Public Release: 31-Oct-2016
Nature Geoscience Clouds are impeding global warming... for now
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have identified a mechanism that causes low clouds -- and their influence on Earth's energy balance -- to respond differently to global warming depending on their spatial pattern.
Public Release: 25-Oct-2016
Nature Microbiology Deep down fracking wells, microbial communities thrive
Microbes have a remarkable ability to adapt to the extreme conditions in fracking wells. New finding help scientists understand what is happening inside fracking wells and could offer insight into processes such as corrosion and methane production.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Public Release: 24-Oct-2016
Nature Communications New bacteria groups, and stunning diversity, discovered underground
One of the most detailed genomic studies of any ecosystem to date has revealed an underground world of stunning microbial diversity, and added dozens of new branches to the tree of life. The bacterial bonanza comes from scientists who reconstructed the genomes of more than 2,500 microbes from sediment and groundwater samples collected at an aquifer in Colorado.
Public Release: 24-Oct-2016
Nature Amazon rainstorms transport atmospheric particles for cloud formation
Understanding how tiny particles emitted by cars and factories affect Earth's climate requires accurate climate modeling and the ability to quantify the effects of these pollutant particles vs. particles naturally present in the atmosphere. To better understand the baseline, scientists describe how they tracked particles in the largely pristine atmosphere over the Amazon rainforest -- effectively turning back the clock a few hundred years.
US Department of Energy, Amazonas State Research Foundation, São Paulo Research Foundation, Brazil Scientific Mobility Program, Max Planck Society, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Public Release: 18-Oct-2016
Journal of the American Chemical Society Unraveling the science behind biomass breakdown
Using the Titan supercomputer, an ORNL team created models of up to 330,000 atoms that led to the discovery of a THF-water cosolvent phase separation on the faces of crystalline cellulose fiber.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 13-Oct-2016 Wave energy researchers dive deep to advance clean energy source
One of the biggest untapped clean energy sources on the planet -- wave energy -- could one day power millions of homes across the US. But more than a century after the first tests of the power of ocean waves, it is still one of the hardest energy sources to capture. Now, engineers at Sandia National Laboratories are conducting the largest model-scale wave energy testing of its kind to improve the performance of wave-energy converters.
Public Release: 11-Oct-2016 Three NREL technologies named as finalists for R&D 100 Awards
Two technologies developed by researchers at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and a third developed through a collaboration between Wolfspeed, NREL, Toyota, and the University of Arkansas' National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transmission, have been named finalists by R&D Magazine for the coveted 2016 R&D 100 Awards.
Public Release: 11-Oct-2016 NREL to lead one exascale computing project, support three others
Scientists at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory will lead an effort to model the complex and turbulent flow of wind through large wind plants as part of DOE's Exascale Computing Project, which is gearing up US computational capabilities to prepare for the next generation of supercomputers. NREL will also provide support to three projects related to combustion science, urban systems, and power grid dynamics.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 11-Oct-2016 NREL supercomputing model provides insights from higher wind and solar generation in the eastern power grid
A new study from the United States Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory used high-performance computing capabilities and innovative visualization tools to model, in unprecedented detail, how the power grid of the eastern United States could operationally accommodate higher levels of wind and solar photovoltaic generation. The analysis considered scenarios of up to 30 percent annual penetration of wind and solar.
Public Release: 7-Oct-2016 Hydrogen-powered passenger ferry in San Francisco Bay is possible, says Sandia study
Nearly two years ago, Sandia National Laboratories researchers Joe Pratt and Lennie Klebanoff set out to answer one not-so-simple question: is it feasible to build and operate a high-speed passenger ferry solely powered by hydrogen fuel cells? The answer is yes. The details behind that answer are in a recent report, 'Feasibility of the SF-BREEZE: a Zero Emission, Hydrogen Fuel Cell High Speed Passenger Ferry.'
Public Release: 4-Oct-2016
Water Research New technology helps pinpoint sources of water contamination
When the local water management agency closes your favorite beach due to unhealthy water quality, how reliable are the tests they base their decisions on? As it turns out, those tests, as well as the standards behind them, have not been updated in decades. Now scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a highly accurate, DNA-based method to detect and distinguish sources of microbial contamination in water.
Public Release: 8-Sep-2016 10 new projects to be supported under Joint DOE user facility initiative
The US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute and the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory have accepted 10 projects submitted during the 2017 call for proposals for their joint 'Facilities Integrating Collaborations for User Science' (FICUS) initiative. The accepted proposals will begin on Oct. 1, 2016 and fall under the following focused topic areas: Plant-Microbe Interactions, Biofuels and Bioproducts, and Biogeochemistry of Select Inorganics.
DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 7-Sep-2016
Nature Communications How fungi help trees tolerate drought
In the transcriptome -- the set of its messenger RNA molecules that reflects actual biochemical activity by the organism -- of the most common ectomycorrhizal fungus Cenococcum geophilum, a team including DOE JGI researchers found specific adaptations that could help their hosts be more resistant to drought stress, a finding that could be useful in developing more plant feedstocks for bioenergy amidst the changing climate.
US Department of Energy Office of Science
Public Release: 6-Sep-2016 NREL supercomputing provides insights from higher wind & solar generation in eastern grid
A new study from the United States Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) used high-performance computing capabilities and innovative visualization tools to model, in unprecedented detail, how the power grid of the eastern United States could operationally accommodate higher levels of wind and solar photovoltaic generation. The analysis considered scenarios of up to 30 percent annual penetration of wind and solar.
Public Release: 17-Aug-2016
Nature Unveiled: Earth's viral diversity
Plumbing the Earth's microbial diversity requires learning more about the poorly-studied relationships between microbes and the viruses that infect them, impacting their abilities to regulate global cycles. DOE JGI researchers utilized the largest collection of assembled metagenomic datasets to uncover over 125,000 partial and complete viral genomes. This single effort increases the number of known viral genes by a factor of 16, and provides researchers with a unique resource of viral sequence information.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 15-Aug-2016
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Expanding the stable of workhorse yeasts
Yeasts are physically hard to distinguish, and it is easy to think they are all the same. Metabolically, genetically and biochemically, however, yeasts are highly diverse. So far industry has only harnessed a fraction of the diversity available for biotechnological applications, including biofuel production. In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team led by DOE Joint Genome Institute researchers aims to help boost the use of a wider range of yeasts.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 3-Aug-2016 Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, August 2016
ORNL's PenDoc combines mass spectrometry with direct sampling to identify materials in seconds; ORNL study providing watershed-scale understanding of mercury in soils and sediments; Salt, ammonia key ingredients of high-efficiency heating system; ORNL taking closer look at microscopic soot particles, advanced combustion engines; Steel-concrete storage vessel may be ticket to clearing path for hydrogen-powered vehicles; Study examines climate change, power demands; ORNL gains better understanding of how defects in complex oxides alter behavior.
Public Release: 29-Jul-2016
mSystems Teasing out the microbiome of the Kansas prairie
PNNL scientists have untangled a soil metagenome -- all the genetic material recovered from a sample of soil -- more fully than ever before, reconstructing portions of the genomes of 129 species of microbes. While it's only a tiny proportion of the estimated 100,000 species in the sample, it's a leap forward for scientists who have had only a fraction of that success to date.
DOE/Pacific Northwest 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.