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 »
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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 »
It turns out your skin is crawling with single-celled microorganisms—and they’re not just bacteria. A study by Berkeley Lab and the Medical University of Graz has found that the skin microbiome also contains archaea, a type of extreme-loving microbe, and that the amount of it varies with age. ... Read more »
Researchers have structurally and chemically “visualized” the surface of a silver–gold alloy as it reorganizes itself during catalytic activation. The insights gained from this methodology can lead to improved catalysts for energy-intensive industrial applications, thereby increasing efficiency and reducing waste.
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Nominations for the 2017 ALS User Meeting awards are due on July 14. 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 now on the UEC website together with a description of each award. ... Read more »
Working at the ALS, researchers have found another family of materials where they can both explore the physics of 2D topological insulators and do experiments that may lead to future applications. The material—known as 1T’-WTe2—bridges two flourishing fields of research: that of so-called 2D materials and topological materials. ... Read more »
Scientists are providing the clearest view yet of an intact bacterial microcompartment (BMC), revealing the polyhedral structure and assembly of this organelle’s protein shell. Having the full structure can help provide important information in fighting pathogens or bioengineering bacterial organelles for beneficial purposes. ... Read more »
Scientists found that the element berkelium breaks form with its heavy-element peers by taking on an extra positive charge when bound to a synthetic organic molecule. This property could help scientists develop better methods for handling and purifying nuclear materials. ... Read more »
Mars may have been a wetter place than previously thought, according to experiments on lab-synthesized mineral samples serving as proxies for Martian meteorites. Shock experiments followed by x-ray diffraction studies showed how changes in the minerals could indicate a more water-rich history for the Red Planet.
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