Today at Berkeley Lab

Toward a New Light: Advanced Light Source Upgrade Project Moves Forward

The Advanced Light Source (ALS), a scientific user facility at Berkeley Lab, has received federal approval (an approval step known as Critical Decision 1, or CD-1) to proceed with preliminary design, planning and R&D work for a major upgrade project that will boost the brightness of its X-ray beams at least a hundredfold. The upgrade will give the ALS, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary, brighter beams with a more ordered structure.  More>

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Berkeley Quantum to Accelerate Innovation in Quantum Information Science

Berkeley Lab and the University of California, Berkeley are announcing the formation of Berkeley Quantum, a partnership designed to accelerate and expand innovation in quantum information science (QIS). Berkeley Quantum will advance U.S. quantum capabilities by establishing powerful research alliances among UC Berkeley, Berkeley Lab, and their partners. They will bring their strengths in QIS research, theory, algorithms, and applications to help solve, together, some of the most difficult problems in quantum science. More>

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New Manganese Materials Bolster Cathode Capacity

The most expensive component of a battery, the cathode, requires rare transition metals such as cobalt. But previous attempts to replace cobalt with inexpensive and nontoxic manganese delivered insufficient performance. Using X-ray absorption spectroscopy at the Advanced Light Source, researchers have now optimized the composition of high-energy-density, high-capacity manganese-based cathodes. More>

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First Particle Tracks Seen in Prototype for an International Neutrino Experiment

The largest liquid-argon neutrino detector in the world has just recorded its first particle tracks, signaling the start of a new chapter in the story of the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). DUNE’s scientific mission is dedicated to unlocking the mysteries of neutrinos, the most abundant (and most mysterious) matter in the universe. More>

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Gut Bacteria’s Shocking Secret: They Produce Electricity

UC Berkeley scientists discovered that a common diarrhea-causing bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes, produces electricity using an entirely different technique from known electrogenic bacteria, and that hundreds of other bacterial species use this same process. The scientists worked with the Lab’s Caroline Ajo-Franklin on this research. More>

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Swimming Lessons: Team Follows Fish to Build Energy-Efficiency Algorithms

A research team including Lab computing postdoc Amneet Pal Singh Bhalla (now at San Diego State) developed a new approach to simulate how fluid swirls around a fish or any other solid object. With this new approach, Bhalla and his colleagues have resolved some long-standing challenges in understanding how fluids interact with solid structures. More>

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JBEI Researchers Pave the Way for Efficient Gene Expression at Any Scale

In the quest to find the key to a rainforest-dwelling bacterium’s lignin-degrading ability, researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have constructed a gene expression system that outperforms conventional systems. Controlling gene expression is crucial to scientists’ ability to perform basic science and biotechnological research to produce enzymes, bio-based products, and biofuels, both at the bench and on industrial scales. More>

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Molecular Structure Reveals Mechanism Behind Periodic Paralysis

A rare genetic disorder called hypokalemic periodic paralysis (hypoPP) causes sudden, profound muscle weakness in people who occasionally exhibit low levels of potassium in their blood, or hypokalemia. Researchers from the University of Washington have used the Advanced Light Source to see, at the molecular level, how a single mutation in a cell-membrane protein can cause this to happen and how it might be treated. More>

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Geometry, Physics, and Machine Learning Take on Climate Research Data Challenges

Two Ph.D. students who were Lab interns back in 2016 so impressed their Lab mentors, they are now spending six months a year at the Lab through 2020. The duo is developing more effective ways to detect and characterize extreme weather events in the global climate system and developing more efficient methods for analyzing the ever-increasing amount of simulated and observational data. More>

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Online Tool Fills Gap for Energy Retrofit Projects

A national online energy data management system is transforming how energy retrofit projects implemented by a wide variety of users develop projects and track performance. The eProject Builder energy project data management and benchmarking tool was developed by Berkeley Lab to standardize and monitor energy project performance data nationwide. The system has recently reached a milestone of 500 projects initiated and 1,000 users trained. More>

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