Today at Berkeley Lab

How X-Rays Pushed Topological Matter Research Over the Top

Pioneering X-ray experiments at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) helped bring to life decades-old theories about exotic states of matter, and the ALS continues to play an important role in this flourishing field of topological matter research. Check out the 360-degree video above. More>

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ALS Helps Map Catalytic Reactions on Single Nanoparticles

A new synchrotron infrared nanospectroscopy study confirms that structural defects and jagged surfaces at the edges of platinum and gold nanoparticles are key hot spots for chemical reactivity. The experiments pinpoint the most active areas of reactions on nanoscale particles and confirm that structural defects at the periphery are key to catalyst function. More>

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Researchers Gain Insight into Protein Critical to Zika Virus Reproduction

Berkeley Lab researchers collaborated with colleagues from the University of Indiana and Texas A&M University to solve the atomic structure of a Zika virus protein that is key to viral reproduction. The X-ray studies were conducted at the Advanced Light Source in the Berkeley Center for Structural Biology. More>

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ALS Measurements Overturn Decade-Old Theory

Materials that shift between being a metal and an insulator are of interest for use in electronic devices and fundamental studies. One such material, vanadium sesquioxide, has had an accepted theory explaining its metal-to-insulator transition since 2007. Now, researchers report on ALS measurements that overturn that theory and provide a benchmark test for future models. More>

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Ancient Ocean Temperatures Recorded in Mother-of-Pearl

To understand what the climate will be like in the future, it’s important to look at what it was like in the past, both on land and in the oceans. Researchers used the Advanced Light Source to help show that nacre tablet thickness — nacre is the iridescent material that lines mollusk shells — is correlated with the temperature of the environment in which the nacre formed. More>

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Advanced Light Source Tracks the Origins of a Bacterium’s Inner Compass

Magnetotactic bacteria synthesize chains of magnetic nanocrystals that interact with the Earth’s magnetic field like an inner compass needle, simplifying the bacteria’s search for optimum environments. Ptychography, an X-ray imaging technique with high resolution and sensitivity to chemical states, provides insight into how these inner compasses form. More>

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Grad Student Benefits from Berkeley Lab, Brookhaven Collaboration

Stony Brook grad student and Brookhaven National Synchrotron Light Source II user Tiffany Victor flies to California several times a year to use infrared beams at the Lab’s Advanced Light Source to study the interface between a plant and fungus. More>

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ALS Aids in Mapping the Migration of Genetic Material

A powerful soft x-ray microscope captures tomographic images of the genetic material in the nuclei of nerve cells at different stages of maturity. The detailed 3D visualizations show an unexpected connectivity in the genetic material and provide a new understanding of a cell’s evolving architecture. More>

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Designing Protein Cavities from Curved Beta Sheets

Curved beta sheets are important for the architecture of protein cavities, such as enzyme active sites and ligand-binding pockets. Bioscientists in the Berkeley Center for Structural Biology at the ALS, in collaboration with a team at the University of Washington, have helped to validate novel protein designs that could be customized to perform a reaction or facilitate a function of interest. More>

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New Evidence for a Water-Rich History on Mars

Mars may have been a wetter place than previously thought, according to research on simulated Martian meteorites conducted, in part, at the Lab’s Advanced Light Source. A mineral found in Martian meteorites may have originally been a hydrogen-containing mineral that could indicate a more water-rich history for the Red Planet. More>

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