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Latest Berkeley Lab Stories

2011-05-11 23:43:28

Advanced biofuels "“ liquid transportation fuels derived from the cellulosic biomass of perennial grasses and other non-food plants, as well as from agricultural waste "“ are highly touted as potential replacements for gasoline, diesel and jet fuels. Equally touted is the synthesis of these fuels through the use of microbes. However, many of the best candidate compounds for advanced biofuels are toxic to microbes, which presents a "production versus survival" conundrum....

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2011-05-03 06:30:00

Berkeley Lab-led BOSS proves it can do the job with quasars The biggest 3-D map of the distant universe ever made, using light from 14,000 quasars "“ supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies billions of light years away "“ has been constructed by scientists with the third Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III). The map is the first major result from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), SDSS-III's largest survey, whose principal investigator is David Schlegel...

2011-04-27 23:57:49

New Berkeley Lab study forecasts peak in energy use in China within 20 years. As China's economy continues to soar, its energy use and greenhouse gas emissions will keep on soaring as well"”or so goes the conventional wisdom. A new analysis by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) now is challenging that notion, one widely held in both the United States and China. Well before mid-century, according to a new study by Berkeley Lab's China Energy Group, that...

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2011-04-25 08:39:30

Berkeley Lab nuclear scientists join with their international colleagues in the latest record-breaking discovery at RHIC Eighteen examples of the heaviest antiparticle ever found, the nucleus of antihelium-4, have been made in the STAR experiment at RHIC, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory. "The STAR experiment is uniquely capable of finding antihelium-4," says the STAR experiment's spokesperson, Nu Xu, of the Nuclear Science...

2011-04-21 22:54:13

New research by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds strong evidence that homes with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems sell for a premium over homes without solar systems. "We find compelling evidence that solar PV systems in California have boosted home sales prices," says the lead author Ben Hoen, a researcher at Berkeley Lab. "These average sales price premiums appear to be comparable with the average investment that homeowners have made to...

2011-04-21 14:20:32

Efforts to engineer new metabolic pathways into microbes for the inexpensive production of valuable chemical products, such as biofuels or therapeutic drugs, should get a significant boost in a new development from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI). Researchers there have successfully demonstrated a technique they call "targeted proteomics" that speeds up and improves the ability to identify and quantify specific proteins within a cell or microorganism....

2011-04-19 13:07:14

Berkeley Lab Scientists Discover Dynamic Double-Strand Break Repair in Heterochromatin DNA is under constant attack, from internal factors like free radicals and external ones like ionizing radiation. About 10 double-strand breaks "“ the kind that snap both backbones of the double helix "“ occur every time a human cell divides. To prevent not only gene mutations but broken chromosomes and chromosomal abnormalities known to cause cancer, infertility, and other diseases in humans,...

2011-04-16 00:41:30

A Berkeley Lab-led team deciphers the structure of FEN1, a key player in DNA replication and repair DNA replication is critical to the life of all organisms, insuring that each new cell, as well as each new offspring, gets an accurate copy of the genome. Among the legions of proteins that do the work so essential to a cell's survival, the DNA-slicing "flap endonuclease" FEN1 plays a key role. The structure of human FEN1 has now been solved by an international team of scientists led by the...

2011-03-29 19:48:15

Superlenses earned their superlative by being able to capture the "evanescent" light waves that blossom close to an illuminated surface and never travel far enough to be "seen" by a conventional lens. Superlenses hold enormous potential in a range of applications, depending upon the form of light they capture, but their use has been limited because most have been made from elaborate artificial constructs known as metamaterials. The unique optical properties of metamaterials, which include the...

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2011-03-23 09:09:23

Berkeley Lab scientists accelerate calculations a million times As conventional accelerators like CERN's Large Hadron Collider grow ever more vast and expensive, the best hope for the high-energy machines of the future may lie in "tabletop" accelerators like BELLA (the Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator), now being built by the LOASIS program at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). BELLA, a laser-plasma wakefield accelerator, is remarkably compact....


Word of the Day
cacodemon
  • An evil spirit; a devil.
  • A nightmare.
  • In astrology, the twelfth house of a scheme or figure of the heavens: so called from its signifying dreadful things, such as secret enemies, great losses, imprisonment, etc.
'Cacodemon' comes from a Greek term meaning 'evil genius.'
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