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Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory July 2010
Date:7/1/2010

To arrange for an interview with a researcher, please contact the Communications and External Relations staff member identified at the end of each tip. For more information on ORNL and its research and development activities, please refer to one of our Media Contacts. If you have a general media-related question or comment, you can send it to news@ornl.gov.

HEALTH -- Stride right . . .

People recovering from injuries, the elderly and even athletes could one day benefit from a gait analysis technology being developed by a team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The patented system uses electrical signature analysis to measure, interpret and record the current drawn by a treadmill as a patient walks. "When the heel strikes, the load increases, resulting in an increase in the current drawn by the motor," said Charles Hochanadel, a physical therapist and co-inventor of the technology. "Changes in the current represent the various phases of gait and allow us to interpret what's going on during each stride." Other inventors are Daryl Cox of the Energy and Transportation Science Division and Howard Haynes of the Measurement Science and Systems Engineering Division. "We are really just beginning to explore potential applications, including expanding from the lower body to upper extremities such as shoulder rehab and other commercial applications," Cox said. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226; wallira@ornl.gov]

BIOFUELS -- Nano-reactors . . .

A National Academies Keck Futures Initiative award of $100,000 will help researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and State University of New York in their quest to create a yeast strain to produce biofuels. ORNL's Miguel Fuentes-Cabrera and SUNY's Qing Lin are looking at exporting two bacterial micro-compartments, Eut and Pdu, into yeast to create a biofuel-producing yeast strain. Eut and Pdu produce
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Contact: Jim Pearce
pearcejw@ornl.gov
865-241-2427
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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