News Center

Let There Be (More) Light

Plant leaves expressing an algal gene are shown in violet, above. The gene restores the photoprotection capacity of the plant. (Credit: Zhirong Li/UC Berkeley)

Excess light energy that a plant can’t absorb needs to be dissipated to avoid damage and oxidative stress. Berkeley Lab researchers are studying ways to increase the amount of light that can be safely absorbed, potentially leading to more efficient photosynthesis and higher crop productivity.

Researchers Build World’s Largest Database Of Crystal Surfaces And Shapes


Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego, in collaboration with the Materials Project at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), have created the world’s largest database of elemental crystal surfaces and shapes to date. Dubbed Crystalium, this new open-source database can help researchers design new materials for technologies in which surfaces and interfaces play

Berkeley Scientists Use Robots to Probe Biological Secrets of the Ocean’s Carbon Cycle


Follow Berkeley scientists on a 10-day research voyage off the California coast as they test robotic floats in studies of the ocean’s biological carbon pump. Robotic measurements at sea are promising sources of data that could be used to better understand climate change. Follow along as a Lab science writer blogs daily about the trip.  Go here

5 Nanoscience Research Projects That Could Deliver Big Results

Peptoid Nanotube

Berkeley Lab researchers are using the science of the very small to help solve big challenges. That’s because, at the nanoscale—the scale of molecules and proteins—new and exciting properties emerge that can possibly be put to use. Here are five projects, now underway and recently highlighted in the News Center, which promise big results from the

New workflow to help microbe-based biofuels production

Scientist picks up bacterial colonies. (iStockphoto)

The development of omics technologies, such as metabolomics and proteomics, and systems biology have dramatically enhanced the ability to understand biological phenomena. However, the interpretation of large omics data and the understanding of complex metabolic interactions in engineered microbes remains challenging. A new open-source workflow developed by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy

Calling All Innovators: Submit Your Ideas for Smart, Energy Efficient Buildings!

jump logo

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) wants your ideas on how to make buildings smarter and more energy efficient. As a DOE national lab, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is partnering with the DOE and private industry on JUMP, an online crowdsourcing community for building technologies. You can submit your ideas on specific technology

Scientists Image First Steps in DNA Transcription

DNA unfolding to make RNA. RNA appears briefly in bright red. (Credit: Eva Nogales)

Working at temperatures near absolute zero, scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have captured images of proteins at work in the early steps of DNA transcription.

Mapping a Cell’s Destiny

Scientists have developed a way to spatially map gene expression data from a fruit fly embryo (top). Shown are a few of the 21 different “principal patterns” (PP), or pre-organ regions, they mapped. The principal patterns correspond to major organ systems in an adult fly (bottom). (Credit Siqi Wu, UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab)

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have developed a way to spatially map gene expression data to determine a cell’s fate. The method could go far in interrogating human tissue organization and helping elucidate key aspects of development, human health and disease.

Cleansing Rain? Not So Fast.

Scientists have found that rain triggers the release of a mist of particles from wet soils into the air, a finding with consequences for how scientists model our planet’s climate and future. (Credit PNNL)

A surprising finding by scientists at Berkeley Lab and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory shows that rain’s reputation for cleansing the air may come with a caveat.

Q&A: ‘Thyristors’ are for BART Trains and Particle Accelerators, Too

An example of a palm-sized type of thyristor type that has been used at Berkeley Lab. The device has a white ceramic casing, an internal semiconductor chip, and red and white trigger wires. (Credit: Roy Kaltschmidt/Berkeley Lab)

Power-switching devices known as “thyristors” are not just for BART trains—Berkeley Lab has used them in particle accelerators for decades.