Public Release: 11-Oct-2017
Nature Communications Tracking the viral parasites of giant viruses over time
In freshwater lakes, microbes regulate the flow of carbon and determine if the bodies of water serve as carbon sinks or carbon sources. Viruses exist amidst all bacteria, usually in a 10-fold excess and include virophages which live in giant viruses and use their machinery to replicate and spread. Reported in Nature Communications, researchers at The Ohio State University and the DOE Joint Genome Institute have effectively doubled the number of known virophages.
DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 5-Oct-2017
Cell Liverwort genes and land plant evolution
The common liverwort is a living link to the transition from marine algae to land plants. In the Oct. 5, 2017 issue of Cell, an international team including researchers at the DOE Joint Genome Institute, analyzed the genome sequence of the common liverwort (Marchantia polymorpha) to identify genes and gene families that were deemed crucial to plant evolution and have been conserved over millions of years and across plant lineages.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 3-Oct-2017
Nature Methods Benchmarking computational methods for metagenomes
To tackle assembling metagenomes, then binning these consensus regions into genome bins, and finally conducting taxonomic profiling, analysts around the world have developed an array of different computational tools, but until now there was a lack of consensus on how to evaluate their performance. In Nature Methods, a team including DOE JGI researchers described the results of the Critical Assessment of Metagenome Interpretation (CAMI) Challenge, the first-ever, community-organized benchmarking assessment of computational tools for metagenomes.
DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 3-Oct-2017
Nature Energy NREL, Johns Hopkins develop method to quantify life cycle land use of natural gas
A case study of the Barnett Shale region in Texas, where hydraulic fracturing was first implemented, for the first time provides quantifiable information on the life cycle land use of generating electricity from natural gas based on physical measurements instead of using assumptions and averages that were previously used for evaluation.
Public Release: 18-Sep-2017
Scientific Reports Enzyme's worth to biofuels shown in latest NREL research
An enzyme discovered at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) proves adept at breaking down cellulose fibers regardless of whether their crystalline structure is simple or highly complex. No other enzyme has shown that ability.
Public Release: 18-Sep-2017
Nature Materials NREL investigates coatings needed for concentrating solar power
Next-generation concentrating solar power (CSP) plants require high-temperature fluids, like molten salts, in the range of 550-750 degrees Celsius to store heat and generate electricity. At those high temperatures, however, the molten salts eat away at common alloys used in the heat exchangers, piping, and storage vessels of CSP systems. New research at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is aimed at mitigating corrosion levels in CSP plants with nickel-based coatings.
Public Release: 18-Sep-2017 Cleaning up subways: Sandia's 20-year mission to stop anthrax in its tracks
Sandia National Laboratories engineer Mark Tucker has spent much of the past 20 years thinking about incidents involving chemical or biological warfare agents, and the best ways to clean them up. Tucker's current project focuses on cleaning up a subway system after the release of a biological warfare agent such as anthrax.
Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate's Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency
Public Release: 29-Aug-2017 NREL updates baseline cost and performance data for electricity generation technologies
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released the 2017 Annual Technology Baseline (ATB), updating a key source of reliable electricity generation technology cost and performance data used to support and inform electric sector analysis in the United States. Now in its third year, the ATB documents technology-specific information on a broad spectrum of electricity generation technologies, including wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower, biomass, coal, natural gas, and nuclear.
Public Release: 29-Aug-2017
Nature Energy NREL, Swiss scientists power past solar efficiency records
Collaboration between researchers at the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology, and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne shows the high potential of silicon-based multijunction solar cells.
Public Release: 28-Aug-2017
Nature Microbiology The outsized role of soil microbes
Three scientists have proposed a new approach to better understand the role of soil organic matter in long-term carbon storage and its response to changes in global climate and atmospheric chemistry.
US Department of Energy's Office Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China, National Key Research and Development Program of China, and others
Public Release: 23-Aug-2017
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences High-resolution modeling assesses impact of cities on river ecosystems
New mapping methods developed by researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory can help urban planners minimize the environmental impacts of cities' water and energy demands on surrounding stream ecologies.
Public Release: 14-Aug-2017 Balloons and drones and clouds; oh, my!
Last week, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories flew a tethered balloon and an unmanned aerial system, colloquially known as a drone, together for the first time to get Arctic atmospheric temperatures with better location control than ever before.
Public Release: 14-Aug-2017 PNNL scientist Jiwen Fan receives DOE Early Career Research award
Jiwen Fan of the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has been selected to receive a 2017 Early Career Research Program award from the U.S. Department of Energy. Fan will use the award to study severe thunderstorms in the central United States - storms that produce large hail, damaging winds, tornadoes, and torrential rainfall.
U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science
Public Release: 9-Aug-2017
Nature Biotechnology Defining standards for genomes from uncultivated microorganisms
As genomic data production has ramped up over the past two decades and is being generated on various platforms around the world, scientists have worked together to establish definitions for terms and data collection standards that apply across the board. In Nature Biotechnology, an international team led by DOE JGI researchers has developed standards for the minimum metadata to be supplied with single amplified genomes and metagenome-assembled genomes submitted to public databases.
DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 7-Aug-2017 The good, the bad and the algae
Sandia National Laboratories is testing whether one of California's largest and most polluted lakes can transform into one of its most productive and profitable. Southern California's 350-square-mile Salton Sea has well-documented problems related to elevated levels of nitrogen and phosphorus from agricultural runoff. Sandia intends to harness algae's penchant for prolific growth to clean up these pollutants and stop harmful algae blooms while creating a renewable, domestic source of fuel.
Public Release: 24-Jul-2017
Weather and Climate Extremes 'Hindcasting' study investigates the extreme 2013 Colorado flood
Using a publicly available climate model, Berkeley Lab researchers 'hindcast' the conditions that led to the Sept. 9-16, 2013 flooding around Boulder, Colo. and found that climate change attributed to human activity made the storm much more severe than would otherwise have occurred.
Public Release: 19-Jul-2017 PNNL scientist Ruby Leung appointed a Battelle Fellow
Ruby Leung of the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has been named a Battelle Fellow -- the highest recognition from Battelle for leadership and accomplishment in science.
Public Release: 18-Jul-2017 3-D models help scientists gauge flood impact
Using one of the world's most powerful supercomputers, a University of Iowa team performed one of the first highly resolved, 3-D, volume-of-fluid Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations of a dam break in a natural environment. The simulation allowed the team to map precise water levels for actual flood events over time.
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: 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
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.