One of the most detailed genomic studies of any ecosystem to date has revealed an underground world of stunning microbial diversity, and added dozens of new branches to the tree of life. Scientists reconstructed the genomes of more than 2,500 microbes from sediment and groundwater samples collected at an aquifer in Colorado.
About a mile beneath the Earth’s surface in an old gold mine, scientists have built an observatory to study how rocks crack. Their research could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate clean energy technologies. The observatory seeks to address challenges associated with the use of the subsurface for energy extraction and waste storage.
From the world’s largest particle accelerator, to up close views of the Big Bang, and a mile-deep descent underground, a new planetarium show, produced in part by Berkeley Lab’s Michael Barnett, is designed to immerse audiences in the search for dark matter, which we have so far detected only through its gravitational effects.
Bionic enzymes got a needed boost in speed thanks to new Berkeley Lab research. By pairing a noble metal with a natural enzyme, scientists created a hybrid capable of churning out 2,550 product molecules per hour, a frequency comparable to biological counterparts.
Using the award-winning PhyloChip to build a microbial reference library of poop, Lab researchers Gary Andersen and Eric Dubinsky developed a better method of environmental monitoring. In tests at the Russian River, they made some surprising discoveries about the sources and levels of contamination.
A proposed upgrade to the Advanced Light Source — which would provide beams up to 1,000 times brighter than possible now — has cleared the first step in a Department of Energy approval process. The upgrade could enable new explorations of chemical reactions, battery performance, and biological processes.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed each year Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Today, 55 million people or 17% of the American population are of Hispanic or Latino origin, a significant increase from 2000, when it was 35.3 million or 13%. We profile Deirdre Olynick of the Molecular Foundry, Zaida McCunney of NERSC, and Carlos Lopez of IT.
Researchers have observed, for the first time, an exotic 3-D racetrack for electrons in ultrathin slices of a tiny crystal they made at Berkeley Lab. The team witnessed a unique behavior in which electrons rotate around one surface, then through the bulk of the material to its opposite surface and back.
Scientists at Berkeley Lab and Cornell University have successfully paired ferroelectric and ferrimagnetic materials so that their alignment can be controlled with a small electric field at near room temperatures. The achievement could open doors to ultra low-power microprocessors, storage devices and next-generation electronics.
Elementary school science teaches us that in the sun, dark colors get hot while white stays cool. Now new research from Berkeley Lab’s Heat Island Group has found an exception: scientists have determined that certain dark pigments can stay just as cool as white by using fluorescence, the re-emission of absorbed light.