Today at Berkeley Lab

On the Way to Unlimited Energy

With the help of four different ALS beamlines, scientists were able to understand and improve the morphology of the main device structure in organic photovoltaic cells. More>

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New Findings Could Aid Treatment of Depression

Using data collected at the Berkeley Center for Structural Biology in the ALS, researchers at Oregon Health and Sciences University revealed the molecular structure of the serotonin transporter. Their findings provide new insight into the mechanism of antidepressant action of two widely prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) commonly employed to treat depression. More>

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Improving Anti-Influenza Medications

Protein crystallography at ALS Beamline 8.3.1 helped scientists understand the M2 proton-channel structure from the influenza A virus, and will aid the design of better anti-influenza medications. More>

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What Screens Are Made of: New Twists (and Bends) in LCD Research

A research team has directly measured a spiral molecular arrangement formed by liquid crystals that could help unravel its mysteries and possibly improve the performance of electronic displays. More>

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A New Universal Parameter for Superconductivity

Scientists have been researching high-temperature superconductors for decades, hoping to find materials that express capabilities at room temperature, to enable practical and cost-effective applications. Iron-based superconductors are a possible candidate, and ALS research indicates a new factor that determines their superconductivity. More>

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X-ray Studies at Berkeley Lab Help Explain Superfast Spider Bites

Dilworth “Dula” Parkinson at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source participated in X-ray experiments that scanned 26 species of trap-jaw spiders. These scans led to 3-D reconstructions that helped scientists to understand the mechanics of their high-speed bites. More>

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Porous Framework Electrocatalysts Key to Carbon Dioxide Conversion

Researchers have made significant headway in the quest to convert carbon dioxide into valuable chemical products such as fuels, pharmaceuticals, and plastics. Recent work at the ALS has
shown MOFs and COFs as a valuable new class of carbon dioxide reduction catalysts. More>

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New Carbon Capture Membrane Boasts CO2 Highways

A new, highly permeable carbon capture membrane could lead to more efficient ways of separating carbon dioxide from power plant exhaust, preventing greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere and contributing to climate change. More>

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X-Ray Studies at SLAC and ALS Aid Search for Ebola Cure

Scientists from UC San Francisco have determined in atomic detail how a potential drug molecule fits into and blocks a channel in cell membranes that Ebola and related “filoviruses” need to infect victims’ cells. They conducted research at SLAC and the Lab’s Advanced Light Source. More>

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Manganese Reduction-Oxidation Drives Plant Debris Decomposition

ALS research shows that manganese reduction-oxidation (redox) reactions are an important factor in controlling the rate of plant debris decomposition. Understanding the role of manganese will help build better models to predict how litter decomposition rates — and thus nutrient cycling and the ecosystem carbon balance — may behave in future climate scenarios. More>

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