Today at Berkeley Lab

Soaking Up Carbon Dioxide and Turning it into Valuable Products

Chris Chang (Chemical Sciences) and Omar Yaghi (Materials Sciences) led a study in which covalent organic frameworks were embedded with cobalt porphyrins to produce a molecular system that that not only absorbs carbon dioxide, but also selectively reduces it to carbon monoxide, a primary building block for a wide range of chemical products. More>

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Cellular Contamination Pathway for Plutonium, Other Elements, Identified

A team led by Rebecca Abergel working at the ALS reports a major advance in understanding the biological chemistry of radioactive metals, opening up new research into strategies for remedial action in the event of possible human exposure to nuclear contaminants. The results appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. More>

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Another Milestone in Hybrid Artificial Photosynthesis

A team led by Peidong Yang, Michelle Chang and Chris Chang has combined semiconducting nanowires with select microbes to create an artificial photosynthesis system that produces renewable molecular hydrogen and uses it to synthesize carbon dioxide into methane, the primary constituent of natural gas. More>

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Christopher Chang Receives Young Scientist Award

Chang, with the Chemical Sciences Division, received the 2015 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. He was honored for his discoveries in chemistry that span both neuroscience and energy science. More>

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Unraveling the Mysteries of Carbonic Acid

Chemical scientist Rich Saykally led a study that revealed how gaseous carbon dioxide molecules dissolve in water to initiate the chemistry that yields carbonic acid and bicarbonate. Though carbonic acid exists for only a tiny fraction of a second, it imparts a lasting impact on Earth’s atmosphere and geology, as well as on the human body. More>

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Leaving on a Biofueled Jet Plane

Berkeley Lab’s Alex Bell, Corinne Scown and Dean Toste have developed a catalytic process for converting sugarcane biomass into a new class of aviation fuel and lubricant base oils that could help biorefineries achieve net life-cycle greenhouse gas savings of up to 80-percent. The work was conducted at the Energy Biosciences Institute. More>

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Lab Researchers Among Five Faculty Named Bakar Fellows

Among the latest to join the ranks of the Bakar Fellows Program, which supports UC Berkeley faculty working to apply scientific discoveries to real-world issues, are Ke Xu (pictured) of the Life Sciences Division, who works on super-resolution microscopy, and Holger Müller, a guest scientist in the Chemical Sciences Division, whose miniaturized interferometric inertial sensor can determine its own location without any external cues. More>

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Head-Gordon, Neumark, Nogales Elected to National Academy of Sciences

The academy is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science organization. This year’s fellows include Martin Head-Gordon (left) and Daniel Neumark (center) of the Chemical Sciences Division, and Eva Nogales of the Life Sciences Division. More>

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Prospects of Doing Attosecond Physics at the World’s First Laser-Driven X-Ray User Facility

Predrag Ranitovic will present the scientific roadmap of ELI-ALPS and give an overview of the laser and attosceond pulse sources, and endstations to be available for users in the near future, in the Building 50 Auditorium on April 29 from noon to 1 p.m. More>

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Major Artificial Photosynthesis Advance Poses Environmental Win/Win

Peidong Yang, Christopher Chang, and Michelle Chang led a potentially game-changing breakthrough. By combining biocompatible light-capturing nanowire arrays with select bacterial populations, they created a solar-powered system in which valuable chemical products can be produced from sequestered carbon dioxide. More>

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