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In Pursuit of Perfect Chemistry: A Vision for Unifying Catalysis

Several fields of research have sprung up around the chemical drivers, called catalysts, at work in many industrial processes – including those that boost the production of fuels, fertilizers, and foods – and there is a growing interest in coordinating these research activities to create new, hybrid catalysts with enhanced performance, say researchers at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley.

Actual Fossil Fuel Emissions Checked with New Technique

(Adapted from Imperial College London’s news release) Researchers have measured CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use in California and compared them to reported emissions. This is the first time fossil fuel emissions have been independently checked for such a large area. Carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil fuel combustion is the primary driver of climate change,

A Core−Shell Nanotube Array for Artificial Photosynthesis

The average global energy consumption of transportation fuels is currently several terawatts (1 terawatt = 1012 Joule per second). A major scientific gap for developing a solar fuels technology that could replace fossil resources with renewable ones is scalability at the unprecedented terawatts level. In fact, the only existing technology for making chemical compounds on the

Strategies for Replacing Natural Gas to Help Decarbonize the University of California

Universities across the United States have set ambitious goals to shrink their carbon footprints, including the University of California, which launched its Carbon Neutrality Initiative in 2013, aiming for carbon neutrality by 2025. But amid broad support for climate action within the UC system, a big question looms: how to actually hit that target. Now,

Berkeley Lab Researchers ID Plant ‘Sunscreen’ Protein

Berkeley Lab researchers have identified a protein that protects plants from damage caused by too much light energy. They found that plants with deficient levels of the lipocalin protein, found in chloroplasts, are less able to dissipate excess light energy.

New Catalyst Gives Artificial Photosynthesis a Big Boost

A research team including Berkeley Lab scientists has created a new catalyst on the path toward artificial photosynthesis — a system that would use renewable energy to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into stored chemical energy.

The Mystery of the Star That Wouldn’t Die

Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley scientists were part of a team that helped to decipher one of the most bizarre spectacles ever seen in the night sky: A supernova that refused to stop shining, remaining bright far longer than an ordinary stellar explosion. What caused the event is puzzling.

Scientists Harness Ultrafast Magnetism for Low-Power Memory

Scientists have developed a new, ultrafast method for electrically controlling magnetism in certain metals, a development that could lead to greatly increased performance and more energy-efficient computer memory and processing technologies.

Berkeley Lab Researchers Help Map the Microbiome of Everything

In the Earth Microbiome Project, an extensive global team collected more than 27,000 samples from numerous, diverse environments around the globe. They analyzed the unique collections of microbes – the microbiomes – living in each sample to generate the first reference database of bacteria colonizing the planet. Thanks to newly standardized protocols, original analytical methods and open data-sharing, the project will continue to grow and improve as new data are added. The paper describing this effort, published November

How Berkeley Lab Software Helped Lead to the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics

The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to scientists in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration who discovered gravitational waves. Software tools developed by researchers at Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division played a key role in enabling the analysis of the vast quantities of data generated by LIGO.