Increasing tree mortality in a warming world

A mix of factors is contributing to an increasing mortality rate of trees in the moist tropics, where trees in some areas are dying at about twice the rate that they were 35 years ago.

Thirdhand Smoke Found to Increase Lung Cancer Risk in Mice

Researchers at Berkeley Lab identified thirdhand smoke, the toxic residues that linger on indoor surfaces and in dust long after a cigarette has been extinguished, as a health hazard nearly 10 years ago. Now a new study has found that it also increases lung cancer risk in mice.

Buckyball Marries Graphene

Electronic and structure richness arise from the merger of semiconducting molecules of carbon buckyballs and 2-D graphene.

Atomic Movies Explain Why Perovskite Solar Cells Are More Efficient

Tracking atoms is crucial to improving the efficiency of next-generation perovskite solar cells.

Engineers Developing Tools to Understand, Scale Up Autothermal Production of Bio-Oil

Iowa State engineers have developed a process called autothermal pyrolysis that breaks down biomass for fuel and fertilizer. A recently announced grant from the Department of Energy will support studies of the process, including development of models and design tools that could reduce the risk of scaling up the technology for commercial use.

With Laser Light, Scientists Create First X-Ray Holographic Images of Viruses

In a recent study, researchers developed a new holographic method called in-flight holography. With this method, they were able to demonstrate the first X-ray holograms of nano-sized viruses that were not attached to any surface.

Mapping Battery Materials with Atomic Precision

An international team led by researchers at Berkeley Lab used advanced techniques in electron microscopy to show how the ratio of materials that make up a lithium-ion battery electrode affects its structure at the atomic level, and how the surface is very different from the rest of the material.

Experimental Behavior of GFRP-Reinforced Concrete Columns under Lateral Cyclic Load

The present study addresses the feasibility of reinforced concrete columns totally reinforced with glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) bars achieving the drift requirements specified in various codes.

Smart Glass Made Better, and Cheaper

New "smart glass" technology developed at the University of Delaware could make curtains and blinds obsolete. This isn't the first "smart glass," but it's one-tenth the price of other versions and more transparent in its transparent state and more reflective in its reflective state than competitors.

New Insights Could Pave The Way For Self-Powered Low Energy Devices

Researchers have discovered more details about the way certain materials hold a static charge even after two surfaces separate, information that could help improve devices that leverage such energy as a power source.

Catalysts: High Performance Lies on the Edge

Iron may be more valuable than platinum. Sometimes.

Big Steps Toward Control of Production of Tiny Building Blocks

Article describes use of new diagnostics to advance understanding of the plasma nanosynthesis of widely used nanoparticles.

Lithium-Related Discovery Could Extend Battery Life and Improve Safety

New research from Arizona State University shows that using a 3-dimensional layer of Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) can mitigate dendrite formation and stands to both dramatically extend battery life and diminish safety risks.

Teaching Computers to Guide Science: New Machine Learning Method Sees the Forests and the Trees

While it may be the era of supercomputers and "big data," without smart methods to mine all that data, it's only so much digital detritus. Now researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and UC Berkeley have come up with a novel machine learning method that enables scientists to derive insights from systems of previously intractable complexity in record time.

Chemical Sleuthing Unravels Possible Path to the Formation of Life's Building Blocks in Space

Scientists have used experiments at Berkeley Lab to retrace the chemical steps leading to the creation of complex hydrocarbons in space. They showed pathways to forming 2-D carbon-based nanostructures in a mix of heated gases.

Mapping Nanoscale Chemical Reactions Inside Batteries in 3-D

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a new technique that lets them pinpoint the location of chemical reactions happening inside lithium-ion batteries in three dimensions at the nanoscale level. Their results are published in the journal Nature Communications.

Assessing the Impact of Hurricanes on Puerto Rico's Forests

Building on methods they used to assess the impact of hurricanes such as Katrina, Gustav, and Rita on forests and tree mortality, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have produced a rapid mapping of the disturbance intensity across Puerto Rico's forests with the help of Google Earth Engine.

The Nucleus: Coming Soon in 3D!

Physicians have long used CT scans to get 3D imagery of the inner workings of the human body. Now, physicists are working toward getting their first CT scans of the inner workings of the nucleus. A measurement of quarks in helium nuclei published last fall in Physical Review Letters demonstrates that 3D imaging of the inner structure of the nucleus is now possible.

Story Tips From the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, March 2018

ORNL model could better predict tiny methylmercury pockets lurking in creek algae; engines work smarter with new fuel innovation; making narrow metallic structures to advance tiny electronics, drug delivery; certain enzymes that try to break down antibiotics may inform better drug designs for fighting resistant bacteria; current software simulations for small modular reactors upscaled to run on future supercomputers.

Discovery of a New Microbe that Produces Methane in Oxygenated Soils

Global models may be underestimating net wetland methane emissions.

Can Strongly Lensed Type Ia Supernovae Resolve Cosmology's Biggest Controversy?

Using NERSC supercomputers, astrophysicists at Berkeley Lab and the University of Portsmouth discovered how to control the effects of "micolensing." Armed with this knowledge they believe they will be able to find 1000 strongly lensed Type Ia supernovae in real-time from LSST data--that's 20 times more than previous expectations.

CUORE Constrains Neutrino Properties

The CUORE experiment set the tightest limits yet on the rare decay of tellurium-130, providing insights into the nature of neutrinos.

Sandwich Battery with 'Melty' Layer is Safe, Robust

Engineers from the University of Maryland created a non-flammable battery from ceramic materials by using a 'melty' layer that, when cool, unites a solid-state battery.

Scientists Confirm Century-Old Speculation on the Chemistry of a High-Performance Battery

Scientists have discovered a novel chemical state, first proposed about 90 years ago, that enables a high-performance, low-cost sodium-ion battery. The battery could quickly and efficiently store and distribute energy produced by solar panels and wind turbines across the electrical grid.

Plasma Bubbles Help Trigger Massive Magnetic Events in Outer Space

Scientists at PPPL have discovered key conditions that give rise to fast magnetic reconnection, the process that triggers solar flares, auroras, and geomagnetic storms that can disrupt signal transmissions and other electrical activities, including cell phone service.