Scientific Diplomacy: Three Berkeley Lab scientists are collaborating with two Techwomen -- Patu Ndango from Cameroon and Rim Abid from Tunisia -- on quality control methods for constrained environments.
This year's SSRL/LCLS Annual Users' Meeting brought together nearly 400 researchers who conduct experiments at Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) and the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), including 90 participants in the concurrent High-Power Laser workshop.The meeting was held at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Sept. 27-29.
A staff member at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Acceleratory Laboratory, Matthew Latimer is in charge of seven spectroscopy beamlines at SSRL. He was recently selected for the 2017 Farrel W. Lytle Award, established by the SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee. The award promotes accomplishments in synchrotron science and supports collaboration among visiting scientists and staff who conduct research at SSRL.
In a recent experiment conducted at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, a research team used bright, ultrafast X-ray pulses from SLAC's X-ray free-electron laser to create a high-speed movie of a fluorescent protein in action. With that information, the scientists began to design a marker that switches more easily, a quality that can improve resolution during biological imaging.
Kathryn Hastie, staff scientist at The Scripps Research Institute, has spent the last decade studying how the deadly Lassa virus -- which causes up to half a million cases of Lassa fever each year in West Africa -- enters human cells via a cell surface receptor.
A research team has created for the first time a movie with nanoscale resolution of the three-dimensional changes a virus undergoes as it prepares to infect a healthy cell. The scientists analyzed thousands of individual snapshots from intense X-ray flashes, capturing the process in an experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
Franklin Fuller and Cornelius Gati have been awarded 2017 Panofsky Fellowships by the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, where they will work over the next five years to get significantly more information about how catalysts work and develop new and improved biological imaging methods.
Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory were part of a recent discovery of a new molecule that attacks tuberculosis-causing bacteria by cutting off its production of a chemical necessary for its survival.
Nature provides myriad examples of unique materials and structures developed for specialized applications or adaptations. An interdisciplinary group of researchers at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory is trying to unlock the secrets that organisms use to build such complex structures so that power can be used to create materials not found in nature and not capable of being synthesized by conventional means.
30-Jun-2017 Ecological roots
Despite popular conceptions as an offshoot of the environmental movement, much of the field of ecology evolved to meet the needs of the federal government during the Atomic Age. The Department of Energy's national laboratories played a key role, from developing fundamental theories to computer models. The contributions from the institutions that became Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory still influence the field today.
22-Jun-2017 A single electron's tiny leap sets off 'molecular sunscreen' response
In experiments at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists were able to see the first step of a process that protects a DNA building block called thymine from sun damage: When it's hit with ultraviolet light, a single electron jumps into a slightly higher orbit around the nucleus of a single oxygen atom.
20-Jun-2017 SLAC experiment is first to decipher atomic structure of an intact virus with an X-ray laser
An international team of scientists has for the first time used an X-ray free-electron laser to unravel the structure of an intact virus particle on the atomic level. The method dramatically reduces the amount of virus material required, while also allowing the investigations to be carried out several times faster than before. This opens up entirely new research opportunities.
In some of the coldest places in the world, scientists supported by the Department of Energy's Office of Science are studying how permafrost thaws. Using both field and laboratory data, these researchers are collaborating with modelers to improve our understanding of future climate change.
8-Jun-2017 Tackling infectious disease -- one protein at a time
A team of scientists in the Pacific Northwest has solved the 3-D structure of 1,000 proteins from more than 70 organisms that cause infectious disease in people. The proteins the team has studied come from microbes that cause several serious diseases, including tuberculosis, Listeria, Giardia, Ebola, anthrax, C. diff., Legionella, Lyme, chlamydia and the flu.
1-Jun-2017 SLAC X-ray beam helps uncover blueprint for Lassa virus vaccine
A team of scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has solved the structure of the viral machinery that Lassa virus uses to enter human cells. X-ray beams from the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory gave the team the final piece in a puzzle they sought to solve for over 10 years.
5-May-2017 Bacterial boost for bio-based fuels
"Electrical" bacteria are the key ingredient in a new process developed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory that recycles wastewater from biofuel production to generate hydrogen. The hydrogen can then be used to convert bio-oil into higher grade liquid fuels such as gasoline or diesel.
5-May-2017 Brookhaven's John Shanklin named a Battelle 'Inventor of the Year'
John Shanklin, a biochemist investigating the fundamental processes that underlie the production of plant oils at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, is being honored as an "Inventor of the Year" by Battelle -- the global science and technology organization that, together with Stony Brook University, manages Brookhaven Lab through the company Brookhaven Science Associates.
4-May-2017 New effort by Argonne helps power utilities and others better plan for the future
If you're an electric utility planning a new power plant by a river, it would be nice to know what that river will look like 20 years down the road. Will it be so high that it might flood the new facility? Will the water be so low that it can't be used to cool the plant? A new initiative by Argonne combines climate data and analysis with infrastructure planning and decision support to offer real help.
7-Apr-2017 Scientists watch a molecule protect itself from radiation damage
When DNA is hit with ultraviolet light, it can lose excess energy from radiation by ejecting the core of a hydrogen atom -- a single proton -- to keep other chemical bonds in the system from breaking. To gain insight into this process, researchers used X-ray laser pulses from the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to investigate how energy from light transforms a relatively simple molecule, 2-thiopyridone.
27-Feb-2017 New droplet-on-tape method assists biochemical research at X-ray lasers
Scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and other institutes designed a new assembly-line system that rapidly replaces exposed biological samples by moving droplets along a miniature conveyor belt, timed to coincide with the arrival of the X-ray pulses. The droplet-on-tape system now allows the team to study the biochemical reactions in real-time from microseconds to seconds, revealing the stages of these complex reactions.
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.