Navigation Links
Story tips from the Departments of Energy's Oak Ridge National Lab -- March 2009

MATERIALS -- Entering a new domain . . .

With the aid of a one-of-a-kind instrument at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, scientists have made a series of discoveries that could open new pathways for nanoscale electronics. The study, published in Nature Materials ( and led by Ramamoorthy Ramesh of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has revealed that domain walls in a material called bismuth ferrite possess an unexpected electron conductance. The nanometer-scale domain walls separate the regions of a material with different magnetic, electric and other properties. Scientists believe that they hold a key to making great strides in logic and memory functions of tomorrow's electronic devices. Leading the collaborative effort from ORNL was the team of Peter Maksymovych, a Wigner fellow, and Sergei Kalinin. The ORNL team is pursuing the fundamental polarization and transport behaviors of ferroelectric materials, of which this and a recent study of local polarization switching are the first examples. This research was funded by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences within the Department of Energy's Office of Science. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226;]

ENERGY -- Hydrogen shake . . .

Hydrogen for transportation may have received a boost with the discovery of an enzyme cocktail that converts cellulosic materials and water into hydrogen fuel. A team of researchers from Virginia Tech, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Georgia report in the journal ChemSusChem (Chemistry and Sustainability) that by mixing 14 enzymes, one co-enzyme, cellulosic materials isolated from wood chips and water heated to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, they produced hydrogen gas pure enough to power a fuel cell. Cellulosic material from crop waste or switchgrass could also be used, making this potential source of energy even more economically feasible, according to the research team led by Virginia Tech. ORNL's Barbara Evans and Jonathan Mielenz of the Chemical and Biosciences divisions, respectively, are co-authors of the paper. This work improves and extends to cellulose the concept for enzymatic production of hydrogen from glucose pioneered by ORNL and funded by the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Research for this latest project was provided by Percival Zhang's (Virginia Tech) DuPont Young Professor Award and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226;]

MATERIALS -- Blown away . . .

An Oak Ridge National Laboratory study of structural damage from Hurricane Ike in 2008 shows that buildings with large openings such as garages and loading docks are more prone to hurricane damage -- even if the structure's construction meets local building codes. The findings by ORNL engineer Andre Desjarlais are part of a report by the Roof Industry Committee on Weather Issues on damages from Hurricane Ike. According to the report, set for release this month, wind rushing into the large openings pressurizes the building, adding more force on the roof and increasing the likelihood for damages. Post-hurricane construction damage assessments to learn more about why the buildings failed are continuing. The ORNL study is funded by the Department of Energy's Office of Building Technologies. [Contact: Fred Strohl; (865) 574-4165;]

MATERIALS -- Bulk metallic insight . . .

A combination of neutron, X-ray and atom-probe analysis has given researchers previously inaccessible insight to the atomic structure of a new multicomponent bulk metallic glass. The research by a team led by Xun-Li Wang of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has revealed the structure of the complex alloy comprising zirconium, copper, nickel, aluminum and titanium with potential applications from biomedical devices to sports equipment to aerospace structures. When fabricated under exact conditions, the alloy, which would normally be crystalline, becomes amorphous--a metallic glass--with special properties. The researchers combined data from the separate methods to gain a better understanding of the structure behind the material's unique properties, which could lead to further, more useful advanced materials. The research, funded by DOE Office of Science, Basic Energy Science program, is featured on the cover of the current issue of the journal Advanced Materials. [Contact: Bill Cabage; (865) 574-4399,]


Contact: Ron Walli
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Related biology news :

1. Chantix side effects no worse with depression history
2. NJIT history professor receives national endowment for humanities
3. Italys geologic history becomes a personal tale in Walter Alvarezs new book
4. Human connection to our nations fisheries comes alive through oral history project
5. The hole story
6. The "hole" story
7. Revealing the evolutionary history of threatened sea turtles
8. New study indicates link between weight gains during pregnancy and dieting history
9. Research pushes back history of crop development 10,000 years
10. Story tips from the Department of Energys Oak Ridge National Laboratory, September 2008
11. NYU, American Museum of Natural History receive $1.6 million NSF grant
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/17/2015)... Mass. , Nov. 17, 2015 Pressure ... leader in the development and sale of broadly enabling, ... worldwide life sciences industry, today announced it has received ... its $5 million Private Placement (the "Offering"), increasing the ... $4,025,000.  One or more additional closings are expected in ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... 2015  A golden retriever that stayed healthy despite ... has provided a new lead for treating this muscle-wasting ... Institute of MIT and Harvard and the University of ... Cell, pinpoints a protective gene that ... effects. The Boston Children,s lab of Lou Kunkel ...
(Date:11/12/2015)...   Growing need for low-cost, easy to ... paving the way for use of biochemical sensors ... in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food and defense applications. ... medical applications, however, their adoption is increasing in ... emphasis on improving product quality and growing need ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015  Culprits beware, ... assistant chemistry professor Jan Halámek, is taking crime ...   --> ...   --> --> ... UAlbany have discovered a straightforward concept for identifying ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... N.J. , Nov. 30, 2015  Champions Oncology, ... solutions and services to personalize the development and use ... , Chief Executive Officer, will be presenting at the ... at 4:30pm Pacific Standard Time (PST).  The conference, held ... Los Angeles, CA , will feature 200 ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015  AbbVie, is introducing ... that focuses on a daily routine for managing the ... their medication can affect the way the body absorbs ... to their a daily routine are important. The goal ... help patients better manage their hypothyroidism by establishing a ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... , ... November 28, 2015 , ... • Jeon Jin ... avian, porcine and rodent control solutions , ... cinnamon oil, works across all sensory modalities including visual, smell, taste and touch, enabling ...
Breaking Biology Technology: