Today at Berkeley Lab

Protein Shifts More Than Just Color for Cyanobacterial Photoprotection

PBD’s Cheryl Kerfeld found that a photoprotective mechanism in cyanobacteria is triggered by an unprecedented, large-scale movement of the carotenoid pigment within the Orange Carotenoid Protein. This event could help scientists find new ways to protect artificial photosynthetic systems from overexposure to sunlight. More>

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Lab Works with EPA and Aclima on Environmental Sensor

Lara Gundel is working with UC Berkeley, University of Illinois at Chicago, the EPA, and Aclima, a newly launched startup, to engineer and commercialize a miniaturized particulate matter sensor — the smallest sensor of its kind. Aclima also unveiled a partnership with Google to deploy networks of Internet-connected environmental sensors. More>

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Tracking the Elusive QOOH Radical

For the first time, researchers directly observed QOOH molecules, a class of highly reactive molecules at the center of the web of ignition chemistry reactions. The data generated will improve the fidelity of combustion models used to create cleaner and more efficient cars and trucks. More>

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New Magnet Center Brings Together Research and Development

The new Berkeley Center for Magnet Technology (BCMT) will advance magnet technologies by bringing together research and development expertise from across Berkeley Lab. The center will help foster communication and coordinate collaborations on magnet-oriented projects. More>

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Opening a New Route to Photonics

MSD Director Xiang Zhang has developed a new technique for effectively controlling pulses of light in closely packed nanoscale waveguides, an essential requirement for ultrahigh density, ultracompact integrated photonic circuitry. Photonics is highly promising for high-performance optical communications and chip-scale quantum computing. More>

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A Better Way to Screen Chemicals for Cancer-Causing Effect

Paul Yaswen is developing a cell culture that better identifies chemicals that increase breast cancer susceptibility. His team will grow the culture using adult stem cells obtained from breast tissue. Unlike today’s cell cultures, their test will show if a chemical causes a breakdown in cell-to-cell communication…a fundamental defect of cancer. More>

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Innovative Microvi Bio-Ethanol Technology Validated at ABPDU

Microvi Biotechnologies, working with the Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit (ABPDU), has unveiled breakthrough improvements to biological ethanol production. ABPDU’s Todd Pray said they look forward to collaborating with Microvi in further optimization and scale-up work. More>

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Enhanced Microscopic Resolution for Improved Diagnostics

Simple, low-cost techniques developed by ALS affiliate Laura Waller are giving standard optical microscopes — and even smartphones — powerful new ways to see the minuscule. LED lights in a custom-built device boost resolution by making several microphotographs of a cell sample while changing only the angle of the lighting. More>

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CRD’s Mueller Optimizes Codes to Cut Computational Costs

As supercomputers play an increasingly important role in scientific research, demand for time on the systems is also increasing, with researchers wanting up to 10 times more than is available. As a result, scientists need to make the most efficient use of their time allocations. Juliane Mueller has found a way to keep expenses down. More>

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Moving Towards a Body-on-a-Chip

Scientists around the world — including materials scientist Anurag Mathur — are creating new drug-testing devices that put cells from human organs onto chips. The medical breakthroughs could greatly speed drug testing, reduce the use of laboratory animals, and allow for experiments that would be too risky for human volunteers. More>

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