X-rays from the adjacent beam pipe can pass through them and diffract off the atoms inside the crystal. Using computers, scientists interpret the scattered light patterns recorded by detectors to create a picture of how the atoms are located inside the crystal. Click to enlarge.
Lessening X-ray damage is healthy for protein discovery data too

New recommendations for using X-rays promise to speed investigations aimed at understanding the structure and function of biologically important proteins – information critical to the development of new drugs.

December 16, 2013
An illustration of the perovskite crystal fabricated in the experiment. Click to enlarge. Image credit: Felice Macera.
A new material for solar panels could make them cheaper, more efficient

A unique solar panel design made with a new ceramic material points the way to potentially providing sustainable power cheaper, more efficiently, and requiring less manufacturing time. It also reaches a four-decade-old goal of discovering a bulk photovoltaic material that can harness energy from visible and infrared light, not just ultraviolet light.

December 11, 2013
Lithium-air batteries are particularly appealing to researchers because they have a significantly higher theoretical capacity than conventional lithium-ion batteries. Click to enlarge.
Researchers tackle new challenge in pursuit of the next generation of lithium batteries

The creation of the next generation of batteries depends on finding materials that provide greater storage capacity. One variety, known as lithium-air (Li-air) batteries, is particularly appealing to researchers because they have a significantly higher theoretical capacity than conventional lithium-ion batteries.

September 27, 2013
“We are capturing the physics of deep earthquakes,”  said Yanbin Wang, a senior scientist at the University of Chicago. Click to enlarge.
Scientists push closer to understanding mystery of deep earthquakes

Scientists broke new ground in the study of deep earthquakes, a poorly understood phenomenon that occurs where the oceanic lithosphere, driven by tectonics, plunges under continental plates – examples are off the coasts of the western United States, Russia and Japan.

September 23, 2013
Working with national laboratories, universities and industry, the Air Force is ensuring it stays on the cutting edge of global security by creating a new engineering paradigm to improve the safety and fuel-efficiency of aircraft. Click to enlrage.
National labs and Air Force partner to improve aircraft component design

Working with national laboratories, universities and industry, the Air Force is ensuring it stays on the cutting edge of global security by creating a new engineering paradigm to improve the safety and fuel-efficiency of aircraft.

September 19, 2013
C. David Williams created a 3-D computer model of filaments of myosin (in red) reaching out and tugging along filaments of actin (in blue, looking like stands of pearls twined together) during the contraction of a muscle. The model allowed researchers to consider the geometry and physics at work on the filaments when a muscle bulges. To view a larger version of the image, click on it. Credit: D. Williams/University of Washington.
50-year-old assumptions about strength muscled aside

Doctors have a new way of thinking about how to treat heart and skeletal muscle diseases. Body builders have a new way of thinking about how they maximize their power. Both owe their new insight to high-energy X-rays, a moth and cloud computing.

July 11, 2013
A rich layer of phytoplankton appears as a brown layer in the Antarctic ice. The Oden research vessel was used to collect these microbes in the Ross Sea. To view a larger version of the image, click on it. Image courtesy Georgia Institute of Technology.
Questions rise about seeding for ocean C02 sequestration

A new study on the feeding habits of ocean microbes calls into question the potential use of algal blooms to trap carbon dioxide and offset rising global levels.

June 12, 2013
Pressure-induced transitions are associated with near 2-fold volume expansions. While an increase in volume with pressure is counterintuitive, the resulting new phases contain large fluid-filled pores, such that the combined solid + fluid volume is reduced and the inefficiencies in space filling by the interpenetrated parent phase are eliminated. To view a larger version of the image click on it.
Discovery of new material state counterintuitive to laws of physics

When you squeeze something, it gets smaller. Unless you’re at Argonne National Laboratory. At the suburban Chicago laboratory, a group of scientists has seemingly defied the laws of physics and found a way to apply pressure to make a material expand instead of compress/contract.

June 11, 2013
Close-up visualizations of (A) the HOMO and (B) LUMO single-particle electron states in the 64CaO glass. Both states are spin-degenerate, and h1 labels the cavity (cage) occupied by LUMO. Yellow and magenta stand for different signs of the wave-function nodes. (C) Simulation box and the electron spin-density of the 64CaO glass with one oxygen subtracted at h2—that is, with two additional electrons. The two electrons have the same spin and they occupy separate cavities, h1 (boundary, also shown in B) and h2 (center, location of removed oxygen), which are separated by 12 Å from each other. (D) Cage structure around the spin-density of one electron cor- responding to the h2 cavity (close-up from C). Al, gray; Ca, green; O, red. To view a larger version of the image, click on it.
The formula for turning cement into metal

In a move that would make the Alchemists of King Arthur’s time green with envy, scientists have unraveled the formula for turning liquid cement into liquid metal. This makes cement a semi-conductor and opens up its use in the profitable consumer electronics marketplace for thin films, protective coatings, and computer chips.

May 27, 2013
The researchers demonstrated their new technique for creating an HIV vaccine by engineering a compound that has promise to initiate an otherwise rare immune response against many types of HIV. Here, the germline-targeting immunogen eOD-GT6 (red) is shown bound to its target, the germline VRC01 antibody (magenta and yellow). To view a larger version of the image, click on it. Image Credit: Scripps Research Institute
New approach to vaccine design targets HIV and other fast-mutating viruses

A team of scientists has unveiled a new technique for vaccine design that could be particularly useful against HIV and other fast-mutating viruses.

May 24, 2013