Leonardo da Vinci wrote that humans “know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot.” His sentiment still holds true. But that could soon change. A new study details how an improved method for studying microbes in the soil will help scientists understand both fine-grained details and large-scale cycles of the environment.
A new biosynthetic production pathway developed at the Joint BioEnergy Institute could provide a sustainable alternative to conventional synthetic blue dye. The highly efficient fungi-based platform may also open the door for producing many other valuable biological compounds that are currently very hard to manufacture.
The Lab’s new Integrative Genomics Building (IGB) was dedicated on June 19. By uniting leading experts and world-class technologies under one roof, the IGB will help transform plant and microbial genomics research into solutions for today’s most pressing environmental and energy issues.
A single crystal grain measuring just tens of millionths of a meter – found in a borehole sample drilled in Central Siberia – had an unexpected chemical makeup. And a specialized X-ray technique in use at Berkeley Lab confirmed the sample’s uniqueness and paved the way for its formal recognition as a newly discovered mineral: ognitite.
The successful test of the LCLS-II electron gun marks the culmination of a Berkeley Lab R&D effort spanning more than a decade. The gun’s design was conceived in 2006 by Lab retiree John Staples and Fernando Sannibale, a senior scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics Division.
Researchers have developed a pulsed electron beam technique that enables high-resolution imaging of magnesium chloride without damage. This approach could apply to a vast range of beam-sensitive materials, and help to create a path toward sustainable plastics.
Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley scientists are pursuing new experiments to probe for low-mass dark matter particles. The new approach, rather than relying on large experiments’ “nets” to try to snare one type of dark matter, is akin to casting many smaller nets with much finer mesh.
Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a new chemical separation method that is vastly more efficient than conventional processes, opening the door to faster discovery of new elements, easier nuclear fuel reprocessing, and, most tantalizing, a better way to attain actinium-225, a promising therapeutic isotope for cancer treatment.
The overpumping of groundwater in California has led to near environmental catastrophe in some areas – sinking land, intruding seawater, and shrunken groundwater storage capacity. But Berkeley Lab researchers believe machine learning could be part of the solution to restoring groundwater to sustainable levels and quality.
A new electron gun, designed and built at Berkeley Lab to supply electrons for a next-gen X-ray laser, fired its first electrons today. The X-ray laser is part of the LCLS-II project, which is an upgrade of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory’s Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser.