Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


Audio Spot: Research focuses on learning more about pollen, allergies

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., June 10, 2005 — Allergy season is upon us, but scientists may soon gain a better understanding of why air particles cause many to sniff and sneeze.

Mengdawn Cheng, a researcher in the Environmental Sciences Division of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, said the study of pollen and its relationship with allergies is a growing science.

"A lot of new particle measurement technologies and molecular technologies have been used to understand the proteins, enzymes and how the physics and chemistry of particles interact," the Oak Ridge researcher said.

Cheng's research focuses on nano-particles in the air, which is a key to learning more about the mysteries of pollen and allergies.

"Pollen is airborne mostly," Cheng said. "It can be considered as a bio-aerosol, and that is one of the areas where we are doing active research."

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.