Today at Berkeley Lab

A Milky Mystery: The Case of the Casein Micelles

We all know that milk contains important nutrients such as calcium and protein that help build bones and muscle. But how much do we really know about these ingredients at the molecular level? Researchers used the Advance Light Source’s 11.0.1 beamline to find out. More>

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Organic Photovoltaic Experiments Showcase ‘Superfacility’ Concept

Research by the Advanced Light Source, using computing resources at NERSC, Oakridge, and ESNet, is yielding exciting results in organic photovoltaics as well as road testing the “superfacility” concept, which connects DOE user facilities to enable researchers to share data in real time without having to leave their office or lab. More>

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Research Shows Why Skin is Resistant to Tearing

Materials scientist Rob Ritchie led a Berkeley Lab and UC San Diego team at the Advanced Light Source that recorded the first direct observations of the micro-scale mechanisms behind the ability of skin to resist tearing. The results could aid the improvement of artificial skin, or the development of thin film polymers for flexible electronics. More>

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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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