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[cdn-nucl-l] PNNL Celebrates Arrival of Powerful NMR for Basic Research
Posted on the NorthernLight Business Wire on March 28, 2002 and at:
Advanced medical, chemical, physical, biological and life sciences
research made possible by nuclear technology. Something to abandon?
PNNL Celebrates Arrival of Powerful NMR for Basic Research; 900 NMR
Spectroscopy May Enable New Discoveries in Chemical, Physical,
Biological and Life Sciences
Story Filed: Thursday, March 28, 2002 11:02 AM EST
RICHLAND, Wash., Mar 28, 2002 (BW HealthWire) -- The Department of
Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory today celebrated the
arrival of the world's largest, highest-performance nuclear magnetic
resonance spectrometer -- a first-of-its-kind 900 megahertz (MHz)
wide-bore system developed by Oxford Instruments and Varian, Inc.
The 900 MHz wide-bore nuclear magnetic resonance, or NMR, spectrometer
is a powerful scientific instrument that may enable scientists to make
new discoveries in the chemical, physical, biological and life sciences.
When operational, this unique system could enhance understanding of
basic molecular and cellular processes and how those relate to damage or
repair to DNA, disease development and protein interactions.
NMR spectrometers are similar to the magnetic resonance imagers commonly
used in hospitals yet use much stronger magnetic fields and are able to
study much smaller samples than the human body. NMR spectrometers allow
scientists to determine the three-dimensional structure of molecules,
viewing them atom-by-atom to obtain detailed structural pictures of
complex proteins. These proteins may be associated with debilitating
diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
"This spectrometer will be a state-of-the-art instrument that should
enable us to gain new insight into biological phenomena and deliver
breakthrough science and technology," according to PNNL Director Lura
Installation of the system will complete the suite of advanced
instrumentation housed in the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular
Sciences Laboratory, a DOE scientific user facility at PNNL. As a user
instrument, the 900 MHz NMR will be available to other scientists
through a competitive proposal process.
"We're proud to make this novel tool available to the worldwide
scientific community. We want to share our capabilities so other
scientists can make new discoveries important to us all," Powell said.
"We appreciate the sustained effort by Oxford and Varian in making this
Over the last several years, Oxford Instruments of Oxford, England,
constructed the 900 MHz wide-bore magnet, which was energized in England
this past December. The magnet was delivered to PNNL on March 10 and
lifted by crane into EMSL on March 13. Varian, Inc. of Palo Alto,
Calif., provided the rest of the NMR system, including the electronics,
console, detectors, software and workstation. Both companies now will
integrate and install the system, energize the magnet -- called
"bringing it to field" -- and evaluate the system's performance over the
next few months. The first studies using the instrument are expected to
begin late this summer.
Over the past 40 years, scientists have used NMR technology to advance
their understanding of chemistry and molecular structure. The
laboratory's 900 MHz wide-bore system is part of a global shift toward
development of larger and more powerful NMRs. Greater power provides the
opportunity to study larger molecules individually and in group
interactions in greater detail. When PNNL ordered the 900 MHz wide-bore
system, the most powerful NMR in existence was 600 MHz. With its larger
bore size and power, PNNL's new system will allow scientists to study
molecules and cells at greater resolution, thereby facilitating more
detailed views of a cell's physical and chemical properties and
DOE's Office of Biological and Environmental Research funded the 900 MHz
wide-bore NMR magnet's development with $7.2 million, of which a $1.2
million final payment will be made when it is operational.
Business inquiries on PNNL research and technologies should be directed
to 1-888-375-PNNL or e-mail: email@example.com.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a DOE research facility and
delivers breakthrough science and technology in the areas of
environment, energy, health, fundamental sciences and national security.
Battelle, based in Columbus, Ohio, has operated the laboratory for DOE
Oxford Instruments, Superconductivity is a global leader of high-field
superconducting magnets and low-temperature cryogenic systems. Over
5,000 Oxford Instruments magnets are advancing NMR research applications
worldwide. The company is committed to quality and innovation and won
the prestigious R&D 100 award for the engineering and unique design for
the manufacture of the world's first fully operational high-field 900
MHz magnet. Its customers are leading research institutes worldwide who
are fully supported by a first-class customer support team for
installation, maintenance and service. Additional information is
available at www.oxford-instruments.com.
For background information on NMR, how it works, its importance and its
applications, go to:
CONTACT: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)
Staci Maloof, 509/372-6313
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