By day scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) are researching ways to better tackle our country’s energy and environmental challenges. By night some of them are doing, well, the exact same thing. Using the knowledge from their day jobs some enterprising researchers are harnessing the power of big data to create innovative solutions for conserving water and energy.
The bad news: a major transformation of our current energy supply system is needed in order to avoid a dangerous increase in global temperatures. The good news: the technologies needed to get there are mostly readily available. These are some of the main conclusions reached by experts from Berkeley Lab and their Working Group III co-authors on the Fifth Assessment Report of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The Berkeley Open Biofoundry – BOB – is a Berkeley Lab proposal to DARPA aimed at providing the science and technology that will enable the engineering of biological systems to produce valuable chemical products on a commercial scale.
When Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientist Ashok Gadgil set out to solve an insidious public health problem afflicting South Asia, arsenic contamination of groundwater, he knew the hard part would not just be inventing the technology but also ensuring a way to sustain its long-term use on a large scale. Gadgil and his lab came up with ECAR, Electrochemical Arsenic Remediation, which binds arsenic using iron dissolved in water. Their innovation was two-fold. They created a technology that is exceptionally effective, inexpensive, and easy to maintain.
First Look at How Individual Staphylococcus Cells Adhere to Nanostructures Could Lead to New Ways to Thwart Infections
A team of researchers led by Berkeley Lab scientists have explored how individual Staphylococcus cells glom onto metallic nanostructures of various shapes and sizes that are not much bigger than the cells themselves. Their work could lead to a more nuanced understanding of what makes a surface less inviting to bacteria.
Studies of the quark-gluon plasma – the primordial soup of quarks and gluons whose brief existence after the big bang set the stage for the universe we know today – is poised for a major upgrade thanks to a new particle detector system called the “Heavy Flavor Tracker.”
Berkeley Lab scientist Sylvain Costes has come up with a way to automate the job of screening for DNA damage, using a proprietary algorithm and a machine to scan specimens and objectively score the damaged DNA. Now he has launched Exogen Biotechnology to commercialize the technology and, he hopes, make tests for DNA damage as common as a cholesterol test.
How’s this for innovative: A Berkeley Lab-led team hopes to engineer a new enzyme that efficiently converts methane to liquid transportation fuel. “There’s a lot of methane available, and we want to develop a new way to harness it as an energy source for vehicles,” says Christer Jansson, a biochemist who heads the effort.
Berkeley Lab researchers have shown that aerobic glycolysis – glucose metabolism in the presence of oxygen – is not the consequence of the cancerous activity of malignant cells, as has been widely believed, but is itself a cancerous event.