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Workshop Focuses on the Unique Science Enabled by ALS-U

Visiting scientists gave input during a workshop last week on the range of new X-ray science made possible by a planned upgrade of the Advanced Light Source.

New Leaf Study Sheds Light on ‘Shady’ Past

A new study led by a Berkeley Lab research scientist highlights a literally shady practice in plant science that has in some cases underestimated plants’ rate of growth and photosynthesis, among other traits.

Study: Warming Could Slow Upslope Migration of Trees

Scientists expect trees will advance upslope as global temperatures increase, shifting the tree line—the mountain zone where trees become smaller and eventually stop growing—to higher elevations. But new research suggests this may not hold true for two subalpine tree species of western North America.

Glowing Crystals Can Detect, Cleanse Contaminated Drinking Water

Motivated by public hazards associated with contaminated sources of drinking water, a team of scientists has successfully developed and tested tiny, glowing crystals that can detect and trap heavy-metal toxins like mercury and lead.

Berkeley Lab Takes Home Five R&D 100 Awards for Environmental, Battery, and X-ray Technologies

Berkeley Lab-developed tech enabling energy-saving roofs, long-lived batteries, better data from X-ray experiments, safer drinking water, and reduced carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have received 2016 R&D 100 awards.

New Bacteria Groups, and Stunning Diversity, Discovered Underground

One of the most detailed genomic studies of any ecosystem to date has revealed an underground world of stunning microbial diversity, and added dozens of new branches to the tree of life.

New Technology Helps Pinpoint Sources of Water Contamination

When the local water management agency closes your favorite beach due to unhealthy water quality, how reliable are the tests they base their decisions on? As it turns out, those tests, as well as the standards behind them, have not been updated in decades. Now scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a highly accurate, DNA-based method to detect and distinguish sources of microbial contamination in water.

Leaving on a Biofueled Jet Plane

Researchers at the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) have developed a catalytic process for converting sugarcane biomass into a new class of aviation fuel and lubricant base oils that could help biorefineries achieve net life-cycle greenhouse gas savings of up to 80-percent.

Using Microbial Communities to Assess Environmental Contamination

A study sponsored by ENIGMA, a DOE “Scientific Focus Area Program” based at Berkeley Lab has found that statistical analysis of DNA from natural microbial communities can be used to accurately identify environmental contaminants and serve as quantitative geochemical biosensors.

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.