In this Q&A, Jennifer Doudna of the Biosciences Area discusses the recent patent ruling on the CRISPR-Cas9 technology, what work can now proceed as a result of that ruling, the kinds of developments that might be seen in the future, what her lab is working on next, and advice for other scientists navigating the patent system. More>
If you’re pitching a new software startup, you go to Sand Hill Road. If you’re pitching a hard science startup in a field like energy or manufacturing, though, Ilan Gur suggests that you make your way to Cyclotron Road, which offers free access to cutting-edge facilities, plus research staff and mentoring for those in need of time and space for complex R&D. More>
The program explores the hidden world of energy storage and how it holds the keys to a greener future. Lab battery researcher Lynn Trahey was included, and the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, which the Lab co-leads with Argonne, was mentioned. Watch the full episode here.
The storms hitting the West Coast are intense, causing massive floods and landslides — and replenishing reservoirs after historic drought. But is the drought-flood pattern tied to our planet’s warming? Lab climate scientist Michael Wehner weighs in on what is known, and what isn’t. More>
Advanced Light Source user Marie Jackson has recommended that Roman concrete be used to construct a seawall for Swansea Lagoon, based in part on her research conducted in collaboration with the Lab’s Paulo Monteiro. Roman-style concrete is made with volcanic ash and is not only strong, but produces far fewer carbon dioxide emissions than traditional Portland cement. More>
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.
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>
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>
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.
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>