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Features Archive


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1-Sep-2016
Blowing bubbles to catch carbon dioxide
Sandia and UNM researchers developed a bio-inspired bubble-like membrane to capture CO2 from coal-fired power plants efficiently. The CO2 Memzyme could capture CO2 equivalent to planting 63 million trees and letting them grow for 10 years from just one power plant.

Contact: Mollie Rappe
mrappe@sandia.gov
505-844-8220
DOE/Sandia National Laboratories

12-May-2016
Solving the biomass puzzle
Biomass holds great promise as a petroleum replacement, but unlocking its true potential remains a puzzle. A group of researchers at Iowa State University and the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory hope to develop the pieces of that puzzle to create a clearer picture of what takes place within a plant and how that applies to its downstream uses as biomass.

Contact: Kerry Gibson
kgibson@ameslab.gov
515-294-1405
DOE/Ames Laboratory

11-May-2016
Students from Maryland and California win DOE's 26th National Science Bowl®
Students from Montgomery Blair High School from Silver Spring, Md. won the 2016 US Department of Energy (DOE) National Science Bowl® (NSB) today in Washington D.C. This year's championship team in the middle school competition is Joaquin Miller Middle School from San Jose, Calif.

Contact: Ethan Alpern
ethan.alpern@science.doe.gov
202-586-4307
DOE/US Department of Energy

4-May-2016
How Ameriflux helped determine the impact of the 2012 US drought on the carbon cycle
In 2012, the United States experienced the warmest spring on record followed by the most severe drought since the Dust Bowl. A team of scientists used a network of Ameriflux sites to map the carbon flux across the United States during the drought.

Contact: Dan Krotz
dakrotz@lbl.gov
510-486-4019
Doe-Anderson

26-Apr-2016
The Pellet Stove Design Challenge: We have a winner!
At Brookhaven Lab last week, seven finalists competed to be designated the top-performing pellet stove. The three-day Pellet Stove Design Challenge, organized by the Alliance for Green Heat, featured stove demonstrations and testing as well as presentations and round-table discussions on a variety of issues.

Contact: Kay Cordtz
kcordtz@bnl.gov
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory

18-Apr-2016
ORNL forges connections for sturgeon conservation
Scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are taking a closer look at how sturgeon, a prehistoric -- and now imperiled -- group of fish species may better be helped to get around the dams that block their migrations.

Contact: Ashanti B. Washington
news@ornl.gov
865-576-1946
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

5-Apr-2016
NREL supports Native American tribes in clean energy transformational leadership
In the redwood country of northern California, where arboreal giants can live to be 2,000 years old and can reach heights of more than 375 feet, the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe has also grown something historic: a vision of climate sustainability and leadership.

Contact: David Glickson
david.glickson@nrel.gov
303-275-4097
DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory

1-Apr-2016
What are aerosols?
Art Sedlacek, an atmospheric scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory, has flown on planes outfitted with high tech equipment through wildfire plumes and over the ocean, and has visited stations all over the globe to observe aerosols and understand the potentially big impact these suspensions of tiny particles can have on climate.

Contact: Karen McNulty Walsh
kmcnulty@bnl.gov
631-344-8350
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory

21-Mar-2016
Sisters in science
Emma and Molly White and Ru-Shyan and Ru-Huey Yen, a pair of twin sisters and close friends who met in high school 16 years ago. Flash forward to today, and the four all have science-based careers, and look back at their shared-sisterhood-times-two as vital in getting them to where they are today.

Contact: Laura Millsaps
millsaps@ameslab.gov
515-294-3474
DOE/Ames Laboratory

3-Mar-2016
Pushing boundaries
Solid-liquid interface studies have a long history at EMSL. The insights gained from this research spans areas including terrestrial ecosystems, energy materials, aerosols and biological systems. With improved understanding of interfacial events, scientists working at EMSL have developed more predictive models and made significant advances in addressing real-world challenges. EMSL's focus on solid-liquid interface research has pushed the development of new instruments and techniques to better study these complex surfaces for even greater scientific results.

Contact: Tom Rickey
tom.rickey@pnnl.gov
509-375-3732
DOE/Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory

12-Feb-2016
AWARE project launched to gain new insights on climate of Antarctica
Scientists from Brookhaven National Laboratory, working with a group led by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, embarked on a new project that will lead to a better understanding of how much of the sun's light and the atmosphere's heat radiation reach the Antarctic surface.

Contact: Karen McNulty Walsh
kmcnulty@bnl.gov
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory

23-Dec-2015
Scratching the surface
Oceans cover almost three-quarters of the planet and are major contributors to atmospheric aerosols in the form of sea spray particles. These sea spray aerosols are rich in organic materials that impact cloud formation and the world's climate. Despite their abundance and significance, sea spray aerosols are not well understood. Researchers in collaboration with EMSL scientists are learning more about the chemistry of sea spray aerosols and their role in cloud formation to better account for them in climate models.

Contact: Mary Beckman
mary.beckman@pnnl.gov
509-375-3688
DOE/Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory

26-Oct-2015
The silent treatment: EMSL's quiet wing
Scientists are advancing the understanding of biological and environmental systems by conducting at least part of their research in EMSL's Quiet Wing, one of the most advanced quiet laboratories in the world for high-resolution imaging capabilities. Scientists are using this facility for a wide range of research areas, including: to study bacteria in complex soil aggregates, to understand the behavior of a unique multicopper oxidase and to explore remediation methods using porous clay.

Contact: Mary Beckman
mary.beckman@pnnl.gov
509-375-3688
DOE/Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory

29-Sep-2015
Building champions: National Science Bowl offseason
Five-time National Science Bowl champion Mira Loma HS keeps an intense -- and pizza fueled -- training regimen through the summer and fall.

Contact: Ethan Alpern
ethan.alpern@science.doe.gov
202-586-4307
DOE/Office of Scientific and Technical Information

20-Aug-2015
Carbon number crunching
A booming economy and population led China to emerge in 2006 as the global leader in fossil-fuel carbon emissions, a distinction it still maintains. But exactly how much carbon China releases has been a topic of debate, with recent estimates varying by as much as 15 percent.

Contact: Morgan McCorkle
mccorkleml@ornl.gov
865-574-7308
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

29-Jun-2015
Magnetic attraction
Researchers studying a broad spectrum of science, including biofuel production processes, climate effects on carbon cycling in the soil and carbon transformations in the atmosphere will soon have access to EMSL's new 21 Tesla Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer. Scientists are eager to start getting molecular-level information for their research, and six inaugural studies were selected to use the new instrument through a Special Science Call.

Contact: Mary Beckman
mary.beckman@pnnl.gov
509-375-3688
DOE/Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory

27-May-2015
The 'why' of models
An international team of researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Macquarie University, the University of Western Sydney and the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry set out to assess how two Free-Air CO2 Enrichment projects compared to eleven vegetation models that simulate various ecological processes. Instead of only benchmarking whether or not an individual model matched the experimental data, the researchers developed an 'assumption-centered' approach to evaluate why certain models performed better than others.

Contact: Morgan McCorkle
mccorkleml@ornl.gov
865-574-7308
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

27-May-2015
Berkeley Lab scientist invents new technique to understand cloud behavior
With two off-the-shelf digital cameras situated about 1 kilometer apart facing Miami's Biscayne Bay, Berkeley Lab scientists David Romps and Rusen Oktem are collecting three-dimensional data on cloud behavior that have never been possible to collect before.

Contact: Julie Chao
JHChao@lbl.gov
510-486-6491
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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.

Contact: Mary Beckman
mary.beckman@pnnl.gov
509-375-3688
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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.

Contact: Kristin Manke
kristin.manke@science.doe.gov
DOE/US Department of Energy

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.

Contact: Kristin Manke
kristin.manke@science.doe.gov
DOE/US Department of Energy

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.

Contact: Kristin Manke
kristin.manke@science.doe.gov
DOE/US Department of Energy

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.

Contact: Kristin Manke
kristin.manke@science.doe.gov
DOE/US Department of Energy

30-Apr-2015
Microbe produces ethanol from switchgrass without pretreatment
Scientists engineered a strain of a consolidated bioprocessing bacterium that efficiently breaks down biomass to produce ethanol without pretreatment.

Contact: Kristin Manke
kristin.manke@science.doe.gov
DOE/US Department of Energy

30-Apr-2015
Microbes disprove long-held assumption that all organisms share a common vocabulary
Some wild microorganisms reinterpret the instructions coded into their DNA. Short DNA segments that signal other organisms to stop are instead read as instructions to keep building.

Contact: Kristin Manke
kristin.manke@science.doe.gov
DOE/US Department of Energy

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