Public Release: 5-Oct-2015
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A simpler way to estimate the feedback between permafrost carbon and climate
Researchers led by a scientist from Berkeley Lab have developed a simple model of permafrost carbon based on direct observations. Their approach could help climate scientists evaluate how well permafrost dynamics are represented in the Earth system models used to predict climate change.
Public Release: 29-Sep-2015
Nature Plants Large trees -- key climate influencers -- die first in drought
In forests worldwide, drought consistently has had a more detrimental impact on the growth and survival of larger trees, new research shows. In addition, while the death of small trees may affect the dominance of trees in a landscape, the death of large trees has a far worse impact on the ecosystem and climate's health, especially due to the important role that trees play in the carbon cycle.
DOE/Office of Science, Smithsonian Competitive Grants Program for Science, Laboratory Directed Research and Development
Public Release: 22-Sep-2015 NREL collaborates with trucking industry to prioritize R&D opportunities
Six to seven seconds -- that's the typical time between a pair of tractor-trailers traveling together at 65 mph. But, through the work of the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and its partners in the medium- and heavy-duty truck market, that gap may be shrinking.
Public Release: 22-Sep-2015
Nature Communications Dirty, crusty meals fit for (long-dormant) microbes
Deploying a set of tools he calls 'exometabolomics,' Trent Northen, a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, and his team harnessed the analytical capabilities of the latest mass spectrometry techniques to quantitatively measure how individual microbes and the biocrust community transform complex mixtures of metabolites, in this case, from soil. The study published Sept. 22, 2015 in Nature Communications.
Public Release: 8-Sep-2015 Wirth Chair honors NREL's Dan Arvizu
Dr. Dan E. Arvizu was honored at the 16th annual Wirth Chair Sustainability Awards Luncheon in Denver today for his longtime leadership at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The longest-serving director and chief executive in the research organization's history, Arvizu is retiring after 10 years at its helm.
Public Release: 2-Sep-2015
Chemical Communications Making fuel from light
Photosynthesis has given life to the planet. While scientists have been studying and mimicking the natural phenomenon in the laboratory for years, understanding how to replicate the chemical process behind it has largely remained a mystery -- until now.
DOE/Basic Energy Sciences
Public Release: 26-Aug-2015 DOE event marks beginning of landmark ecosystem experiment
Scientists are getting a glimpse of the future with a large-scale experiment designed to answer questions about how carbon-rich peatlands will respond to projected warming of the climate and increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Public Release: 26-Aug-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Cellular contamination pathway for plutonium, other heavy elements, identified
Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have reported a major advance in understanding the biological chemistry of radioactive metals, opening up new avenues of research into strategies for remedial action in the event of possible human exposure to nuclear contaminants.
US Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health
Public Release: 25-Aug-2015 NREL helps federal agencies reach new efficiency targets
When it comes to energy use, what the federal government wants is more of less. That means fewer greenhouse gases, fewer buildings powered solely by electricity generated from fossil fuels, and fewer gas-guzzling fleets on the road.
Public Release: 24-Aug-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Another milestone in hybrid artificial photosynthesis
Berkeley Lab researchers using a bioinorganic hybrid approach to artificial photosynthesis have combined semiconducting nanowires with select microbes to create a system that produces renewable molecular hydrogen and uses it to synthesize carbon dioxide into methane, the primary constituent of natural gas.
Public Release: 17-Aug-2015
American Chemical Society 250th National Meeting & Exposition Energy in chemical bonds and the plant-pollution connection
Researchers from the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will be honored and present new work at the 250th American Chemical Society national meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, Aug. 16-20.
Public Release: 17-Aug-2015
Nature Methods Major innovation in molecular imaging delivers spatial and spectral info simultaneously
Using physical chemistry methods to look at biology at the nanoscale, a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researcher has invented a new technology to image single molecules with unprecedented spectral and spatial resolution, thus leading to the first 'true-color' super-resolution microscope.
Public Release: 11-Aug-2015 Ethylene production via sunlight opens door to future
Here's the future of ethylene production as Dr. Jianping Yu sees it. 'We envision some farms in the field that cover many acres. We will have cyanobacteria harvesting sunlight and C02 and then produce ethylene or ethylene derivatives,' said Yu, a research scientist in the Photobiology Group at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
US Dept of Energy
Public Release: 10-Aug-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences New mathematics advances the frontier of macromolecular imaging
To see proteins in their native environment, scientists can blast powerful X-rays at tiny volumes of proteins in solution. Resulting 'diffraction patterns' can then be interpreted to reconstruct information about the protein's molecular structure. An emerging technique called fluctuation X-ray scattering could provide more detail than traditional solution scattering. But a major limitation for FXS has been a lack of mathematical methods to efficiently interpret the data. That's where Berkeley Lab's M-TIP comes in.
Public Release: 7-Aug-2015 Warning Area in Arctic airspace to aid research and exploration
A 700-mile-long, 40-mile-wide airspace that stretches north from Alaska nearly to the North Pole has been put under the stewardship of Sandia National Laboratories to create safer conditions for climate studies of clouds, retreating sea ice, and search-and-rescue missions. Initial participants include the Coast Guard, a major oil company, and unmanned aircraft manufacturers.
US Department of Energy, Office of Science
Public Release: 4-Aug-2015
Nature Plants Keeping algae from stressing out
Some algae like Chlamydomonas reinhardtii produce energy-dense oils or lipids when stressed, and these lipids can then be converted into fuels. However, researchers must stress the algae just enough to produce lipids, but not enough to kill them. In Nature Plants, a team led by DOE Joint Genome Institute scientists analyzed the genes being activated during algal lipid production; particularly the molecular machinery that orchestrates these gene activities inside the cell when it produces lipids.
US Department of Energy Office of Science
Public Release: 4-Aug-2015
Cell Atomic view of microtubules
Berkeley Lab researchers produced an atomic view of microtubules that enabled them to identify the crucial role played by a family of end-binding proteins in regulating microtubule dynamic instability, the physical property that enables microtubules to play a crucial role in cell division.
Public Release: 3-Aug-2015
Cell Host & Microbe Gut microbes affect circadian rhythms in mice, study says
A study including researchers from the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago found evidence that gut microbes affect circadian rhythms and metabolism in mice.
Public Release: 3-Aug-2015 Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, August 2015
This tip sheet includes: intelligent agent-based software to be showcased at Smithsonian; Supercomputer speeding design, deployment of lightweight powertrain materials; ORNL process produces hydrogen from switchgrass; Sampling probe system identifies bioactive compounds in fungi and ORNL technique could accelerate advances in materials science.
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.