Today at Berkeley Lab

New Technology Could Wean the Battery World Off Cobalt

Lithium batteries use more than 50 percent of all cobalt produced globally. About half of the world’s cobalt comes from the Congo, where it’s largely hand-mined, in some instances by children. Now, a team — including the Lab’s Gerbrand Ceder — has opened the door to using other metals for lithium-based batteries. Watch a video on this research. More>

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Mountain Lion Recently Spotted Near South Campus Area

A mountain lion ventured onto UC Berkeley’s Clark Kerr Campus early on April 4, authorities report. A UC employee saw the lion just after 3:30 a.m. while walking through the campus, according to a notice from the UC Police Department. Go here to view safety tips regarding mountain lions.

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Lecture Highlights Contributions of ETA Scientists in Air Quality Research

UC Berkeley’s Bill Nazaroff pointed to work with Energy Technologies Area (ETA) scientists in a recent lecture showcasing advances in the understanding of the air we breathe. The Lab’s Ashok Gadgil introduced Nazaroff, whose ETA collaborators include Brett Singer, Allen Goldstein, Rengie Chan, Xiaochen Tang, and Hugo Destaillats. More>

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Podcast on E.O. Lawrence Explores UC’s Impact on the World

In 1929, a young Ernest Lawrence made a discovery that would change his life, the course of history, and the 20th century. His development of the cyclotron — the particle accelerator that ushered in the atomic age — is the topic of an episode of “One Bold Idea,” a six-part podcast that explores pivotal moments in California history that have shaped the world. More>

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Campus Hosts May 4 Plant Genome Engineering Symposium

UC Berkeley is hosting the 2018 Plant Genome Engineering Symposium on May 4 to highlight recent advances made in the field of plant genetic engineering. The event is sponsored by DuPont Pioneer and the Innovative Genomics Institute. Go here for more information and to register.

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Atomically Thin, Light-Emitting Device Opens Door for ‘Invisible’ Displays

Berkeley researchers — including Lab materials scientist Ali Javey — have built a bright light-emitting device that is millimeters wide and fully transparent when turned off. The device opens the door to invisible displays that would be bright when turned on but see-through when turned off. More>

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First Large-Scale Nuclear Reactor Monitor Will Boost Neutrino Physics

A new Department of Energy project to develop the first detector able to remotely monitor nuclear reactors will also help physicists test the next generation of neutrino observatories. The Lab’s Gabriel Orebi Gann is the principal investigator for the new detector. More>

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Kepler Solves Mystery of Fast and Furious Explosions

NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has been used to catch notoriously short-lived FELTs — Fast-Evolving Luminous Transients — in the act and determine their nature. This has allowed astronomers to quickly arrive at this model for explaining FELTs. The Lab’s David Khatami is among those contributing to the modeling effort. More>

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Volcanic Eruptions on Mars Allowed Ancient Oceans to Form

Oceans on Mars may have formed several hundred million years earlier than previously thought, and their birth accompanied vast volcanic activity, suggests a new study led by the Lab’s Michael Manga. “Volcanoes may be important in creating the conditions for Mars to be wet,” he says. More>

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Researchers Create a Protein ‘Mat’ That Can Soak Up Pollution

In a breakthrough that could lead to a new class of materials with functions found only in living systems, researchers — including Lab materials scientist Ting Xu —have figured out a way to keep certain proteins active outside the cell. The technology was used to create mats that can soak up and trap chemical pollution. More>

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