Today at Berkeley Lab

Black Holes Ruled Out as Universe’s Missing Dark Matter

For one brief moment after the 2015 detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes, astronomers held out hope that the universe’s mysterious dark matter might consist of black holes sprinkled throughout the universe. UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab physicists Uros Seljak and Miguel Zumalacárregui have dashed those hopes. More>

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‘Spacesuits’ Protect Microbes Destined to Live in Space

Newly developed “spacesuits” for bacteria allow them to survive in environments that would otherwise kill them. UC Berkeley chemists — including the Lab’s Peidong Yang — have developed the protective suits to extend the bacteria’s lifespan in a unique system that pairs live bacteria with light-absorbing semiconductors to capture carbon dioxide and convert it to chemicals that can be used by industry or, someday, in space colonies. More>

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Start-Up Companies Compete at Oct. 4 Smogathon

Start-ups focused on curbing air pollution will pitch their technologies before a panel of judges — including the Lab’s Dev Millstein — at a Smogathon on Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. on campus. Two winners will emerge from this semifinal competition, one of several around the world, to participate in the finals in Krakow, Poland. The local event is sponsored by the Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative. 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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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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Lab Shuttle and Skateboarder Collide on Sept. 12

According to Berkeley police, on Wednesday morning, Sept. 12, a man on a skateboard collided with a Berkeley Lab shuttle bus in Downtown Berkeley. The individual was taken to a local hospital and treated for injuries. The Lab’s Traffic and Pedestrian Safety policy offers ways to stay safe while walking, cycling, and driving at Berkeley Lab.

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Lab Materials Scientists Work to Concoct the Bluest Blue Ever Created

A group of UC Berkeley students, including the Lab’s Arunima Balan and Joseph Swabeck, are working with an artist-in-residence on campus to engineer a new pigment of blue, called “Quantum Blue.” The project offers the opportunity to introduce nanoscientific principles in an accessible way to a broader audience. “People can relate to art,” Balan says. “People cannot relate to quantum dots.” More>

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NSF Institute to Include Lab Physicists in Big Data R&D

With $25 million in funding, the National Science Foundation’s Institute for Research and Innovation in Software will develop systems to help manage the large amounts of data produced by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). As part of this effort, Lab physicist Heather Gray and other Lab scientists (in association with UC Berkeley) will focus on reconstructing the paths of particles produced in LHC experiments. More>

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Campus Hosts ‘Distinguished Lectures in Data Science’ Series

The Berkeley Institute for Data Science is hosting a data science lecture series that features faculty who conduct visionary research that illustrates the character of the ongoing data revolution. Among the speakers is Berkeley Lab’s Deb Agarwal, who will speak on “Tales From the Front Lines of Wrangling Earth Science Data” on Oct. 30. More>

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Long-Sought Carbon Structure Joins Graphene, Fullerene Family

The discovery of buckyballs delighted chemists in the 1980s, nanotubes jazzed physicists in the 1990s, and graphene charged materials scientists in the 2000s, but one nanoscale carbon structure – a negatively curved surface called a schwarzite – has eluded everyone. Until now, thanks to work by Berend Smit. Schwarzites are predicted to have unique electrical and storage properties for use as battery electrodes and catalysts. More>

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