The promise of being able to quickly and accurately screen for diseases or chemical contaminants in a tiny drop of blood has long been an elusive goal. But scientist Daojing Wang says his company’s technology is up to the job.
Scientists used to come to Gregory Kurtzer of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s IT department a lot, asking for a better way to use software containers in a high-performance computing (HPC) environment. After a while he got tired of saying, “Sorry, not possible.” So he invented a solution and named it Singularity.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.