Today at Berkeley Lab

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>

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Scientists Capture Photosynthesis in Unprecedented Detail

Grab some popcorn: Berkeley Lab scientists have succeeded in capturing a more detailed picture than ever of the steps in the reaction mechanisms in photosynthesis, the process by which plants use sunlight to split water and produce oxygen while making the carbohydrates that sustain life on Earth. More>

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A Next Step for GRETA: A Better Gamma-Ray Detector

A new high-resolution gamma-ray detector system – designed to reveal new details about the structure and inner workings of atomic nuclei, and to elevate our understanding of matter and the stellar creation of elements – has passed an important project milestone. More>

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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>

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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>

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Photosynthesis Like a Moss

Moss evolved after algae but before vascular land plants, such as ferns and trees, making them an interesting target for scientists studying photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert sunlight to fuel. Now Berkeley Lab researchers have made a discovery that could shed light on how plants evolved to move from the ocean to land. More>

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Dark Matter Day: The Lighter Side of Dark Matter

Yesterday was Halloween, but did you know it was also Dark Matter Day? In this video from a Q&A livestreamed yesterday, Berkeley Lab’s Dan McKinsey, Simone Pagan-Griso, and Matt Pyle of the Physics Division share their expertise and insights about mysterious, elusive dark matter and the experiments designed to search for it.

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Plant Protection Plan: When Too Much of a Good Thing Is Bad

When green plants absorb more light energy than they can use, they avoid getting damaged by dissipating the excess energy as heat. But this protective response decreases their productivity. Engineering plants’ photoprotection capabilities to minimize this loss could increase crop yields. Two recent studies by Biosciences Area researchers provide several key insights into the molecular details of these mechanisms. More>

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Berkeley Lab Joins Other Labs and Universities in LaserNetUS, a New Nationwide High-Intensity Laser Network

To help foster the broad applicability of high-intensity lasers, Berkeley Lab is a partner in a new research network called LaserNetUS. The network will provide U.S. scientists increased access to the unique high-intensity laser facilities at the Lab’s BELLA Center and at eight other institutions. More>

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This Multitasking Solar Cell Makes Hydrogen Fuel and Electricity at the Same Time

Researchers at Berkeley Lab and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, a DOE Energy Innovation Hub, have developed an artificial photosynthesis device called a “hybrid photoelectrochemical and voltaic (HPEV) cell” that turns sunlight and water into two types of energy – hydrogen fuel and electricity. More>

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