Today at Berkeley Lab

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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Analytis, Ginsberg Receive Sloan Fellowships

James Analytis of the Materials Sciences Division and Naomi Ginsberg of the Physical Biosciences Division are among 126 fellows named on Feb. 23. The fellowship provides $50,000 to further the research of early-career scientists and scholars. More>

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Algorithm Boosts Real-Time Numerical Simulations of Ultrafast Processes

Lin-Wang Wang of the Materials Sciences Division and visiting scholar Zhi Wang from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have developed an algorithm that makes it easier and less expensive to produce real-time numerical simulations of ultrafast physical phenomena, such as electrical charge transfer. More>

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MSD’s Alice Muller-Egan Gets Behind the Camera to Direct a Short Film

“Wall of Barbies” explores the relationship of two women, who have been friends since childhood, as their lives move in different directions. The movie includes quite a few Lab employees who played extras. Muller-Egan is hoping the film will debut during the Fall film festival season. More>

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Bacterial Armor Holds Clues for Self-Assembling Nanostructures

The Molecular Foundry’s Caroline Ajo-Franklin and Behzad Rad led a study that uncovered key details in the process by which bacterial proteins self-assemble into a protective coating, like chainmail armor. This process can be a model for the self-assembly of 2D and 3D nanostructures. More>

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Blue Current Promises Safe Lithium Batteries

Battery scientist Nitash Balsara has worked for many years trying to find a way to improve the safety of lithium-ion batteries. Now he believes he has found the answer in a most unlikely material—a class of compounds that has mainly been used for industrial lubrication. His startup is called Blue Current. More>

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