Wednesday, August 24, 2016

PNNL Research Highlights

Science at PNNL
  1. With a President from PNNL, ISME Launches a Worldwide Symposium in Montreal
    Microbes and Montreal. What could bring together Canada's second largest city and the tiny organisms that (arguably) rule the environment, health, and even Earth's climate?
  2. Day Two of ISME16: Microbe Fans Unite
    On Tuesday afternoon Aug. 23, the following tweet went out from a conference hall in Montreal: "Being able to study plasmids in soils, rhizosphere is so exciting!"
  3. Brian Thrall Honored in NIEHS Feature for PNNL Nanotoxicology Work
  4. Carbon Capture and Conversion Together in Solution Reduces Energy Demands
    To convert carbon dioxide captured at coal-fired power plants into valuable chemicals requires an energy-intense exchange between the carbon being a gas or trapped in liquid. Avoiding the exchange could reduce the amount of energy used. The challenge is in understanding how the carbon dioxide acts in a liquid state. The behavior of the gaseous state is well known. Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) showed that carbon dioxide in solution is reactive and concentrated, far different from the stable and diffuse gaseous state.
  5. Light Strikes Gold to Create Better Catalysts
    Tiny particles of gold are highly stable and have other attractive features suitable for use in certain industrial applications. However, it's been difficult to control the size and shape of single-crystal nanostructures. Recently, scientists revealed a specialized strategy that lets them synthesize a plethora of hexagonal or triangular gold crystals. The research team is from the University of Florida, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
  6. For BioTechniques, Janet Jansson Weighs in on Science’s Ways of Unlocking Microbial Communities
    Vastly ubiquitous microbial communities live on, in, and around everything on Earth, from within the human gut to across the biggest ocean. But they are as little known as they are vital to life, health, and the environment. In soil alone, 99 percent of microbial species have yet to be isolated.
  7. Transformations: Fundamental Catalysis Enabling Zero-Carbon-Footprint Future, Scale-up of Aviation Biofuels from Alcohols, Five Cents about Nickel Catalysts
    The August 2016 issue of the Institute for Integrated Catalysis' (IIC's) Transformations recognizes innovation in catalysis. The lead story, written by IIC Director Johannes Lercher, describes the potential of catalysis to enable a zero-carbon-footprint future. Also featured is a milestone reached in aviation biofuels by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and industry partner LanzaTech.
  8. Sugar Hitches a Ride on Organic Sea Spray
    Exiting the airport, travelers catch a taxi, Uber, or bus ride to their next stop. Seafaring sugar molecules floating near the ocean's surface take a similar tack. Instead of taxis, they hitch a ride on oily molecules floating by.
  9. PNNL’s Vanessa Bailey Helps Pen an Eos Article on a Workshop to Advance Soil Science
    Adding to increased national attention on the importance of soil to Earth's ecosystems, health, and climate, PNNL microbiologist Vanessa Bailey co-authored a meeting report on soil carbon science imperatives that went online Aug. 12 in the journal Eos.
  10. How Does the Wind Blow?
    If wind were a steady, constant stream, wind energy production would be a snap. Trapping its capricious nature requires complex calculations and expert engineering. Predicting wind power requires additional twists and turns.