News Center

Dark Fiber: Using Sensors Beneath Our Feet to Tell Us About Earthquakes, Water, and Other Geophysical Phenomenon

Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have shown for the first time that dark fiber – the vast network of unused fiber-optic cables installed throughout the country and the world – can be used as sensors for detecting earthquakes, the presence of groundwater, changes in permafrost conditions, and a variety of other subsurface activity.

Watching a Quantum Material Lose Its Stripes

In quantum materials, periodic stripe patterns can be formed by electrons coupled with lattice distortions. To capture the extremely fast dynamics of how such atomic-scale stripes melt and form, Berkeley Lab scientists used femtosecond-scale laser pulses at terahertz frequencies. Along the way, they found some unexpected behavior.

“Holy Grail” for Batteries: Solid-State Magnesium Battery a Big Step Closer

A team of Department of Energy (DOE) scientists at the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) has discovered the fastest magnesium-ion solid-state conductor, a major step towards making solid-state magnesium-ion batteries that are both energy dense and safe.

How the Earth Stops High-Energy Neutrinos in Their Tracks

In an analysis of data from an experiment embedded in Antarctic ice, a research collaboration including scientists from Berkeley Lab has demonstrated that the Earth stops high-energy neutrinos – particles that only very rarely interact with matter.

Berkeley Lab Physicist, Atmospheric Chemist Named AAAS Fellows

Michael Barnett, a senior physicist and educator; and Ronald C. Cohen, a climate and air quality researcher – have been named as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society, formed in 1848.

Research Becomes Reality in Study of Fire Impact on Sonoma Water Resources

Catastrophic fires in Northern California burned more than 110,000 acres in Sonoma and Napa counties last month – including 8 percent of the Russian River watershed. Now with the rainy season underway Berkeley Lab’s research – which seeks to understand how the hydrology and microbiology of the surface and groundwater system respond to extreme events – has become even more critical.

Detailed View of Immune Proteins Could Lead to New Pathogen-Defense Strategies

Biologists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley used cryo-EM to resolve the structure of a ring of proteins used by the immune system to summon support when under attack, providing new insight into potential strategies for protection from pathogens. The researchers captured the high-resolution image of a protein ring, called an inflammasome, as it was bound to flagellin, a protein from the whiplike tail used by bacteria to propel themselves forward.

X-Rays Reveal the Biting Truth About Parrotfish Teeth

A new study has revealed a chain mail-like woven microstructure that gives parrotfish teeth their remarkable ability to chomp on coral all day long – the structure could serve as a blueprint for designing ultra-durable synthetic materials.

To Find New Biofuel Enzymes, It Can Take a Microbial Village

In search of new plant enzymes? Try looking in compost. Researchers at JBEI have demonstrated the importance of microbial communities as a source of stable enzymes that could be used to convert plants to biofuels. This approach yields robust enzymes that researchers can’t easily obtain from isolates.

Fuel Cell X-Ray Study Details Effects of Temperature and Moisture on Performance

To find the right balance of moisture and temperature in a specialized type of hydrogen fuel cell, Berkeley Lab scientists have used X-rays to explore the inner workings of its components at tiny scales.