Argonne National Laboratory

Press Releases

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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
X-ray phase-contrast tomography: Early frog embryo in cellular resolution (left) and cell and tissue motion captured and visualized using flow analysis (right). To view a larger version of the image, click on it. Image courtesy Alexey Ershov/KIT.
New X-ray method shows how frog embryos could help thwart disease

An international team of scientists using a new X-ray method recorded the internal structure and cell movement inside a living frog embryo in greater detail than ever before.

May 16, 2013
Because of their potential to reduce costs for both fabrication and materials, organic photovoltaics could be much cheaper to manufacture than conventional solar cells and have a smaller environmental impact as well. To view a larger version of the image, click on it.
Scientists detect residue that has hindered efficiency of promising type of solar cell

Argonne researchers have for the first time been able to detect trace residues of catalyst material on organic photovoltaics.

May 3, 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
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
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