Sandia Labs News Releases

Category Archives: Biology

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Lighting up disease-carrying mosquitoes

Sandia’s QUASR enables speedy, accurate detection of West Nile and other viruses LIVERMORE, Calif. — Mosquitoes are deadly efficient at spreading disease. Despite vaccines and efforts to eradicate the pesky insects, they continue to infect humans with feared diseases like Zika virus, malaria and West Nile virus. Gaining the upper hand on mosquitoes requires speed. […]

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 […]

Susan Remke

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 […]

Klebsiella photo

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 […]

Ronen Polsky

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 […]

Microbes to butanol

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 […]

NICE! the brain as a model for future supercomputers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The brain’s repute took a big hit in 1997 when an IBM supercomputer defeated world chess champion Gary Kasparov in a match reported around the world. But in the second round, the brain is back. A Sandia National Laboratories-supported workshop in Albuquerque called NICE, for Neuro-Inspired Computational Elements workshop, discussed ways to […]

‘Zombie’ replica cells may outperform live ones as catalysts and conductors

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — “Zombie” mammalian cells that may function better after they die have been created by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico (UNM). The simple technique coats a cell with a silica solution to form a near-perfect replica of its structure. The process may simplify a wide variety of […]

Engineering alternative fuel with cyanobacteria

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories Truman Fellow Anne Ruffing has engineered two strains of cyanobacteria to produce free fatty acids, a precursor to liquid fuels, but she has also found that the process cuts the bacteria’s production potential. Micro-algal fuels might be one way to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign energy. Such fuels […]


Sandia probability maps help sniff out food contamination

Uncovering the sources of fresh food contamination could become faster and easier thanks to analysis done at Sandia National Laboratories’ National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC). The study, in the International Journal of Critical Infrastructures, demonstrates how developing a probability map of the food supply network using stochastic network representation might shorten the time […]

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