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.
Public Release: 30-Jul-2015 Argonne National Lab finds butanol is good for boats
Argonne has collaborated with Bombardier Recreational Products and the National Marine Manufacturers Association to demonstrate the effectiveness of a fuel blend with 16 percent butane. This blend would incorporate more biofuels into marine fuel without the issues caused by increasing levels of ethanol, which can cause difficulties in marine engines at high concentrations.
Vehicle Technologies Office within DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Public Release: 29-Jul-2015
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Playing 'tag' with pollution lets scientists see who's 'it'
Using a climate model that can tag sources of soot and track where it lands, researchers have determined which areas around the Tibetan Plateau contribute the most soot -- and where. The model can also suggest the most effective way to reduce soot on the plateau, easing the amount of warming the region undergoes. The study, which appeared in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics in June, might help policy makers target pollution reduction efforts.
US Department of Energy, National Basic Research Program of China
Public Release: 29-Jul-2015
Nature Tiny grains of rice hold big promise for greenhouse gas reductions, bioenergy
Rice is the staple food for more than half of the world's population, but the paddies it's grown in contributes up to 17 percent of global methane emissions -- about 100 million tons a year. Now, with the addition of a single gene, rice can be cultivated to emit virtually no methane, more starch for a richer food source and biomass for energy production, as announced in the July 30 edition of Nature and online.
The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning, National Natural Science Foundation of China
Public Release: 28-Jul-2015
Journal of Chemical Physics New computer model could explain how simple molecules took first step toward life
Sergei Maslov, a computational biologist at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and adjunct professor at Stony Brook University, and Alexei Tkachenko, a scientist at Brookhaven's Center for Functional Nanomaterials, have developed a model that explains how simple monomers could rapidly make the jump to more complex self-replicating polymers. What their model points to could have intriguing implications for the origins of life on Earth and CFN's work in engineering artificial self-assembly at the nanoscale.
DOE Office of Science
Public Release: 24-Jul-2015
Science Advances Unlocking the rice immune system
JBEI and UC Davis researchers have identified a bacterial signaling molecule that triggers an immunity response in rice plants, enabling the plants to resist a devastating blight disease.
Public Release: 22-Jul-2015
Nature Long-sought discovery fills in missing details of cell 'switchboard'
A biomedical breakthrough in the journal Nature reveals never-before-seen details of the human body's cellular switchboard that regulates sensory and hormonal responses. The work is based on an X-ray laser experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
Public Release: 16-Jul-2015
Science Unearthing cornerstones in root microbiomes
A plant's immune system can distinguish between friends and foes among these microbes, and upon detecting pathogens, can produce regulatory chemicals called phytohormones to activate a defensive response. In a study published online July 16, 2015, in Science Express, a team including scientists from the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute looked at roles of three phytohormones in controlling the composition of the root microbiome in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 15-Jul-2015
FASEB Journal Closer look at microorganism provides insight on carbon cycling
An Argonne/University of Tennessee research team reconstructed the crystal structure of BAP, a protein involved in the process by which marine archaea release carbon, to determine how it functioned, as well as its larger role in carbon cycling in marine sediments.
Public Release: 14-Jul-2015 Battery second use offsets electric vehicle expenses, improves grid stability
Plug-in electric vehicles have the potential to dramatically drive down consumption of carbon-based fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but the relatively high price of these vehicles -- due in large part to the cost of batteries -- has presented a major impediment to widespread market penetration. Researchers at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory are playing a crucial role in identifying battery second use strategies capable of offsetting vehicle expenses while improving utility grid stability.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 14-Jul-2015
Nature Communications Gut microbes enable coffee pest to withstand extremely toxic concentrations of caffeine
Berkeley Lab scientists discovered that coffee berry borers worldwide share 14 bacterial species in their digestive tracts that degrade and detoxify caffeine. They also found the most prevalent of these bacteria has a gene that helps break down caffeine. Their research sheds light on the ecology of the destructive bug and could lead to new ways to fight it.
US Department of Agriculture, Laboratory Directed Research and Development program at Berkeley Lab, Mexico's National Council for Science and Technology
Public Release: 12-Jul-2015
Science Advances How clouds get their brightness
How clouds form and how they help set the temperature of the earth are two of the big remaining questions in climate research. Now, a study of clouds over the world's remotest ocean shows that ocean life is responsible for up to half the cloud droplets that pop in and out of existence during summer.
US Department of Energy, NASA, US Department of Defense, National Science Foundation
Public Release: 7-Jul-2015
Biomass & Bioenergy Scientists study ways to integrate biofuels and food crops on farms
Planting bioenergy crops like willows or switchgrass in rows where commodity crops are having difficulty growing could both provide biomass feedstock and also limit the runoff of nitrogen fertilizer into waterways -- all without hurting a farmer's profits.
DOE/Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Public Release: 26-Jun-2015
Science Orange is the new red
Berkeley Lab researchers discovered that a photoprotective mechanism in cyanobacteria is triggered by an unprecedented, large-scale movement from one location to another of the carotenoid pigment within the Orange Carotenoid Protein.
US Department of Energy Office of Science
Public Release: 25-Jun-2015
ACS Environmental Science and Technology Argonne analysis shows increased carbon intensity from Canadian oil sands
The US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory this week released a study that shows gasoline and diesel refined from Canadian oil sands has a higher carbon impact than fuels derived from conventional domestic crude sources.
Bioenergy Technologies Office and Vehicle Technologies Office within US Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Public Release: 24-Jun-2015
Journal of Physical Oceanography Analyzing ocean mixing reveals insight on climate
Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a computer model that clarifies the complex processes driving ocean mixing in the vast eddies that swirl across hundreds of miles of open ocean.
Public Release: 19-Jun-2015
Physics Review Letters New 'molecular movie' reveals ultrafast chemistry in motion
Scientists for the first time tracked ultrafast structural changes, captured in quadrillionths-of-a-second steps, as ring-shaped gas molecules burst open and unraveled. Ring-shaped molecules are abundant in biochemistry and also form the basis for many drug compounds. The study points the way to a wide range of real-time X-ray studies of gas-based chemical reactions that are vital to biological processes.
Public Release: 18-Jun-2015
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry New tool on horizon for surgeons treating cancer patients
Surgeons could know while their patients are still on the operating table if a tissue is cancerous, according to researchers from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School.
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.