Public Release: 18-Jul-2017
Nature Climate Change Titan simulations show importance of close 2-way coupling between human and Earth systems
By using supercomputers such as the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility's Titan, a large multidisciplinary team of scientists developed a new integrated climate model designed to reduce uncertainties in future climate predictions as it bridges Earth systems with energy and economic models and large-scale human impact data.
Public Release: 12-Jul-2017 Algae production research gets boost at Los Alamos
Today, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of three projects to receive up to $8 million, aimed at reducing the costs of producing algal biofuels and bioproducts.
Public Release: 5-Jul-2017
Nature Climate Change Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, July 2017
ORNL-led team integrates Earth systems with human impact data for climate predictions with fewer uncertainties; ORNL to develop secure platform to analyze large health datasets for Dept. of Veterans Affairs; ORNL neutrons used to resolve debate over origins of metallic glass behavior; ORNL studies 3-D printing materials that crosslink without heat; New web-based calculator by ORNL shows energy-savings potential of airtight buildings; ORNL combines 3-D printing with casting to produce multi-material, damage-tolerant components.
Department of Energy
Public Release: 5-Jul-2017
The Plant Cell A whole-genome sequenced rice mutant resource for the study of biofuel feedstocks
Researchers at the DOE Joint BioEnergy Institute, in collaboration with the Joint Genome Institute, are reporting the first whole-genome sequence of a mutant population of Kitaake, a model variety of rice. Their high-density, high-resolution catalog of mutations facilitates the discovery of novel genes and functional elements that control diverse biological pathways.
US Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation
Public Release: 29-Jun-2017
Nature Communications Researchers ID new mechanism for keeping DNA protein in line
Electrostatic forces known as phosphate steering help guide the actions of an enzyme called FEN1 that is critical in DNA replication and repair, finds a new study led by Berkeley Lab researchers. The findings help explain how FEN1 distinguishes which strands of DNA to target, revealing key details about a vital process in healthy cells as well as providing new directions for cancer treatment research.
NIH/National Cancer Institute, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Public Release: 28-Jun-2017
Scientific Reports What's on your skin? Archaea, that's what
It turns out your skin is crawling with single-celled microorganisms -- and they're not just bacteria. A study by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Medical University of Graz has found that the skin microbiome also contains archaea, a type of extreme-loving microbe, and that the amount of it varies with age.
Department of Energy, BioTechMed Graz, Bavaria California Technology Center, University of Regensburg
Public Release: 28-Jun-2017 Protein data takes significant step forward in medicine
Scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Oregon Health & Science University are part of a nationwide effort to learn more about the role of proteins in cancer biology and to use that information to benefit cancer patients.
NIH/National Cancer Institute
Public Release: 26-Jun-2017
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Microbe mystery solved: What happened to the Deepwater Horizon oil plume
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 is one of the most studied spills in history, yet scientists haven't agreed on the role of microbes in eating up the oil. Now a research team at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has identified all of the principal oil-degrading bacteria as well as their mechanisms for chewing up the many different components that make up the released crude oil.
Energy Biosciences Institute
Public Release: 22-Jun-2017
Science Study sheds light on how bacterial organelles assemble
Scientists at Berkeley Lab and Michigan State University are providing the clearest view yet of an intact bacterial microcompartment, revealing at atomic-level resolution the structure and assembly of the organelle's protein shell. This work could benefit research in bioenergy and pathogenesis, and it could lead to new methods of bioengineering bacteria for beneficial purposes.
US Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health
Public Release: 21-Jun-2017
Nature Researchers find new mechanism for genome regulation
The mechanisms that separate mixtures of oil and water may also help the organization of a part of our DNA called heterochromatin, according to a new Berkeley Lab study. Researchers found that liquid-liquid phase separation helps heterochromatin organize large parts of the genome into specific regions of the nucleus. The work addresses a long-standing question about how DNA functions are organized in space and time, including how genes are silenced or expressed.
National Institutes of Health, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Public Release: 12-Jun-2017
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Researchers find a surprise just beneath the surface in carbon dioxide experiment
An X-ray technique, coupled with theoretical work, revealed how oxygen atoms embedded very near the surface of a copper sample had a more dramatic effect on the early stages of the reaction with carbon dioxide (CO2) than earlier theories could account for. This information could prove useful in designing new types of materials to further enhance reactions and make them more efficient in converting carbon dioxide into liquid fuels and other products.
Public Release: 12-Jun-2017
Nature Biotechnology Uncovered: 1,000 new microbial genomes
US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute scientists have taken a decisive step forward in uncovering the planet's microbial diversity. In Nature Biotechnology, they report the release of 1,003 phylogenetically diverse bacterial and archaeal reference genomes -- the single largest release to date. The DOE is interested in learning more about this biodiversity because microbes play important roles in regulating Earth's biogeochemical cycles and uncovering gene functions and metabolic pathways has wide applications.
DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 31-May-2017
Science Advances Newly identified microbial process could reduce toxic methylmercury levels
A team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has identified a novel microbial process that can break down toxic methylmercury in the environment, a fundamental scientific discovery that could potentially reduce mercury toxicity levels and support health and risk assessments.
DOE/Office of Biological and Environmental Research
Public Release: 26-May-2017
Nature Microbiology Fungal enzymes team up to more efficiently break down cellulose
Cost-effectively breaking down bioenergy crops into sugars that can then be converted into fuel is a barrier to commercially producing sustainable biofuels. Bioenergy researchers are looking to fungi for help; collectively, they can break down almost any substance on earth, including plant biomass. Enabled by US Department of Energy Office of Science User Facilities, a team reports for the first time that early lineages of fungi can form enzyme complexes capable of degrading plant biomass.
DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 24-May-2017
PLOS Biology Neutrons provide the first nanoscale look at a living cell membrane
A research team from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has performed the first-ever direct nanoscale examination of a living cell membrane. In doing so, it also resolved a long-standing debate by identifying tiny groupings of lipid molecules that are likely key to the cell's functioning.
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, US Department of Energy, DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 11-May-2017
Nature Communications More natural dust in the air improves air quality in eastern China
Man-made pollution in eastern China's cities worsens when less dust blows in from the Gobi Desert, according to a study published May 11 in Nature Communications. That's because dust plays an important role in determining the air temperatures and thereby promoting winds to blow away man-made pollution. Less dust means the air stagnates, with man-made pollution becoming more concentrated and sticking around longer.
National Science Foundation, Department of Energy
Public Release: 9-May-2017
Nature Chemical Biology New method of microbial energy production discovered
For all living things to succeed, they must reproduce and have the energy to do so. An organism's ability to extract energy from its surroundings-and to do it better than its competitors-is a key requirement of survival. Until recently it was thought that in all of biology, from microbes to humans, there were only two methods to generate and conserve the energy required for cellular metabolism and survival.
Public Release: 8-May-2017 Scientists launch flights to gather detailed data on aerosols and clouds
For an intensive period throughout June and July, and again next January and February, scientists from US Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories will take to the skies in a specially outfitted aircraft to gather data on the properties of aerosols and clouds above the Eastern North Atlantic.
Public Release: 8-May-2017
Nature Genetics Finding a new major gene expression regulator in fungi
Changing a single letter, or base, in an organism's genetic code impact its traits. Subtler changes can and do happen: in eukaryotes, one such modification involves adding a methyl group to base 6 of adenine (6mA). In Nature Genetics, researchers report the prevalence of 6mA modifications in the earliest branches of the fungal kingdom. This little-explored realm provides a repertoire of important and valuable gene products for DOE missions in bioenergy and environment.
DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 4-May-2017
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Trash into treasure: Sandia could help biofuel pay for itself with goods made from waste
A recent discovery by Sandia National Laboratories researchers may unlock the potential of biofuel waste -- and ultimately make biofuels competitive with petroleum. The researchers solved the structure of LigM, an enzyme that breaks down molecules derived from the biofuel waste product lignin. This opens a path toward new molecules and new, marketable products.
Public Release: 2-May-2017
Nature Communications Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, May 2017
Oak Ridge National Laboratory aids St. Jude's brain development research with software to speed processing of microscopy images; a bottleneck in the process to breakdown lignin for use in biofuels may occur at the plant cell wall's surface; predicting how ecosystems respond to environmental change could become more precise through new process sensitivity index method; through "quantum mechanical squeezing," researchers have conceptually designed a new method to increase the resolution of atomic force microscopy.
NIH/National Institute Of Neurological Disorders
Public Release: 24-Apr-2017
Neuropsychologia Research from Sandia shows brain stimulation during training boosts performance
New research from Sandia published in Neuropsychologia shows that working memory training combined with a kind of noninvasive brain stimulation can lead to cognitive improvement under certain conditions. Improving working memory or cognitive strategies could be very valuable for training people faster and more efficiently.
Public Release: 24-Apr-2017 3 small energy firms to collaborate with PNNL
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is collaborating with three small businesses to address technical challenges concerning hydrogen for fuel cell cars, bio-coal and nanomaterial manufacturing.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 18-Apr-2017
Nature Energy NREL's new perovskite ink opens window for quality cells
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed a new perovskite ink with a long processing window that allows the scalable production of perovskite thin films for high-efficiency solar cells.
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.