Today at Berkeley Lab

Protein Instability and Lou Gherig’s Disease Explored at the ALS

A new study uses small-angle x-ray scattering as well as several advanced biophysical techniques to link protein instability to the progression of a lethal degenerative disease: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. More>

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Evolution of Roman Ceramics Reflect Changes in Technology, Life

Terra sigillata ceramics were the most famous ancient tableware produced during the Roman period. Scientists investigated terra sigillata samples using the Advanced Light Source and found significant differences in mineral compositions between the Italic and Gallic samples — which suggests modifications in the manufacturing process. More>

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Decoding Ancient Ocean Acidification Signals From Plankton Shells

Ancient plankton shells can record the physical and chemical state of the ocean in which they grew. The zooplankton Foraminiferadoes does this by trapping trace chemical impurities in their calcium carbonate shells. Decoding these records can reveal changes in global climate, atmospheric CO2, and the acidity of the oceans in deep geologic time. More>

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Decoding Ancient Ocean Acidification Signals from Plankton Shells

Ancient plankton shells can record the physical and chemical state of the ocean in which they grew. Foraminifera, a type of zooplankton, do this by trapping trace chemical impurities in their calcium carbonate shells. Researchers have used the x-ray microscope at ALS Beamline 11.0.2 to study the distribution and chemical bonding of boron in microscopic wafers of foraminifera shells. More>

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Research Could Lead to More Efficient Electrical Energy Storage

Researchers have identified electrical charge-induced changes in the structure and bonding of graphitic carbon electrodes that may one day affect the way energy is stored. Berkeley Lab researchers worked with colleagues from Lawrence Livermore to create an improvement in the capacity and efficiency of electrical energy storage systems, such as batteries and supercapacitors. More>

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Retiree Ken Woolfe Adds Talents to Local Children’s Theater Production

After 33 years as a electronic engineer at the Advanced Light Source, Woolfe (right) is using his new-found spare time to headline the East Bay Children’s Theatre’s production of the musical “There’s No Business Like Shoe Business.” He plays a kindly cobbler who gets tricked by the wicked Leather Monger. More>

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Surprise Findings from San Andreas Fault Rock Sample

A team including Martin Kunz and Nobumichi Tamura of the ALS applied Laue X-ray microdiffraction to study quartz extracted from the San Andreas fault at the microscopic scale, the scale at which earthquake-triggering stresses originate. The results could one day lead to a better understanding of earthquake events. More>

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New Technique Gives a Deeper Look into the Chemistry of Interfaces

Developed at the Advanced Light Source, the technique offers sub-nanometer resolution of every chemical element to be found at heterogeneous interfaces, which are critical components in energy research, heterogeneous catalysis, electrochemistry, and atmospheric and environmental science. More>

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In Situ X-Ray Scattering Helps Optimize Printed Solar Cells

Plastic solar cells printed on flexible sheets with an ink-like solution show a lot of potential as a source of lightweight, inexpensive renewable energy. However, much of the power-conversion efficiency gets lost in the translation. Research at the Advanced Light Source is helping to gain an understanding of why that happens. More>

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New ALS Technique Guides IBM in Next-Gen Semiconductor Development

A new measurement technique developed at the ALS is helping guide the semiconductor industry in next-generation nanopatterning techniques. Directed self-assembly of block copolymers is an extremely promising strategy for high-volume, cost-effective semiconductor manufacturing at the nanoscale. More>

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