Public Release: 23-Mar-2017
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM)--which enables the visualization of viruses, proteins, and other biological structures at the molecular level--is a critical tool used to advance biochemical knowledge. Now Berkeley Lab researchers have extended cryo-EM's impact further by developing a new computational algorithm instrumental in constructing a 3-D atomic-scale model of bacteriophage P22 for the first time.
National Institutes of Health
Public Release: 9-Mar-2017
New Phytologist FRED database gathers root traits to advance understanding of below-ground plant ecology
Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have released a new global, centralized database of plant root traits, or identifying characteristics, that can advance our understanding of how the hidden structure of plants below ground may interact with and relate to life above ground.
US Department of Energy Office of Science
Public Release: 7-Mar-2017 Plants at the pump
Regular, unleaded or algae? That's a choice drivers could make at the pump one day. Toward that goal, Sandia National Laboratories is testing strains of algae for resistance to a host of predators and diseases, and learning to detect when an algae pond is about to crash.
Public Release: 3-Mar-2017
Genome Biology Revealing Aspergillus diversity for industrial applications
In a Feb. 14, 2017 study published in Genome Biology, an international team report sequencing the genomes of 10 novel Aspergillus species, which were compared with the eight other sequenced Aspergillus species. With this first ever genus-wide view, the international consortium found that Aspergillus has a greater genomic and functional diversity than previously understood, broadening the range of potential applications for the fungi considered one of the most important workhorses in the biotechnology.
Department of Energy Office of Science
Public Release: 15-Feb-2017
Geophysical Research Letters Researchers catch extreme waves with higher-resolution modeling
A new Berkeley Lab study shows that high-resolution models captured hurricanes and big waves that low-resolution ones missed. Better extreme wave forecasts are important for coastal cities, the military, the shipping industry, and surfers.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 13-Feb-2017
Nature Microbiology Microbiomes more in flux in patients with inflammatory bowel disease
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease are more likely to see dramatic shifts in the make-up of the community of microbes in their gut than healthy people, according to the results of a study published in Nature Microbiology. The results help physicians and scientists understand the disease more fully and potentially offer new ways to track the disease and monitor patients.
National Institutes of Health, Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, Örebro University Hospital Research Foundation, Swedish Research Council
Public Release: 3-Feb-2017
Scientific Reports Thirdhand smoke affects weight, blood cell development in mice
A new Berkeley Lab-led study found that the sticky residue left behind by tobacco smoke led to changes in weight and blood cell count in mice. These latest findings add to a growing body of evidence that thirdhand smoke exposure may be harmful.
University of California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program
Public Release: 30-Jan-2017
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Vitamin B12: Power broker to the microbes
In the microbial world, vitamin B12 is a hot commodity. It turns out that vitamin B12, a substance produced by only a few organisms but needed by nearly all of them, wields great power in microbial communities -- ubiquitous structures that affect energy and food production, the environment, and human health.
DOE/Office of Science, Russian Foundation for Basic Research, Russian Academy of Sciences
Public Release: 19-Jan-2017
Science Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
In the Jan. 20, 2017 issue of Science, a team led by University of Washington's David Baker in collaboration with DOE Joint Genome Institute researchers reports that structural models have been generated for 12 percent of the protein families that had previously had no structural information available. The Baker lab's protein structure prediction server Rosetta analyzed the metagenomic sequences publicly available on the Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) system run by the DOE JGI.
DOE Office of Science
Public Release: 18-Jan-2017 $5 million foundation gift to help support US-China energy center at Berkeley Lab
In 2015, Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley, and Tsinghua University in Beijing formed the Berkeley Tsinghua Joint Research Center on Energy and Climate Change to develop scientifically based clean energy solutions and the next generation of leaders to champion those solutions. Now, that effort has received welcome support from Jim and Marilyn Simons in the amount of a $5 million donation.
Jim and Marilyn Simons
Public Release: 17-Jan-2017
Nature Energy NREL pioneers better way to make renewable hydrogen
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed a method which boosts the longevity of high-efficiency photocathodes in photoelectrochemical water-splitting devices.
Public Release: 17-Jan-2017
Geophysical Research Letters Bay Area methane emissions may be double what we thought
Emissions of methane, a potent climate-warming gas, in the San Francisco Bay Area may be roughly twice as high as official estimates, with most of it coming from biological sources, such as landfills, but natural gas leakage also being an important source, according to a new study from Berkeley Lab.
California Energy Commission
Public Release: 16-Jan-2017
Nature Tracking Antarctic adaptations in diatoms
In the Antarctic Ocean, large populations of the diatom Fragillariopsis cylindrus dominate the phytoplankton communities. To learn more about how F. cylindrus adapted to its extremely cold environment, a team including DOE Joint Genome Institute researchers conducted a comparative genomic analysis involving three diatoms. The results, reported online January 16, 2017 in Nature, provided insights into the genome structure and evolution of F. cylindrus, as well as this diatom's role in the Southern Ocean.
DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 4-Jan-2017
Nature Communications Increasing rainfall in a warmer world will likely intensify typhoons in western Pacific
An analysis of the strongest tropical storms over the last half-century reveals that higher global temperatures have intensified the storms via enhanced rainfall. Rain that falls on the ocean reduces salinity and allows typhoons to grow stronger.
US Department of Energy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Public Release: 4-Jan-2017 Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, January 2017
Researchers identify patterns that could be valuable resource for superconductivity research; ORNL researchers developing approaches to preserve forests, wildlife; ORNL supercomputer helping scientists push boundaries; New measurement technique opens pathway to new graphene-based energy, electronic applications; and ORNL cryogenic memory cell circuit could advance pathway to quantum computing.
Public Release: 19-Dec-2016
Nature Plants New leaf study sheds light on 'shady' past
A new study led by a Berkeley Lab research scientist highlights a literally shady practice in plant science that has in some cases underestimated plants' rate of growth and photosynthesis, among other traits.
Public Release: 16-Dec-2016
2016 AGU Fall Meeting Many muons: Imaging the underground with help from the cosmos
Alain Bonneville, a geophysicist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, will present details on the muon detector for 'seeing' sequestered carbon dioxide and the comparative field tests at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco. His talk is Thursday, Dec.15, 2016 at 5:40 p.m. in Moscone South, Room 307.
Public Release: 14-Dec-2016
Geophysical Research Letters Scientists measure pulse of CO2 emissions during spring thaw in the Arctic
Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory documented a spring pulse in northern Alaska in 2014 that included CO2 emissions equivalent to 46 percent of the net CO2 that is absorbed in the summer months and methane emissions that added 6 percent to summer fluxes. What's more, recent climate trends may make such emissions more frequent, the scientists conclude.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 13-Dec-2016
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Water: Finding the normal within the weird
Researchers have figured out a way to take snapshots of liquid water freezing within a deeply supercooled range of temperatures. This range has long remained a mystery and has given rise to the ideas that it might behave in an unusual way. It turns out water isn't as weird as it could be. Liquid water can exist all the way down to the glass transition point, crystallizing into a solid more slowly as things get colder.
Department of Energy
Public Release: 12-Dec-2016 Sawdust reinvented into super sponge for oil spills
Oil spills could be cleaned up in the icy, rough waters of the Arctic with a chemically modified sawdust material that absorbs up to five times its weight in oil and stays afloat for at least four months.
Bureau of Safety of Environmental Enforcement
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.