Leon Lederman was one of a kind.
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By Jordan Greer
Are you a tea enthusiast or coffee connoisseur? A common debate in labs, offices, and possibly within your own home, people usually prefer one over the other to start their day. In fact, tea and coffee are the most commonly consumed non-alcoholic beverages in the world. But what leads us to choose one pick-me-up over the other? While we may attribute our preferences to how we’re raised, recent research shows our choice of brew may also be linked to our DNA.
First, let’s consider what makes coffee and tea different. Both contain bitter compounds, though coffee contains higher amounts. However, their most noteworthy component is caffeine; coffee has roughly twice the amount found in black and green tea. Caffeine itself, though, is tasteless – well, to most of us.
By JARED SAGOFF
Originally published at: https://www.anl.gov/article/argonne-discovery-offers-new-way-to-coat-nuclear-materials
Inside an operating nuclear reactor, the environment is extreme, as reactor components are exposed to a combination of intense radiation and heat as well as chemically reactive coolant. That’s why, in order to operate reactors safely, scientists need to design their components with materials that can withstand these conditions.
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have made a pivotal discovery by taking a technique originally developed for the semiconductor industry and using it as a way to coat nuclear materials. This technique, called atomic layer deposition (ALD), forms the basis of new methods to protect nuclear fuels and materials from direct exposure to the reactor’s hostile environment.
“We are pioneering the use of ALD for nuclear applications,” Argonne nuclear engineer Abdellatif Yacout.
Argonne National Laboratory is accelerating more than protons these days. Through its Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI) entrepreneurship program, Argonne is accelerating the development of new businesses that are tackling the challenges of producing and conserving energy with new, cost effective and environmentally-sustainable technologies. Argonne is located in Lemont, Illinois, west of Chicago. It is owned by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) and operated by the University of Chicago. It is one of the largest and most scientifically diverse research centers in the world. The CRI program is supported by the Advanced Manufacturing Office within DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
This summer, with the first four startups graduating from the program, CRI innovators have raised about $12.4 million in funding as of Aug. 1, 2019. Out of that total, more than $5 million has come from private equity sources, and the rest has some from various organizations – including DOE – that offer open funding opportunities.
By Lauren Robinson
Are we alone?
If you’re wandering around the chambers of the Deep Mine Microbial Observatory, what was once a gold mine in South Dakota, it might feel as though you are — until, perhaps, you take a fluid sample from a borehole in the tunnel wall, run it under a microscope and observe one of the droplets teeming with microbial life.
Caitlin Casar, a third-year Ph.D. student at Northwestern University, says scientists can’t yet answer the big question: Are we alone in the universe?
“I hope that there is life on another planet, but whether or not it’s probable, I don’t think anybody can really say,” she said.
By Alexis Shanes
Microorganisms hiding in your toilet water could lead to a revolution in medical diagnosis and treatment, scientists say.
University of Chicago microbiologists Jack Gilbert and Savas Tay, co-founders of the medical startup BiomeSense, have developed a tool to gain medical insight from powerful bacteria in the gut.
Nine months after creating the company, Gilbert, Tay and their development team have made the concept of a microbiome measurement device a reality.
“We monitor your poop in a way that’s relevant to clinical trials,” Gilbert said. “We are finding out the next strategies for making people healthy.”