Today at Berkeley Lab

Scientists Harness CO2 to Consolidate Biofuel Production Process

JBEI scientists have shown that adding carbon dioxide gas during the deconstruction phase of biofuel production successfully neutralized the toxicity of ionic liquids. The technique, which is reversible, allows the liquid to be recycled, representing a major step forward in streamlining the biofuel production process. More>

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JGI Collaborative Science Program Yields Fungal Study

A comparative analysis of four fungal secretomes to learn more about the pathways they deploy to break down carbon compounds was made possible by a program called FICUS between two national user facilities: the JGI at Berkeley Lab, and the Environmental Molecular Science Laboratory (EMSL) at Pacific Northwest National Lab. More>

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World’s Most Sensitive Dark Matter Detector Completes Search

LUX collaborators presented the results from the detector’s final 20-month run from October 2014 to May 2016. LUX’s sensitivity far exceeded the original expectations of the experiment. These new limits on dark matter detection will allow scientists to eliminate many potential models for dark matter particles, offering critical guidance for next-generation dark matter experiments. More>

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Modern Off-Grid Lighting Could Create 2 Million Jobs in Developing World

Lab researcher Evan Mills, who has been studying lighting in the developing world for more than two decades, has conducted the first global analysis of how the transition to solar-LED lighting will impact employment. He found that moving away from kerosene and other fuel-based lighting could create 2 million new jobs. More>

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Getting to the Root of Grapevine Hydraulics

In grapevines, “root pressure” was assumed to play a role in recovering from embolisms (blockages) in a plant’s water-transport systems during drought conditions. To clarify this, researchers used ALS Beamline 8.3.2 to obtain 3D microtomographic images of grapevine stem segments detached from roots and leaves. More>

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New Insights into Oxygen’s Role in Lithium Battery Capacity

Researchers working at the ALS have recently made new discoveries in understanding the nature of charge storage in lithium-ion batteries, opening up possibilities for new battery designs with significantly improved capacity. The researchers used soft X-ray techniques to quantifiably explain oxygen’s role in Li-ion charge capacity. More>

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Startup Converts Exhaust Heat into Clean, Renewable Power

CEO Matt Scullin co-founded startup Alphabet Energy in 2009 with Peidong Yang, materials science and chemistry professor at UC Berkeley and faculty scientist at Berkeley Lab. In a Berkeley Engineer magazine story, Alphabet was noted for “producing the most efficient thermoelectric devices ever made for waste-heat recovery.” More>

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Foundry User Participates in Regional Cancer Moonshot Summit

Molecular Foundry user Ambika Bumb recently participated in a Cancer Moonshot Summit hosted by Congressman Mark DeSaulnier. Bumb spoke about her company Bikanta, which uses nanoscale diamonds to accurately locate and treat cancer cells in a targeted manner, as well as the importance of federally funded national user facilities. More>

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Dark Energy Measured with Record-Breaking Map of 1.2 Million Galaxies

A team of hundreds of physicists and astronomers, including those from Berkeley Lab, have announced results from the largest-ever, three-dimensional map of distant galaxies. The team constructed this map to make one of the most precise measurements yet of the dark energy currently driving the accelerated expansion of the Universe. More>

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Sean Peisert Co-Leads DOE Project to Increase Power Grid Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity experts Sean Peisert of Berkeley Lab and Jamie Van Randwyk of Livermore Lab are leading a new program to develop data analysis methods to better protect the nation’s power grid. The project is part of the Department of Energy’s $220 million, three-year Grid Modernization Initiative launched in January 2016. More>

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