- Number 339 |
- June 13, 2011
New atomic-level "snapshots" reveal how bacteria such as E. coli produce and secrete sticky appendages called pili, which help the microbes attach to and infect human bladder cells. These crystal structures — produced at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) at DOE’s Brookhaven Lab and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France — unravel a complex choreography of protein-protein interactions that will aid in the design of new antibacterial drugs.
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Recent discussions of methods by which biomass – grasses, trees, and other vegetation – could be turned into fuel make a lot of sense in theory. Plant matter is composed of energy-intensive carbohydrates, but even now scientists still don’t have the perfect solution for converting plant sugars into combustible fuels.
Wind power researchers at DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory think we can move more electricity through the transmission lines we already have without breaking the bank. The key is to pay close attention to the weather. Just as a wisp of wind can make a sultry summer day much more bearable, a breeze can ease the journey for electricity traveling through hot power lines.
A decade ago, a muon collider was considered nearly impossible to build. Now, scientists at DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory are able to test some critical components for such an accelerator with a beam of protons.