As part of an international collaboration, Berkeley Lab scientists have helped create the coldest cubic meter in the universe. The cooled chamber—roughly the size of a vending machine—was chilled to 6 milliKelvin or -273.144 degrees Celsius in preparation for a forthcoming experiment that will study neutrinos, ghostlike particles that could hold the key to the existence of matter around us.
Berkeley Lab researchers report a significant breakthrough in laser technology with the development of a unique microring laser cavity that can produce single-mode lasing on demand. This advance holds ramifications for a wide range of optoelectronic applications including metrology and interferometry, data storage and communications, and high-resolution spectroscopy.
By manipulating a plant’s metabolic pathways, two scientists at Berkeley Lab, Henrik Scheller and Dominique Loqué, have figured out a way to genetically rewire plants to allow for an exceptionally high level of control over the spatial pattern of gene expression, while at the same time boosting expression to very high levels. Now they have launched a startup company called Afingen to apply this technology for developing low-cost biofuels that could be cost-competitive with gasoline and corn ethanol.
Researchers with the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have identified microbial genes that can improve both the tolerance and the production of biogasoline in engineered strains of E. coli.
Berkeley Lab has launched a major initiative to foster a more diverse and inclusive workforce. The move comes as recent workforce data shows that women and minorities have not made significant gains at the Lab in the last decade. As of October 10, 2014, women accounted for 33 percent of its total workforce, and underrepresented minorities (Black, Hispanic, and Native American) accounted for 13 percent.
Berkeley Lab researchers have recorded the first observations of the molecular structure of liquid water at a gold electrode under different battery charging conditions.
Inaugurated today with help from U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Berkeley Lab’s new General Purpose Laboratory will be devoted to flagship centers in materials sciences and energy storage research, as well as to key biosciences programs. Among the building’s new tenants will be the Berkeley Lab site of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, or JCESR, a multi-lab program aimed at achieving revolutionary advances in battery performance.