Latest News from: Department of Energy, Office of Science

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Released: 16-Jun-2021 1:50 PM EDT
Department of Energy Announces $4 Million for Isotope R&D
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $4 million in funding for 10 awards across 5 efforts to advance R&D for isotope production. This funding is part of a key federal program that produces critical isotopes otherwise unavailable or in short supply for U.S. science, medicine, and industry.

Newswise: A Cousin of Table Salt Could Make Energy Storage Faster and Safer
Released: 16-Jun-2021 10:10 AM EDT
A Cousin of Table Salt Could Make Energy Storage Faster and Safer
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Scientists have found that lithium vanadium oxide can rapidly charge and discharge energy. The material has a structure similar to table salt but with a more random atomic arrangement. It charges and discharges without growing lithium metal “dendrites” that can cause dangerous short circuits. This could lead to safer, faster-charging batteries for electric vehicles.

Newswise: Breaking Through with Laboratory Directed Research and Development
Released: 14-Jun-2021 12:05 PM EDT
Breaking Through with Laboratory Directed Research and Development
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Meant to foster innovation, the Department of Energy Office of Science’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development program has supported the development of a number of technologies, including the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing process.

Newswise: Hot Core and Cool Walls Lead to Better Fusion Containment
Released: 11-Jun-2021 2:35 PM EDT
Hot Core and Cool Walls Lead to Better Fusion Containment
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Creating an efficient fusion plasma in a tokamak requires a plasma with an extremely hot core but edges cool enough to protect the tokomak walls. Researchers at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility developed a solution that uses the active injection of gases to cool the edge coupled with enhanced core confinement.

Newswise: The Inner Workings of the Root Microbiome
Released: 11-Jun-2021 12:10 PM EDT
The Inner Workings of the Root Microbiome
Department of Energy, Office of Science

: The soil surrounding and including the roots of plants is a hotspot for bacteria that help plants resist infections, survive drought, and take up nutrients. However, scientists did not fully understand how bacteria assist plants. A new study provides new insights into the spots on roots where bacteria attach. This could help scientists understand and control how plants and bacteria interact.

Released: 10-Jun-2021 1:50 PM EDT
Department of Energy Announces $3.5 Million for U.S.-Japan Cooperative Research in High Energy Physics
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $3.5 million for 23 collaborative research projects in high energy physics that involve substantial collaboration with Japanese investigators.

Newswise: Sofia Quaglioni: Then and Now / 2011 Early Career Award Winner
Released: 10-Jun-2021 11:35 AM EDT
Sofia Quaglioni: Then and Now / 2011 Early Career Award Winner
Department of Energy, Office of Science

As the Deputy Group Leader of the Nuclear Data and Theory Group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sofia Quaglioni is contributing to a unified understanding of the structure and lower-energy reactions of light nuclei.

Newswise: Soot Particles Vary in How They Soak Up the Sun
Released: 9-Jun-2021 3:10 PM EDT
Soot Particles Vary in How They Soak Up the Sun
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Soot in the atmosphere absorbs sunlight, warming the Earth’s atmosphere. This analysis shows that soot particles’ shape and composition can vary significantly. This creates discrepancies between real-world observations and predictions from models. This research used measurement and modeling to provide a framework that explains variation in atmospheric soot.

Released: 9-Jun-2021 3:05 PM EDT
DOE Awards $54 Million to 235 American Small Businesses Developing Novel Clean Energy And Climate Solutions
Department of Energy, Office of Science

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced 235 small businesses, across 42 states, will receive $54 million in critical seed funding for 266 projects that are developing and deploying proof-of-concept prototypes for a wide range of technological solutions needed to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Newswise: Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
Released: 9-Jun-2021 10:10 AM EDT
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
Department of Energy, Office of Science

: Plants synthesize thousands of metabolites that help them adapt to their environments. Mass spectrometry can detect and measure metabolites in a sample, but this is difficult with complex samples. One solution is to add labeled chemicals to a sample. This research developed an easy-to-use computational tool that locates labeled chemicals, simplifying analysis.

Released: 8-Jun-2021 3:25 PM EDT
Department of Energy Announces $6.4 Million for Research on International Fusion Energy Facilities
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $6.4 million in funding for U.S. scientists to carry out seven research projects at two major fusion energy facilities located in Germany and Japan.

Released: 7-Jun-2021 4:55 PM EDT
Department of Energy Announces $1 Million in Collaborative Funding for Privacy-Preserving Artificial Intelligence Research
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $1 million for collaborations in privacy-preserving artificial intelligence research. The aim of this funding is to bring together researchers from the DOE National Laboratories and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to jointly develop new flagship datasets and privacy-preserving methods and algorithms to improve healthcare.

Newswise: Machine Learning System Improves Accelerator Diagnostics
Released: 7-Jun-2021 9:55 AM EDT
Machine Learning System Improves Accelerator Diagnostics
Department of Energy, Office of Science

A machine learning system is helping operators resolve routine faults at the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF). The system monitors the accelerator cavities, where faults can trip off the CEBAF. The system identified which cavities were tripping off about 85% of the time and identified the type of fault about 78% of the time.

Released: 2-Jun-2021 4:30 PM EDT
Department of Energy Selects 32 Students for Prestigious Computational Fellowships
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of 32 outstanding undergraduate and graduate students across the nation to receive the prestigious DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship, jointly managed by the Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

Released: 1-Jun-2021 3:45 PM EDT
Department of Energy to Provide $2 Million for Studies to Accelerate the Evaluation of Novel, Medically Relevant Isotopes for Use in Pre-clinical and Clinical Medical Trials
Department of Energy, Office of Science

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $2 million in new funding to support translational research and development (R&D) of novel, medically relevant isotopes to accelerate evaluation for usage in pre-clinical and clinical trials.

Newswise: New Technique Studies the Structure of Exotic Hadrons
Released: 28-May-2021 3:05 PM EDT
New Technique Studies the Structure of Exotic Hadrons
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Scientists don’t know how exotic hadrons with a larger number of quarks are structured—are they tightly bound hadrons or a compound of two hadrons similar to molecules? Now, scientists have developed a new technique to identify the nature of the χc1(3872, a four-quark hadron. This is the first time scientists have discovered the structure of a particle by observing how it interacts with nearby particles.

Newswise: Ananth Kalyanaraman: Then and Now / 2011 Early Career Award Winner
Released: 27-May-2021 3:15 PM EDT
Ananth Kalyanaraman: Then and Now / 2011 Early Career Award Winner
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Ananth Kalyanaraman is a professor and the Boeing Centennial Chair in Computer Science at Washington State University. His focus is on developing scaling algorithms and software for analyzing large-scale biological and network data.

Released: 27-May-2021 1:35 PM EDT
DOE Awards $100 Million to Early-Career Scientists for Mission-Critical Research
Department of Energy, Office of Science

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the selection of 83 scientists who will receive a total of $100 million in funding through its Early Career Research Program.

Newswise: Precise Measurement of Pions Confirms Understanding of Fundamental Symmetry
Released: 26-May-2021 2:30 PM EDT
Precise Measurement of Pions Confirms Understanding of Fundamental Symmetry
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Scientific rules about “chiral symmetry” predict the existence of subatomic particles called pions. The lifetime of a neutrally charged pion is tied to breaking of chiral symmetry. Until recently, measurements of this lifetime have been much less precise than calculations from theory. Physicists have now measured a pion’s lifetime more precisely than ever before.

Newswise: Signs of “Turbulence” in Collisions that Melt Gold Ions
Released: 26-May-2021 2:10 PM EDT
Signs of “Turbulence” in Collisions that Melt Gold Ions
Department of Energy, Office of Science

A new analysis of collisions of gold ions shows signs of a “critical point,” a change in the way one form of matter changes into another. The results hint at changes in the type of transition during the shift from particles to the quark-and-gluon “soup” that filled the early universe. This helps scientists understand how particles interact and what holds them together.

Released: 24-May-2021 2:50 PM EDT
California and Massachusetts Schools Win DOE's 31st National Science Bowl®
Department of Energy, Office of Science

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced that the student team from North Hollywood Senior High School in North Hollywood, California won the 2021 DOE National Science Bowl® (NSB). In the middle school competition, students from Jonas Clarke Middle School in Lexington, Massachusetts took home first place earlier this month.

Newswise: Champions in Science: Profile of Seth Johnson, National Science Bowl® Competitor
Released: 24-May-2021 11:00 AM EDT
Champions in Science: Profile of Seth Johnson, National Science Bowl® Competitor
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Supercomputer programmer Seth Johnson might be the ultimate insider at the National Science Bowl® competitions. He competed on his high school NSB team and now volunteers at the regional and national events.

Newswise: Searching for the Origins of Presolar Grains
Released: 19-May-2021 12:05 PM EDT
Searching for the Origins of Presolar Grains
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Some meteorites contain microscopic grains of stardust created by nucleosynthesis before our solar system existed. Many grains contain sulfur isotopes that are clues to the grains’ origins in novae and supernovae. Sulfur production from nucleosynthesis depends on the prior production of argon-34. Scientists created and studied argon-34 and established criteria for determining whether particular grains originated in novae or supernovae.

Newswise: Cooling Fusion Plasmas from the Inside Out
Released: 18-May-2021 11:05 AM EDT
Cooling Fusion Plasmas from the Inside Out
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Cooling a 150-million-degree plasma in an orderly and controllable fashion. Researchers at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility are studying a new method that uses boron-filled diamond shells to quickly cool fusion plasmas. Early experimental results and computer modeling indicate this method could avoid problems with traditional cooling approaches.

Newswise: Not Just Disturbance: Turbulence Protects Fusion Reactor Walls
Released: 14-May-2021 4:05 PM EDT
Not Just Disturbance: Turbulence Protects Fusion Reactor Walls
Department of Energy, Office of Science

To operate successfully, ITER and future fusion energy reactors cannot allow melting of the walls of the divertor plates that remove excess heat from the plasma in a reactor. These walls are especially at risk of melting when heat is applied to narrow areas. Now, however, an extreme-scale computing analysis indicates that turbulence will reduce that risk.

Newswise: Enhancing Land Surface Models to Grow Perennial Bioenergy Crops
Released: 14-May-2021 3:35 PM EDT
Enhancing Land Surface Models to Grow Perennial Bioenergy Crops
Department of Energy, Office of Science

To understand the effects of expanding biofuel production, scientists must accurately represent biofuel crops in land surface models. Using observations from biofuel plants in the Midwestern United States, researchers simulated two biofuel perennial plants, miscanthus and switchgrass. The simulations indicate these high-yield perennial crops have several advantages over traditional annual bioenergy crops—they assimilate more carbon dioxide, and they require fewer nutrients and less water.

Newswise: 050721-ber-earths-atomosphere.jpg?itok=-W-tcpvH
Released: 14-May-2021 2:50 PM EDT
Scientists Check the Math for Improved Models of Liquids and Gases in Earth’s Atmosphere
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Discretization is the process of converting continuous models and variables, such as wind speed, into discrete versions to make equations that are compatible with computer analysis. Energy consistent discretization ensures that the method does not have any inaccurate sources of energy that can lead to unstable and unrealistic simulations. In this research, scientists provided a discretization for equations used by global models of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Newswise: Nina Balke: Then and Now / 2011 Early Career Award Winner
Released: 14-May-2021 2:20 PM EDT
Nina Balke: Then and Now / 2011 Early Career Award Winner
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nina Balke is a senior research scientist at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, studying Li-ion batteries to eliminate performance bottlenecks, understand performance fade, and design better batteries from the bottom up.

Released: 6-May-2021 2:30 PM EDT
Department of Energy Announces $10 Million for Research on Quantum Information Science and Nuclear Physics
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $10 million for interdisciplinary research in Quantum Information Science (QIS) and nuclear physics.

Released: 3-May-2021 11:35 AM EDT
DOE Awards $17.3 Million for Student and Faculty Research Opportunities and to Foster Workforce Diversity
Department of Energy, Office of Science

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $17.3 million for college internships, research opportunities, and research projects that connect talented science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students and faculty with the world-class resources at DOE’s National Laboratories.

Newswise: Hungry Fungi: White-Rot Fungi Eat All Components of the Wood They Decompose
Released: 30-Apr-2021 11:55 AM EDT
Hungry Fungi: White-Rot Fungi Eat All Components of the Wood They Decompose
Department of Energy, Office of Science

White-rot fungi have an extraordinary ability to break down lignin, a very sturdy material in plant cell walls. To find out what products result when these fungi deconstruct lignin, researchers used synthetic compounds that mimic those produced by lignin breakdown, fed those compounds to the fungi, then tracked the compounds within fungal cells. They found that white-rot fungi uptake lignin deconstruction products and use them as a carbon source for food and building material.

Newswise: Burning the Forest, Not Just the Trees
Released: 30-Apr-2021 11:05 AM EDT
Burning the Forest, Not Just the Trees
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Wildfires affect both the visible parts of plants and the plant microbiome. Understanding these effects helps scientists mitigate the effects of wildfires. This research examined microbial DNA samples from tissues of young quaking aspen saplings after a prescribed burn. Aspen relies largely on fire to regenerate. This work demonstrates that fire affects the entire plant microbiome, not just nearby soil.

Released: 29-Apr-2021 1:10 PM EDT
DOE’s Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program selects 78 outstanding U.S. graduate students
Department of Energy, Office of Science

The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Science has selected 78 graduate students representing 26 states for the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program’s 2020 Solicitation 2 cycle.

Newswise: Advancing Understanding of Heavy Elements at the Edge of the Periodic Table
Released: 28-Apr-2021 4:30 PM EDT
Advancing Understanding of Heavy Elements at the Edge of the Periodic Table
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Researchers have for the first time examined in detail a compound of einsteinium (Es). Einsteinium is one of the synthetic elements and is also the heaviest element currently available for classical chemistry studies. These experimental results chart the path to exploring the fundamental behavior of rare heavy elements and could lead to a new understanding of chemistry across the Periodic Table.

Newswise: Watching the Evolution of Nanostructures in Thin Films
Released: 27-Apr-2021 3:50 PM EDT
Watching the Evolution of Nanostructures in Thin Films
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Scientists have found a way to turn X-ray fluorescence into an ultra-high position-sensitive probe to measure nanostructures in thin films. The fluorescence reveals the evolution of nanostructures in real time with nearly atomic-level resolution, something no other technique has achieved. This allows scientists to watch nanostructures in thin films evolve with unprecedented precision and design thin films for new applications.

Released: 26-Apr-2021 3:20 PM EDT
Department of Energy Announces $11 Million for Research on Quantum Information Science for Fusion Energy Sciences
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $11 million for ten projects in Quantum Information Science (QIS) with relevance to fusion and plasma science.

Newswise: For Earth Systems Scientists, Every Day is Earth Day
Released: 22-Apr-2021 11:55 AM EDT
For Earth Systems Scientists, Every Day is Earth Day
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Research on Earth’s systems can help scientists better understand our planet’s past and future. The Department of Energy’s Office of Science supports work to gather observations, improve models, and feed them into computer simulations.

Newswise: Bringing the Power of Chemical Fuels to Artificial Building Blocks
Released: 22-Apr-2021 11:45 AM EDT
Bringing the Power of Chemical Fuels to Artificial Building Blocks
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Many biological systems use chemical fuels to power functions such as muscle contraction, something rare in artificial systems. If researchers can enable this behavior in artificial systems, materials could actively control their own functions and heal themselves. This research used difunctional molecular building blocks to construct large rings that can be used to produce materials that can adapt and respond like biological systems.

Newswise: Green Algae Express Genes More Like Bacteria than Previously Thought
Released: 22-Apr-2021 11:35 AM EDT
Green Algae Express Genes More Like Bacteria than Previously Thought
Department of Energy, Office of Science

To fulfill its function, a gene must first be “transcribed” into an RNA molecule that is in turn “translated” into a protein that controls cells. Bacteria use a type of transcription that scientists previously believed was extremely rare in eukaryotes—animals, plants, fungi, and green algae. A new study finds that hundreds of proteins in many species of green algae use the same type of transcription as bacteria.

Newswise: 041921-blog-early-career-dan-melconian-article-banner.png?itok=O6DZTwCv
Released: 19-Apr-2021 2:05 PM EDT
Dan Melconian: Then and Now / 2011 Early Career Award Winner
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Dan Melconian is developing new techniques and new equipment to test our current theory of electroweak interactions. Comparison of these precision measurements to theoretical predictions will either confirm the Standard Model to a higher degree or point to a New Standard Model.

Newswise: New Approach Helps Determine How Much Microbial Community Composition Is Driven by Selection and How Much by Chance
Released: 19-Apr-2021 11:45 AM EDT
New Approach Helps Determine How Much Microbial Community Composition Is Driven by Selection and How Much by Chance
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Quantifying the relative importance of natural selection, migration, and random shifts to a species is a major challenge in ecology research, especially for microbes. This study develops an approach named iCAMP that is based on the concept that different processes can govern different groups of species in a diverse community. Applied to grassland microbial communities, iCAMP revealed that environmental changes altered the relative importance of the ecological processes.

Newswise: Finding Gene Neighbors Leads to New Protein Functions
Released: 19-Apr-2021 11:30 AM EDT
Finding Gene Neighbors Leads to New Protein Functions
Department of Energy, Office of Science

As scientists have developed new technologies for gene sequencing, the availability of sequenced genes has grown exponentially, but scientists’ ability to decipher the functions encoded in these sequences has not kept pace. In this study, researchers working with green algae discovered that physically clustered genes in eukaryotic genomes can be maintained over hundreds of millions of years. This phenomenon can help predict function.

Released: 16-Apr-2021 11:50 AM EDT
Department of Energy to Provide $2 Million for Traineeship in Isotope R&D and Production
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $2 million to establish a traineeship program to advance workforce development in the field of isotope production, processing, and associated research, with preference to minority serving institutions.

Newswise: For Better Predictions, Researchers Evaluate Tropical Cyclone Simulation in the Energy Exascale Earth System Model
Released: 15-Apr-2021 3:10 PM EDT
For Better Predictions, Researchers Evaluate Tropical Cyclone Simulation in the Energy Exascale Earth System Model
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Infrastructure planning requires accurately predicting how tropical cyclones respond to environmental changes. To make those predictions, researchers use Earth system models. In this research, scientists analyzed tropical cyclones simulated by the Department of Energy’s Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM). They found that high resolution is critical to simulating tropical cyclones and their interactions with the ocean.

Released: 15-Apr-2021 11:55 AM EDT
Department of Energy to Provide $10 Million for Research on Data Reduction for Science
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $10 million for foundational research to address the challenges of managing and processing the increasingly massive data sets produced by today’s scientific instruments, facilities, and supercomputers in order to facilitate more efficient analysis.

Newswise: Understanding the Source of Extremely Small Particles above the Amazon
Released: 15-Apr-2021 11:40 AM EDT
Understanding the Source of Extremely Small Particles above the Amazon
Department of Energy, Office of Science

The aerosol particles that serve as seeds for cloud formation are major drivers of global climate change. However, the sources and chemical processes behind the formation of these particles are unclear. Researchers have now found that carbon-based compounds from natural biological sources drive the formation of new particles. These sources play key roles in producing the large number of small particles in the atmosphere above the Amazon rainforest.

Newswise: 040721-ber-groundwater-bacteria.jpg?itok=WYNkorNg
Released: 14-Apr-2021 3:40 PM EDT
Calculating “Run and Tumble” Behavior of Bacteria in Groundwater
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Bacteria in groundwater move in surprising ways. They can passively ride flowing groundwater and can actively move on their own in what scientists call “run and tumble” behavior. Scientists studied two kinds of microorganisms to improve the mathematical models that describe how bacterial run and tumble when transported by groundwater.

Newswise: 040921-ber-microbes.jpg?itok=zNQAgpTW
Released: 14-Apr-2021 3:30 PM EDT
Compound Communicates More than Expected in Microbes
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Microbes use chemical signals to exchange information with their plant hosts. These signals initiate symbiotic associations. Scientists believe some of these chemical signals are unique and are specialized for specific purposes or audiences. One example is the compounds called lipo-chitooligosaccharides (LCOs). Researchers previously believed that LCOs are for specific fungi, but new research shows that these compounds are ubiquitous.

Newswise: 040821-ber-metabolic-regulation.jpg?itok=hkpV3hr1
Released: 14-Apr-2021 3:30 PM EDT
Studying Metabolic Regulation Through Cellular Properties
Department of Energy, Office of Science

During cellular metabolism, enzymes break down and build fats, proteins, energy carriers, and genetic information. These processes happen through a complex network of reactions. Until now, studies to identify specific reactions that regulate the overall flow through a network were too complex to do regularly. Now scientists have developed new methods that combine cutting-edge techniques to predict which enzymes control common biochemical pathways.

Newswise: 040621-np-sterile-neutrinos.jpg?itok=W8pd35T5
Released: 14-Apr-2021 3:15 PM EDT
Hunting for Sterile Neutrinos with Quantum Sensors
Department of Energy, Office of Science

An international team has performed one of the world’s most sensitive laboratory searches for a hypothetical subatomic particle called the “sterile neutrino.” The novel experiment uses radioactive beryllium-7 atoms created at the TRIUMF facility in Canada. The research team then implants these atoms into sensitive superconductors cooled to near absolute-zero.


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