Today at Berkeley Lab

New Algorithms Extract 3-D Biological Structure From Limited Data

A new algorithmic framework called M-TIP helps researchers determine the molecular structure of proteins and viruses from X-ray free electron laser data, which is crucial in fields like biology and medicine. This work was done by researchers from CAMERA (the Center for Advanced Mathematics for Energy Research Applications). More>

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JGI, JBEI Help Develop Rice Mutant Database for Grasses

Working with UC Davis researchers, the Joint Genome Institute re-sequenced 1,504 rice mutants, allowing Joint BioEnergy Institute researchers to assemble KitBase, the first major large-scale collection of mutations for grass models. This invaluable resource for grass models is being used to improve candidate bioenergy feedstock crops such as switchgrass. More>

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Record-Setting Seismic Simulations Run on NERSC’s Cori System

The simulations, which mimic possible large-scale seismic activity in Southern California, were done using a new software system called EDGE (Extreme-Scale Discontinuous Galerkin Environment), a solver package for fused seismic simulations. The simulations were run on NERSC’s Cori supercomputer. More>

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‘Science Friday’ Episode Featured Roman Concrete Study

Advanced Light Source user Marie Jackson from the University of Utah joined Ira Flatow, host of the public-radio talk show “Science Friday,” on July 7 to discuss her work on 2,000-year-old Roman concrete, and what makes this ancient material so durable. More>

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New York ‘Living Lab’ Achieves Huge Energy Savings

By using advanced lighting and automated shades, Lab scientists led by Eleanor Lee were able to reduce lighting energy usage by up to 80 percent on one floor of a high-rise building in New York City. Working with a nonprofit, they set up a “living lab” to test four sets of technologies on a 40,000-square-foot floor. More>

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Will Brain-Inspired Chips Make a Dent in Science’s Big Data Problems?

Although neuromorphic computing is still in its infancy, researchers in Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division hope that these tiny, low-power, brain-inspired computing systems could one day help alleviate some of science’s big data challenges. With funding from the Laboratory Directed Research and Development program, two groups of researchers are exploring how science might benefit from this new technology. More>

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New Studies of Ancient Concrete Teach Us to Do as the Romans Did

A new look inside 2,000-year-old concrete — made from volcanic ash, lime, and seawater — has provided new clues to the evolving chemistry and mineral cements that allow ancient harbor structures to withstand the test of time. More>

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Strain Makes Excellent ‘Control Knob’ for Defect Engineering

Crystal defects such as missing oxygen ions in transition-metal oxides can lead to potentially useful material properties. X-ray studies at the Advanced Light Source have helped open up a promising route to designing and controlling oxygen-vacancy-type defects through the systematic application of coherent tensile strain. More>

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What’s on Your Skin? Archaea, That’s What

It turns out your skin is crawling with single-celled microorganisms — and they’re not just bacteria. Hoi-Ying Holman, director of the Berkeley Synchrotron Infrared Structural Biology Program, collaborated on a study that found that the skin microbiome also contains archaea, a type of extreme-loving microbe, and that the amount of it varies with age. More>

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Whole-Genome Sequence of Mutant Rice Could Aid Study of Biofuel Feedstocks

Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute, in collaboration with the Joint Genome Institute, are reporting the first whole-genome sequence of a mutant population of Kitaake, a model variety of rice. Their high-density, high-resolution catalog of mutations facilitates the discovery of novel genes and functional elements that control diverse biological pathways. More>

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