Wednesday, January 28, 2015

PNNL Research Highlights

Fundamental and Computational Sciences Directorate
  1. Tiffany Kaspar Elected to EMSL User Executive Committee
    Congratulations to Dr. Tiffany Kaspar at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on being selected to join the User Executive Committee at DOE's EMSL, a national scientific user facility. The committee is composed of scientists who are, or recently were, users of the resources at the facility. The committee members represent the needs and views of EMSL users to the facility's director, Dr. Allison Campbell. 
  2. Man trumps dog: Earlier assumption about BPA exposure confirmed
    Richland, Wash. - Coating the mouth with BPA-containing food, like soup, does not lead to higher than expected levels of BPA in blood, a new study in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology shows. The study authors conclude that oral exposure does not create a risk for high exposures.
  3. How Ionic: Scaffolding in Charge of Calcium Carbonate Crystals
    Results: Nature packs away carbon in chalk, shells, and rocks made by marine organisms that crystallize calcium carbonate. Now, research suggests that the soft organic scaffolds in which such crystals form direct crystallization by soaking up the calcium like an "ion sponge," according to new work in Nature Materials. Using a powerful microscope that lets researchers see the formation of crystals in real time, a team led by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found that negatively charged molecules -- such as carbohydrates found in the shells of mollusks -- control where, when, and how calcium carbonate forms. These large macromolecules do so by directing where calcium ions bind in the scaffold rather than by providing the best environment for the crystal, as thought previously.
  4. Johannes Lercher Named Distinguished Chemical Engineering Lecturer at Yale
    Congratulations to Dr. Johannes Lercher, Director of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Institute for Integrated Catalysis, on being selected for Yale University's Barnett F. Dodge Lecture. The lecture honors B. F. Dodge, who led Yale's Chemical Engineering Department for 30 years. Lercher spoke about the elementary class of catalyzed transformations for biofuels. He discussed how a detailed knowledge of catalysts and the reaction steps leads to new strategies.
  5. Leung and Kravitz Named Top Authors for AGU Journals
    From soup to nuts, stem to stern, pillar to post. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists representing both ends of the research experience spectrum were recognized for their publication prowess by the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Congratulations to Drs. L. Ruby Leung, a Laboratory Fellow, and Ben Kravitz, a postdoctoral researcher, both atmospheric scientists at PNNL. AGU named the two scientists among the top authors in American Geophysical Union journals over the last three years.
  6. The Speed to Solution
    Notably, in science, the problems you start with may not be the only ones you solve.
  7. Duets by Molecules and Plasmons
    Results: Light waves trapped on a metal's surface can interrogate the nearby molecules about their chemical identity through the molecule's characteristic vibrations, which act as fingerprints. Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) "saw" the interaction between the molecules and the trapped light waves or surface plasmons. Their fundamental endeavor could lead to breakthroughs in interpreting ultrasensitive chemical images for characterizing new materials with potential uses in catalysis and energy conversion.
  8. Cloud Research Featured on Cover of JGR Atmospheres
    Congratulations to Dr. Matus N. Martini, a postdoctoral researcher in atmospheric sciences at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, who led research that was featured on the November cover of the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.
  9. Bill Morgan Quoted in Science
    Dr. William (Bill) Morgan, a radiobiologist and laboratory fellow at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, was quoted in a January 12, 2015 article in Science Insider, the online news site of Science magazine. The article “U.S. lawmakers looking to intensify DOE’s low-dose radiation research” describes a bipartisan bill passed by the House of Representatives January 7 to revitalize the Department of Energy’s Low Dose Radiation Research Program.
  10. Addressing Research Priorities at the Big Data Strategic Initiative Workshop
    Kerstin Kleese van Dam, the Data Services Team Lead within PNNL’s Advanced Computing, Mathematics, and Data Division, will attend the 2015 Federal Big Data Strategic Initiative Workshop, or BDSI-2015, being held at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., on Friday, January 23, 2015. Kleese van Dam will be part of the small number of invited academic and industry partners on hand to address ways to manage and use Big Data, as well as to establish a set of priorities for a Federal Big Data Research Agenda.