Science Highlights

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Researchers have identified a new way to synthesize inexpensive, transition metal-based catalysts as an alternative to platinum. These new catalysts offer the promise of substantially reducing the fuel cell cost. Click to enlarge.
Finding a suitable platinum substitute for fuel cells

In a new study led by Argonne National Laboratory chemist Di-Jia Liu, researchers have identified a new way to synthesize inexpensive, transition metal-based catalysts as an alternative to platinum. These new catalysts offer the promise of substantially reducing the fuel cell cost.

April 2, 2014
Major heat contributors americium (Am) and curium (Cm) are separated out using the water-soluble molecule DTPA, which attracts the two elements. The family of lanthanides (Ln) comprises 15 rare earth elements considered waste in a closed nuclear fuel cycle. These are separated out with the acidic extractant (HEH[EHP]). Once separated, americium and curium can be reused in advanced nuclear reactors. Click to enlarge. Image credit: Artem V. Gelis
Universal method makes used nuclear fuel reprocessing cooler and safer

A technique developed by scientists at Argonne and Pacific Northwest National laboratory separates the most radioactive elements of used nuclear fuel in one step.

March 13, 2014
 Argonne physicist Kawtar Hafidi speaks to the students. “It’s a great opportunity to encourage and help prepare young women in the field of physics,” Hafidi said. Click to enlarge.
Argonne hosts next generation of female physicists

Eighty-five undergraduate women in the physics field toured Argonne National Laboratory on January 17 as part of the 2014 Midwest Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics.

February 24, 2014
Middle-school students compete to build and race cars at the Argonne-hosted Science Bowl.
Area middle schools place in Argonne's Science Bowl

Teams of sixth, seventh and eighth graders engaged in a match of wits and speed by answering tough science and engineering questions in the recent Middle School Science Bowl competition held at Argonne National Laboratory on February 7th and 8th, 2014.

February 19, 2014
Kawtar Hafidi facilitated an American Physical Society Committee on the Status of Women in Physics visit to Argonne, and she initiated the laboratory’s Strategic Hiring, Advancement and Retention Program.
Physicist honored with Argonne’s 2013 WIST Diversity Award

Physicist Kawtar Hafidi is the recipient of Argonne’s 2013 Women in Science and Technology Diversity Award. The annual award acknowledges employees who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to diversity in an inclusive workplace.

January 28, 2014
Conceptual model for human exposures to contamination in a solar
energy facility. Click to enlarge.
Assessing the health risk of solar development on contaminated lands

A recently published report from Argonne's Environmental Science division presents a methodology for assessing potential human health risks of developing utility-scale solar facilities on contaminated, previously developed sites.

December 11, 2013
Argonne's Advanced Photon Source. Click to enlarge.
Superconductivity with stripes

By examining the stripe phase-ordering in La1.875Ba0.125CuO4 (LBCO) under high pressure at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory, a team of researchers probed the relationship between stripe ordering and superconductivity.

November 12, 2013
Clearing up concerns about cloud computing and genomics research

Genomics researchers, who produce enormous amounts of data thanks to new DNA sequencing technology, have begun to recognize the potential benefits of moving to the cloud. At the same time, cloud computing raises some concerns.

November 5, 2013
Evolution of temperature, differential stress, strain, and AE rate during experiment D1247 performed at 4 GPa effective mean stress. Click to enlarge.
Simulating deep earthquakes in the laboratory

More than 20 years ago, geologists discovered a high-pressure failure mechanism that they proposed was the long-sought cause of very deep earthquakes occurring at a depth of more than 400 kilometers (or 248 miles). The result was controversial because seismologists could not find a seismic signal in the Earth that could confirm the results. Seismologists have now found the critical evidence.

October 10, 2013
The structure of the CCR5 cell surface receptor, which most strains of HIV use to enter human immune cells. This image shows the HIV drug maraviroc grabbing hold of CCR5 in an inactive conformation that prevents HIV from using the receptor to enter cells. Click to enlarge. Image credit: Katya Kadyshevskaya, The Scripps Research Institute).
How HIV infects cells

An international team of scientists using high-brightness X-rays from the Advanced Photon Source has determined the high-resolution atomic structure of a cell-surface receptor that most strains of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) use to gain entry to human immune cells.

October 10, 2013