Scientists are seeking ways to reduce levels of CO2 in the atmosphere by improving the processes that convert CO2 gas into ethanol (a liquid fuel). But copper, the best catalyst for this process, is not very efficient. Now, ambient-pressure x-ray experiments have revealed how subsurface oxygen boosts copper’s catalytic activity. ... Read more »
All News & Updates
Bacterial microcompartments (BMCs) are hollow protein shells that encapsulate enzymes involved in bacterial metabolism. Crystallography studies have provided atomic-resolution views of a fully assembled BMC, revealing basic principles of shell construction for fighting pathogens or bioengineering applications. ... Read more »
Marie Jackson (pictured center, with ALS scientists Nobumichi Tamura and Camelia Stan), an ALS User from the University of Utah, was recently featured on Science Friday. She discussed her work on understanding crystal growth in Roman concrete (featured in this month’s science brief) with host Ira Flatow. Listen to the segment. ... Read more »
The deadline for nominations for the 2017 ALS User Meeting awards has been extended to July 31. Consider putting forward an individual (or team) who has made a significant contribution to the scientific and/or user support programs at the ALS. The online nomination forms are on the UEC website together with a description of each award. ... Read more »
“After more than 10 years as ALS Director, I will be stepping down later this year to return to teaching and research on campus. Berkeley Lab will soon begin the process of searching for a new ALS Director, and my plan is to be here until new leadership is identified.” ... Read more »
Researchers used x-ray microdiffraction to trace the complex sequences of crystal growth in concrete from ancient Roman pier and breakwater sites. The results indicate that minerals continue to form over millennia as seawater percolates through, reinforcing the cementing matrix in a kind of regenerative process. ... Read more »
The Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne pathogen recently linked to birth defects in infants. At the ALS, researchers have resolved the structure of a key ZIKV protein to 3.0 Å, an important step toward the rational design of drugs capable of disrupting viral functions and halting the spread of the disease.
... Read more »
Three distinct crystalline phases with different electronic, magnetic, and optical properties were reversibly induced in a material through the insertion and extraction of ions by an electric field at room temperature. Such multifunctional materials are desirable for many applications, from smart windows to spintronics.
... Read more »
A new look inside 2,000-year-old concrete—made from volcanic ash, lime (the product of baked limestone), and seawater—has provided new clues to the evolving chemistry and mineral cements that allow ancient harbor structures to withstand the test of time. ... Read more »
The actions of a protein used for DNA replication and repair are guided by electrostatic forces known as phosphate steering, a finding that not only reveals key details about a vital process in healthy cells, but provides new directions for cancer treatment research. ... Read more »