News Center

DESI Team Prepares for Telescope Instrument’s Restart after Unexpected Shutdown

Despite a temporary shutdown of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument in Arizona – which was in its final stages of testing in preparation to begin mapping millions of galaxies in 3D when the pandemic struck – a variety of project tasks are still moving forward.

Using Machine Learning to Estimate COVID-19’s Seasonal Cycle

One of the many unanswered scientific questions about COVID-19 is whether it is seasonal like the flu – waning in warm summer months then resurging in the fall and winter. Now scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are launching a project to apply machine-learning methods to a plethora of health and environmental datasets, combined with high-resolution climate models and seasonal forecasts, to tease out the answer.

X-ray Experiments Zero in on COVID-19 Antibodies

An international scientific team has discovered a neutralizing antibody, derived from the blood of a SARS survivor, that inhibits the closely related COVID-19-causing coronavirus. In a paper published this week in Nature, the scientists note that the antibody is already on an accelerated development path toward clinical trials.

Masks On, Ready to Work: Meet the People Supporting COVID-19 Science

David Richardson’s job is literally to make sure the light stays on. But it’s not just any light – it’s a very special X-ray light that could play a crucial role in an eventual treatment for COVID-19. Richardson is an operator at the Advanced Light Source, and is one of a handful of workers providing essential services to scientists working on COVID-19-related research.

New Research Launched on Airborne Virus Transmission in Buildings

As society prepares to reopen indoor spaces and ease back into some sense of normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic, a team of researchers at Berkeley Lab is launching a study of the risk of airborne transmission of viruses within buildings and how to mitigate those risks.

CUORE Underground Experiment in Italy Carries on Despite Pandemic

As the COVID-19 outbreak took hold in Italy, researchers working on a nuclear physics experiment called CUORE at an underground laboratory in central Italy scrambled to keep the ultrasensitive experiment running and launch new tools and rules for remote operations.

Staff at Berkeley Lab’s X-Ray Facility Mobilize to Support COVID-19-Related Research

Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source X-ray facility has been recalled to action to support research related to COVID-19, the coronavirus disease that has already infected about 2 million people around the world.

Making Biofuels Cheaper by Putting Plants to Work

One strategy to make biofuels more competitive is to make plants do some of the work themselves. Scientists can engineer plants to produce valuable chemical compounds, or bioproducts, as they grow. Then the bioproducts can be extracted from the plant and the remaining plant material can be converted into fuel. But one important part of this strategy has remained unclear — exactly how much of a particular bioproduct would plants need to make in order to make the process economically feasible?

Uncertain Climate Future Could Disrupt Energy Systems

Extreme weather events – such as severe drought, storms, and heat waves – have been forecast to become more commonplace and are already starting to occur. What has been less studied is the impact on energy systems and how communities can avoid costly disruptions, such as partial or total blackouts.

Using Fiber Optics to Advance Safe and Renewable Energy

Fiber optic cables, it turns out, can be incredibly useful scientific sensors. Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have studied them for use in carbon sequestration, groundwater mapping, earthquake detection, and monitoring of Arctic permafrost thaw. Now they have been awarded new grants to develop fiber optics for two novel uses: monitoring offshore wind operations and underground natural gas storage.