Today at Berkeley Lab

Detailed View of Immune Proteins Could Aid New Pathogen-Defense Strategies

Berkeley Lab biologists have resolved the structure of a ring of proteins used by the immune system for support when under attack, providing new insight into potential strategies for protection from pathogens. The researchers captured a high-resolution image of a protein ring as it was bound to flagellin, a protein from the tail used by bacteria to propel themselves forward. More>

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A Spark in the Dark Universe

With help from NERSC, Fermilab is aiming Spark open-source software at data from high-energy physics. Spark, a data-reduction tool made for unstructured text files, is initially being put to work in the search for dark matter, but scientists hope that’s just the start. More>

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NERSC Steps Up for ‘Inclusion Insights Game’

As part of the “Inclusion Starts With a Conversation” campaign sponsored by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion office, divisions are invited to watch videos and answer questions after viewing to score points. NERSC’s Rebecca Hartman-Baker tapped into the user facilities’ interest in friendly competition to aid their success. She shares her thoughts on making the most of this campaign here.

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Recent Lab Workshop Explores Quantum Information Science

On Oct. 25, Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley scientists gathered for a daylong workshop focused on enhancing connections across the Berkeley community related to quantum information science (QIS). Quantum computing could help solve some of science’s hardest problems in chemistry, materials, and other disciplines. More than two dozen talks were presented. More>

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Lab Reports Major Progress in Realizing New Type of Lithium Cathode

A team of researchers led by materials scientist Gerbrand Ceder reports major progress in cathodes made with so-called “disordered” materials, a promising new type of lithium battery. The co-authors of the papers published this month in Nature Communications and Physical Review Letters include Alex Urban (MSD), Wanli Yang (ALS), and Bryan McCloskey (ETA). More>

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International Journalists Visit Lab on Oct. 29

The Lab’s Strategic Communications Group hosted a visit on Oct. 29 by nearly 50 international journalists who were attending the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists. Director Witherell addressed the group, which then toured the Advanced Light Source, Molecular Foundry, and NERSC. Nearly 1,400 attended the conference in San Francisco, the first time it was held in the United States. More>

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Scientists Solve a Magnesium Mystery in Rechargeable Battery Performance

A Berkeley Lab-led research team has discovered a surprising set of chemical reactions involving magnesium that degrade battery performance even before the battery can be charged up. The findings could be relevant to other battery materials, and could steer the design of next-generation batteries towards workarounds that avoid these newly identified pitfalls. More>

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NERSC’s Cori System Helps Speed Astronomical Image Analysis by 1,000x

In a demonstration of how parallel computing could dramatically change the scientific community’s ability to study the universe, researchers used the Julia code on the Cori supercomputer at NERSC to speed astronomical image analysis by a factor of 1,000, catalog 188 million astronomical objects in 14.6 minutes, and achieve peak performance of 1.54 petaflops. More>

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Nanoscale Virus Features Reconstructed From Correlations of Scattered X-rays

As part of an international team, Lab researchers with the Center for the Advanced Mathematics for Energy Research Applications (CAMERA) contributed key algorithms which helped achieve a goal first proposed more than 40 years ago – using angular correlations of X-ray snapshots from non-crystalline molecules to determine the 3D structure of important biological objects. More>

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Nobel Prize Winner for Chemistry is a Former NERSC Researcher

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to three scientists central to the development of cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM), a technique used to reveal the structures of large organic molecules at high resolution. Among them was Joachim Frank, whose work involved running computations at NERSC. More>

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