Getting to the Point (Mutations) in Re-Engineering Biofuel-Producing Bacterial Enzymes

Helping bacteria become more efficient when breaking down fibrous plant waste into biofuel could result in more affordable biofuels for our gas tanks and sustainable products such as bioplastics. One way to achieve this goal is to re-engineer the bacterial enzyme complexes, called cellulosomes, which serve as catalysts in the degradation process. Researchers discuss one method to produce cellulosomes in The Journal of Chemical Physics.

Berkeley Lab Scientists Map Key DNA Protein Complex at Near-Atomic Resolution

Using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), Berkeley Lab scientists have obtained 3-D models of a human transcription factor at near-atomic resolutions. The protein complex is critical to gene expression and DNA repair, and could aid research in targeted drug development.

New Manufacturing Process For SiC Power Devices Opens Market to More Competition

Researchers are rolling out a new manufacturing process and chip design for silicon carbide (SiC) power devices, which can be used to more efficiently regulate power in electronics. The process was developed to make it easier for companies to enter the SiC marketplace and develop new products.

First Look at a Living Cell Membrane

Neutrons provide the solution to nanoscale examination of living cell membrane and confirm the existence of lipid rafts.

High Yield Biomass Conversion Strategy Ready for Commercialization

Researchers convert 80 percent of biomass into high-value products with strategy that's ready for commercialization.

Consequences of Drought Stress on Biofuels

Switchgrass cultivated during a year of severe drought inhibited microbial fermentation and resulting biofuel production.

Physicists Propose New Way to Stabilize Next-Generation Fusion Plasmas

Recent experiments conducted on the DIII-D National Fusion Facility suggest that up to 40 percent of high-energy particles are lost during tokamak fusion reactions because of Alfven waves.

A Sweeter Way to Make Green Products

University of Delaware researchers have invented a more efficient process for extracting sugars from wood chips, corn cobs and other organic waste. This biorenewable feedstock could serve as a cheaper, sustainable substitute for petroleum used to make tons of consumer goods annually.

Clay Minerals and Metal Oxides Change How Uranium Travels Through Sediments

Montmorillonite clays prevent uranium from precipitating from liquids, letting it travel with groundwater.

Tundra Loses Carbon with Rapid Permafrost Thaw

Seven-year-study shows plant growth does not sustainably balance carbon losses from solar warming and permafrost thaw.

Critical Materials Institute Develops New Acid-Free Magnet Recycling Process

A new rare-earth magnet recycling process developed by researchers at the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) dissolves magnets in an acid-free solution and recovers high purity rare earth elements.

Cotton Gin Trash Finding New Life for Electrical Power

COLLEGE STATION - Finding sustainable markets for gin trash, wood chips and other waste products could be viable in producing more electrical power for a growing global population, according to researchers. A demonstration was held recently on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station showcasing a biomass-fueled fluidized bed gasifier, utilizing cotton gin trash and wood chips to power an electric generator. The fluidized bed gasification system was developed in the 1980s when a patent was issued to Drs. Calvin Parnell Jr. and W.A. Lepori, who were both part of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station now Texas A&M AgriLife Research.

Iowa State Physicists Contribute to Higgs Boson Analysis, Understanding

Iowa State physicists have been part of the search for evidence the Higgs boson, as predicted, most often decays into two bottom quarks. It has been a challenge -- billions of the quarks are produced in the Large Hadron Collider and most aren't tied to the Higgs.

Argonne Efforts Accelerate 3-D Printing Journey

Argonne scientists' first glimpse inside additive manufacturing process yields important advancements

Finding Better Wind Energy Potential with the New European Wind Atlas

Over the last 25 years, the world has seen an increased dependency on wind energy that promises to continue growing. This has created an ever-evolving process to develop a method that can accurately assess a region's wind energy potential. The European Union and other countries have begun development of the New European Wind Atlas, the details of which a Danish researcher discusses in this week's Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

Newly-Discovered Semiconductor Dynamics May Help Improve Energy Efficiency

Researchers examining the flow of electricity through semiconductors have uncovered another reason these materials seem to lose their ability to carry a charge as they become more densely "doped."

Deforestation Long Overlooked as Contributor to Climate Change

When it comes to tackling climate change, the focus often falls on reducing the use of fossil fuels and developing sustainable energy sources. But a new Cornell University study shows that deforestation and subsequent use of lands for agriculture or pasture, especially in tropical regions, contribute more to climate change than previously thought.

Engineers Develop Tools to Share Power From Renewable Energy Sources During Outages

A team of engineers at the University of California San Diego developed algorithms that would allow homes to use and share power from their renewable energy sources during outages by strategically disconnecting these devices, called solar inverters, from the grid. The algorithms work with existing technology and would improve systems' reliability by 25 to 35 percent.

Carbon in Floodplain Unlikely to Cycle into the Atmosphere

Microbes leave a large fraction of carbon in anoxic sediments untouched, a key finding for understanding how watersheds influence Earth's ecosystem.

X-Ray Footprinting Solves Mystery of Metal-Breathing Protein

Berkeley Lab scientists have discovered the details of an unconventional coupling between a bacterial protein and a mineral that allows the bacterium to breathe when oxygen is not available.

Artificial Intelligence Analyzes Gravitational Lenses 10 Million Times Faster

Researchers from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have for the first time shown that neural networks - a form of artificial intelligence - can accurately analyze the complex distortions in spacetime known as gravitational lenses 10 million times faster than traditional methods.

Two for the Price of One: Exceeding 100 Percent Efficiency in Solar Fuel Production

Scientists capture excess light energy to produce fuel, essentially storing sunlight's energy for a rainy day.

The Tricky Trifecta of Solar Cells

The quest for solar cell materials that are inexpensive, stable, and efficient leads to a breakthrough in thin film organic-inorganic perovskites.

Discovery Suggests New Significance of Unheralded Chemical Reactions

Argonne and Columbia researchers reveal new significance to a decades-old chemical reaction theory, increasing our understanding of the interaction of gases, relevant to combustion and planetary atmospheres.

Ames Laboratory Scientists Move Graphene Closer to Transistor Applications

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory were able to successfully manipulate the electronic structure of graphene, which may enable the fabrication of graphene transistors-- faster and more reliable than existing silicon-based transistors.