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23 Jan 2017

Today's Categories: Editor's Choice / PNNL in the News / Energy/Science Policy / Northwest Science and Technology / National/International Science and Technology / Security / Workforce - Health and Safety / Other /

Editor's Choice Editor's Choice

Combining theory and experiment in electrocatalysis: Insights into materials design

Chemists have known how to use electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen for more than 200 years. Nonetheless, because the electrochemical route is inefficient, most of the hydrogen made nowadays comes from natural gas. Seh et al. review recent progress in electrocatalyst development to accelerate water-splitting, the reverse reactions that underlie fuel cells, and related oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide reductions.

Activation and discovery of earth-abundant metal catalysts using sodium tert-butoxide

First-row, earth-abundant metals offer an inexpensive and sustainable alternative to precious-metal catalysts. As such, iron and cobalt catalysts have garnered interest as replacements for alkene and alkyne hydrofunctionalization reactions. However, these have required the use of air- and moisture-sensitive catalysts and reagents, limiting both adoption by the non-expert as well as applicability, particularly in industrial settings.

Return to Top of PagePNNL in the News PNNL in the News

Modifying the composition of magnetite to enable it to convert sunlight into electrical current

A team of scientists has compositionally modified magnetite to capture visible sunlight and convert this light energy into electrical current. This current may be useful to drive the decomposition of water into hydrogen and oxygen. The team generated this material by replacing one third of the iron atoms with chromium atoms. The team is from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and includes researchers from EMSL, the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a DOE Office of Science user facility, and Argonne National Laboratory.

Glass from ancient Swedish fort provides knowledge for Hanford cleanup

Scientists at PNNL are using 2,000 year old glass from Europe to learn more about glass to better access the durability of glass planned to be made at Hanford to encase radioactive waste and dispose of the waste. The glass must contain the waste for thousands of years. (w/video)

Return to Top of PageEnergy/Science Policy Energy/Science Policy

Trump orders sweeping freeze, pledges energy reforms

President Trump ordered a mandatory freeze on a wide range of pending Obama administration rules over the weekend ... The freeze could have an immediate effect on a number of non-final rules from agencies like the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, U.S. EPA, the Department of Transportation, among others, according to federal records.

Return to Top of PageNorthwest Science and Technology Northwest Science and Technology

Big Data Predicts Structures for Hundreds of Protein Families

A team led by University of Washington’s David Baker in collaboration with researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) has reported that structural models have been generated for hundreds of protein families that had previously had no structural information available. (

Return to Top of PageNational/International Science and Technology National/International Science and Technology

Catalysis with a light touch

Pairing two catalysts in a single, illuminated reaction flask proves to be a light-bulb moment for organic synthesis. The light from a standard electric light bulb is the key to a simple, green version of the C-H activation reaction, and as researchers at KAUST have shown, this is one of the hottest new reactions for assembling complicated chemical structures. (

Despite Trump Bluster, US-China Climate Change Center Nails 5 Million [Dollar] Grant

US President Donald Trump is fond of taking pokes at China, but the anti-China message doesn’t seem to have gotten through to the Department of Energy. Last week the agency took in a 5 million [dollar] donation that will help ensure that the heart of a climate change research collaboration between the US and China keeps beating.

Hydrogen refueling stations for cars to reach 5,000 by 2032

Refueling stations that would support a burgeoning hydrogen fuel-cell industry are on the rise and should reach nearly 5,000 by 2032, according to a new report.

Space-Age Challenge: Healing Broken Bones, Wounds and Internal Organs

Ronke Olabisi once dreamed of becoming an astronaut. Now she’s conducting research that could help space travelers and Earth-dwellers heal faster and stay healthy. "If healing people faster on Earth is going to be helpful, then it’s really going to be helpful in space," said Olabisi, an assistant professor in Rutgers’ Department of Biomedical Engineering. "Spaceflight affects every single system."

Researchers test nanoparticle sensors in microscopic worms

Stanford researchers are collaborating to create nanoparticles that emit light in response to a force stimulus. They hope to use these nanoparticles as sensors to study the miniscule, previously ignored forces governing many biological processes. Currently, they are testing these sensors in the digestive systems of millimeter-long worms called nematodes.

Return to Top of PageSecurity Security

The Military May Soon Buy the Same Drones You Do

Tiny drones could scout high-rise buildings and underground tunnels for possible threats to US troops in cities of the future. But instead of spending years cooking up the necessary drone technologies in military research labs, the Pentagon might be better off shopping for the latest civilian drones coming soon to stores.

Week ahead: Early questions for Trump on cybersecurity

President Trump says Monday will be day one of his administration, and right off the bat he'll face questions about his cybersecurity policy. Here's what cybersecurity experts will be looking at as the new administration gets to work and its policies take shape.

Return to Top of PageWorkforce - Health and Safety Workforce - Health and Safety

Building A Culture Of Workplace Health: More Complicated Than Offering Workers Money To Be Healthy

To move the needle on workforce health, employers need to establish and maintain comprehensive, multi-component, evidence-based health promotion programs that improve organizational health (discussed below) alongside individual health. So, how does an employer build a culture of health that is broader than any individual wellness program component?

What obesity costs your business: The importance of healthy incentives

A late-night drive-thru, a quick stop on a road trip, busy families with little time to exercise. Obesity has become an epidemic - especially in the United States, where the convenience of food and lack of time often outweigh healthy habits. What qualifies a person as being "obese?"

What you need to know about climate change and worker health and safety

You may be aware that climate change is affecting sea levels, weather patterns, and animal habitats-but have you thought about how it could affect the hazards your workers are exposed to?

Return to Top of PageOther Other

University of Miami Announces Creation of the Frost Institutes for Science and Engineering

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Recognizing the need to grow a global, interdisciplinary network focused on scientific discovery and solutions, the University of Miami announced Monday that it is creating the Frost Institutes for Science and Engineering to achieve those milestones by elevating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to help solve some of the world's most pressing problems. (press release)

John Arnold Made a Fortune at Enron. Now He’s Declared War on Bad Science

Brian Nosek had pretty much given up on finding a funder. For two years he had sent out grant proposals for his software project. ... Like a number of up-and-coming researchers in his generation, Nosek was troubled by mounting evidence that science itself-through its systems of publication, funding, and advancement-had become biased toward generating a certain kind of finding: novel, attention grabbing, but ultimately unreliable.

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