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Science Shorts Archive

Berkeley Lab Researchers Demonstrate First Size-based Chromatography Technique for the Study of Living Cells

April 21, 2014

Using nanodot technology, Berkeley Lab researchers demonstrated the first size-based form of chromatography for studying the membranes of living cells. This unique physical approach to probing cellular membrane structures reveals critical information that can’t be obtained through conventional microscopy.

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Resistance is Not Futile: Joint BioEnergy Institute Researchers Engineer Resistance to Ionic Liquids in Biofuel Microbes

March 26, 2014

Researchers with the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have identified the genetic origins of a microbial resistance to ionic liquids and successfully introduced this resistance into a strain of E. coli bacteria for the production of advanced biofuels.

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Discovery of New Semiconductor Holds Promise for 2D Physics and Electronics

March 20, 2014

Researchers at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry have discovered a unique new two-dimensional semiconductor, rhenium disulfide, that behaves electronically as if it were a 2D monolayer even as a 3D bulk material. This not only opens the door to 2D electronic applications with a 3D material, it also makes it possible to study 2D physics with easy-to-make 3D crystals.

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Setting a Trap for Gravity Waves

March 18, 2014

In 1996 Uros Seljak was a postdoc at Harvard, contemplating ways to extract information from the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The distribution of anisotropies, slight temperature differences, in the CMB had much to say about the large-scale structure of the universe. If it were also possible to detect the polarization of the CMB itself, however, [...]

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Promising News for Solar Fuels from Berkeley Lab Researchers at JCAP

March 7, 2014

A JCAP study shows that nearly 90-percent of the electrons generated by a semiconductor/cobaloxime hybrid catalyst designed to store solar energy in hydrogen are being stored in their intended target molecules.

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Berkeley teams take energy innovation to ARPA-E Summit and Capitol Hill

March 6, 2014

Research from Berkeley Lab appeared on Capitol Hill recently to show off innovation in energy efficiency, including a backpack-mounted system for quickly mapping energy use throughout a building. That was but one project showcased at this year’s ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit, which also included speakers from Berkeley Lab.

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Every Step You Take: Berkeley Lab Researchers Identify Key Intermediate Steps in Artificial Photosynthesis Reaction

March 3, 2014

The first direct, temporally resolved observations of intermediate steps in water oxidation using cobalt oxide, an Earth-abundant solid catalyst, revealed kinetic bottlenecks whose elimination would help boost the efficiency of artificial photosynthesis systems.

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On the Road to Mottronics: Researchers at the Advanced Light Source Find Key to Controlling the Electronic and Magnetic Properties of Mott Thin Films

February 24, 2014

At Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source, researchers controlled the conducting/insulating phases of ultra-thin films of Mott materials by applying an epitaxial strain to the crystal lattice. This is an important step on the road to Mottronics.

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Crossover Sound: Researchers Find Unambiguous Evidence for Coherent Phonons in Superlattices

February 5, 2014

The first “unambiguous demonstration” of the coherent transport of phonons – atomic-scale sound waves – opens the door to improved thermoelectrics and possibly even phonon lasers.

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Berkeley Lab Researcher Proposes Phones and Other Devices as Energy-Saving Tools

January 29, 2014

When is a phone not a phone? When it’s serving as an occupancy sensor for energy-saving purposes.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researcher Bruce Nordman had an idea several years ago to take advantage of existing devices in office buildings by using them for energy efficiency purposes. In the United States buildings are responsible for [...]

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