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Breakthroughs Magazine

At a Glance

President Bush briefed on energy

Bradley Fuell cell Team with President G.W. Bush and Sec. of Energy Samuel Bodman

Members of the Bradley Fuel Cell Team brief President Bush and Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman on Battelle's role in developing the fuel cell for the U.S. Army's Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

Three Pacific Northwest National Laboratory staff members were among those who briefed President George W. Bush on possible solutions to energy challenges during the President's visit to Battelle's corporate headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. The president was shown some of the leading-edge technologies currently under development at Battelle and the five U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories it manages or co-manages.

PNNL scientists briefed the President on the Laboratory's work with the electric power industry to enhance the security and reliability of the nation's electric power grid; PNNL's efforts to capture carbon dioxide from energy emissions; and its work with a fuel processor that generates hydrogen from synthetic diesel. The fuel processor is part of a fuel cell power unit that is being engineered to provide auxiliary power for the U.S. Army's Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

For more information, see Battelle's web site at Battelle operates PNNL for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Subhash C. Singhal
Subhash C. Singhal

Fuel cell pioneer elected to the
National Academy of Engineering

Subhash C. Singhal, director of fuel cell research at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering earlier this year.

Singhal is PNNL's only current staff member in the National Academy, which includes NAE, the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council. Singhal was cited by NAE "for the development and promotion of solid oxide fuel cells for clean and efficient power generation." He is noted for developing high-temperature solid oxide fuel cells, bringing this technology from experimental units that generated only a few watts to fully integrated, 200-kilowatt power-generation systems.

For more information, see PNNL's news release at

The DNA Capture Element Instrument

The DNA Capture Element Instrument or "green box."

Biological agent detection made easy

Air Force personnel will soon know within minutes if they or their equipment are contaminated with a biological agent, thanks to a new technology developed by the Air Force and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Personnel will use the biosensor system to collect and isolate samples, detect and identify agents, and assess the seriousness of the threat. The device is compact, quickly identifies agents, can be used repeatedly and requires very little maintenance to keep it running in the field. The green box, or DNA Capture Element instrument, determines if agents are present and was developed by researchers at PNNL. The box uses an Air Force-developed biochemical assay based on aptamers, or single-chain DNA fragments. "We've used our Lab's expertise to develop an instrument that's complementary to the Air Force's technology and that simultaneously satisfies the speed, specificity, sensitivity, portability, durability, health and safety needs," said Mike Lind, a senior advisor at PNNL. For more information, see PNNL's news release at

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