News Center

Amazon Rainforest Absorbing Less Carbon Than Expected

Agriculture, forestry, and other types of land use account for 23% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, yet at the same time natural land processes absorb the equivalent of almost a third of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and industry. How long will the Amazon rainforest continue to act as an effective carbon sink?

Getting Teens Hooked on STEM

The Introductory College Level Experience in Microbiology (iCLEM) – an immersive summer science program hosted by the Joint BioEnergy Institute – has an impressive track record of helping socioeconomically disadvantaged high schoolers pursue college education. Hoping to share the secret sauce of their instructional model, a group of former and current scientific advisors have now published the iCLEM curriculum.

Cool Roofs Can Help Shield California’s Cities Against Heat Waves

A new study by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows that if every building in California sported “cool” roofs by 2050, these roofs would help contribute to protecting urbanites from the consequences of dangerous heatwaves.

New Recipes for Taking Salt Out of Seawater

As populations boom and chronic droughts persist, coastal cities like Carlsbad in Southern California have increasingly turned to ocean desalination to supplement a dwindling fresh water supply. Now Berkeley Lab scientists investigating how to make desalination less expensive have hit on promising design rules for making so-called “thermally responsive” ionic liquids to separate water from salt.

Can We Reuse Polluted Water? Yes, Add Bacteria

Every year, hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells generates billions of gallons of contaminated water. Scientists at Berkeley Lab and the CO School of Mines believe microbes could be the key to turning this waste into a resource.

Making the Invisible Visible: New Sensor Network Reveals Telltale Patterns in Neighborhood Air Quality

Black carbon, commonly known as soot, is a significant contributor to global warming and is strongly linked to adverse health outcomes. Produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels – emitted from large trucks, trains, and marine vessels – it is an air pollutant of particular concern to residents in urban areas. Sensors available on the market today are expensive, making black carbon difficult to track.

New Laws of Attraction: Scientists Print Magnetic Liquid Droplets

Using a modified 3D printer, a team of scientists at Berkeley Lab have fabricated a magnetic device out of liquids. Their findings could lead to a revolutionary class of printable liquid devices for a variety of applications from artificial cells that deliver targeted cancer therapies to flexible liquid robots that can change their shape to adapt to their surroundings.

A Graphene Superconductor That Plays More Than One Tune

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a graphene device that’s thinner than a human hair but has a depth of special traits. It easily switches from a superconducting material that conducts electricity without losing any energy, to an insulator that resists the flow of electric current, and back again to a superconductor – all with a simple flip of a switch.

Some Assembly Required: Scientists Piece Together the Largest U.S.-Based Dark Matter Experiment

Most of the remaining components needed to fully assemble an underground dark matter-search experiment called LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) arrived at the project’s South Dakota home during a rush of deliveries in June. When complete, LZ will be the largest, most sensitive U.S.-based experiment yet that is designed to directly detect dark matter particles.

Epic Research Endeavor Reveals Cause of Deadly Digestive Disease in Children

Nearly ten years ago, a group of Israeli clinical researchers emailed Berkeley Lab geneticist Len Pennacchio to ask for his team’s help in solving the mystery of a rare inherited disease that caused extreme, and sometimes fatal, chronic diarrhea in children. Now, following an arduous investigative odyssey that expanded our understanding of regulatory sequences in the human genome, the multinational scientific group has announced the discovery of the genetic explanation for this disease.