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Welcome to the Fundamental & Computational Sciences website.
I hope you take the opportunity to explore it and learn about the outstanding people, capabilities and scientific research at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

—Doug Ray, Associate Lab Director

"We strive to make progress on today's important scientific challenges."


Research Highlights

L. Ruby Leung
Full Story | January 2015

Leung and Kravitz Named Top Authors

PNNL scientists representing both ends of the research experience spectrum were recognized for their publication prowess by the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Congratulations to Drs. L. Ruby Leung, a Laboratory Fellow, and Ben Kravitz, a postdoctoral researcher, both atmospheric scientists at PNNL. AGU named the two scientists among the top authors in American Geophysical Union journals over the last three years.

image of bowl of tomato soup
Full Story | January 2015

Man trumps dog: Earlier assumption about BPA exposure confirmed
New human study shows oral exposure does not create risk for high BPA exposure

Coating the mouth with BPA-containing food, like soup, does not lead to higher than expected levels of BPA in blood, a new study in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology shows. The study authors, including PNNL's Justin Teeguarden, conclude that oral exposure does not create a risk for high exposures.

BPA, also known as bisphenol A, is used to make some plastics and to seal canned food containers against bacterial contamination. Food, which picks up trace amounts of BPA from packaging, is the major source of human exposure.

Calcium carbonate crystallization
Full Story | January 2015

How Ionic: Scaffolding in Charge of Calcium Carbonate Crystals
Proteins and carbohydrates may instigate crystallization by acting like a sponge to capture calcium ions

Nature packs away carbon in chalk, shells, and rocks made by marine organisms that crystallize calcium carbonate. Now, research suggests that the soft organic scaffolds in which such crystals form direct crystallization by soaking up the calcium like an "ion sponge," according to new work in Nature Materials. Using a powerful microscope that lets researchers see the formation of crystals in real time, a team led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found that negatively charged molecules control where, when, and how calcium carbonate forms. These large macromolecules do so by directing where calcium ions bind in the scaffold rather than by providing the best environment for the crystal, as thought previously. Understanding the process better may help researchers to design bioinspired approaches to synthesize materials with unique structural, optical, and responsive properties, interpret the ancient climate record, and figure out how to remove climate-changing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and ocean.

Full Story | January 2015

The Speed to Solution
Addressing fast community detection and other related problems

For scientists in PNNL’s Advanced Computing, Mathematics, and Data Division, their work often crosscuts many domain science sectors within the Laboratory and among external collaborators. In this case, seeking methods to enhance data analytics of biological sequences using algorithmic graph theory led to a distinct intersection with work being done for high-performance computing applications contending with obstacles related to power constraints and massive data movement. For the scientists and their partners involved in this research, one point rings true: in science, the problems you start with may not be the only ones you solve.

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