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In Memoriam: Andrew Sessler, Former Laboratory Director, Acclaimed Physicist and Humanitarian

April 18, 2014

Andrew Sessler, former Laboratory Director and Acclaimed Physicist and Humanitarian, has died.

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Berkeley Lab’s Adam Arkin Wins 2013 Lawrence Award

April 16, 2014

Adam Arkin, director of Berkeley Lab’s Physical Biosciences Division, has been named one of six recipients of the 2013 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award by U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

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Berkeley Lab Launches Building Energy Performance Research Project at New FLEXLAB Testing Facility

April 14, 2014

The DOE’s David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, was on hand in Berkeley April 14 to tour FLEXLAB™, the Facility for Low Energy experiments in Buildings, run by Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division. Danielson and Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos also met with executives from construction firm Webcor. Webcor’s testing in FLEXLAB will allow its engineers to predict and improve the energy performance for a new building constructed for biotech company, Genentech. A building mockup for Genentech will be studied at different building orientations, specific to the actual construction site. As part of his visit to the Lab, Danielson also toured the Molecular Foundry.

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BOSS Quasars Track the Expanding Universe – the Most Precise Measurement Yet

April 7, 2014

The Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) pioneered the use of quasars to chart the universe’s expansion and investigate the properties of dark energy through studies of large-scale structure. New techniques of analysis led by Berkeley Lab scientists, combined with other new BOSS quasar measures of the young universe’s structure, have produced the most precise measurement of expansion since galaxies formed.

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Hybrid Vehicles More Fuel Efficient In India, China Than in U.S.

March 31, 2014

What makes cities in India and China so frustrating to drive in—heavy traffic, aggressive driving style, few freeways—makes them ideal for saving fuel with hybrid vehicles, according to new research by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In a pair of studies using real-world driving conditions, they found that hybrid cars are significantly more fuel-efficient in India and China than they are in the United States.

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New Technique for Identifying Gene-Enhancers

March 24, 2014

Berkeley Lab researchers led the development of a new technique for identifying gene enhancers – sequences of DNA that act to amplify the expression of a specific gene – in the genomes of humans and other mammals. Called SIF-seq, this new technique complements existing genomic tools, such as ChIP-seq, and offers additional benefits.

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Bright Future for Protein Nanoprobes

March 17, 2014

Berkeley Lab researchers at the Molecular Foundry have discovered surprising new rules for creating ultra-bright light-emitting crystals that are less than 10 nanometers in diameter. These ultra-tiny but ultra-bright nanoprobes should be a big asset for biological imaging, especially deep-tissue optical imaging of neurons in the brain.

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Vast Gene-Expression Map Yields Neurological and Environmental Stress Insights

March 16, 2014

A consortium led by Berkeley Lab scientists has conducted the largest survey yet of how information encoded in an animal genome is processed in different organs, stages of development, and environmental conditions. Their findings, based on fruit fly research, paint a new picture of how genes function in the nervous system and in response to environmental stress.

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Standard-Candle Supernovae are Still Standard, but Why?

March 3, 2014

Until recently, scientists thought they knew why Type Ia supernovae – the best cosmological “standard candles” – are all so much alike. But their favorite scenario was wrong. White dwarfs don’t all reach the Chandrasekhar limit, 1.4 times the mass of our sun, before they detonate in a massive thermonuclear explosion. Most Type Ia progenitors are less massive, and a few are even more massive. New work by the Berkeley Lab-based Nearby Supernova Factory can identify which theories of the strange circumstances that lead to a Type Ia explosion actually work and which don’t.

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Big Step for Next-Generation Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers

February 27, 2014

Researchers at Berkeley and Argonne National Labs have discovered a highly promising new class of nanocatalysts for fuel cells and water-alkali electrolyzers that are an order of magnitude higher in activity than the target set by DOE for 2017.

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