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CFN Research Results in New Functional Material

Peter Sutter, Eli Sutter, and Xiao Tong

Brookhaven Lab physicists Peter Sutter, Eli Sutter, and Xiao Tong (left to right) with one of the Center for Functional Nanomaterials instruments used to characterize the new nanoparticle structures.

BNL scientists have discovered a way to create uniquely structured gold-indium nanoparticles that combine high stability, great catalytic potential, and a simple synthesis process. These new nanostructures might enhance many different commercial and industrial processes including acting as an efficient material for catalytic converters in cars.       

The researchers were studying oxidation processes through which metals and alloys combine with oxygen when they discovered a room-temperature process that transforms a simple alloy into a nanostructure with remarkable properties.  

The research was conducted at Brookhaven Lab's Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) whose unique state-of-the-art instruments and techniques – transmission electron microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and ion-scattering spectroscopy – accelerated the research and proved central to this discovery.

Read the full story to learn more about this exciting research.

2013-4093  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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Understanding How Food-Reward Signaling Contributes to Obesity

Gene-Jack Wang

Gene-Jack Wang

A recent brain-imaging study using positron emission tomography (PET) indicates that overeating and weight gain contributing to the onset of diabetes could be related to a deficit in reward circuits in the brain. Using PET imaging, researchers have identified a sweet spot in the brain that operates in a disorderly way when simple sugars are introduced to people with insulin resistance, a precursor to Type 2 diabetes. For those who have the metabolic syndrome, a sugar drink resulted in a lower-than-normal release of the chemical dopamine in a major pleasure center of the brain. This chemical response may be indicative of a deficient reward system, which could potentially be setting the stage for insulin resistance. This research could revolutionize the medical community's understanding of how food-reward signaling contributes to obesity.

"Insulin resistance is a significant contributor to obesity and diabetes," said lead author of the study, Gene-Jack Wang, of Stony Brook University and Brookhaven Lab. "A better understanding of the cerebral mechanisms underlying abnormal eating behaviors with insulin resistance would help in the development of interventions to counteract the deterioration caused by overeating and subsequent obesity. We suggest that insulin resistance and its association with less dopamine release in a central brain reward region might promote overeating to compensate for this deficit."

Read the full article on this research.

2013-4094  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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Visit BNL This Summer

Summer Sunday visitors

Summer Sunday visitors at BNL's National Synchrotron Light Source.

Brookhaven National Laboratory has been opening its doors up to the public for more than 50 years. This year, our Summer Sundays feature talks by researchers, hands-on activities, and science shows, as well as an opportunity for the community to learn about our cutting-edge science and operations and visit our facilities. 

2013 Summer Sundays Schedule

Family Fun Day will be held on July 14. Visit our Science Learning Center, which hosts more than 35,000 school children and teachers each year, use the scientific method to explore magnets, mirrors, and more.  You can also catch a show! "Phenomenal Physics" with Mr. Fish will take place in the Berkner Hall auditorium.

Tour the National Synchrotron Light Source II on July 21. NSLS-II, which will be 10,000 times brighter than our current Light Source, will be on display! Visit exciting exhibits, master the synchrotron quiz, and win prizes. Don't miss the "Science Laser Light Spectacular" show in the Berkner Hall auditorium.

On July 28, "Explore the Ultra Small" at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) where Brookhaven scientists probe structures and properties of materials at scales as tiny as a billionth of a meter – 100,000 times smaller than a single human hair. Be sure to stop at the Nano Toy Zone and stay for the "Magic of Energy" show in Berkner Hall.

Visit the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, or RHIC (pronounced 'Rick"), a world-class particle accelerator where physicists recreate the conditions of the universe just after the Big Bang! On August 4, tour RHIC's house-size particle detectors, try to stump a physicist, and watch the "Einstein Alive" show in the Berkner Hall auditorium.

Free fun, no reservations required! It's always best to arrive early. Our gates open at 10 a.m. The science shows take place each Sunday at noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Just remember – visitors 16 and older must bring a photo ID. 

2013-4095  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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  • July and August – Community Advisory Council summer break. Next meeting will be September 12, 2013.
  • July 18 – Brookhaven Women in Science Colloquia Series, "Incentives for Innovation!" presented by Gustavo Manso, University of California, Berkley. 4 PM. Berkner Hall Auditorium.
  • July 24 – Noon Recital - Pianofest, a summer workshop held in the Hamptons, will be showcased. Berkner Hall Auditorium.

*The events above are free and open to the public. Visitors 16 and older must bring a photo ID for access to BNL events.

2013-4097  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office