Today at Berkeley Lab

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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On the Road to Spin-Orbitronics

Materials scientists Gong Chen and Andreas Schmid have found a new way of manipulating the walls that define magnetic domains — used for e-mail, posting images, and downloading videos or music — and the results could one day revolutionize the electronics industry. More>

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Lab Hosts Albany High Students for Shadow Day 2015

Volunteers from Public Affairs, Engineering, Computing, Materials Sciences, Life Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Facilities, mentored 17 students last Thursday, explaining their jobs, how they arrived at the Lab, education and experience that lead them to the job, and career opportunities at the Lab. More>

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Molecular Structure of Water at Gold Electrodes Revealed

ALS researchers have now made a first-ever observation of the molecular structure of liquid water at a gold surface under different charging conditions. This marks the first time that the scientific community has been able to achieve such high sensitivity in an in-situ environment under working electrode conditions. More>

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Research Shows Why Skin is Resistant to Tearing

Materials scientist Rob Ritchie led a Berkeley Lab and UC San Diego team at the Advanced Light Source that recorded the first direct observations of the micro-scale mechanisms behind the ability of skin to resist tearing. The results could aid the improvement of artificial skin, or the development of thin film polymers for flexible electronics. More>

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Waves of the Future May Bend Around Metamaterials

A New York Times article about new materials that bend light waves in ways that could not occur naturally mentions the Lab’s Xiang Zhang. He has pioneered a number of applications for metamaterials and says he hears from many military contractors and commercial companies that are interested in pursuing metamaterial applications. More>

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Opsin Protein Could Aid Studies of Brain, Central Nervous System

Ehud Isacoff led a team that discovered a light-sensitive opsin protein that plays a surprising and possibly critical role in neuron maturation and circuit formation. This discovery could lead to a potentially powerful new tool in the on-going search for a better understanding of how the brain and central nervous system develop. More>

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A Better Way of Scrubbing CO2

Materials scientist Jeff Long (center) led the discovery of a means by which the removal of carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants might one day be done far more efficiently and at far lower costs than today by appending a diamine molecule to the sponge-like solid materials known as metal-organic-frameworks (MOFs). More>

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Lab Researcher Will Bicycle Across the Country for Science

What started off as a joke between two undergraduate physics students will soon culminate in an ambitious endeavor called Cycle for Science, a two-woman science education team that will traverse the U.S. starting April 17. Lab research associate Rachel Woods-Robinson and science journalist Elizabeth Case will visit schools across the country, teaching fun science lessons and profiling science teachers, all while serving as female role models with the hope of attracting girls to science. More>

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Gadgil, Salmeron, Wieman Receive APS Awards

Ashok Gadgil received the Leo Sziler Lectureship Award, Miquel Salmeron received the Germer Prize in Surface Physics, and Howard Wieman (now retired) received the Bonner Prize in Nuclear Physics. More>

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