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Trash to Treasure: Scientists Convert Municipal Waste to Biofuel Precursors

As the need for energy security grows, scientists are investigating nonfood biomass sources that can be used to create valuable biofuels and bioproducts. Among these sources is municipal solid waste (MSW) — in other words, trash that’s produced every day around the world in significant amounts.  In a new study published in the journal ChemSusChem,

Simple Materials Offer a Peek into the Quantum Realm

As reported in Nature Physics, a Berkeley Lab-led team of physicists and materials scientists was the first to unambiguously observe and document the unique optical phenomena that occur in certain types of synthetic materials called moiré superlattices. The new findings will help researchers understand how to better manipulate materials into light emitters with controllable quantum

Can Cellphones Help Cities Be More Energy Efficient?

Buildings currently consume about 40% of all the electricity used in the United States, most of them located in urban areas that are growing rapidly. Because electricity generation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country, making urban buildings more energy efficient could help mitigate global climate change.  In order to achieve

Decoding Messages in the Body’s Microscopic Metropolises

A study aimed at identifying and examining the small messenger proteins used by microbes living on and inside humans has revealed an astounding diversity of more than 4,000 families of molecules – many of which have never been described previously. The research, led by Stanford University and now published in Cell, lays the groundwork for

X-ray Experiments Contribute to Studies of a Drug Now Approved to Combat Tuberculosis

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new antibiotic that, in combination with two existing antibiotics, can tackle one of the most formidable and deadly treatment-resistant forms of the bacterium that causes tuberculosis.

A Chemical Reaction Close-Up: New Technology Gives a Glimpse of Solar Fuel Generation in Action

Electrochemical devices that use sunlight to generate fuel represent a promising means of harvesting sustainable energy; but currently, none are efficient enough for real-world applications. One of the main reasons for the slow development is the difficulty in observing and measuring what is happening at the liquid-catalyst interface – the location in the cell where

Exploring Human Origins in the Uncharted Territory of Our Chromosomes

A group of geneticists from Berkeley Lab, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Berkeley are unraveling new details about human evolution by studying the uniquely regulated portion of our chromosomes that surround the centromeres. These stretches of DNA – termed centromere-proximal regions (CPRs) – are largely composed of highly repetitive, mostly non-gene-coding sequences that are

Crystal With a Twist: Scientists Grow Spiraling New Material

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have created new inorganic crystals made of stacks of atomically thin sheets that unexpectedly spiral like a nanoscale card deck.

Drones Will Fly for Days With This New Technology

Researchers with Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have developed a superefficient thermophotovoltaic that could allow drones to fly for days.

Simons Foundation Contributes $20M More to Observatory Exploring Early Universe

The Simons Observatory, a Berkeley Lab-involved project under construction in Chile’s Atacama Desert that will measure the properties of universe’s early light – the cosmic microwave background (CMB) – with extreme precision, has received a new commitment of $20 million from the Simons Foundation.