Today at Berkeley Lab

The Search for Smarter Water and Energy Strategies

As climate change disrupts weather patterns, many countries face swamping along the coasts, but also shrinking freshwater supplies in many regions. The Lab’s Ashok Gadgil is the principal investigator on the U.S. side of a new $64 million collaboration between China and the United States to develop strategies and technologies to conserve water in energy production and use. More>

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Chemistry Consortium Seeks to Understand Actinides

Bert de Jong of the Computational Research Division talks about his work to understand how to change and control an element’s oxidation state — or how many electrons an atom can shed or add or change its charge — using resources at DOE’s Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility. researchers hope to extract radioactive elements from the environment or waste storage tanks. More>

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NERSC Helps ID Mismatches in Model for Tropical Weather Disturbances

A better understanding of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), a tropical disturbance that propagates eastward around the global tropics, is vital for accurately forecasting weather in Western India and the El Niño/La Niña cycle on the U.S. West Coast. That’s why researchers are using NERSC resources and field data to improve existing MJO models. More>

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Seeing Atoms and Molecules in Action with an Electron ‘Eye’

A unique rapid-fire electron source — originally built as a prototype for driving next-generation X-ray lasers — will help scientists at Berkeley Lab study ultrafast chemical processes and changes in materials at the atomic scale. More>

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Roof Racks a Drag on Fuel Economy

In the first study of its kind, ETA researcher Alan Meier estimated the impact of roof racks and found they are responsible for 0.8 percent of national fuel consumption, or 100 million gallons of gasoline. Given national travel trends, use of roof racks is projected to increase. Meier also analyzed possible mitigation strategies. More>

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On the Way to Unlimited Energy

With the help of four different ALS beamlines, scientists were able to understand and improve the morphology of the main device structure in organic photovoltaic cells. More>

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JGI Helps Apply Genomics for Improving Cassava Breeding Strategies

Cassava is a staple crop for nearly a billion people around the world. Reported online in Nature Biotechnology, a team including JGI researchers has described cassava’s genetic diversity. With the help of genomics, researchers hope to apply advanced breeding strategies that can improve cassava’s resistance to diseases and improve crop yields. More>

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New Findings Could Aid Treatment of Depression

Using data collected at the Berkeley Center for Structural Biology in the ALS, researchers at Oregon Health and Sciences University revealed the molecular structure of the serotonin transporter. Their findings provide new insight into the mechanism of antidepressant action of two widely prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) commonly employed to treat depression. More>

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Improving Anti-Influenza Medications

Protein crystallography at ALS Beamline 8.3.1 helped scientists understand the M2 proton-channel structure from the influenza A virus, and will aid the design of better anti-influenza medications. More>

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What Screens Are Made of: New Twists (and Bends) in LCD Research

A research team has directly measured a spiral molecular arrangement formed by liquid crystals that could help unravel its mysteries and possibly improve the performance of electronic displays. More>

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