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Scientists turn toxic by-product into biofuel booster

February 4, 2013 3:49 pm | News | Comments

Scientists studying an enzyme that naturally produces alkanes—long carbon-chain molecules that could be a direct replacement for the hydrocarbons in gasoline—have figured out why the natural reaction typically stops after three to five cycles. Armed with that knowledge, they’ve devised a strategy to keep the reaction going.

RABiTS technology enables record-setting performance

January 17, 2013 7:57 am | News | Comments

A technology invented at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for manufacturing copper-oxide-based high-temperature superconducting materials has been used to make an iron-based superconducting wire capable of carrying very high electrical currents under exceptionally high magnetic fields.

Iron-based superconductors set new performance records

January 10, 2013 9:50 am | News | Comments

A collaboration led by scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory has created a high-performance iron-based superconducting wire that opens new pathways for some of the most essential and energy-intensive technologies in the world. These custom-grown materials carry tremendous current under exceptionally high magnetic fields. The results demonstrate a unique layered structure that outperforms competing low-temperature superconducting wires while avoiding the high manufacturing costs associated with high-temperature superconductor alternatives.


Personality-influencing gene may be a key to long life

January 9, 2013 7:41 am | News | Comments

The human genome is like a roadmap for the body, but our understanding of the road signs that point some people toward a long life and others to an early death is still limited. Now, research from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Brookhaven National Laboratory and the University of California, Irvine finds that genes involved in regulating personality may also be keys to longevity.

X-rays illuminate nitrogen's role in single-layer graphene

November 28, 2012 8:58 am | News | Comments

Researchers using X-rays to study graphene have learned new information about its atomic bonding and electronic properties when the material is doped with nitrogen atoms. They show that synchrotron X-ray techniques can be excellent tools to study and better understand the behavior of doped graphene, which is being eyed for use as a promising contact material in electronic devices due to its many desirable traits.

Nanotechnology simplifies hydrogen production for clean energy

November 27, 2012 8:34 am | News | Comments

In the first-ever experiment of its kind, researchers have demonstrated that clean energy hydrogen can be produced from water splitting by using very small metal particles that are exposed to sunlight. Researchers from Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory found that the use of gold particles smaller than 1 nm resulted in greater hydrogen production than other co-catalysts tested.

Scientists chart the emergence of high-temperature superconductivity

November 19, 2012 8:07 am | News | Comments

The next generation of sustainable energy systems hinges in part on high-temperature superconductors (HTS), which can carry current with zero loss and perfect efficiency. Unfortunately, that loss-free behavior comes at the cost of extreme and inefficient cooling, and the fundamental physics that governs the behavior of these materials remains mysterious. Now, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory and other collaborating institutions have discovered unexpected behavior that could be key to solving the HTS puzzle.

Computational model identifies potential pathways to improve plant oil production

October 8, 2012 8:21 am | News | Comments

Using a computational model they designed to incorporate detailed information about plants' interconnected metabolic processes, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory have identified key pathways that appear to "favor" the production of either oils or proteins. The research may point the way to new strategies to tip the balance and increase plant oil production.


Yearlong climate study launches

October 1, 2012 9:50 am | News | Comments

A Horizon Lines container ship outfitted with meteorological and atmospheric instruments installed by scientists from Argonne National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory will begin taking data for a yearlong mission aimed at improving the representation of clouds in climate models.

Electronics play by new set of rules at the molecular scale

September 4, 2012 4:06 am | by Aviva Hope Rutkin | News | Comments

For several years, experts in nanotechnology have suspected—but not proven—that quantum interference effects make the conductance of a circuit with two paths up to four times higher than the conductance of a circuit with a single path. By constructing their own controllable, molecular-scale circuits, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory have confirmed an increase in conductance. But not as large as was anticipated.

X-rays reveal spin waves in 2D high-temperature superconductors

September 4, 2012 3:29 am | News | Comments

Physicists working at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Switzerland's Paul Scherrer Institute have revealed key quantum characteristics of high-temperature superconductors, demonstrating new experimental methods and breaking fundamental ground on these mysterious materials.

Magnetic vortex reveals key to spintronic speed limit

August 28, 2012 12:08 pm | News | Comments

Spintronic devices use electron spin, a subtle quantum characteristic, to write and read information. But to mobilize this emerging technology, scientists must understand exactly how to manipulate spin as a reliable carrier of computer code. Now, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory have precisely measured a key parameter of electron interactions called non-adiabatic spin torque that is essential to the future development of spintronic devices.

Mobile climate observatory prepares for campaign aboard ship

August 16, 2012 9:38 am | News | Comments

Following a six-month land-based campaign in the Maldives to study tropical convective clouds, the U.S. Department of Energy's second Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) mobile facility, called AMF2, is being readied for its first marine-based research campaign aboard a cargo container ship in the Pacific Ocean.


Approaching the border between primordial plasma and ordinary matter

August 15, 2012 3:51 am | News | Comments

A new energy scan study at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider has revealed the first hints of a possible boundary separating ordinary nuclear matter, composed of protons and neutrons, from the seething soup of their constituent quarks and gluons that permeated the universe 14 billion years ago.

Unraveling intricate interactions, one molecule at a time

August 13, 2012 4:37 am | News | Comments

A team of researchers at Columbia Engineering, in collaboration with Brookhaven National Laboratory, has succeeded in performing the first quantitative characterization of van der Waals interactions at metal/organic interfaces at the single-molecule level.

Titan supercomputer hours awarded to collaborative protein project

July 16, 2012 11:01 am | News | Comments

Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University have been awarded processing time on a new supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to study how proteins fold into their 3D shapes.

Picometer-precision imaging of electrical fields reveals mysteries of ferroelectrics

July 9, 2012 6:32 am | News | Comments

Brookhaven National Laboratory scientists recently used a technique called electron holography to capture images of the electric fields created by atomic displacement in exotic ferroelectric materials. The technique can resolve to the picometer scale, allowing them to observe unprecedented details about the atomic structure and behavior of these materials.

Subatomic details of exotic ferroelectric nanomaterials

July 9, 2012 4:42 am | News | Comments

As scientists learn to manipulate little-understood nanoscale materials, they are laying the foundation for a future of more compact and efficient devices. In new research, scientists at Brookhaven and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories and other collaborating institutions describe one such advance—a technique, called electron holography, revealing unprecedented details about the atomic structure and behavior of exotic ferroelectric materials. The research could guide the scaling up of these materials.

Brewing the world's hottest Guinness

June 25, 2012 6:49 am | News | Comments

Brookhaven National Laboratory's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) smashes particles together to recreate the incredible conditions that only existed at the dawn of time. The 2.4-mile underground atomic "racetrack" at RHIC produces fundamental insights about the laws underlying all visible matter. But along the way, its particles also smashed a world record.

$27 million award bolsters research computing grid

June 21, 2012 9:33 am | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and the National Science Foundation have committed up to $27 million to Open Science Grid, a nine-member partnership extending the reach of distributed high-throughput computing networks.

Taking hybrids for a spin to generate electricity from sunlight

June 12, 2012 11:51 am | News | Comments

Even at the nanoscale, hybrids show promise—as evidenced by new efforts to pair inorganic nanoparticles with conductive polymers to convert sunlight into electricity or build better biosensors. To make the most of these molecular matchups, however, scientists need to understand the small-scale details of charge transfer—and how to control it.

World's best measurement of key property of neutrinos

June 5, 2012 12:31 pm | News | Comments

Scientists from the MINOS experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have revealed the world's most precise measurement of a key parameter that governs the transformation of one type of neutrino to another. The results confirm that neutrinos and their antimatter counterparts, antineutrinos, have similar masses as predicted by most commonly accepted theories that explain how the subatomic world works.

Scientists identify mechanism for regulating plant oil production

June 5, 2012 5:00 am | News | Comments

Scientists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory have identified key elements in the biochemical mechanism plants use to limit the production of fatty acids. The results suggest ways scientists might target those biochemical pathways to increase the production of plant oils as a renewable resource for biofuels and industrial processes.

Internal atomic structure reveals key to pollution-fighting bacteria

May 16, 2012 11:54 am | News | Comments

Some remarkable types of bacteria have proven themselves capable of "consuming" toxic pollutants, organically diminishing environmental impact in a process called bioremediation. Enzymes within these bacteria can effectively alter the molecular structure of dangerous chemicals, but the underlying mechanisms and keys to future advances often remain unknown. Now, scientists Brookhaven National Laboratory have revealed a possible explanation for the superior function of one pollution-degrading enzyme.

A new world of spintronics with topological insulators

May 15, 2012 4:20 am | News | Comments

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory theorists and experimenters have led in the exploration of the unique properties of topological insulators, where electrons may flow on the surface without resistance and with their spin orientations and directions intimately related. Recent research at beamline 12.0.1 of the Advanced Light Source opens the way to exciting prospects for practical new spintronic devices that exploit control of electron spin as well as charge.

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