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The Lead

Lining up for molecular memory devices

December 12, 2014 11:03 am | by RIKEN | News | Comments

A way to use weak molecular bonding interactions to create well-ordered and stable metal–organic monolayers with optoelectronic properties has been found by researchers from the RIKEN Surface and Interface Science Laboratory.        

Shifts in states of matter: It’s complicated

November 7, 2014 3:23 pm | by Anne M. Stark, LLNL | News | Comments

The process of phase changes- those transitions...

Thermomagnetic processing method provides path to new materials

November 7, 2014 9:49 am | by ORNL | News | Comments

For much the same reason LCD televisions offer...

Satellites assist in Ebola management

November 7, 2014 9:37 am | by UK Space Agency | News | Comments

The UK's International Charter for Space and...

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NIST awards contract to MITRE to support cybersecurity center

September 26, 2014 9:26 am | News | Comments

In support of the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, NIST has awarded a contract its first Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC). The contract, which includes three initial tasks totaling about $29 million, was awarded to The MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that operates six other FFRDCs.

New DARPA program aimed at developing customized therapies

August 28, 2014 9:11 am | News | Comments

DARPA’s new Electrical Prescriptions (ElectRx) program was among the initiatives the White House highlighted this week as President Barack Obama addressed the need for new and more effective strategies for improving the health of service members, veterans and others. ElectRx goes beyond medication, aiming to explore neuromodulation of organ functions to help the human body heal itself.

ESA launching satellite for new monitoring system

April 3, 2014 1:14 pm | News | Comments

The European Space Agency is launching the first of six satellites for a new system designed to better monitor climate change, environmental disasters and catastrophes like floods, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.           

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Report: U.S. lead in science and technology shrinking

February 7, 2014 11:52 am | News | Comments

According to a recently published biennial report from the National Science Board, the United States’ predominance in science and technology eroded further during the last decade, as several Asian nations, particularly China and South Korea, rapidly increased their innovation capacities. The study shows that while U.S. R&D rebounded from the 2008-09 recession, the traditional R&D leaders no longer monopolize global R&D.

Battelle to run CDC’s biological repository

February 5, 2014 9:07 am | News | Comments

In a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) building on the outskirts of Atlanta, large metal vats are filled with a frozen array of specimens such as blood and DNA, many of them irreplaceable. Battelle has been awarded a five-year, $12.6 million contract to help manage this important biological repository, which contains 12 million biological samples.

U.S. government scientists say retire most research chimps

January 23, 2013 10:31 am | by Janet McConnaughey, Associated Press | News | Comments

The National Institutes of Health Council of Councils Working Group on Tuesday approved a to retire all but 50 of hundreds of chimpanzees kept for federally funded research. The chimps would be sent to a national sanctuary, and no return to breeding them for research would take place. The proposal also calls for major cuts in grants to study chimps in laboratories.

Atom smasher hiatus sets stage for more discovery

January 7, 2013 1:22 pm | by John Heilprin, Associated Press | News | Comments

The world's largest and most powerful atom smasher goes into a 2-year hibernation in March, as engineers carry out a revamp to help it reach maximum energy levels that could lead to more stunning discoveries following the detection of the so-called "God particle."

New military apparel repels chemical, biological agents

October 17, 2012 8:17 am | News | Comments

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists and collaborators are developing a new military uniform material that repels chemical and biological agents using a novel carbon nanotube fabric. The material will be designed to undergo a rapid transition from a breathable state to a protective state.

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Navy evaluating second electromagnetic railgun prototype

October 10, 2012 10:14 am | News | Comments

The Office of Naval Research's Electromagnetic (EM) Railgun program is evaluating the second of two industry railgun prototype launchers at a facility in Dahlgren, Va. The EM Railgun launcher is a long-range navel weapon that fires projectiles using electricity instead of traditional gun propellants such as explosive chemicals.

Plasma laboratory awarded $12 million grant for fusion research

October 9, 2012 8:42 am | News | Comments

A center based at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory has won a highly competitive $12.25 million grant to develop computer codes to simulate a key component of the plasma that fuels fusion energy. The five-year U.S. Department of Energy award could produce software that helps researchers design and operate facilities to create fusion as a clean and abundant source of energy for generating electricity.

Computational model identifies potential pathways to improve plant oil production

October 8, 2012 8:21 am | News | Comments

Using a computational model they designed to incorporate detailed information about plants' interconnected metabolic processes, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory have identified key pathways that appear to "favor" the production of either oils or proteins. The research may point the way to new strategies to tip the balance and increase plant oil production.

A one-of-a-kind energy grid simulator

October 3, 2012 7:38 am | News | Comments

A one-of-a-kind, high-tech modeling tool designed to simulate different situations on the electric power grid will be on display at the White House. The result of a multi-year funding effort, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers will joining Energy Secretary Steven Chu to demonstrate how GridLAB-D can help power system operators, industry, innovators, and entrepreneurs understand how making a change to one part of the power system impacts other parts on the grid.

Agreement will lead to commercialization of batteries for renewable energy storage

October 2, 2012 1:50 pm | by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | News | Comments

A Washington state firm with a 27,000 square foot manufacturing and design facility in Mukilteo has signed a license agreement with Battelle to further develop and commercialize a type of advanced battery that holds promise for storing large amounts of renewable energy and providing greater stability to the energy grid.

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Georgia Tech awarded $6 million to improve safety of nuclear reactors

October 1, 2012 10:39 am | News | Comments

The Georgia Institute of Technology has won a $6 million federal grant to design improvements that strengthen the performance and safety of nuclear systems beyond today's capabilities. The three-year project will engage universities, industry partners, and international organizations to develop a novel concept of a light water reactor with inherent safety features.

Anti-flu proteins work as designed

October 1, 2012 10:05 am | News | Comments

Understanding why proteins interact with certain specific molecules and not with the myriad others in their environment is a major goal of molecular biology. Now, in a series of recent papers, researchers describe how they designed proteins from scratch to have a high affinity and high specificity for targets on flu viruses, and then validated the two best designs using X-ray diffraction data collected at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL).

Yearlong climate study launches

October 1, 2012 9:50 am | News | Comments

A Horizon Lines container ship outfitted with meteorological and atmospheric instruments installed by scientists from Argonne National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory will begin taking data for a yearlong mission aimed at improving the representation of clouds in climate models.

Nickelblock: An element's love-hate relationship with battery electrodes

September 27, 2012 12:30 pm | News | Comments

Anyone who owns an electronic device knows that lithium-ion batteries could work better and last longer. Now, scientists examining battery materials on the nanoscale reveal how nickel forms a physical barrier that impedes that shuttling of lithium ions in the electrode, reducing how fast the materials charge and discharge. The research also suggest a way to improve the materials.

100th shot for LLNL's 'gun in the desert'

September 27, 2012 3:50 am | News | Comments

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's JASPER gas gun has fired its 100th shot. JASPER (the Joint Actinide Shock Physics Experimental Research) is a key scientific tool for the National Nuclear Security Administrations Stockpile Stewardship Program and its experiments have enabled scientists to understand important properties and behaviors of plutonium and other special nuclear materials without conducting underground nuclear tests.

Producing ethylene via photosynthesis

September 26, 2012 5:01 am | News | Comments

Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have demonstrated a better way to use photosynthesis to produce ethylene, a breakthrough that could change the way materials, chemicals, and transportation fuels are made, and help clean the air. The scientists introduced a gene into a cyanobacterium and demonstrated that the organism remained stable through a least four generations, producing ethylene gas that could be easily captured.

Novel materials become multifunctional at ultimate quantum limit

September 25, 2012 9:17 am | News | Comments

A University of Arkansas physicist and his colleagues have examined the lower limits of novel materials called complex oxides and discovered that unlike conventional semiconductors the materials not only conduct electricity, but also develop unusual magnetic properties.

A clock that will last forever

September 24, 2012 9:03 am | News | Comments

Imagine a clock that will keep perfect time forever or a device that opens new dimensions into the study of such quantum phenomena as emergence and entanglement. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers have proposed a space-time crystal based on an electric-field ion trap and the Coulomb repulsion of particles that carry the same electrical charge.

Small X-band photoinjector packs powerful punch

September 24, 2012 6:24 am | News | Comments

Accelerator physicists at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have started commissioning the world's most compact photoinjector, a device that spits out electrons when hit by light. Photoinjectors are used to generate electrons for free-electron lasers (FELs) like the Linac Coherent Light Source, among other things, and this development could enable much more compact FELs, as well as other types of accelerator-based facilities.

Sandia shows why common explosive sometimes fails

September 21, 2012 5:05 am | News | Comments

The explosive PETN has been around for a century and is used by everyone from miners to the military, but it took new research by Sandia National Laboratories to begin to discover key mechanisms behind what causes it to fail at small scales. By developing a novel technique based on physical vapor deposition to create samples with varying thickness, the researchers were able to study detonation behavior at the sub-millimeter scale and to determine that PETN detonation fails at a thickness roughly the width of human hair.

New use for old tools could boost biodiesel output

September 20, 2012 12:49 pm | News | Comments

Tried-and-true techniques could help optimize oilseed yield for biodiesel production, according to studies conducted by U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists. For more than 30 years, near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy has been used as a rapid and nondestructive method for measuring protein, moisture, and oil levels in whole grains. Now researchers are studying how to use remote sensing tools to quickly assess seed oil quality and quantity before and after harvest.

Fast, sensitive nanophotonic motion sensor developed for silicon microdevices

September 20, 2012 3:58 am | News | Comments

Using a microscopic optical sensor that can be batch-fabricated on a silicon chip at low cost, researchers from NIST have measured the mechanical motion between two nanofabricated structures with a precision close to the fundamental limit imposed by quantum mechanics.

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