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Category Archives: Biology

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Algae raceway paves path from lab to real-world applications

LIVERMORE, Calif.— In a twist of geometry, an oval can make a line. The new algae raceway testing facility at Sandia National Laboratories may be oval in shape, but it paves a direct path between laboratory research and solving the demand for clean energy. As the nation and California adopt policies to promote clean transportation […]

Biological tools create nerve-like polymer network

Crowdsurfing motor proteins create possible prosthetic interface ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Using a succession of biological mechanisms, Sandia National Laboratories researchers have created linkages of polymer nanotubes that resemble the structure of a nerve, with many out-thrust filaments poised to gather or send electrical impulses. “This is the first demonstration of naturally occurring proteins assembling chemically […]

Algae nutrient recycling is a triple win

Sandia method cheaper, greener and cuts competition for fertilizer LIVERMORE, Calif. — Nitrogen and phosphate nutrients are among the biggest costs in cultivating algae for biofuels. Sandia molecular biologists Todd Lane and Ryan Davis have shown they can recycle about two-thirds of those critical nutrients, and aim to raise the recycling rate to close to […]

Sandia veterinarian helps make the world safer through livestock health and biosecurity

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Dr. Melissa Finley’s credibility was on the line as she worked, surrounded by skeptics, to save the life of a dehydrated calf in rural Afghanistan. As a woman and a foreigner she had to earn the trust of the villagers she was trying to help. “They had never given fluids before, so […]

Tracing the evolution of a drug-resistant pathogen

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — To fight a pathogen that’s highly resistant to antibiotics, first understand how it gets that way. Klebsiella pneumoniae strains that carry a particular enzyme are known for “their ability to survive any antibiotics you throw at them,” said Corey Hudson of Sandia National Laboratories in California. Using Sandia’s genome sequencing capabilities, Hudson […]

Starving cancer instead of feeding it poison

Simulation offers hope of killing cancers without sickening patients ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A patent application for a drug that could destroy the deadly childhood disease known as acute lymphoblastic leukemia — and potentially other cancers as well — has been submitted by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories, the University of Maryland and the MD Anderson […]

Sandia showcases biology breakthroughs available for licensing

LIVERMORE, Calif.—Technologies developed in Sandia National Laboratories’ biosciences program could soon find their way into doctors’ offices — devices like wearable microneedles that continuously analyze electrolyte levels and a lab-on-a-disk that can test a drop of blood for 64 different diseases in minutes. At a recent seminar for potential investors and licensees, part of the […]

Sandia researchers find clues to superbug evolution

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Imagine going to the hospital with one disease and coming home with something much worse, or not coming home at all. With the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistance pathogens, healthcare-associated infections have become a serious threat. On any given day about one in 25 hospital patients has at least one such infection […]

Prototype electrolyte sensor provides immediate read-outs

Painless wearable microneedle device may reduce trips to doctors’ offices ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Patients trying to navigate today’s complex medical system with its costly laboratory analyses might prefer a pain-free home diagnostic device, worn on the wrist, that can analyze, continuously record and immediately remedy low electrolyte levels. Runners, athletes in other strenuous sports and […]

Converting natural gas to liquid transportation fuels via biological organisms

LIVERMORE, Calif.— Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories will use their expertise in protein expression, enzyme engineering and high-throughput assays as part of a multiproject, $34 million effort by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) aimed at developing advanced biocatalyst technologies that can convert natural gas to liquid fuel for transportation. The ARPA-E program is Reducing […]

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