Public Release: 3-Mar-2016
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Cloudy problems: Today's clouds might not be the same as pre-industrial ones
Clouds are notoriously hard to simulate in computer programs that model climate. A new study in the Proceedings on the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition suggests why -- either clouds are more variable than scientists give them credit for, or those bright white clouds in the sky are much dirtier than scientists thought.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 3-Mar-2016
Climate Dynamics (Rain)cloud computing: Researchers work to improve how we predict climate change
At Argonne National Laboratory, two scientists work on simulations that project what the climate will look like 100 years from now. Last year, they completed the highest-resolution climate forecast ever done for North America, dividing the continent into squares just over seven miles on a side -- far more detailed than the standard 30 to 60 miles.
US Department of Defense's Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program
Public Release: 1-Mar-2016 Belgium's Red Electrical Devils win $1 million for innovative inverter design
Google and IEEE announced today that Belgium's Red Electrical Devils, a team from CE+T Power, has won the Little Box Challenge, a competition to invent a much smaller inverter for interconnecting solar power systems to the power grid. The success earned the team a $1 million prize while proving that inverters can be the size of a tablet or smaller rather than the size of a picnic cooler, more than a factor of 10 reduction in size.
Public Release: 1-Mar-2016 Ridgeview Classical Charter Schools wins 26th Colorado Science Bowl
Students from Ridgeview Classical Charter Schools won the Colorado High School Science Bowl. They will represent the state of Colorado at the US Department of Energy's National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C., April 28-May 2, where they will compete against more than 400 students from 70 high schools for the national title.
Public Release: 29-Feb-2016 Cyclotron Road announces the selection of its second cohort of innovators
Today, Berkeley Lab's Cyclotron Road program announced the selection of its second cohort of innovators, whose projects include next generation batteries, advanced materials, biomanufacturing, and solar technologies. Cyclotron Road recruits entrepreneurial researchers and embeds them at Berkeley Lab for up to two years in a mentored technology entrepreneurship program.
Dept. of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office
Public Release: 29-Feb-2016
Nature Communications New form of electron-beam imaging can see elements that are 'invisible' to common methods
Scientists at Berkeley Lab have developed a new imaging technique, tested on samples of nanoscale gold and carbon, that greatly improves images of light elements using fewer electrons. The technique can reveal structural details for materials that would be invisible to a traditional electron-imaging method.
Public Release: 25-Feb-2016
Science Synchronized leaf aging in the Amazon responsible for seasonal increases in photosynthesis
High-tech photography in the Amazon reveals that young leaves grow in at the same times as older ones perish, in strong contrast to temperate forests in North America or Europe, resulting in seasonal increases in photosynthesis that must be taken into account to build more accurate climate models.
National Science Foundation, NASA Terra-Aqua Science, GoAmazon Project, US Department of Energy, Brazilian State Science Foundations/Sao Paolo & Amazônas
Public Release: 23-Feb-2016
Plant & Cell Physiology New way to reduce plant lignin could lead to cheaper biofuels
Berkeley Lab scientists have shown for the first time that an enzyme can be tweaked to reduce lignin in plants. Their technique could help lower the cost of converting biomass into carbon-neutral fuels to power your car and other sustainably developed bio-products.
Public Release: 23-Feb-2016
Global Change Biology: Bioenergy A new recipe for biofuel: Genetic diversity can lead to more productive growth
A team of national laboratory and university researchers led by the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory is growing large test plots of switchgrass crops with the farmer in mind. For the first time, researchers have mixed different genetic varieties of switchgrass on production-size plots, hypothesizing this could increase yield by extending the growing season, varying the size of the switchgrass plants to produce a fuller crop and potentially reducing the crop's vulnerability to weather fluctuations.
Public Release: 18-Feb-2016
Science Biofuel tech straight from the farm
Nature's figured it out already, how to best break down food into fuel. Now scientists have caught up, showing that fungi found in the guts of goats, horses and sheep could help fill up your gas tank too.
US Department of Energy Office of Science, US Department of Agriculture, Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies
Public Release: 16-Feb-2016 Titan probes depths of biofuel's biggest barrier
Cellulosic ethanol -- fuel derived from woody plants and waste biomass -- has the potential to become an affordable, renewable transportation fuel that rivals gasoline, but lignin, one of the most ubiquitous components of the plant cell wall, gets in the way. To better understand exactly how lignin persists, a team based at Oak Ridge National Laboratory created one of the largest biomolecular simulations to date -- a 23.7-million atom system representing pretreated biomass (cellulose and lignin) in the presence of enzymes.
DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 16-Feb-2016
Algal Research Renewable fuels from algae boosted by NREL refinery process
A new biorefinery process developed by scientists at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has proven to be significantly more effective at producing ethanol from algae than previous research.
Public Release: 15-Feb-2016 Ice sheet modeling of Greenland, Antarctica helps predict sea-level rise
Predicting the expected loss of ice sheet mass is difficult due to the complexity of modeling ice sheet behavior. To better understand this loss, a team of Sandia National Laboratories researchers has been improving the reliability and efficiency of computational models that describe ice sheet behavior and dynamics. This research is part of a five-year project called Predicting Ice Sheet and Climate Evolution at Extreme Scales, funded by the US Department of Energy's Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing program.
Public Release: 10-Feb-2016
Nature SLAC X-ray laser turns crystal imperfections into better images of important biomolecules
Often the most difficult step in taking atomic-resolution images of biological molecules is getting them to form high-quality crystals needed for X-ray studies of their structure. Now researchers have shown they can get sharp images even with imperfect crystals using the world's brightest X-ray source at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
Helmholtz Association, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, European Research Council, Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany, University of Hamburg, BioXFEL Science Technology Center, and others
Public Release: 8-Feb-2016
Science Advances NREL explains the higher cellulolytic activity of a vital microorganism
Researchers at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) say better understanding of a bacterium could lead to cheaper production of cellulosic ethanol and other advanced biofuels.
Public Release: 8-Feb-2016 NREL patents method for continuous monitoring of materials during manufacturing
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) was recently issued a patent for a novel method that rapidly characterizes specialized materials during the manufacturing process. This approach significantly improves on standard quality control techniques by allowing for complete monitoring of materials without interrupting workflow.
Public Release: 8-Feb-2016
Nature Structural & Molecular Biology Scientists propose 'pumpjack' mechanism for splitting and copying DNA
New close-up images of the proteins that copy DNA inside the nucleus of a cell have led a team of scientists to propose a brand new mechanism for how this molecular machinery works. The scientists studied proteins from yeast cells, which share many features with the cells of complex organisms such as humans, and could offer new insight into ways that DNA replication can go awry.
National Institutes of Health, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Brookhaven Lab Biology Department
Public Release: 4-Feb-2016 Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, February 2016
Batteries for grid, stationary uses get a boost with new technology; ORNL hosting neuromorphic computing workshop; ORNL part of team developing cleaner biomass cookstove; ORNL has key role in Critical Materials Institute work; Study of nanocrystal growth key to developing new materials; and US coastal populations face potential risks with climate change.
Public Release: 3-Feb-2016 Algae raceway paves path from lab to real-world applications
In a twist of geometry, an oval can make a line. The new algae raceway testing facility at Sandia National Laboratories may be oval in shape, but it paves a direct path between laboratory research and solving the demand for clean energy.
Public Release: 28-Jan-2016 PNNL moves cybersecurity software and a novel disinfecting system beyond the lab
Software that helps cybersecurity analysts prevent hacks and a microbial disinfecting system that kills with an activated salt spray are two of the latest innovations Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has successfully commercialized with the help of business partners. The Federal Laboratory Consortium has honored the two teams with 2016 Excellence in Technology Transfer awards.
Department of Energy
Public Release: 27-Jan-2016
Nature Communications Uncovering hidden microbial lineages from hot springs
Although global microbial populations are orders of magnitude larger than nearly any other population in, on or around the planet, only a fraction has been identified thus far. In a Nature Communications study published Jan; 27, 2016, a team led by researchers at the DOE Joint Genome Institute, a DOE Office of Science User Facility, utilized the largest collection of metagenomic datasets to uncover a completely novel bacterial phylum that they have dubbed "Kryptonia."
United States Department of Energy Office of 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.