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PNNL scientists win 4 R&D 100 awards for environment, biology, security technologies
Date:7/8/2010

s -- clues to the effect that drugs, chemicals or other experimental treatments are having on cells. Popular in chemistry, ATR-FTIR spectroscopy can't be used on live cells because they need to be kept under life-sustaining conditions for days at a time.

The IncubATR provides the right atmosphere for cells to thrive while a user's FTIR spectroscope takes measurements periodically and rapidly, tracking changes almost in real time. For example, toxicologists could tell within a few minutes how live cells respond to nanomaterials. And researchers could learn how hormones affect cancer cells almost as it happens. In addition, the instrument keeps the cells in the same position for the whole experiment, key to acquiring reliable and reproducible data. "FTIR is such a useful tool in research, especially for rapid screening, and living cells have been left out," said Sundaram. "This is the first instrument that successfully combines FTIR and incubators. We hope it will change the way live cells are studied in labs everywhere."

Point, click and find radiation sources
GammaTracker

Like Star Trek's tricorder, the GammaTracker is a rugged, portable device that points the user in the direction of the mystery source being detected. It also reveals the mystery. Designed for security personnel, the handheld device correctly distinguishes different radioactive elements and where the radiation is coming from -- perfect for when a suspect is hiding in a throng of people.

Conventional instruments that can distinguish between plutonium used in weapons and iodine used in medical procedures are too cumbersome to be inconspicuous or to route through a crowd, and handheld devices aren't accurate enough. Hailing from PNNL, the National Nuclear Security Administration's Kansas City Plant, and the University of Michigan, developers of the GammaTracker combined portability and accuracy. With the shoebox-sized device, screeners tracking rad
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Contact: Mary Beckman
mary.beckman@pnl.gov
509-375-3688
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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