Today at Berkeley Lab

Deep Diamonds: Study Suggests Water May Exist in Earth’s Lower Mantle

A new study, which included experiments at Berkeley Lab, suggests that water may be more common than expected at extreme depths approaching 400 miles and possibly beyond – within Earth’s lower mantle. The study explored microscopic pockets of a trapped form of crystallized water molecules in a sampling of diamonds. More>

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Unraveling the Complexities of Auto-Oxidation

Using a jet-stirred reactor installed at the Advanced Light Source, researchers directly observed the formation of highly oxygenated molecules – the elusive products of auto-oxidation reactions relevant to combustion and atmospheric chemistry. A better understanding of auto-oxidation mechanisms could lead to better engines, less air pollution, and improved climate models. More>

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New Catalyst Shows Promise for Clean Energy by Artificial Photosynthesis

Looking for new solutions to more efficiently harvest and store solar energy, scientists from the U.S. and China have synthesized a new dual-atom catalyst to serve as a platform for artificial photosynthesis. The research team performed X-ray experiments at the Lab’s Advanced Light Source. More>

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High Schoolers Get Hands-On Experience at the Advanced Light Source

Students from Pinole Valley and Oakland high schools participated in “The ALS Experience,” a pilot program between the ALS and Workforce Development & Education (WD&E). Scientists Christine Beavers and Dula Parkinson helped students design an experiment, collect data, and analyze results. This is the first of four research programs being piloted by WD&E this spring.

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Sleuthing for Possible Path to Formation of Life’s Building Blocks in Space

Scientists have used experiments at Berkeley Lab to retrace the chemical steps leading to the creation of complex hydrocarbons in space. They showed pathways to forming 2-D, carbon-based nanostructures in a mix of heated gases. More>

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Tuning Magnetic Frustration in a Dipolar Trident Lattice

Researchers designed a two-dimensional array of nanomagnets in which “frustrated” magnetic interactions can be directly tuned. Such interactions are key to a wide range of phenomena, from protein folding and computer memory to exotic material states. The nanomagnet arrays were fabricated at the Molecular Foundry and characterized at the Advanced Light Source. More>

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Century-Old Speculation on High-Performance Battery Chemistry Confirmed

Scientists have discovered a novel chemical state, first proposed about 90 years ago, that enables a high-performance, low-cost sodium-ion battery. The battery could quickly and efficiently store and distribute energy produced by solar panels and wind turbines across the electrical grid. More>

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Instagram Takeover: UCSF Dentistry at Beamline 8.3.2

Tune in to our Instagram account today as Dula Parkinson and the Dental Materials Tomography Team from UCSF take over the Advanced Light Source’s Beamline 8.3.2. Get a behind-the-scenes look as they seek to better understand the mechanism of action of silver diamine fluoride, which is becoming a popular treatment in dental offices across the country.

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Modified Antibody Clarifies Tumor-Killing Mechanisms

At the Advanced Light Source, researchers studied an antibody that was modified to activate a specific pathway of the immune system, demonstrating its value in killing tumor cells. The work provides a platform for disentangling the effects of different immune-system pathways and could lead to the design of improved cancer immunotherapies. More>

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Let the Good Tubes Roll; New Technology Could Aid Water Purification

Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory designed a tube that rolls up and zips closed. The technology – inspired by protein structures called microtubules that reside in cells – could help with water filtration, tissue engineering, and other applications. The researchers used the Advanced Light Source and Molecular Foundry to characterize the tubes. More>

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