If a Tree Falls in the Amazon

For the first time, scientists pinpointed how often storms topple trees, helping to predict how changes in Amazonia affect the world.

Turning Waste into Fuels, Microbial Style

A newly discovered metabolic process linking different bacteria in a community could enhance bioenergy production.

Transforming Last Night's Leftovers Into Green Energy

In a classic tale of turning trash into treasure, two different processes soon may be the favored dynamic duo to turn food waste into green energy, according to a new Cornell University-led study.

Sound Waves Direct Particles to Self-Assemble, Self-Heal

Berkeley Lab scientists have demonstrated how floating particles will assemble and synchronize in response to acoustic waves. Their simple experiment provides a new framework for studying how seemingly lifelike behaviors emerge in response to external forces. The work could help address fundamental questions about energy dissipation and non-equilibrium thermodynamics.

With ARM Instruments Watching, an Extensive Summer Melt in West Antarctica

One day in December of 2015, bound for a remote ice camp in the interior of Antarctica, Scripps Institution of Oceanography doctoral student Ryan Scott boarded a ski-equipped LC-130 turboprop transport plane at McMurdo Station at the south tip of Ross Island. It was austral summer and the temperature outside hovered around -4 degrees Celsius.

Nickel for Thought: Compound Shows Potential for High-Temperature Superconductivity

Argonne researchers have identified a nickel oxide compound as an unconventional but promising candidate material for high-temperature superconductivity. The project combined crystal growth, X-ray spectroscopy and computational theory.

Electrolytes Made From Liquefied Gas Enable Batteries to Run at Ultra-Low Temperatures

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed new electrolytes that enable lithium batteries to run at temperatures as low as -60 degrees Celsius with excellent performance -- in comparison, today's lithium-ion batteries stop working at -20 degrees Celsius. The new electrolytes also enable electrochemical capacitors to run as cold as -80 degrees Celsius -- their current limit is -40 degrees Celsius.

Synthetic Development of Low-Dimensional Nanomaterials Could Revolutionize Future Technologies

Javier Vela, scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, believes improvements in computer processors, TV displays and solar cells will come from scientific advancements in the synthesis of low-dimensional nanomaterials.

New Research Finds a Missing Piece to High-Temperature Superconductor Mystery

An international team led by scientists from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University has detected new features in the electronic behavior of a copper oxide material that may help explain why it becomes a perfect electrical conductor - a superconductor - at relatively high temperatures.

A Seaweed Derivative Could Be Just What Lithium-Sulfur Batteries Need

Lithium-sulfur batteries have great potential as a low-cost, high-energy, energy source for both vehicle and grid applications. However, they suffer from significant capacity fading. Now scientists from the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have made a surprising discovery that could fix this problem.

Small Scale, Big Improvements

Chemical reactions that make improvements in water purification and batteries possible occur at scales too small to see. A team including a UD researcher has developed a way to produce real-time observations documenting the reactions that happen between liquids and solids.

Argonne X-Rays Used to Help Identify a Key Lassa Virus Structure

Research done at Argonne National Laboratory's Advanced Photon Source was vital to the process of identifying the structure, which provides a guide for designing a Lassa virus vaccine. Lassa virus is endemic to Africa and kills thousands of people a year; it is particularly deadly for pregnant women.

Jagged Platinum Nanowires Double the Record for Reaction Critical to Fuel Cell Performance

Scientists devised a new synthesis route to produce a catalyst that doubles the conversion rate compared to the best previously reported catalyst.

Amazing Spintronics!

A new device design allows ten-fold increase in spin currents, laying the path to use in computing and high-efficiency electronics.

Researchers Find a Surprise Just Beneath the Surface in Carbon Dioxide Experiment

An X-ray technique, coupled with theoretical work, revealed how oxygen atoms embedded very near the surface of a copper sample had a more dramatic effect on the early stages of the reaction with carbon dioxide (CO2) than earlier theories could account for. This information could prove useful in designing new types of materials to further enhance reactions and make them more efficient in converting carbon dioxide into liquid fuels and other products.

Uncovered: 1000 New Microbial Genomes

Microbes play important roles in regulating Earth's biogeochemical cycles and in Nature Biotechnology, U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute scientists report the release of 1,003 phylogenetically diverse bacterial and archaeal reference genomes--the single largest release to date.

Simulations Pinpoint Atomic-Level Defects in Solar Cell Nanostructures

Heterogeneous nanostructured materials are widely used in various optoelectronic devices, including solar cells. However, the nano-interfaces contain structural defects that can affect performance. Calculations run at NERSC helped researchers ID the root cause of the defects in two materials and provide design rules to avoid them.

The World's Most Powerful X-Ray Laser Beam Creates 'Molecular Black Hole'

With the most highly focused power of the world's most powerful X-ray laser, scientists from a number of institutions around the world - including Argonne National Laboratory - have conducted a new experiment that takes apart molecules electron by electron.

Neutrons Zero in on the Elusive Magnetic Majorana Fermion

Neutron scattering has revealed in unprecedented detail new insights into the exotic magnetic behavior of a material that could pave the way for quantum calculations far beyond the limits of a computer's binary code. A research team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has confirmed magnetic signatures likely related to Majorana fermions--elusive particles that could be the basis for a quantum bit, or qubit, in a two-dimensional graphene-like material, alpha-ruthenium trichloride. The results, published in the journal Science, verify and extend a 2016 Nature Materials study in which the team first proposed this unusual behavior in the material.

Tackling infectious disease - one protein at a time

A team of scientists in the Pacific Northwest has solved the 3-D structure of 1,000 proteins from more than 70 organisms that cause infectious disease in people. The proteins come from microbes that cause several serious diseases, including tuberculosis, Listeria, Giardia, Ebola, anthrax, C. diff., Legionella, Lyme, chlamydia and the flu.

X-Ray Study Reveals Way to Control Molecular Vibrations That Transmit Heat

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a new way to track dynamic molecular features in soft materials, including the high-frequency molecular vibrations that transmit waves of heat, sound, and other forms of energy.

NDSU Study Examines Perspectives on State's Oil Development

The latest round of oil development in North Dakota's Bakken region has raised a variety of issues and concerns, according to new research led by Devan McGranahan, assistant professor in the School of Natural Resource Sciences.

Q&A: SLAC's Vera Luth Discusses the Search for New Physics

In this Q&A, particle physicist Vera Luth discusses scientific results that potentially hint at physics beyond the Standard Model. The professor emerita of experimental particle physics at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is co-author of a review article published today in Nature that summarizes the findings of three experiments: BABAR at SLAC, Belle in Japan and LHCb at CERN.

Seeing the Forest and the Trees to Find Parasitic Reactions That Lead to Battery Failures

Detailed view of the atomic scale and mesoscale changes in a troubling layer offers insights for a better battery

Newly Identified Gene Helps Time Spring Flowering in Vital Grass Crops

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have identified a gene that keeps grasses from entering their flowering cycle until the season is right, a discovery that may help plant breeders and engineers get more from food and energy crops.