Microbes Eat the Same in Labs and the Desert

Analyses of natural communities forming soil crusts agree with laboratory studies of isolated microbe-metabolite relationships.

Scientists Produce 3-D Chemical Maps of Single Bacteria

Scientists at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II)--a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory--have used ultrabright x-rays to image single bacteria with higher spatial resolution than ever before. Their work, published in Scientific Reports, demonstrates an x-ray imaging technique, called x-ray fluorescence microscopy (XRF), as an effective approach to produce 3-D images of small biological samples.

Self-Sensing Materials Are Here

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers invented a way to make a nanomaterial-embedded composite that is stronger than other fiber-reinforced composites and imbued with a new capability--the ability to monitor its own structural health.

Diverse Biofeedstocks Have High Ethanol Yields and Offer Biorefineries Flexibility

Evidence suggests that biorefineries can accept various feedstocks without negatively impacting the amount of ethanol produced per acre.

Opening Access to Explore the Synthetic Chemistry of Neptunium

New, easily prepared starting material opens access to learning more about a difficult-to-control element in nuclear waste.

Symbiosis a Driver of Truffle Diversity

Truffles are thought of as dining delicacies but they play an important role in soil ecosystem services as the fruiting bodies of the ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal symbionts residing on host plant roots. An international team sought insights into the ECM lifestyle of truffle-forming species through a comparative analysis of eight fungal genomes.

Climate Simulations Project Wetter, Windier Hurricanes

New supercomputer simulations by climate scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have shown that climate change intensified the amount of rainfall in recent hurricanes such as Katrina, Irma, and Maria by 5 to 10 percent. They further found that if those hurricanes were to occur in a future world that is warmer than present, those storms would have even more rainfall and stronger winds.

Tiny Titanium Barrier Halts Big Problem in Fuel-Producing Solar Cells

New design coats molecular components and dramatically improves stability under tough, oxidizing conditions.

X-Rays Show How Periods of Stress Changed an Ice Age Hyena to the Bone

An international team has unearthed what life might have been like for a now-extinct subspecies of spotted hyena. They found that despite their massive size, some cave hyenas experienced times of hardship that affected them to the bone, causing areas of arrested growth that appear as dark lines, like rings on a tree trunk.

Turning Wood Scraps into Tape

A new chemical process converts a component of wasted wood pulp and other biomass into high-value pressure-sensitive adhesives.

Very Heavy Elements Deliver More Electrons

Scientists revise understanding of the limits of bonding for very electron-rich heavy elements.

Detecting Light in a Different Dimension

UPTON, NY--Scientists from the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)--a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory--have dramatically improved the response of graphene to light through self-assembling wire-like nanostructures that conduct electricity.

From the Cosmos to Fusion Plasmas, PPPL Presents Findings at Global APS Gathering

Invited Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory talks at 60th American Physical Society-Department of Plasma Physics annual meeting.

Scientists Bring Polymers Into Atomic-Scale Focus

A Berkeley Lab-led research has adapted a powerful electron-based imaging technique to obtain a first-of-its-kind image of atomic-scale structure in a synthetic polymer. The research could ultimately inform polymer fabrication methods and lead to new designs for materials and devices that incorporate polymers.

Probing Water's "No-Man's Land" Temperature Region

Measuring the physical properties of water at previously unexplored temperatures offers insights into one of the world's essential liquids.

Novel Soil Bacteria with Unusual Genes Synthesize Unique Antibiotic Precursors

A large-scale soil project uncovered genetic information from bacteria with the capacity to make specialized molecules that could lead to new pharmaceuticals.

RTI International to Perform Large-Scale Tests of Its Innovative Carbon Capture Technology for Cleaner, Less Costly Power

RTI International announced today its participation in a 2-1/2 year collaborative project to advance its non-aqueous solvent (NAS)-based CO2 capture technology for post-combustion CO2 capture at coal-fired power plants

Unlocking the Secrets of Metal-Insulator Transitions

Using an x-ray technique available at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), scientists found that the metal-insulator transition in the correlated material magnetite is a two-step process. The researchers from the University of California Davis published their paper in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Scientists find great diversity, novel molecules in microbiome of tree roots

Researchers with the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have discovered that communities of microbes living near tree roots are ten times more diverse than the human microbiome and produce a cornucopia of novel molecules that could be useful as antibiotics and anti-cancer drugs.

Broad genome analysis shows yeasts evolving by subtraction

An unprecedented comparison of hundreds of species of yeasts has helped geneticists brew up an expansive picture of their evolution over the last hundreds of millions of years, including an analysis of the way they evolved individual appetites for particular food sources that may be a boon to biofuels research.

Scientists shuffle the deck to create materials with new quantum behaviors

Layered transition metal dichalcogenides or TMDCs--materials composed of metal nanolayers sandwiched between two other layers of chalcogens-- have become extremely attractive to the research community due to their ability to exfoliate into 2D single layers.

Researchers create most complete high-res atomic movie of photosynthesis to date

Despite its role in shaping life as we know it, many aspects of photosynthesis remain a mystery. An international collaboration between scientists at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and several other institutions is working to change that. The researchers used SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray laser to capture the most complete and highest resolution picture to date of Photosystem II, a key protein complex in plants, algae and cyanobacteria responsible for splitting water and producing the oxygen we breathe.

Scientists Capture Photosynthesis in Unprecedented Detail

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientists have succeeded in capturing a more detailed picture than ever of the steps in the reaction mechanisms in photosynthesis, the process by which plants use sunlight to split water and produce oxygen while making the carbohydrates that sustain life on Earth.

A Bionic Mushroom That Generates Electricity

In the quest to replace fossil fuels, scientists are always on the lookout for alternative, environmentally friendly sources of energy. But who could have imagined a bionic mushroom that produces electricity? It sounds like something straight out of Alice in Wonderland, but researchers have now generated mushrooms patterned with energy-producing bacteria and an electrode network. They report their results in the ACS journal Nano Letters.

Dancing atoms in perovskite materials provide insight into how solar cells work

A new study is a step forward in understanding why perovskite materials work so well in energy devices and potentially leads the way toward a theorized "hot" technology that would significantly improve the efficiency of today's solar cells.