Argonne National Laboratory

Science Highlights

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Challenges for improving estimates of soil organic carbon stored in permafrost regions

One of the greatest environmental challenges of the 21st century lies in predicting the impacts of anthropogenic activities on Earth’s carbon cycle.

September 30, 2013
This schematic depicts a new ORNL-developed material that can easily absorb or shed oxygen atoms. Photo courtesy Oak Ride National Laboratory (
A 'sponge' path to better catalysts and energy materials

Scientists from Argonne and Oak Ridge national laboratories, Northwestern University, and Hokkaido University have developed a new oxygen “sponge” that can easily absorb or shed oxygen atoms at low temperatures. Materials with these novel characteristics would be useful in devices such as rechargeable batteries, sensors, gas converters, and fuel cells.

September 13, 2013
Utility-scale solar facilities typically occupy large tracts of land, on the order of 2,000 to 3,600 acres for a 400-MW facility. Click to enlarge.
New Environmental Science Division report provides comprehensive information about solar energy impacts and mitigation

Argonne's Environmental Science Division (EVS) recently published a report identifying potential environmental, cultural, and socioeconomic impacts associated with utility-scale solar energy development and potentially applicable mitigation measures.

September 13, 2013
Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory, collaborating with the University of Iowa, Pennsylvania State University and Hamilton College, determined that phosphate bound or occluded within the Fe(III) oxides has a significant impact on minerals produced by the iron-reducing bacterium Shewanella putrefaciens CN32 (a microbe commonly found in aquatic and terrestrial environments). To view a larger version of the image, click on it.
Phosphate influences cycling of iron and carbon in the environment

A new study provides key information for understanding how to use the bacteria to treat contaminated environments efficiently.

August 30, 2013
The team used the new APS superconducting undulator to obtain a diffraction pattern from an icosahedral Gd-Cd quasicrystal showing 10-fold rotational symmetry.  This diffraction pattern is the cover illustration for the latest issue of Nature Materials.
A New Family of Quasicrystals

Scientists from Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University carrying out research at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne characterized a new family of rare-earth quasicrystals.

August 19, 2013
Unlocking the Potential of Lignin

A team of researchers in Argonne’s Biosciences Division is investigating how some microorganisms can promote lignin degradation.

August 15, 2013
Example profiles related to finding AOD (z) for April 15, 2008, obtained by the Micropulse Lidar (MPL). To view a larger version of the image, click on it.
Profiling atmospheric aerosols

For the first time, a long-term average of Air Optical Depth as a function of the height above the ground was obtained by Argonne researchers.

August 15, 2013
The structure of the human glucagon receptor, which could help scientists design new drugs for type 2 diabetes. Image courtesy of Katya Kadyshevskaya, The Scripps Research Institute.
A key target for diabetes drugs

A team of researchers has identified the three-dimensional atomic structure of the human glucagon receptor. The receptor, found mainly on liver and kidney cells, helps regulate glucose levels in the bloodstream and is the target of potential therapeutic agents for type 2 diabetes.

August 5, 2013
MCS division researchers help develop new sequencing analysis service

The Argonne/University of Chicago Computation Institute has announced a new sequencing analysis service called Globus Genomics.

July 16, 2013
(a) Isosurface (30%) of the reconstructed amplitude superimposed with a model of the possible {111} and {100} crystal planes. The normal directions of two sets of crystalline planes {111} and {100} are marked by two kinds of arrows (fat and narrow), and the one (111) used for the measurement is marked in red. (b,c) are the top and bottom view of phase shift distribution pasted on the 30% isosurface plot. Three strain distinguished locations numerically labelled are chosen for quantitative measurement as a function of pressure. (d) 3D phase distribution at different slicing depths spaced apart by 20 nm steps from top to bottom of the crystal. The colour scale is used to show the relative phase shift and normalized to range [−π/4, π/4].To view a larger version of the image, click on it.
A high-pressure nanoimaging breakthrough

A team of researchers made a major breakthrough in measuring the structure of nanomaterials under extremely high pressures.

July 16, 2013