Today at Berkeley Lab

Oil Field Operations Likely Caused California Earthquakes, Study Finds

For the first time, scientists have reported that the underground disposal of wastewater from oil drilling has probably triggered earthquakes in California. The state’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources has commissioned Berkeley Lab to get a sense of how prevalent the wastewater-induced quakes may be. More>

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Computing’s Deborah Bard Blogs on How HPC has Transformed Cosmology

Simulating a universe is not a trivial matter, and some of the biggest tests of modern HPC systems come from cosmological simulations, which need to be both large-scale and high-resolution. A typical cosmological simulation today requires tens of millions of CPU hours and thousands of compute cores, which would take a best desktop computer over 2,000 years to run. More>

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Here’s Why Every Glass Of Wine You Drink Is Radioactive

Lab physicist Richard Muller explains why “drinking alcohol is required to have at least 400 radioactive decays per minute for each 750 ml.” The article is from a Quora series, in which facts that sound far-fetched are explained by “people with unique insights.” More>

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Alivisatos’ Quantum Dot Research Featured in ‘NBC Learn’ Video

The video looks at Alivisatos’ pioneering nanotechnology research, including the development of quantum dots to enhance displays on tablets, TVs, and laptops, and new efforts to create more efficient solar panels with films made with quantum dots. More>

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ETA’s Greenblatt Quoted in Mother Jones and Scientific American on Benefits of Driverless Cars

The January/February issue of Mother Jones magazine quotes Jeff Greenblatt on autonomous vehicles. A Scientific American article also quoted Greenblatt on how driverless cars may slow pollution.

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Understanding Climate Change’s Role in Recent UK Floods

Rainstorms are particularly tough to study, because they are affected by many factors, says Berkeley Lab’s Michael Wehner. He conducted a study of the role climate change played in Colorado’s 2013 floods. By comparing the river basin responsible with the same basin in an imaginary world without anthropogenic climate change, he found that the real basin received more rain. More>

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Will Promise of Quantum Dots’ Supreme Digital Resolution Matter?

Studies find smartphone users are willing to trade superior-quality images for simpler interfaces. But quantum dots are likely to succeed where other quality-increasing technology has failed, because they are inexpensive and simple. Nanosys, a start-up co-founded by Paul Alivisatos, creates QD film that can replace parts in existing devices with little fuss. More>

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Cyclotron Road Researchers Named to Forbes ’30 Under 30 in Energy’ List

Marcus Lehmann, the lead for CalWave, which is developing a WaveCarpet that harnesses the power of ocean waves to produce electricity and freshwater. Nicholas Flanders is a team member of OPUS 12, which intends to take industrial carbon dioxide emissions and transform them into fuels and chemicals using an electrochemical process incorporating novel catalysts and powered by electricity from renewable sources.. More>

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Single-Particle Cryo-Electron Microscopy Named Method of the Year

Nature Methods recognized the technology for “its newfound ability to determine challenging protein and protein-complex structures at high resolution.” In the journal, the Lab’s Eva Nogales and Robert Glaeser comment on cryo-EM and technological advancements that provide near-atomic resolutions of protein structures without the need for crystallization. More>

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Lab’s Dáithí Stone Comments on Recent Paris Climate Agreement

Carbon Brief — a website dedicated to analysis and fact checking of energy policy and climate science — spoke to a number of prominent scientists at last week’s American Geophysical Union’s meeting to get their thoughts on the new Paris climate agreement, including Dáithí Stone of the Computational Research Division.

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