Today at Berkeley Lab

Data Centers Continue to Proliferate While Their Energy Use Plateaus

In the first comprehensive energy analysis of data centers in nearly 10 years, Lab researchers Aman Shehabi, Dale Sartor, Sarah Smith, Richard Brown, and Magnus Herrlin found that electricity consumption by data centers nationwide, after rising for more than a decade, started to plateau in 2010 and has remained steady since. More>

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New Technologies Fuel Cryo-EM’s Renaissance

In a pair of breakthrough Nature papers, researchers in Eva Nogales’ Lab at UC Berkeley mapped two important protein functions in unprecedented detail. These papers are representative of the renaissance currently under way in the cryo-EM field—driven primarily by the rise of cutting-edge electron detector cameras, sophisticated image processing software and access to NERSC supercomputing resources. More>

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Insights into How Soil Microbes Regulate Carbon and Sulfur Cycling

Utilizing microcosms of peat soil, researchers at the Joint Genome Institute mimicked naturally fluctuating conditions to study sulfate-reducing microbes and how they regulate methane production in peat microbial communities. Understanding these rare microbes offers insights into both the characterization of microbial ecological functioning and to mitigate global climate change. More>

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New Fuel Cell Design Powered by Graphene-Wrapped Nanoparticles

Researchers working at the ALS and the Molecular Foundry developed a promising new materials recipe based on magnesium nanocrystals and graphene for a battery-like hydrogen fuel cell with improved performance in key areas. The technology could have wide-ranging applications for batteries, catalysis, and energetic materials. More>

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New Material Has Potential for Lower Cost, Cleaner Nuclear Fuel Recycling

Researchers are investigating a new material that might help in nuclear fuel recycling and waste reduction by capturing certain gases released during reprocessing. By working at ambient temperature, the new material has the potential to save energy, and make reprocessing cleaner and less expensive. More>

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New Executive Actions Call for ETA’s Research on Smart Power Grids and Energy Storage

The White House announced new federal executive actions and 33 state and private sector commitments to continue research by the Lab’s Energy Technologies Area on grid modernization, as well as the potential for demand response and distributed energy resources in California. More>

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On the Path Toward Bionic Enzymes

Berkeley Lab chemists have successfully married chemistry and biology to create reactions never before possible. They did this by replacing the iron normally found in the muscle protein myoglobin with iridium, a noble metal not known to be used by living systems. More>

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ALS Work Gives a Lift to Research on Spark Plug–Free Engines

Measurements taken at the Lab’s Advanced Light Source are boosting research on highly efficient auto engines that use chemically controlled ignition systems rather than spark plugs. Sandia researchers used the ALS to study the components in the system’s chemical mix, which included burned gases and injected fuel. More>

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Researchers Gear Up Galaxy-seeking Robots for a Test Run

A prototype system that will test a planned array of 5,000 robots for a sky-mapping instrument is taking shape at Berkeley Lab. Dubbed ProtoDESI, the scaled-down, 10-robot system will run through a series of tests on a telescope in Arizona from August-September. More>

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ETA Announces 2016 ITRI-Rosenfeld Fellowship Awardees

Heather Buckley and Ranjit Deshmukh won the 2016 ITRI-Rosenfeld Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Energy Technologies Area. Buckley will research the use of bauxite ores to make groundwater safe for drinking. Deshmukh will study the impacts of variable renewable energy, climate change, and changing water resources on future electricity systems. More>

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