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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.

Topological insulator shows promise for new class of room-temperature electronics

May 8, 2012 5:43 am | News | Comments

In the search for new materials with improved electrical conductivity, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory have found what appears to be a promising candidate. New experiments show that electrons on the surface of this so-called topological insulator are "protected" from two kinds of scattering that can potentially interfere with the flow of electric current, even at relatively "warm" room temperatures, where the flow of electricity was expected to break down.

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More precise look at cradle-to-grave greenhouse gas emissions for energy technology

May 7, 2012 10:19 am | News | Comments

A new approach to assessing greenhouse gas emissions from coal, wind, solar, and other energy technologies paints a much more precise picture of cradle-to-grave emissions and should help sharpen decisions on what new energy projects to build.

New technique uses electrons to map nanoparticle atomic structures

May 4, 2012 9:12 am | News | Comments

A team of scientists has been working to develop nanocrystallography techniques that can be used in ordinary science settings. They have shown how a powerful method called atomic pair distribution function (PDF) analysis can be carried out using a transmission electron microscope.

Atomic-scale visualization of electron pairing in iron superconductors

May 4, 2012 4:05 am | News | Comments

By measuring how strongly electrons are bound together to form Cooper pairs in an iron-based superconductor, scientists provide direct evidence supporting theories in which magnetism holds the key to this material’s ability to carry current with no resistance. This research strengthens confidence that this type of theory may one day be used to identify or design new materials with improved properties.

New Light Source construction more than 70% complete

April 27, 2012 9:25 am | News | Comments

Construction of the $912-million National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) at the Brookhaven National Laboratory is more than 70% complete—on schedule and on budget. When operational in 2015, NSLS-II will enable unprecedented studies aimed at designing new materials for efficient energy generation and storage, building better catalysts, and engineering new kinds of electronics and medicines.

Scientists discover bilayer structure in efficient solar material

April 24, 2012 9:17 am | News | Comments

Detailed studies of one of the best-performing organic photovoltaic materials reveal an unusual bilayer lamellar structure that may help explain the material’s superior performance at converting sunlight to electricity and guide the synthesis of new materials with even better properties.

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Supercomputing the difference between matter and antimatter

March 29, 2012 5:26 am | News | Comments

An international collaboration of scientists has reported a landmark calculation of the decay process of a kaon into two pions, using breakthrough techniques on some of the fastest supercomputers. This is the same subatomic particle decay explored in a 1964 Nobel Prize-winning experiment performed at Brookhaven National Laboratory, which revealed the first experimental evidence of charge-parity violation.

Brookhaven to introduce new supercomputers to advance nanomaterial design

March 22, 2012 9:35 am | News | Comments

This spring a new supercomputer will come online at Brookhaven National Laboratory, arming its scientists and engineers with a tool to advance their research. Brookhaven's Center for Functional Nanomaterials and the Chemistry Department will use this big boost in computing power, called Blue Gene/Q, to tease out new ways to put nanoscale materials to work.

New catalyst for safe, reversible hydrogen storage

March 19, 2012 5:21 am | News | Comments

Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory and collaborators have developed a new catalyst that reversibly converts hydrogen gas and carbon dioxide to a liquid under very mild conditions. The work could lead to efficient ways to safely store and transport hydrogen for use as an alternative fuel.

Liquid-like copper ion material aids conversion of heat to electricity

March 13, 2012 4:32 am | News | Comments

Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Science's Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, in collaboration with scientists from Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University of Michigan, and the California Institute of Technology, have identified a new class of high-performance thermoelectric materials. In their study, liquid-like copper ions carry electric current around a solid selenium crystal lattice.

Eight national labs streamline partnership agreements

February 27, 2012 5:43 pm | News | Comments

Intended to help cut red tape for business and startups wanting to do business with the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s research laboratories, the new Agreements for Commercializing Technology (ACT) program was recently launched as a third alternative to the two preceding options: signing a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) or a Work For Others (WFO) Agreement.

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Brookhaven Lab, BMI collaborate to build advanced cancer therapy accelerator

February 27, 2012 5:47 am | by Justin Eure, Brookhaven National Laboratory | News | Comments

A new collaboration between Brookhaven National Laboratory and Best Medical International (BMI) aims to design one of the most dynamic and effective cancer therapy devices in the world. The ion Rapidly Cycling Medical Synchrotron (iRCMS) draws on the particle acceleration expertise of Brookhaven Laboratory physicists and the medical experience of BMI to advance cancer therapy, particularly the evolving use of carbon and other light ions.

Drinking alcohol shrinks critical brain regions in genetically vulnerable mice

February 16, 2012 9:29 am | News | Comments

Brain scans of two strains of mice imbibing significant quantities of alcohol reveal serious shrinkage in some brain regions—but only in mice lacking a particular type of receptor for dopamine, the brain's "reward" chemical. A study conducted at Brookhaven National Laboratory provides new evidence that these dopamine receptors, known as DRD2, may play a protective role against alcohol-induced brain damage.

Portable PET scanner moves closer to market, medical applications

January 26, 2012 7:46 am | News | Comments

SynchroPET, a Long Island startup company, has entered into an option agreement to commercialize a new small-scale, portable brain-imaging device invented by scientists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Study offers insight into biochemical balance required for plant growth

January 16, 2012 3:31 am | News | Comments

In an ongoing effort to understand how modifying plant cell walls might affect the production of biomass and its breakdown for use in biofuels, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory have uncovered a delicate biochemical balance essential for sustainable plant growth and reproduction. Their research on pectin might also suggest new way to improve its properties for industrial applications.

Scientists help develop model for future accelerators

January 9, 2012 4:10 am | News | Comments

Working with an international team, physicists from the Brookhaven National Laboratory have helped to demonstrate the feasibility of a new kind of particle accelerator that may be used in future physics research, medical applications, and power-generating reactors. The team reports the first successful acceleration of particles in a small-scale model of the accelerator.

Brookhaven Lab's electrocatalyst technology licensed for fuel cells

January 3, 2012 8:51 am | News | Comments

N.E. Chemcat Corporation has licensed electrocatalysts developed by scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory that can reduce the use of costly platinum and increase the effectiveness of fuel cells for use in electric vehicles. In addition, the license includes innovative methods for making the catalysts and an apparatus design used in manufacturing them.

Hints of the Higgs show in latest analyses

December 14, 2011 8:39 am | News | Comments

Two experiments at the Large Hadron Collider have nearly eliminated the space in which the Higgs boson could dwell, scientists announced Tuesday. However, the ATLAS and CMS experiments see modest excesses in their data that could soon uncover the famous missing piece of the physics puzzle.

Colossal conducting variation at the nanoscale

December 12, 2011 10:43 am | News | Comments

Researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory and in Ecuador have found that, at just the right temperatures, nanoclusters form and improve the flow of electrical current through certain oxide materials. This work could be used in a number of industrial applications including spintronics, which exploit electrical and magnetic properties for use in solid-state electronics.

Materials scientists watch electron 'melt'

November 22, 2011 3:30 am | News | Comments

When a skier rushes down a ski slope or a skater glides across an ice rink, a very thin melted layer of liquid water forms on the surface of the ice crystals, which allows for a smooth glide instead of a rough skid. In a recent experiment, scientists have discovered that the interface between the surface and bulk electronic structures of certain crystalline materials can act in much the same way.

DOE captures fugitives to reduce its carbon emissions

November 16, 2011 10:00 am | News | Comments

In terms of emissions, just one pound of sulfur hexafluoride, a nontoxic gas used in electric insulation, is equivalent to about 11 tons of carbon dioxide. Energy Department experts are hunting down this and other fugitive carbon emissions and have already prevented the release of 600,000 metric tons of carbon equivalent.

Rising air pollution worsens drought, flooding

November 14, 2011 5:03 am | News | Comments

Increases in air pollution and other particulate matter in the atmosphere can strongly affect cloud development in ways that reduce precipitation in dry regions or seasons, while increasing rain, snowfall, and the intensity of severe storms in wet regions or seasons, says a new study by a University of Maryland-led team of researchers.

Researchers demonstrate source of blinking in quantum dots

November 8, 2011 4:16 am | News | Comments

Not all quantum dots are created equal, however—some, called simply "bad" quantum dots, blink in an irregular, unreliable way. This unreliability makes them problematic to work with. Researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory's Center for Functional Nanomaterials have just figured out why bad dots are so unreliable.

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