Today at Berkeley Lab

Imaging Flexible DNA ‘Building Blocks’ in 3-D

A team of researchers from Berkeley Lab and The Ohio State University have generated 3-D images from 129 individual molecules of flexible DNA origami particles. Their work provides the first experimental verification of the theoretical model of DNA origami. More>

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‘Platooning’ Trucks Can Cut Costs and Improve Efficiency

The DOE highlighted research by the Lab’s Energy Technologies Area on “truck platooning,” which uses vehicle-to-vehicle communications to enable one or two trucks to automatically follow the speed of the preceding truck. The virtual connection between trucks allows them to occupy less road space, reduce drag, and smooth traffic flow. More>

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Lab Scientist James Harris Played Key Role in Discovering New Elements

February is Black History Month. Today we celebrate James Harris, a Berkeley Lab scientist and the first African American to play a key role in the search for new elements. He is credited with helping to discover rutherfordium and dubnium. To learn more about Harris, go here, or see recent Berkeley Lab posts on Twitter and Facebook.

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Using Nature’s Blueprint for Sustainable Indigo Dyeing Process

Researchers from the Biosciences Area and UC Berkeley have developed a promising sustainable indigo dyeing process that relies on genetically engineered bacteria, mimicking the natural biochemical protecting group strategy employed by the Japanese indigo plant Polygonum tinctorium. The new strategy offers a much-needed update to the historic, but unsustainable, process currently relied on to produce blue denim. More>

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JGI, JBEI See First Outcome From Large-Scale Aspergillus Fungi Project

A study led by researchers at the Technical University of Denmark, the Joint Genome Institute, and the Joint BioEnergy Institute — and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences — reports the first results of a long-term plan to sequence, annotate, and analyze the genomes of 300 Aspergillus fungi, which promise to be important sources of enzymes for the production of sustainable biofuels. More>

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Lab Researchers Evaluate Path Toward Artificial Photosynthesis

Artificial photosynthesis is a promising technology for turning sunlight into low-carbon fuels, but electrochemical systems typically yield product mixtures that must be separated, increasing both system and process complexity as well as energy requirements. Jeffery Greenblatt of the Energy Technologies Area and co-authors from the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis discuss these issues in a study published in Joule.

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EESA Leads Development of Next-Generation Soil Carbon Model

Rose Abramoff, an ecologist working in the the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area, led a team of researchers in developing a new model for predicting soil decomposition by extensively taking into account the measurable chemical and physical qualities of soil. Details about the model appear in the journal Biogeochemistry.

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Physics Data Processed at NERSC Dramatically Cuts Reconstruction Time

In a recent demonstration project, physicists from Brookhaven National Laboratory and Berkeley Lab used the Cori supercomputer at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center to reconstruct data collected from a nuclear physics experiment, an advance that could dramatically reduce the time it takes to make detailed data available for scientific discoveries. More>

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Narrowing In on the W Boson Mass

Scientists working on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider – the world’s largest particle collider – have precisely measured the mass of the W boson, a particle that plays a weighty role in a delicate balancing act of the quantum universe. Berkeley Lab is part of the ATLAS collaboration. More>

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From Belgrade to Berkeley: A Postdoc’s Path in Particle Physics

After completing her Ph.D. thesis in calculating the mass of the W boson – an elementary particle that mediates one of the universe’s fundamental forces -physics researcher Aleksandra Dimitrievska is now testing components at Berkeley Lab for a scheduled upgrade of the world’s largest particle detectors. More>

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