Today at Berkeley Lab

On-Demand X-Rays at Synchrotron Light Sources

The technique allows ALS users to access to the X-ray beams they want without affecting beams
for other users. The technique displaces and routes a single electron bunch from the multi-bunch electron beam in the ALS’s storage ring so that only X-ray light from this displaced bunch reaches the experiment. More>

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Longer DNA Fragments Reveal Rare Species Diversity

New sequence assembly technologies developed at the Joint Genome Institute help reconstruct environmental microbial communities. Many microbes cannot be cultivated in a laboratory setting, hindering attempts to understand Earth’s microbial diversity. More>

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Clay Barriers Restrict Ionic Transport

In a paper featured on the cover of the May 12 issue of Environmental Science & Technology Letters, a team of scientists (including ESD’s Carl Steefel and Ian Bourg) demonstrated, for the first time, that anions can be completely excluded from the smallest pores within a compacted illitic clay material. More>

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The Microbiome of Leaf-Nosed Bats

Earth scientist Neslihan Taş was one of the leading authors of a recently published paper — in the online, open access journal Frontiers in Microbiology — studying the relationship between different Phyllostomidae (New World leaf-nosed bat) feeding strategies and host microbiome composition. More>

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FLEXLAB Helps New Genentech Building to Maximize Energy Efficiency

The testing facility — which replicates real-world conditions for optimizing building systems — allowed Genentech to make the best possible energy efficiency choices for its new 255K square-foot office building. This was FLEXLAB’s first commercial experiment. More>

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Ramping up the Hunt for Dark Matter with LUX-ZEPLIN

Development of the Berkeley Lab-managed LUX-ZEPLIN is underway. LZ, as the project is known, promises to be the most sensitive tool for the direct detection of weakly interacting massive particles or WIMPs, which many researchers suspect could be the fundamental components of dark matter. Go here to read a SLAC press release on this development. More>

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Defects Can ‘Hulk-Up’ Materials

A study led by materials scientist Junqiao Wu shows that just as exposure to gamma radiation transforms Bruce Banner into the Hulk, exposure to alpha-particle radiation can transform thermoelectric materials into far more powerful versions of themselves. More>

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Supernova Hunting With Supercomputers

New observations suggest the origins of famously consistent Type Ia supernovae may not be uniform at all. Using theoretical calculations and supercomputer simulations, astronomers observed for the first time a flash of light caused by a supernova slamming into a nearby star, allowing them to determine where the supernova was born. More>

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$2.4 Million From Moore Foundation For New Technique Developed at ALS

A novel X-ray scattering concept by researchers at the Advanced Light Source is receiving support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in the amount of $2.4 million. The lead investigator is ALS Division Deputy Zahid Hussain, with ALS Director Roger Falcone acting as co-PI on the project. More>

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Radiative Forcing From Albedo Change in Land-Use Scenarios

A team of climate scientists including Andy Jones and Bill Collins of the Earth Sciences Division demonstrated the effectiveness of a new method for quantifying radiative forcing from land-use and land-cover change within an integrated assessment model. More>

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