Today at Berkeley Lab

Unlocking New Paths Toward High-Temperature Superconductors

Berkeley Lab researchers have discovered that electron spin is key to understanding how cuprate superconductors can conduct electricity without loss at high temperature. Their paper describing the research behind this discovery was published on Dec. 13 in the journal Science. More>

Toward a Blueprint for Anti-influenza Drugs

Vaccines can reduce the number of flu infections, but antiviral drugs are still needed for treatment once infections occur. In recent years, resistance to some anti-influenza drugs has become a problem. At the Advanced Light Source, researchers learned how several such drugs disrupt replication of the flu virus. The studies provide atomic-level blueprints from which to design drugs that can overcome growing drug resistance. More>

Foundry, ALS Host Successful Warm Coat Drive

This winter, the Molecular Foundry and the Advanced Light Source joined forces to help keep the community warm. Together, the two user facilities collected 93 coats to donate to Alameda County Social Services Agency. Staff from the Foundry and ALS delivered the coats to the agency in Oakland before the holiday break.

ALS Helps Reveal the Smoking Gun of Soot Formation

Soot in the atmosphere is responsible for millions of deaths annually and contributes substantially to air pollution and climate change. Scientists used the Advanced Light Source to identify a mechanism for the formation of soot that involves a series rapid chemical reactions. Understanding the fundamental chemistry behind soot formation is the first step in being able to reduce soot emissions to the atmosphere. More>

Researchers Use Jiggly Jell-O to Make Powerful New Hydrogen Fuel Catalyst

A cheap and effective new catalyst can generate hydrogen fuel from water just as efficiently as platinum, currently the best — but also most expensive — water-splitting catalyst out there. The catalyst is manufactured using a self-assembly process that relies on a surprising ingredient: gelatin, the material that gives Jell-O its jiggle. This research study was co-authored by Lab researchers Nathan Hohman and Chenhui Zhu. More>

Topological Matters: Toward a New Kind of Transistor

An experiment conducted at Berkeley Lab has demonstrated, for the first time, electronic switching in an exotic, ultrathin material that can carry a charge with nearly zero loss at room temperature. Researchers demonstrated this switching when subjecting the material to a low-current electric field. More>

Expanding the Infrared Nanospectroscopy Window

For applications in telecommunication, medicine, and homeland security, scientists want to be able to study nanoscale phenomena that resonate in the far-infrared energy range, like the vibrations of protein molecules or the collective oscillations of electrons. At the Advanced Light Source, an infrared probe with nanoscale spatial resolution has now been expanded to cover previously inaccessible far-infrared wavelengths. More>

Unwinding a Quadruple Helix to Help Develop Cancer-Fighting Drugs

Certain DNA sequences can fold into quadruple helix structures called G-quadruplexes. These sequences are present in nearly 40 percent of all human genes and in many oncogenes . With the help of the Advanced Light Source, researchers visualized the unfolding of a G-quadruplex by a protein called DHX36, gaining valuable insight into a possible target for drug development. More>

Visiting Student Exposed to New Areas of Research and Creative Ideas at the Lab

Brooke Kuei, a Ph.D. student and budding science writer who is working at the Advanced Light Source, recently posted a blog on Medium talking about her experiences at the Lab. “I miss my friends at Penn State, my bed, and my daily routine back home, but working at Berkeley certainly has its perks: good weather, good food, and the opportunity to be part of a community that lives and breathes science,” she writes. More>

Targeting Bacteria That Cause Meningitis and Sepsis

Left untreated, bacterial meningitis and sepsis can be deadly or lead to serious complications, including hearing loss and neurologic damage. Researchers have used the Advanced Light Source to determine the structure of a human antibody that broadly protects against these diseases. The structure provides insight into how the antibody works and suggests strategies on how to improve available vaccines. More>