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December 2012 Story Tips

DISASTER RESPONSE Limiting access . . .

Ensuring that only people who have legitimate business are allowed to enter areas hit by floods, hurricanes or other disasters is a big challenge, but Credentialing 2.0 offers a software solution. "Obviously, first responders, utility crews, tree cutters, disaster relief workers and members of the media have reasons to be on the scene, but there's no efficient way to control access," said Oak Ridge National Laboratory's David Resseguie, who leads the Credentialing 2.0 development team. The ORNL system helps officials to control access through the use of virtual credentials that do not require new or additional equipment, networks, materials or infrastructure. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226;]

ENERGY New MAXLAB facility complete . . .

Residential and commercial buildings of tomorrow could use less energy because of research that will be performed at the new $16 million Maximum Building Energy Efficiency Research Laboratory at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The 18,000-square-foot facility features a high bay area for building and studying large-scale wall assemblies and a low bay area that houses a heating, ventilation and air conditioning lab. Together, the bays will be used to advance the energy efficiency and durability of building envelopes, equipment and appliances. Both bays are flexible in operation and able to support many types of experiments that will be performed by ORNL researchers and industry partners. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226;]

MEDICAL Results in seconds . . .

Detecting parasites in biological or medical samples has never been faster than when using a dime-sized microchip developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Purdue University. For years, chips have been able to produce test results that are typically gathered from full-scale laboratories, but now they can produce them in three to four seconds. Using a technique called rapid electrokinetic patterning that relies on light and electromagnetic fields, researchers can detect low concentrations of parasites instantly because they group together in a stimulated region of the chip. This increases the chip's performance and efficiency, allowing the device to conduct biological and applied medical and bio-detection studies at unprecedented rates. A paper describing this work has been published in the Journal Lab on a Chip at [Written by Jennifer Brouner, (865) 241-9515;; contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226;]

SUPERCOMPUTING Research time on Titan

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is home to Titan, a supercomputer ranked No. 1 in speed and No. 3 in energy efficiency in the most recent global Top500 list. Titan's true importance, however, is accelerating scientific discoveries and engineering innovations, largely through the Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment program. For 2013, INCITE awarded 1.84 billion core hours on Titan to dozens of researchers in industry, academia, and government using simulations to solve grand challenges. ORNL researchers awarded time on Titan include Tom Evans (nuclear fuel behavior), Markus Eisenbach (magnetic properties of nanoscale materials), Tony Mezzacappa (core-collapse supernovas), Jeremy Smith (multicomponent biomass systems), and Paul Kent (energy materials). The average award on Titan was 58 million core hours. [Contact: Dawn Levy, (865) 576-6448;]

IMAGING Marker-less motion correction . . .

Medical scans of children and people with Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease could have greater clarity because of a technology developed by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The add-on device features motion correction without physical markers to track movements that are unavoidable with some patients, said ORNL's Jim Goddard, founder of start-up Innovative Vision Solutions, which hopes to bring the instrument to market in about one year. Hospitals and research facilities that use Positron Emission Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging should find this device especially useful, according to Goddard and co-developer Shaun Gleason, who are working with Johns Hopkins University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Tennessee and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226;]


Contact: Ron Walli
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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