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Biosciences Division News Releases

The bio safety lab at the Advanced Protein Characterization Facility Advanced Photon Source to remain leader in protein structure research for years
May 5, 2014 — No X-ray facility in the world has supported more protein structure research and characterized more proteins than the Advanced Photon Source. Soon this 2/3-mile in circumference X-ray instrument will get a boost in efficiency that likely will translate into a big boon for the discovery of new pharmaceuticals, the control of genetic disorders and other diseases and advance the biotech industry. Read more.
Sulfur and iron minerals Study in 'Science' finds missing piece of biogeochemical puzzle in aquifers
May 1, 2014 — A study published today in Science magazine by researchers from Argonne may dramatically shift our understanding of the complex dance of microbes and minerals that takes place in aquifers deep underground. This dance affects groundwater quality, the fate of contaminants in the ground and the emerging science of carbon sequestration. Read more.
Protein crystal samples are placed on a small metal tip so X-rays from the adjacent beam pipe can pass through them and diffract off the atoms inside the crystal. Lessening X-ray damage is healthy for protein discovery data too
December 16, 2013 — New recommendations for using X-rays promise to speed investigations aimed at understanding the structure and function of biologically important proteins – information critical to the development of new drugs. Read more.
Kayakers and boats traverse the branch of the Chicago River in the downtown area Argonne partners with Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to study Chicago River microbe population
December 2, 2013 — Environmental microbiologist Jack Gilbert and other scientists from Argonne are partnering with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago to find out the typical sources and distribution of microbial communities in Chicago area waterways. Read more.
A portion of a diagram showing the impact that a phosphate bound or occluded within the Fe(III) oxides has on minerals produced by the iron-reducing bacterium Shewanella putrefaciens CN32 Phosphate influences cycling of iron and carbon in the environment
August 30, 2013 — New reserach has found that phosphate bound or occluded within the Fe(III) oxides has a significant impact on minerals produced by the iron-reducing bacterium Shewanella putrefaciens CN32, which provides key information for understanding how to use the bacteria to treat contaminated environments efficiently. Read more.
Photo of membrane protein kit that uses Rhodobacter bacteria to "manufacture" proteins Membrane protein kit may lead to better targeted drugs
August 29, 2013 — Argonne biologists Deborah Hanson and Phil Laible developed a method to produce large quantities of membrane proteins using Rhodobacter bacteria, which may lead to better targeted and more effective pharmaceuticals. Read more.
A portion of a map that catalogues the layers of sediment that make up the Mahomet Aquifer in central Illinois. Methane-eating microbes found in Illinois aquifer
July 24, 2013 — Methane-consuming microbes live deep underground in pristine aquifers, according to a study by Argonne and the Environmental Protection Agency. This type of organism, which can consume methane in the absence of oxygen, has previously been found only in marine sediments. Read more.
Thumbnail image: Small portion of diagram showing interaction of Glu61, Lys73, and Arg62 with bases Structures of Complexes Comprised of Fischerella Transcription Factor HetR With Anabaena DNA Targets
April 22, 2013 — According to new findings from researchers at the Midwest Center for Structural Genomics and the Structural Biology Center, the structure of the HetR–DNA complex obeys rules that are observed for base-specific and phosphate backbone interactions reported for other DNA-binding proteins. Read more.
A portion of the structure of the HNF-4A protein Argonne researchers uncover structure of new protein implicated in diabetes
April 4, 2013 — Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory, in collaboration with researchers from the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, recently determined and analyzed the three-dimensional structure of a protein found in the nuclei of liver and pancreatic cells. Read more.
The Blue Waters system. Credit: Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computation Biosciences Division’s Benoix Roux and Other Argonne Researchers Awarded Supercomputing Time on Blue Waters
March 28, 2013 — Four researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have been awarded computing time on the Blue Waters supercomputer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Read more.
NDM-1, a harmful enzyme able to overcome several antibiotics Breakthrough could lead to drugs that better combat 'superbugs'
February 28, 2013 — In the never-ending battle between antibiotic developers and the bacteria they fight, scientists at Argonne have made a key breakthrough that could allow for the development of new drugs to more effectively combat antibiotic-resistant "superbugs." Read more.
Using jackhammer to dig a sampling pit in frozen soil Alaska Soil Research Project Aiming to Improve Understanding of Global Climate
November 26, 2012 — A research team being led by Julie Jastrow, an ecologist at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, recently traveled to the North Slope of Alaska as part of a soil research project that aims to ultimately help improve and validate global climate models. Read more.
Photo of Metagenomics meeting attendees Argonne-Sponsored Meeting Showcases Scientific Advances in Soil Metagenomics
October 10, 2012 — More than 140 researchers from the United States, Canada, Brazil, Asia (Taiwan), and Europe (Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain) gathered at the Indian Lakes Resort near Chicago to participate in the 4th Annual Argonne Soil Metagenomics meeting October 3–5. Read more.
Microbial Bebop Songs in the key of sea
September 27, 2012 — Soft horns and a tinkling piano form the backbone of "Fifty Degrees North, Four Degrees West," a jazz number with two interesting twists: it has no composer and no actual musicians. Unless you count bacteria, that is. Read more.
Fulla Abdul-Jabbar U.S. Department of Energy student internships foster scientific and self-discovery
August 9, 2012 — On the surface, Fulla Abdul-Jabbar seems like any other young Argonne researcher. She is eager to learn, deftly navigates laboratory spaces and speaks passionately about her work. But one major detail sets her apart from her colleagues — she is 21 years old and has only worked at Argonne for a brief 10 weeks. Read more.
Phil Laible Biofuels: Anywhere, anytime
August 2, 2012 — The Endurance Bioenergy Reactor is a simple, easy-to-use portable system that uses bacteria to produce fuel that can go directly into engines and generators. By eliminating the need for refining, users can produce fuel onsite without complicated logistics. Read more | Endurance Bioenergy Reactor web page
Advanced Photon Source Key staph enzyme decoded at the Advanced Photon Source
March 24, 2011 — The battle against deadly staph infections is closer to victory as Illinois researchers have uncovered secrets of how the bacterium protects itself from human immune attacks, which could lead to more effective anti-staph therapies. Read more.

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