Today at Berkeley Lab

Lab Artificial Photosynthesis Research Highlighted in Media

A recent Technology Review story on research into artificial photosynthesis quoted the Lab’s Ian Sharp, and noted the work being done at the Lab’s Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP). MoneyInc.com also noted work at JCAP by Peidong Yang, and Chris and Michelle Chang in its list of top five new energy sources currently under development.

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Lab to Help Test Water Quality in Marin’s San Geronimo Valley

Exactly who or what is responsible for pathogens entering creeks in the San Geronimo Valley may soon be determined. The San Geronimo Valley Planning Group has tapped Lab researchers — including Gary Andersen — to do detailed analyses of water samples using “PhyloChip” technology, a DNA-based method to detect and distinguish sources of microbial contamination in water. More>

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Why is Corporate America Picking Wind Power Over Solar?

Ryan Wiser of the Energy Technologies Area is quoted in a Guardian article on how non-energy businesses produced 2,000 megawatts of wind power in 2015, compared to 100 in 2009. Google, the world’s largest buyer of renewable electricity, will hit its 100% renewable energy goal next year, thanks to wind energy, which is historically cheaper than solar. More>

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Designing a Safer Battery for Smartphones

There is growing evidence that after decades of excruciatingly slow development, batteries are on the verge of yielding to a new generation of material science. In the last 150 years, in fact, only a handful of rechargeable battery chemistries have reached mass adoption. “It’s a huge challenge,” said Ilan Gur of Berkeley Lab’s Cyclotron road in this New York Times article.

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It’s Time for Particle Physics to go Back to the Future

As the Large Hadron Collider nears its energy limits, and the next great collider won’t be ready for decades, can the ensuing generation of young minds sit on the sidelines waiting? In a Scientific American guest blog, Savas Dimopoulos suggests focusing on table-top experiments and mentions the work of the Lab’s Surjeet Rajendran, among others. More>

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Matter of Degrees: How Hot It Gets Still Depends on Us

In this article about climate change that appeared in UC Berkeley’s alumni magazine “California,” the author interviews Lab researchers Inez Fung, who explores how CO2 circulates through the planet’s oceans and land-based ecologies, and Jeffrey Long, who creates MOFs, which could become a crucial tool for capturing CO2 emissions at the source. More>

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CRISPR Pioneers Runners Up for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year

Although Time Magazine ultimately chose Donald Trump, Lab researcher Jennifer Doudna and other pioneers of the gene-editing CRISPR-Cas9 technology were among the top five runner ups. They were chosen for the development of their revolutionary tool, which promises cures for many heritable diseases. More>

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ETA’s Greenblatt in National Geographic’s ‘Years of Living Dangerously’

The episode featuring Jeffery Greenblatt airs on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 10 p.m. (Pacific Time). Host Ty Burrell (pictured) takes to the road to see the environmental revolutions being made in electric(EV) and self-driving vehicles. Greenblatt joins other experts to talk about advancements in EVs, EV incentives and driverless technology. More>

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Is This How the Solar System Was Formed?

A low-mass supernova could have sparked the solar system, a group of researchers including the Lab’s Wick Haxton proposes. The researchers drew their conclusion by creating models of low-mass supernova. They also studied short-lived nuclei on meteorites. More>

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KGO TV Speaks With Balsara on Making Lithium Batteries Safer

Lab materials scientist Nitash Balsara and colleagues are studying ways of making lithium batteries safer. The problem is in the news since the global recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. He says that their research goal is to replace the battery’s flammable electrolyte with something safer. More>

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