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Unravelling the Mysteries of Carbonic Acid

Berkeley Lab researchers report the first detailed characterization of the hydration structure of carbon dioxide gas as it dissolves in water to form carbonic acid. Though carbonic acid exists for only a fraction of a second, it imparts a lasting impact on Earth’s atmosphere and geology, and on the human body

A Hot Start to the Origin of Life?

Researchers from Berkeley Lab and the University of Hawaii at Manoa have shown for the first time that cosmic hot spots, such as those near stars, could be excellent environments for the creation of molecular precursors to DNA.

Major Advance in Artificial Photosynthesis Poses Win/Win for the Environment

By combining biocompatible light-capturing nanowire arrays with select bacterial populations, a potentially game-changing new artificial photosynthesis system offers a win/win situation for the environment: solar-powered green chemistry using sequestered carbon dioxide.

Possible New RNA Engineering Tool

Berkeley Lab researchers have shown that complexes of proteins touted for their potential use as a tool for editing DNA might also serve as an engineering tool for RNA, the molecule that translates DNA’s genetic instructions into the production of proteins.

Turn the Light On: A Non-visual Opsin Could Help Future Studies of the Brain and Central Nervous System

Berkeley Lab researchers have discovered a light-sensitive opsin protein that plays a surprising and possibly critical role in neuron maturation and circuit formation in the central nervous system.

Metabolic Path to Improved Biofuel Production

Researchers at the Energy Biosciences Institute have found a way to increase the production of fuels and other chemicals from biomass fermented by yeast without the need of environmentally harsh pre-treatments or expensive enzyme cocktails.

Unlocking the Key to Immunological Memory in Bacteria

Berkeley Lab researchers have revealed how bacteria “steal” genetic information from foreign invaders for use in their own immunological memory system.

Solving an Organic Semiconductor Mystery

Organic semiconductors are prized for light emitting diodes (LEDs), field effect transistors (FETs) and photovoltaic cells. As they can be printed from solution, they provide a highly scalable, cost-effective alternative to silicon-based devices. Uneven performances, however, have been a persistent problem. That’s now changed.

A Better Look at the Chemistry of Interfaces

SWAPPS – Standing Wave Ambient Pressure Photoelectron Spectroscopy – is a new X-ray technique developed at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source that provides sub-nanometer resolution of every chemical element to be found at heterogeneous interfaces, such as those in batteries, fuel cells and other devices.

Copper on the Brain at Rest

A new study by Berkeley Lab researchers has shown that proper copper levels are essential to the health of the brain at rest.