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  • Figure 1

    How Moisture Affects the Way Soil Microbes Breathe

    The way microbes breathe, called heterotrophic respiration, is influenced most heavily by one environmental factor: moisture. That influence and its parameters is the subject of a new paper by Zhifeng Yan, Vanessa Bailey, and other scientists at PNNL.

  • peptoid films

    New Thin Films Can Self-Repair Following Damage

    Chemical separation accounts for 10 to 15 percent of the nation's energy use. The relatively thick nature and inefficiency of these separation techniques adds to the amount of energy used. Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and East China Normal University devised and tested a thin—about as thin as the skin of a soap bubble—film composed of a special type of molecules called peptoids that can repair itself, similar to the self-repair seen in cells of living organisms.

  • Best

    Halappanavar Caps Inaugural SIAM Conference with Best Paper Award

    Congratulations to Mahantesh Halappanavar, with ACMD Division’s Data Sciences group, who co-authored “On Stable Marriages and Greedy Matchings,” the Best Paper award winner at the inaugural peer-reviewed SIAM Workshop on Combinatorial Scientific Computing. This first-ever CSC best paper, which Halappanavar co-authored with Fredrik Manne, Md. Naim, and Haakon Lerring, all from the University of Bergen (Norway), recently was published by SIAM as part of its conference proceedings series.

  • animation of typhoon Haiyan satellite and destruction 2014

    Less Salty Ocean is Right Up Typhoons' Alley

    Typhoon Alley, an area of the western tropical Pacific, already has destructive storms that rip through the region. That area may see more and more intense storms, according to researchers at PNNL. Their analysis of the strongest tropical storms over the last half-century— known as super typhoons— reveals that they are intensifying. Rain that falls on the ocean reduces its salinity and allows typhoons to grow stronger.

Our researchers advance the frontiers of science to study, predict, and engineer complex adaptive systems related to Earth, energy, and security. Our investigations inhabit every scale. We study the vast whirl of aerosol-laden clouds; the complex shoreline interfaces of land and sea; the mysterious microbiomes that teem just beneath the Earth’s surface; and the myriad of molecules busy on surfaces just angstroms wide.

We investigate elemental chemical and physical processes, including new catalysts that speed up the efficiency of renewable fuels. We study climate system dynamics to predict the effects of climate change. We design and synthesize the functional and structural materials of the future, including robust metal foils thinner than a human hair.

We are proud to host two unique DOE user facilities. EMSL facilitates molecular-level investigations into the physical, chemical, and biological processes that underlie the Earth’s most critical environmental issues. ARM provides a setting for climate research and instrumentation development, and is strengthened by streaming data from a worldwide complex of sensing stations.

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