Argonne National Laboratory, research center, based in Argonne, Ill., 27 mi (43 km) SW of downtown Chicago, with other facilities at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, 50 mi (80 km) W of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Founded in 1946 by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission for research and development in nuclear energy, it now operates under an agreement involving the U.S. Department of Energy and the Univ. of Chicago. Much of its multidisciplinary basic research involves the use of radiation as a tool in the physical and life sciences. Recent foci have included developing new pharmaceuticals and technical devices, and studying the operation of adhesives and fertilizers.