Today at Berkeley Lab

Getting to the Root of Grapevine Hydraulics

In grapevines, “root pressure” was assumed to play a role in recovering from embolisms (blockages) in a plant’s water-transport systems during drought conditions. To clarify this, researchers used ALS Beamline 8.3.2 to obtain 3D microtomographic images of grapevine stem segments detached from roots and leaves. More>

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Register Now for the 2016 ALS User Meeting, Oct. 3-5

The ALS Users Executive Committee (UEC) and meeting organizers have assembled a full program featuring a welcome from Director Mike Witherell, keynote talks on opportunities presented by the ALS upgrade (ALS-U), as well as 12 focused workshops, a student poster “slam,” and the annual awards banquet. More>

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New Insights into Oxygen’s Role in Lithium Battery Capacity

Researchers working at the ALS have recently made new discoveries in understanding the nature of charge storage in lithium-ion batteries, opening up possibilities for new battery designs with significantly improved capacity. The researchers used soft X-ray techniques to quantifiably explain oxygen’s role in Li-ion charge capacity. More>

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Researchers Shine Light on How Antidepressants Block Serotonin Transport

At the ALS, researchers were able to obtain X-ray crystallographic structures of the difficult-to-crystallize human serotonin transporter bound to two commonly prescribed antidepressant drug molecules. The resulting details about the transporter structure and mechanism will help in the design of new, more effective therapeutics for treating depression and anxiety. More>

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ALS Helps Develop A Novel Quasi-1D Topological Insulator

The tantalizing prospect of energy saving, ultralow-power electronics has led to a vigorous search for optimal topological insulator materials. Now, an international team of scientists has discovered the first of a new class of topological insulators with unique properties: quasi-1D bismuth iodide. More>

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New Fuel Cell Design Powered by Graphene-Wrapped Nanoparticles

Researchers working at the ALS and the Molecular Foundry developed a promising new materials recipe based on magnesium nanocrystals and graphene for a battery-like hydrogen fuel cell with improved performance in key areas. The technology could have wide-ranging applications for batteries, catalysis, and energetic materials. More>

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ALS Work Gives a Lift to Research on Spark Plug–Free Engines

Measurements taken at the Lab’s Advanced Light Source are boosting research on highly efficient auto engines that use chemically controlled ignition systems rather than spark plugs. Sandia researchers used the ALS to study the components in the system’s chemical mix, which included burned gases and injected fuel. More>

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Director’s Update on the Advanced Light Source Upgrade

At the DOE Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee review in Washington, D.C. last week, the committee unanimously approved a subcommittee’s recommendation that the ALS-U is “ready to initiate construction.” Director Michael Witherell, who is part of the ALS-U team, attended the BESAC review and provides an update. More>

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Hewlett Packard Labs Gains Insights with Innovative ALS Research Tools

For the past eight years, Hewlett Packard Labs, the central research organization of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, has been using cutting-edge ALS techniques to advance some of their most promising technological research, including vanadium dioxide phase transitions and atomic movement during memristor operation. More>

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Shutting Out Ebola and Other Viruses With the Help of the ALS

Researchers have used protein crystallography at the Advanced Light Source to understand how a drug molecule that has shown some efficacy against Ebola in mice inactivates a membrane protein, called TPC1, used by viruses to infect host cells. More>

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