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Newswise: 041422-ber-protein-functions_0.jpg?itok=gA7xQbpZ
Released: 15-Apr-2022 3:30 PM EDT
Machine Learning Helps Predict Protein Functions
Department of Energy, Office of Science

To engineer proteins for specific functions, scientists change a protein sequence and experimentally test how that change alters its function. Because there are too many possible amino acid sequence changes to test them all in the laboratory, researchers build computational models that predict protein function based on amino acid sequences. Scientists have now combined multiple machine learning approaches for building a simple predictive model that often works better than established, complex methods.

Released: 14-Apr-2022 1:05 PM EDT
Department of Energy Announces $26 Million for Research on Next-Generation Data Management and Scientific Data Visualization
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $26 million for research to advance scientific data management and visualization. Foundational research in data management will address challenges stemming from the increasingly massive data sets produced by scientific experiments and supercomputers. Innovative and intuitive data visualization approaches will support scientific discovery, decision-making, and communication based on that data.

Newswise: Harvesting Energy from Light using Bio-inspired Artificial Cells
Released: 6-Nov-2019 6:05 PM EST
Harvesting Energy from Light using Bio-inspired Artificial Cells
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Scientists designed and connected two different artificial cells to each other to produce molecules called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

Newswise: 102219-bes-living-scaffolds.jpg
Released: 29-Oct-2019 12:05 PM EDT
Engineering Living Scaffolds for Building Materials
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Bone and mollusk shells are composite systems that combine living cells and inorganic components. This allows them to regenerate and change structure while also being very strong and durable. Borrowing from this amazing complexity, researchers have been exploring a new class of materials called engineered living materials (ELMs).

Newswise: 102219-bes-quantum-information.jpg
Released: 28-Oct-2019 12:05 PM EDT
Excavating Quantum Information Buried in Noise
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Researchers developed two new methods to assess and remove error in how scientists measure quantum systems. By reducing quantum “noise” – uncertainty inherent to quantum processes – these new methods improve accuracy and precision.

Newswise: 102219-bes-electrons.jpg
Released: 25-Oct-2019 12:05 PM EDT
How Electrons Move in a Catastrophe
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Lanthanum strontium manganite (LSMO) is a widely applicable material, from magnetic tunnel junctions to solid oxide fuel cells. However, when it gets thin, its behavior changes for the worse. The reason why was not known. Now, using two theoretical methods, a team determined what happens.

Newswise: 101619-bes-ions.jpg
Released: 24-Oct-2019 1:05 PM EDT
When Ions and Molecules Cluster
Department of Energy, Office of Science

How an ion behaves when isolated within an analytical instrument can differ from how it behaves in the environment. Now, Xue-Bin Wang at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory devised a way to bring ions and molecules together in clusters to better discover their properties and predict their behavior.

Newswise: 092419-bes-tetrahedral-superstructures.jpg
Released: 17-Oct-2019 1:05 PM EDT
Tune in to Tetrahedral Superstructures
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Shape affects how the particles fit together and, in turn, the resulting material. For the first time, a team observed the self-assembly of nanoparticles with tetrahedral shapes.

Newswise: 092419-bes-interstellar-dust.jpg
Released: 16-Oct-2019 2:05 PM EDT
Tracing Interstellar Dust Back to the Solar System’s Formation
Department of Energy, Office of Science

This study is the first to confirm dust particles pre-dating the formation of our solar system. Further study of these materials will enable a deeper understanding of the processes that formed and have since altered them.

Newswise: 091819-fes-fusion-reactors.jpg
Released: 15-Oct-2019 2:05 PM EDT
Investigating Materials that Can Go the Distance in Fusion Reactors
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Future fusion reactors will require materials that can withstand extreme operating conditions, including being bombarded by high-energy neutrons at high temperatures. Scientists recently irradiated titanium diboride (TiB2) in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) to better understand the effects of fusion neutrons on performance.

Newswise: 091819-np-tumors.jpg
Released: 14-Oct-2019 2:05 PM EDT
Better 3-D Imaging of Tumors in the Breast with Less Radiation
Department of Energy, Office of Science

In breast cancer screening, an imaging technique based on nuclear medicine is currently being used as a successful secondary screening tool alongside mammography to improve the accuracy of the diagnosis. Now, a team is hoping to improve this imaging technique.

Newswise: 091819-ber-microbes.jpg
Released: 11-Oct-2019 2:05 PM EDT
Microbes are Metabolic Specialists
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Scientists can use genetic information to measure if microbes in the environment can perform specific ecological roles. Researchers recently analyzed the genomes of over 6,000 microbial species.

Newswise: 091819-bes-hard-materials.jpg
Released: 10-Oct-2019 2:05 PM EDT
Even Hard Materials Have Soft Spots
Department of Energy, Office of Science

The Achilles Heel of “metallic glasses” is that while they are strong materials—even stronger than conventional steels—they are also very brittle. The initial failures tend to be localized and catastrophic. This is due to their random amorphous (versus ordered crystalline) atomic structure. Computer simulations revealed that the structure is not completely random, however, and that there are some regions in the structure that are relatively weak. Defects nucleate more easily in these regions, which can lead to failure. This understanding of the mechanical properties has led to a strategy for making the material stronger and less brittle.

Newswise: 091819-bes-2d-material.jpg
Released: 9-Oct-2019 2:05 PM EDT
2-D Atoms Do the Twist
Department of Energy, Office of Science

In the study, scientists demonstrated, for the first time, an intrinsically rotating form of motion for the atoms in a crystal. The observations were on collective excitations of a single molecular layer of tungsten diselenide. Whether the rotation is clockwise or counter-clockwise depends on the wave’s propagation direction.

Newswise: 091019-bes-charge-placement.jpg
Released: 8-Oct-2019 2:05 PM EDT
Location, Location, Location… How charge placement can control a self-assembled structure
Department of Energy, Office of Science

For years, scientists have formed polymers using the interaction of charges on molecular chains to determine the shape, geometry, and other properties. Now, a team achieved precise and predictable control of molecular chains by positioning charges. Their method leads to particles with reproducible sizes.

Newswise: 091019-bes-corrosion.jpg
Released: 7-Oct-2019 2:05 PM EDT
Cracking in Harsh Environments Needs Stress and Corrosion, But Not at the Same Time
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Alloys (metals combining two or more metallic elements) are typically stronger and less susceptible to cracking than pure metals. Yet when alloys are subjected to stress and a harsh chemical environment, the alloy can fail. The reason? Cracks caused by corrosion.

Newswise: 091019-bes-nanoparticles.jpg
Released: 4-Oct-2019 2:05 PM EDT
Simultaneous Clean and Repair
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Scientists have developed a novel and efficient approach to surface cleaning, materials transport, and repair.

Newswise: 091019-ber-amazon-air.jpg
Released: 3-Oct-2019 2:05 PM EDT
Where Does Salt in the Amazon Air Come From?
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Tiny particles of sodium salt float in the air over the pristine Amazon basin. Why? The only explanation before now has been that winds blow marine particles hundreds of miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean. An international team of scientists used chemical imaging and atmospheric models to prove otherwise.

Newswise: 091019-ber-cell-walls.jpg
Released: 2-Oct-2019 2:35 PM EDT
Testing the Toughness of Microbial Cell Walls
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Microbial cells contain biological material that can be important for research or industrial use, such as DNA or proteins. Yet, reaching this cellular material can be a challenge.

Newswise: 091019-ber-poplar-tree_0.jpg
Released: 1-Oct-2019 6:05 PM EDT
How Many Copies Does It Take to Change a Trait?
Department of Energy, Office of Science

New research shows that the number of copies of genes in a poplar tree affects its traits. Scientists developed a group of poplar trees in which different plants have DNA segments that are repeated or deleted.

Newswise: 082319-ber-microbial-evolution.jpg
Released: 10-Sep-2019 1:05 PM EDT
Microbial Evolution: Nature Leads, Nurture Supports
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Based on an extensive study across environments, from mixed conifer forest to high-desert grassland, the team suggests that microbes aren’t so different from larger, more complex forms of life. That is, in determining species traits, nature takes the lead, while nurture plays a supporting role.

Newswise: 082319-np-scale.jpg
Released: 9-Sep-2019 1:05 PM EDT
Building a Scale to Weigh Superheavy Elements
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Scientists made the first direct, definitive measurement of the weight, also known as the mass number, for two superheavy nuclei.

Newswise: 082319-hep-dark-energy.jpg
Released: 6-Sep-2019 1:05 PM EDT
Survey Delivers on Dark Energy with Multiple Probes
Department of Energy, Office of Science

The Dark Energy Survey has combined its four primary cosmological probes for the first time in order to constrain the properties of dark energy.

Newswise: 082319-bes-catalysis.jpg
Released: 5-Sep-2019 12:05 PM EDT
Crossing the Great Divide Between Model Studies and Applied Reactors in Catalysis
Department of Energy, Office of Science

A team devised a way to bridge the gap between two extremes. Using their approach, they can predict catalyst performance across a wider range of temperatures and pressures.

Newswise: 082319-bes-pathogens.jpg
Released: 4-Sep-2019 12:05 PM EDT
Tiny, Sugar-Coated Sheets Selectively Target Pathogens
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Researchers developed molecular flypaper that recognizes and traps viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.

Newswise: 082319-bes-graphite-skin.jpg
Released: 3-Sep-2019 12:05 PM EDT
Getting Metal Under Graphite’s Skin
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Some metals need to be protected from the atmosphere. Exposure leads to damage that ruins their unique properties. Controllably forming metal islands just under the surface of graphite protects the metals. This allows these metals to take on new roles in ultrafast quantum computers. It also means new roles in magnetic, catalytic, or plasmonic materials.

Newswise: 081519-bes-packed-boundaries.jpg
Released: 29-Aug-2019 1:05 PM EDT
Atomically Packed Boundaries Resist Cracking
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Scientists devised specialized X-ray mapping techniques. They determined that boundaries associated with regions where atoms are closely packed together most readily resist cracking. This analysis revealed that when a crack encounters such a boundary, it’s deflected to a less direct path and crack growth is slowed.

Newswise: 081519-bes-battery-electrodes.jpg
Released: 28-Aug-2019 1:05 PM EDT
End-run Spreads Lithium Throughout Battery Electrodes
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Scientists used chemically sensitive X-ray microscopy to map lithium transport during battery operation.

Newswise: 2019-P03842.jpg
Released: 27-Aug-2019 10:05 AM EDT
Knowledgebase Is Power for Nuclear Reactor Developers
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Six new nuclear reactor technologies are planned to commercially deploy between 2030 and 2040. ORNL’s Weiju Ren heads a project managing structural materials information. This conversation explores challenges and opportunities in sharing nuclear materials knowledge internationally.

Newswise: 081619-bes-atoms.jpg
Released: 26-Aug-2019 1:05 PM EDT
Excited Atoms Rush Independently to New Positions
Department of Energy, Office of Science

How atoms react to a sudden burst of light shows scientists how the larger material might act in sensors, data storage devices, and more.

Newswise: content_dam_lfw_online_articles_2019_05_lbnl_laser_plasma_interactions.png?auto=format,compress&w=1050&h=590&fit=clip.jpg
Released: 23-Aug-2019 1:05 PM EDT
Chaos Ensues When Lasers and Plasma Meet
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Warp+PXR dramatically improves the accuracy of the simulations compared to those typically used in plasma research. Now, researchers can simulate lasers’ interactions with plasma with much higher precision.

Newswise: 081619-bes-superconductor.jpg
Released: 22-Aug-2019 1:05 PM EDT
This Superconductor Does Not Take Light Lightly
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Superconductors are materials that show no resistance to electrical current when cooled. Recently, scientists discovered a new superconducting material. Now, scientists have found that when exposed to low-energy ultraviolet light, the material acts as a superconductor at higher temperatures.

Newswise: 081619-np-cancer-treatment.jpg
Released: 21-Aug-2019 4:05 PM EDT
Nuclear Physics Detector Tech Used in Cancer Treatment Monitoring System
Department of Energy, Office of Science

The OARtrac® system includes technologies that are based on a novel application of scintillating material in fiber form. Doctors can insert these scintillating fibers into the human body via a catheter to monitor the radiation that cancer patients receive in a range of hard-to-reach areas.

Newswise: 080619-ascr-water-models.jpg
Released: 9-Aug-2019 3:05 PM EDT
Machine Learning Helps Create Detailed, Efficient Models of Water
Department of Energy, Office of Science

A team devised a way to better model water’s properties. They developed a machine-learning workflow that offers accurate and computationally efficient models.

Newswise: 080619-bes-assembly-landscape.jpg
Released: 8-Aug-2019 3:05 PM EDT
Cultivating the Assembly Landscape
Department of Energy, Office of Science

For the first time, a team determined and predictably manipulated the energy landscape of a material assembled from proteins. Designing materials that easily and reliably morph on command could benefit water filtration, sensing applications, and adaptive devices.

Newswise: 080619-np-magnesium-isotope.jpg
Released: 7-Aug-2019 3:05 PM EDT
A Change in Structure for a Superheavy Magnesium Isotope
Department of Energy, Office of Science

A recent measurement exploring the structure of magnesium-40 has shown a surprising change in the structure relative to expectations. This unanticipated change could be pointing to physics missing from our theories, such as the effects of weak binding between particles.

Newswise: 062419-np-isotopes.png?itok=IADHlKlT.jpg
Released: 3-Jul-2019 10:05 AM EDT
A Search for New Superheavy Isotopes
Department of Energy, Office of Science

If you chart the stability of atomic cores (nuclei), the trend is that adding more protons and neutrons makes the atom less stable. However, there’s an island of stability that bucks this trend. If scientists can provide an easier way of producing elements predicted to be on that island of stability, they can fine-tune today’s nuclear models. Such elements were difficult to produce, until a team built an apparatus that efficiently produces superheavy elements by transferring multiple nucleons (either protons or neutrons).

Newswise: 053019-bes-platinum.jpg?itok=S3I0J6kx.jpg
Released: 2-Jul-2019 10:05 AM EDT
Improved Fuel Cell Catalysts with Less Platinum
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Scientists have identified highly active yet stable catalysts for use in fuel cells that contain only a quarter of the platinum as compared to existing devices. Platinum is essential for promoting reactions in these fuel cells. However, the precious metal is rare and expensive. Interactions between platinum-cobalt particles and a precious metal-free support contribute to the improved performance.

Newswise: 053019-bes-materials-motion.png?itok=466qz53h.jpg
Released: 1-Jul-2019 10:05 AM EDT
New Insights into a Long-Standing Debate About Materials that Turn Motion into Electricity
Department of Energy, Office of Science

For decades, scientists have been intrigued by a class of electronic materials called relaxor ferroelectrics. These lead-based materials can convert mechanical energy to electrical energy and vice versa. The underlying mechanism for this behavior has been elusive. The challenge was getting a detailed view of the atomic structure, critical to resolve the debate concerning the role of local order. Now, novel neutron-based tools and methods have resolved this debate—revealing the relationship of local order motifs and how they affect the underlying properties.

Newswise: 061919-bes-tunable-polymers.jpg
Released: 28-Jun-2019 2:05 PM EDT
Super-stretchy, Self-healing, Tunable Polymers
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Discovery of novel polymers with extreme stretching, vibration suppression, and self-healing.

Newswise: 061919-bes-tunable-polymers.jpg
Released: 28-Jun-2019 2:05 PM EDT
Super-stretchy, Self-healing, Tunable Polymers
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Discovery of novel polymers with extreme stretching, vibration suppression, and self-healing.

Newswise: 053019-bes-sound-barrier.jpg?itok=ReEmX7M9.jpg
Released: 28-Jun-2019 10:05 AM EDT
Beyond the “Sound Barrier” to Get the Heat Out
Department of Energy, Office of Science

To create materials that handle heat well, scientists are exploring how vibrations within the atomic structure carry heat. Atomic vibrations used to remove heat usually are limited by the speed of sound. A new observation may have shattered that limit. A team of scientists observed particles, called phasons, moving faster than the speed of sound that carry heat. The phasons use a pattern of motion in which atoms rearrange themselves, allowing heat to move faster.

Newswise: Novel Electrodes Enhance Battery Capacity
Released: 27-Jun-2019 2:05 PM EDT
Novel Electrodes Enhance Battery Capacity
Department of Energy, Office of Science

New self-supporting composite metal material doubles the volumetric energy and achieves fast charging rates in batteries.

Newswise: Novel Electrodes Enhance Battery Capacity
Released: 27-Jun-2019 2:05 PM EDT
Novel Electrodes Enhance Battery Capacity
Department of Energy, Office of Science

New self-supporting composite metal material doubles the volumetric energy and achieves fast charging rates in batteries.

Newswise: 053019-bes-light-bursts.png?itok=x5yT_RAG.jpg
Released: 27-Jun-2019 10:05 AM EDT
Bursts of Light Shape Walls Between Waves of Charge
Department of Energy, Office of Science

To better store data, scientists need ways to change a material’s properties suddenly. For example, they want a material that can go from insulator to conductor and back again. Now, they devised a surprisingly simple way of flipping a material from one state into another, and back again, with flashes of light. A single light pulse turns thin sheets of tantalum disulfide from its original (alpha) state into a mixture of alpha and beta states. Domain walls separate the two states. A second pulse of light dissolves the walls, and the material returns to its original state.

Newswise: 061419-ber-toxicity-tolerance.jpg
Released: 26-Jun-2019 3:05 PM EDT
Microbes Retain Toxicity Tolerance After They Escape Toxic Elements
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Ground water microbes living outside a contaminated area contain mobile genetic elements that provide them resistance to heavy metals.

Newswise: 061419-ber-toxicity-tolerance.jpg
Released: 26-Jun-2019 3:05 PM EDT
Microbes Retain Toxicity Tolerance After They Escape Toxic Elements
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Ground water microbes living outside a contaminated area contain mobile genetic elements that provide them resistance to heavy metals.

Newswise: 062419-ber-trees.png?itok=FglIFJ8g.jpg
Released: 26-Jun-2019 12:05 PM EDT
Trees Consider the Climate When Choosing Their Partners
Department of Energy, Office of Science

ees can establish several types of symbiotic relationships with fungi and bacteria. Researchers constructed a global map of the types of tree symbioses across the world. With the map, they determined that the type of fungal symbiosis found in trees depends on how quickly the organic matter in the soil decomposes. The team also found that bacteria that convert nitrogen gas from the atmosphere into plant-usable products form tree symbioses in arid environments.

Newswise: 061419-ascr-geometric-model.jpg
Released: 25-Jun-2019 2:05 PM EDT
New Geometric Model Improves Predictions of Fluid Flow in Rock
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Supercomputer validates mathematical approach for describing geological features.

Newswise: 061419-ascr-geometric-model.jpg
Released: 25-Jun-2019 2:05 PM EDT
New Geometric Model Improves Predictions of Fluid Flow in Rock
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Supercomputer validates mathematical approach for describing geological features.


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