A new class of semiconductor was discovered that is only three atoms thick and which extends in a two-dimensional plane, similar to graphene. These 2-D semiconductors, have exceptional optical characteristics, and could lead to improved semiconductors or new functionalities.
The new Simons Observatory is planned in Chile’s Atacama Desert to boost ongoing studies of the evolution of the universe, from its earliest moments to today. The observatory will probe the subtle properties of the universe’s first light, known as cosmic microwave background radiation. Berkeley Lab is among the observatory’s collaborators.
Lab scientists have engineered a strain of bacteria that enables a “one-pot” method for producing advanced biofuels from a slurry of pre-treated plant material. The achievement is a critical step in making biofuels a viable competitor to fossil fuels.
In 2012, the U.S. experienced the warmest spring on record, and severest drought since the Dust Bowl. Scientists — interested in the carbon flux between vegetation and the atmosphere during extreme climate events — used a network of 22 carbon-sensing towers to map flux across the nation during 2012.
The women in Mazvihwa grow their vegetables near the river to irrigate the crops, but they must carry buckets down the steep riverbanks to fill them and then back up 30-foot slopes with the buckets on their heads. Earth scientist Naama Raz-Yaseef is helping them develop a more efficient watering system.
Cassava is a staple crop for nearly a billion people around the world. A team including researchers with the Lab’s Joint Genome Institute has described cassava’s genetic diversity. With this information, scientists hope to apply advanced breeding strategies that can improve cassava’s resistance to diseases and improve crop yields.