Monday, August 3, 2015

PNNL Research Highlights

Fundamental and Computational Sciences Directorate
  1. Phil Rasch and Alex Guenther Elected Fellows of the American Geophysical Union
    Congratulations to Drs. Phil Rasch and Alex Guenther of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, as they attain the elite rank of scientists elected as Fellows of the American Geophysical Union. The honor is bestowed for "exceptional scientific contributions and attained acknowledged eminence in the fields of earth and space science" and is given to no more than one-tenth of one percent of all members of the organization. AGU is the largest world organization dedicated to advancing earth and space sciences.
  2. New Insight on How Crystals Form May Advance Materials, Health, and Basic Science
    Results: Scientists have long worked to understand how crystals grow into complex shapes. Crystals are important in materials from skeletons and shells to soils and semiconductor materials, but much is unknown about how they form.
  3. Oxygen: Not at All Random
    Results: Corrosion follows a different path when it comes to uranium dioxide, the primary component of the rods that power nuclear reactors, according to a new study by scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of Chicago, and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource. In uranium dioxide, the oxygen atoms-key corrosion creators-do not diffuse randomly through the material. Rather, the oxygen atoms settle into the third, sixth, ninth, etc., layers. They space themselves within the layers and alter the structure by causing the layers of uranium atoms above and below to draw closer to the oxygen. The oxygen atoms essentially self-assemble into a highly structured array.
  4. Three PNNL Staff Elected to Membership in State Academy
    Three scientists at DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have been selected to join the Washington State Academy of Sciences. Jim De Yoreo, Janet Jansson and Yong Wang will join other scientists and engineers from across the state being recognized for outstanding scientific achievement and leadership. Academy members provide expert scientific and engineering analysis to inform public policy-making, and work to increase the role and visibility of science in Washington state.
  5. Top-10 Paper Co-Authored by PNNL's Ben Bond-Lamberty
    An influential paper co-authored by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientist Dr. Ben Bond-Lamberty was recently listed as one of the 10 most-cited papers from Biogeosciences in 2014. Published in 2012, the paper finds that scientists haven't yet come to a conclusion on what happens when soil freezes or gets very dry.
  6. Scientists Estimate Soot Released from Diesel Burning in Russian Arctic
    Results: Establishing a baseline for assessing primary sources of soot (a.k.a. black carbon) in the Russian Arctic is an important step in understanding the climatic impact of carbon pollution. Research led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory took a detailed inventory of diesel emissions in the populous Murmansk Region.
  7. Cleaner Exhaust for a Cleaner Arctic
    Older diesel vehicles with thick exhaust do more than just smell bad; they hurt the environment and human health. When it was time to upgrade an aging bus fleet in Murmansk, Russia, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists Nazar Kholod and Meredydd Evans conducted a pilot project to understand the impact on soot emissions. Their work culminated in a brochure that explains how the newer, cleaner buses made significant improvements in air quality, human health, and climate.
  8. Sea Critters Rule the Clouds
    Results: How clouds form and how they help set the temperature of Earth are two of the big remaining questions in climate research. Now, a study of clouds over the world's remotest ocean shows that ocean life is responsible for up to half the cloud droplets that pop in and out of existence during summer.
  9. Scientists Hijack Light-Loving Bacteria to Make High-Value Products
    Scientists have directed a common bacterium to produce more of a valuable fatty acid, lauric acid, than it typically does. The achievement is noteworthy not simply because of the increased production of fatty acid, which can be a useful component of biofuels. The work opens the door for scientists to manipulate such organisms to produce compounds useful as fuels or medicines.
  10. PNNL Proves How 'HPC Transforms'
    With four total papers accepted for this year’s conference, including two nominees for Best Student Paper award, members of PNNL’s Advanced Computing, Mathematics, and Data Division High Performance Computing group continue to expand their collaborations and build on previous successes at the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, now SC15. Held annually, SC15 is the leading venue for publications in the field of high-performance computing, making it among the most competitive for researchers.