Today at Berkeley Lab

Joint Genome Institute Uncovers Earth’s Viral Diversity

JGI researchers, aided by the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), used the largest collection of assembled metagenomic datasets to uncover over 125,000 partial and complete viral genomes, with infecting microbes in the majority. The findings, which were published in Nature, increase the number of known viral genes by a factor of 16. More>

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New Technique Produces SHARP 3-D Images

A revolutionary X-ray imaging technique known as SHARP (Scalable Heterogeneous Adaptive Real-time Ptychography) combines diffraction and microscopy with applied mathematics and supercomputing to quickly turn high-throughput datasets into the sharpest 3-D images ever produced. More>

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Cyclotron Road’s Kendra Kuhl Featured in ‘35 Innovators Under 35’ for 2016

In its annual celebration of young innovators, MIT Technology Review recognized Opus 12 co-founder Kendra Kuhl for her work on designing a reactor that will convert the carbon dioxide emitted by power plants into useful chemicals. Opus 12 is a project of Cyclotron Road, an incubator for energy technologies. More>

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Median Installed Price of U.S. Solar at All-Time Low in 2015

Solar energy system pricing fell by 5-12 percent last year, according to the latest editions of two recurring “state of the market” reports released yesterday by Berkeley Lab. Preliminary data for the first six months of 2016 suggest that prices have continued to fall within most states and market segments. More>

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A Cleansing Rain Falls; a Soil-Filled Mist Arises

Rain’s reputation for cleansing the air may come with a caveat after new findings, including STXM and NEXAFS data, show that raindrops play a role in generating airborne organic particles. The findings could influence how scientists model our planet’s climate and future. More>

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Carbon Voyage Motors Back Home

The Oceanus research vessel docked in San Francisco yesterday morning, ending a 10-day expedition in which Carbon Flux Explorers, robotic floats built at Berkeley Lab, collectively gathered more than eight days of data. Jim Bishop and his research team profiled more than 150 kilometers of the ocean’s water column through 26 CTD (conductivity/temperature/depth) deployments. More>

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Carbon Voyage Update: A Floating Classroom for Students

All members of Jim Bishop’s team have been trained in key deck operations, such as working the tag lines during CTD deployment. UC Berkeley junior William Kumler, for instance, has been introduced to the winch at the stern of the ship. He stood at the controls during sediment trap deployments and recovery, vigilantly following the signals for letting out or taking in cable. More>

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JGI Helps Identify Microbial Culprits Initiating Oceanic Nitrogen Loss

Microbes play key roles in maintaining the planet’s biogeochemical cycles, and while SAR11 bacteria’s role in the marine carbon cycle is known, its role in regulating nitrogen bioavailability was not. Scientists partnered with JGI, using single-cell sorting and synthetic biology capabilities, identified and characterize SAR11’s role in oxygen-minimum zones. More>

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A New Way to Display the 3-D Structure of Molecules

Researchers have created a sort of nanoscale display case that enables new atomic-scale views of hard-to-study chemical and biological samples. Their work could help to reveal new structural details for a range of challenging molecules, such as complex chemical compounds and potentially new drugs, by stabilizing them inside metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). More>

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Carbon Voyage Update: Star Charting Santa Cruz Basin at Night

In her latest blog post, science writer Sarah Yang discusses the ship’s spatial mapping of the region, surveying temperature, salinity and other variables relevant to the particle concentration in the water. Connect the dots and the star will appear. “A star pattern is an effective pattern if you want to cover the greatest region,” says researcher Jim Bishop. More>

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