4-Feb-2015 Record keeping helps bacteria's immune system fight invaders
Bacteria have a sophisticated means of defending themselves, and they need it: more viruses infect bacteria than any other biological entity. Two experiments undertaken at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory provide new insight at the heart of bacterial adaptive defenses in a system called CRISPR, short for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat.
2-Feb-2015 Five ways to put tiny targets in front of an X-ray laser
X-ray devices have long been used to see the inner structure of things, from bone breaks in the human body to the contents of luggage at airport security checkpoints. But to see life's chemistry and exotic materials at the scale of individual atoms, you need a far more powerful X-ray device. Enter the Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
2-Feb-2015 The quest for efficiency in thermoelectric nanowires
Research detailed in a thermoelectric nanowire paper published by Sandia National Laboratories represents the first time researchers managed to control crystal orientation, crystal size and alloy uniformity by a single process. All three factors contribute to better thermoelectric performance.
28-Jan-2015 X-ray study reveals division of labor in cell health protein
Researchers working in part at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have discovered that a key protein for cell health, which has recently been linked to diabetes, cancer and other diseases, can multitask by having two identical protein parts divide labor.
27-Jan-2015 SLAC welcomes professor and Chemical Sciences Division director Tony Heinz
Tony Heinz, a scientist known for exploring the properties of nanoscale materials and developing important new tools for that exploration, has joined the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory as a professor of photon science and Stanford University as a professor of applied physics. He will also lead the SLAC Chemical Sciences Division.
22-Jan-2015 SLAC scientists search for new ways to deal with US uranium ore processing legacy
Researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory are trying to find out why uranium persists in groundwater at former uranium ore processing sites despite remediation of contaminated surface materials two decades ago. They think buried organic material may be at fault, storing toxic uranium at levels that continue to pose risks to human health and the environment, and hope their study will pave the way for better long-term site management and protection of the public and environment.
20-Jan-2015 Pinpointing the magnetic moments of nuclear matter
Using supercomputing resources at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at Berkeley Lab, a team of nuclear physicists has demonstrated for the first time the ability of quantum chromodynamics (QCD) -- a fundamental theory in particle physics -- to calculate the magnetic structure of some of the lightest nuclei. Their findings are part of an ongoing effort to further our understanding of the universe.
16-Jan-2015 SLAC's Peter Rowson named American Physical Society fellow
SLAC staff physicist Peter Rowson has been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society, the largest physics association in the world. APS confers this distinction on a small percentage of the society's membership; it is especially significant because it is a peer-nominated honor.
15-Jan-2015 RHIC physics feeds future high-tech workforce: Ágnes Mócsy
Ágnes Mócsy, a theoretical physicist and tenured associate professor at Pratt Institute, one of the world's prestigious art and design universities, hopes to convey the sense of awe she experienced seeing Brookhaven Lab's particle collider to the art students she teaches in physics and astronomy classes for non-physics majors.
12-Jan-2015 Water, water, everywhere -- Controlling the properties of nanomaterials
Properties of water molecules on the surface of metal oxides can be used to better control these minerals and use them to make products such as more efficient semiconductors for organic light emitting diodes and solar cells, safer vehicle glass in fog and frost, and more environmentally friendly chemical sensors for industrial applications.
7-Jan-2015 'Seeing' hydrogen atoms to unveil enzyme catalysis
A multi-institutional research team led by Chris Dealwis from Case Western Reserve University has used the new IMAGINE instrument at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's High Flux Isotope Reactor to map an enzyme that could play an important role in anti-cancer drug development.
5-Jan-2015 2014's top-10 scientific achievements at Brookhaven Lab
From new insights into the building blocks of matter to advances in understanding batteries, superconductors, and a protein that could help fight cancer, 2014 was a year of stunning successes for the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory.
30-Dec-2014 MSL's Radiochemistry Annex: It's getting hot in there
Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis, Washington State University and Savannah River National Laboratory are among the principal investigators seeking innovative solutions to environmental and energy production challenges in subsurface science. They are also among the scientists who submitted applications to the Special Science Call for Proposals to use EMSL's Radiochemical Annex. Learn more about three research projects using the Annex's resources.
18-Dec-2014 Crown ethers flatten in graphene for strong, specific binding
A team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has discovered a way to dramatically increase the selectivity and binding strength of crown ethers by incorporating them within a rigid framework of graphene. Strong, specific electrostatic binding of crown ethers may advance sensors, chemical separations, nuclear-waste cleanup, extraction of metals from ores, purification and recycling of rare-earth elements, water purification, biotechnology, energy production in durable lithium-ion batteries, catalysis, medicine and data storage.
16-Dec-2014 A standard for neuroscience data
In November, Neurodata without Borders hosted a hackathon to consolidate ideas for designing and implementing a standard neuroscience file format. And BrainFormat, a neuroscience data standardization framework developed at Berkeley Lab, was one of several candidates selected for further investigation. It is now a strong contender to contribute to the development of a community-wide data format and storage standard for the neuroscience research community.
15-Dec-2014 Is the Higgs Boson a piece of the matter-antimatter puzzle?
Several experiments, including the BaBar experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, have helped explain some -- but not all -- of the imbalance between matter and antimatter in the universe. Now a SLAC theorist and his colleagues have laid out a possible method for determining if the Higgs boson is involved.
11-Dec-2014 DESY's Henry Chapman awarded Leibniz Prize for X-ray laser research
Henry Chapman, a scientist at Germany's DESY lab who participated in pioneering studies at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray laser, has been awarded the Leibniz Prize. The 2.5 million euro ($3.1 million) scientific award is bestowed by a German research foundation. LCLS is a Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility.
8-Dec-2014 Study may help slow the spread of flu
An important study conducted in part at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory may lead to new, more effective vaccines and medicines by revealing detailed information about how a flu antibody binds to a wide variety of flu viruses.
4-Dec-2014 X-ray laser reveals how bacterial protein morphs in response to light
Researchers have captured the highest-resolution snapshots ever taken with an X-ray laser that show changes in a protein's structure over time, revealing how a key protein in a photosynthetic bacterium changes shape when hit by light. They achieved a resolution of 1.6 angstroms, equivalent to the radius of a single tin atom.
4-Dec-2014 Rattled atoms mimic high-temperature superconductivity
An experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory provided the first fleeting glimpse of the atomic structure of a material as it entered a state resembling room-temperature superconductivity -- a long-sought phenomenon in which materials might conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency under everyday conditions.
3-Dec-2014 SLAC, RadiaBeam build new tool to tweak rainbows of X-ray laser light
The Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has teamed up with Santa Monica-based RadiaBeam Systems to develop a device known as a dechirper, which will provide a new way of adjusting the range of energies within single pulses from SLAC's X-ray laser.
1-Dec-2014 Optimized algorithms boost combustion research
Turbulent combustion simulations, used in the design of more fuel-efficient combustion systems, have gotten their own efficiency boost, thanks to researchers from Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division. They developed new algorithmic features that streamline turbulent flame simulations, which are commonly used in the design of combustion systems such as diesel engines; after testing the enhanced code on NERSC supercomputers, they were able to achieve dramatic improvements in simulation times, which will help reduce the time -- and thus the cost -- of designing new engines.
24-Nov-2014 Berkeley Lab algorithms help researchers understand dark energy
To unlock the mystery of dark energy and its influence on the universe, researchers must rely on indirect observations -- watching how fast Type Ia supernovae recede from us as the universe expands. The process of identifying and tracking these objects requires scientists to scrupulously monitor the night sky for slight changes, a task that would be tedious and time-consuming for the Dark Energy Survey without novel tools developed by Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley researchers.
The Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.