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Cyclotron Road Researchers Hit Their Stride, Bringing Benefits for Berkeley Lab Scientists Along the Way

The inaugural cohort of innovators—a total of six projects—has attracted more than $10 million in competitive state and federal grants, with 20 percent of that going to their Berkeley Lab collaborators. These projects have also secured more than $5 million in initial private investment.

Twists and Turns in Path from Lab to Startup to Major Acquisition

As often happens in science, what started as a research project to make one thing turned into something completely different. Berkeley Lab researchers Nitash Balsara and Hany Eitouni were developing an electroresponsive polymer that turned out to be not such a good artificial muscle, their original goal, but an excellent basis for a battery electrolyte—so good, in fact, that it was recently acquired by a major multinational company.

CinderBio Harnesses Extreme Microbes for Greener Industry

It’s no secret that extremophiles, or microbes that live in places like polar glaciers and toxic waste pools, may hold treasures worth billions. Now basic biology research has led to the formation of CinderBio, a startup co-founded by Berkeley Lab scientists Steve Yannone and Jill Fuss that produces heat- and acid-stable enzymes.

Berkeley Lab Spinoff Company Makes Fast, Accurate Nanoscale Sensor

Imagine being able to test your food in your very own kitchen to quickly determine if it carried any deadly microbes. Research conducted at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and now being commercialized by Optokey may make that possible.

A Bridge to Better Batteries

A major automaker came to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory recently wanting to better understand battery degradation. After many months of intense collaborative research with a Berkeley Lab battery scientist, they gleaned some important insights into the conditions that may lead to battery failure, and even published a paper on their findings. Another large car company

New Battery Startup Promises Safe Lithium Batteries

Berkeley Lab battery scientist Nitash Balsara has worked for many years trying to find a way to improve the safety of lithium-ion batteries. Now he believes he has found the answer in a most unlikely material—a class of compounds that has mainly been used for industrial lubrication.

From the Lab to Your Digital Device, Quantum Dots Have Made Quantum Leaps

Berkeley Lab’s quantum dots have not only found their way into tablets, computer screens, and TVs, they are also used in biological and medical imaging tools, and now Paul Alivisatos’ lab is exploring them for solar cell as well as brain imaging applications.

New Lab Startup Afingen Uses Precision Method to Enhance Plants

By manipulating a plant’s metabolic pathways, two scientists at Berkeley Lab, Henrik Scheller and Dominique Loqué, have figured out a way to genetically rewire plants to allow for an exceptionally high level of control over the spatial pattern of gene expression, while at the same time boosting expression to very high levels. Now they have launched a startup company called Afingen to apply this technology for developing low-cost biofuels that could be cost-competitive with gasoline and corn ethanol.

Berkeley Lab Licenses Boron Nitride Nanotube Technology

Nearly 20 years ago researcher Alex Zettl of the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) synthesized in his lab a new material never before seen by nature: boron nitride nanotubes, the strongest, lightest, most thermally conducting, and most chemically resistant fiber known to exist. Now a startup has licensed this technology with

Indian Company Licenses Berkeley Lab Invention for Arsenic-free Water

When Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientist Ashok Gadgil set out to solve an insidious public health problem afflicting South Asia, arsenic contamination of groundwater, he knew the hard part would not just be inventing the technology but also ensuring a way to sustain its long-term use on a large scale. Gadgil and his lab came up with ECAR, Electrochemical Arsenic Remediation, which binds arsenic using iron dissolved in water. Their innovation was two-fold. They created a technology that is exceptionally effective, inexpensive, and easy to maintain.