Today at Berkeley Lab

Fresh Math Approach Opens New Possibilities for Computational Chemistry

A new mathematical “shortcut” developed by Lab researchers is speeding up molecular absorption calculations by a factor of five, so simulations that used to take 10 to 15 hours to compute can now be done in around 2.5 hours. These algorithms will be incorporated in an upcoming release of the widely used NWChem computational chemistry software suite later this year. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

Large Hadron Collider Kicks Off 2017 Season of Physics Research

In 2017, operators are hoping to produce the same number of collisions as in 2016, but over a shorter period, since the LHC started up a month later due to an extended year-end technical stop. Berkeley Lab researchers collaborate on ATLAS and ALICE, two among seven detector experiments at the LHC. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

Berkeley Lab Helps California Get to Zero Net Energy Homes

Two projects aimed at helping California meet its ambitious goals to reduce energy consumption in buildings are receiving $2 million from the California Energy Commission. The projects are led by Max Wei and Brett Singer of the Energy Technologies Area. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

A Hollow Pyramid Unlocks Principles of Protein Architecture

Researchers have designed a hollow, pyramid-shaped protein with a controllable cavity size that may aid the capture and release of smaller compounds. The tools developed in this work, including x-ray techniques at the Advanced Light Source, could help analyze and optimize designed-protein assemblies and understand their behavior in solution. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

Joint Genome Institute Finds New Major Gene Expression Regulator in Fungi

Changing a single DNA base can lead to changes in protein structures and functions, impacting an organism’s traits. A recent JGI-led study shows the prevalence of modifications to base 6 of adenine in the earliest branches of the fungal kingdom. These early-diverging fungi provide a repertoire of important and valuable gene products for DOE energy and environment missions. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

How X-Rays Helped to Solve Mystery of Floating Rocks

Experiments at the Advanced Light Source have helped scientists to solve a mystery of why some rocks can float for years in the ocean, traveling thousands of miles before sinking. The surprisingly long-lived buoyancy of these rocks can help scientists discover underwater volcano eruptions. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

Q&A with Kai Vetter on His Institute for Resilient Communities

Vetter, with the Nuclear Science Division, is a frequent visitor to the Fukushima Prefecture, site of one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents. He founded the Institute for Resilient Communities to help authorities better communicate critical scientific information following disasters. Chemical Sciences’ Rebecca Abergel is the institute’s deputy director. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

Green Alga Sequencing Could Advance Clean Energy, Bioproducts

Scientists have sequenced the genome of a green alga that has drawn commercial interest as a strong producer of quality lipids for biofuel production. The chromosome-assembly genome of Chromochloris zofingiensis provides a blueprint for new discoveries in sustainable biofuels, antioxidants, and other valuable bioproducts. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

Nanotechnology Helps Boost Performance of Key Industrial Catalyst

A tiny amount of squeezing or stretching can produce a big boost in an industrial catalyst known as ceria, according to a new Stanford study. To measure the impact of stress under real-world operating conditions, the researchers analyzed the ceria samples at the Advanced Light Source. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

Strain Turns Non-Metallic Tin Into a ‘Supermetal’

Research at the Advanced Light Source shows that a small amount of compressive strain turns gray tin (a nonmetallic form of tin) into a topological Dirac semimetal — a kind of “supermetal” with very high electron mobility. With its rich topological phase diagram, the material shows promise for both novel physics and eventual device applications. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.