12-May-2015 Finding the missing particles
For the past 20 years, a large portion of the particles measured in the atmosphere were missing from models. At best, models were able to explain one-tenth of the carbon-rich secondary organic aerosols measured in the air. The problem turned out to be a series of fundamental assumptions used in the models due to a lack of experimental data. All of the assumptions were proven false by Dr. Alla Zelenyuk and her colleagues.
8-May-2015 New method relates Greenland ice sheet changes to sea-level rise
Climate models are not yet able to include full models of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and to dynamically simulate how ice sheet changes influence sea level. Early schemes failed to accurately account for mass increase due to snowfall and mass loss due to snow melt. These changes depend on ice sheet elevation and region. A new method that includes the effects of elevation and region was developed.
6-May-2015 Heat's role in the Madden-Julian Oscillation
Tropical monsoons in Indonesia and floods in the United States are both provoked by the Madden-Julian Oscillation, a process that results in pulses of clouds and precipitation moving eastward around the globe. Despite the MJO's importance, global models often struggle to simulate the oscillation accurately. Researchers showed that MJO simulations are most sensitive to the existence of lower level heating in the atmosphere.
6-May-2015 Genetics of wood formation
To begin to understand the complex genetic interactions that control a potential bioenergy crop, scientists built a robust high-throughput pipeline for studying the hierarchy of genetic regulation of wood formation using tissue-specific single cells known as protoplasts.
1-May-2015 New tool shrinks big data in biology studies at SLAC's X-ray laser
A team led by Stanford scientists has created software that tackles the big data problem for X-ray laser experiments at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The program allows researchers to tease out more details while using far fewer samples and less data and time.
1-May-2015 New mathematical method enhances hydrology simulations
Just as a racecar's engine needs the right fuel to get the best performance, so climate models need finely tuned parameters to accurately simulate the impacts of different technologies and policies. Led by researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a team applied sophisticated mathematical solutions to fine tune the water and energy exchange parameters, numerical stand-ins for complex processes, to better simulate water and energy fluxes.
30-Apr-2015 Model captures how nitrogen limitation affects hydrological processes
Rising atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide act as a fertilizer for plants, speeding their growth and altering how they use water and interact with the climate. However, an insufficient supply of nitrogen can limit the rapid growth caused by increased carbon dioxide. Researchers adapted the Community Land Model to represent how nitrogen limitation affects plant growth.
29-Apr-2015 Special science call projects announced
EMSL's Special Science Call for Proposals ran from mid-April through September and generated 23 accepted studies. The call challenged prospective users to submit high-impact research projects that took advantage of EMSL's technical resources including RadEMSL, the Quiet Wing microscopy and NanoSIMS capabilities, and HRMAC. The research associated with the call is progressing, and the projects will soon start delivering important scientific findings.
28-Apr-2015 Ground control
The United Nations General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils. Soil is critical for food production and climate regulation. It's a complex underground ecosystem of organisms that process decaying debris to enrich the land as well as store and release carbon into the atmosphere. However, human activity and changing climate are impacting this environmental system. Scientists working at EMSL are trying to understand the complexities of soil to develop better sustainable land management to protect it.
10-Apr-2015 Bacteria tracked feeding nitrogen to nutrient-starved plants
An international team of researchers, including three from Brookhaven National Laboratory, tracked nitrogen as soil bacteria pulled it from the air and released it as plant-friendly ammonium. This eco-friendly process -- called biological nitrogen fixation -- substantially promoted growth in certain grass crops.
31-Mar-2015 BigNeuron: Unlocking the secrets of the human brain
To find a standard 3-D neuron reconstruction algorithm, Big Neuron will sponsor a series of international hackathons and workshops where contending algorithms will be ported onto a common software platform to analyze neuronal physical structure using the same core dataset. All ported algorithms will be bench-tested at DOE's NERSC and ORNL, as well as Human Brain Project supercomputing centers.
2-Mar-2015 Giant virus revealed in 3-D using X-ray laser
For the first time, researchers have produced a 3-D image revealing part of the inner structure of an intact, infectious virus, using a unique X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The virus, called Mimivirus, is in a curious class of 'giant viruses' discovered just over a decade ago.
23-Feb-2015 Zeolites: The inside story
Zeolites have been used for decades as catalysts and in other industrial applications, but the molecular transformations occurring within the porous material is not well understood. Scientists from universities, national laboratories and industries are using EMSL's staff expertise and advanced instrumentation to gain an atomic-level understanding of these materials to improve energy production and address environmental issues.
12-Feb-2015 Yonath discusses visualizing ribosomes and antibiotic resistance
Ada Yonath, a pioneer in using crystallographic techniques to visualize ribosome structure, was the most recent Eugene P. Wigner Distinguished Lecturer at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Her work continues to contribute to ribosomal research, prompting researchers to look more closely at antibiotics that target bacterial ribosomes, including those of pathogenic bacteria species, an avenue that could help reverse current levels of antibiotic resistance. At the talk, she steered conversation to species-specific antibiotic resistance.
6-Feb-2015 Energy Secretary Moniz dedicates the world's brightest Synchrotron Light Source
US Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Ernest Moniz today dedicated the world's most advanced light source, the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). The NSLS-II is a $912-million DOE Office of Science User Facility that produces extremely bright beams of x-ray, ultraviolet, and infrared light used to examine a wide range of materials, including superconductors and catalysts, geological samples, and biological proteins to accelerate advances in energy, environmental science, and medicine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.