Bionic enzymes got a needed boost in speed thanks to new research at Berkeley Lab. By pairing a noble metal with a natural enzyme, scientists created a hybrid capable of churning out molecules at a rate comparable to biological counterparts.
Five researchers at Berkeley Lab were named today as recipients of the Early Career Research Program managed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The program is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work.
Berkeley Lab researchers have incorporated molecules of porphyrin CO2 catalysts into the sponge-like crystals of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) to create a molecular system that not only absorbs CO2, but also selectively reduces it to CO, a primary building block for a wide range of chemical products.
Berkeley Lab researchers using a bioinorganic hybrid approach to artificial photosynthesis have combined semiconducting nanowires with select microbes to create a system that produces renewable molecular hydrogen and uses it to synthesize carbon dioxide into methane, the primary constituent of natural gas.
Earlier this year, Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry got a new suite of robotic synthesis tools called the Overture and the Symphony X (pictured above), automated chemical synthesizers that assemble custom molecular structures called peptoids. Peptoid nanostructures, pioneered at Berkeley Lab, have molecular shapes similar to biological molecules like proteins, but are made with synthetic building
Making a Good Thing Better: Berkeley Lab Researchers Open a Possible Avenue to Better Electrolyte for Lithium Ion Batteries
Through a combination of water, oil and nanoparticle surfactants plus an external field, spherical droplets are being transformed into ellipsoids and other unusual shapes that could find many valuable uses.
Through a combination of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and a unique graphene liquid cell, Berkeley Lab researchers have recorded the three-dimensional motion of DNA connected to gold nanocrystals, the first reported use of TEM for 3D dynamic imaging of soft materials.