X-Ray Footprinting Solves Mystery of Metal-Breathing Protein (10/30/2017) - Scientists have discovered the details of an unconventional coupling between a bacterial protein and a mineral that allows the bacterium to breathe when oxygen is not available. The research could lead to innovations in linking proteins to other materials for bioelectronic devices such as sensors that can diagnose disease or detect contaminants.
Fracture Evolution in Carbonate-Rich Shale (10/30/2017) - Accurate assessment of the suitability of subsurface rock formations for CO2 containment requires a good understanding of fracture evolution. Researchers combined x-ray microtomography with advanced computer simulations to improve models of fracture development in carbonate-rich shale samples.
Exploring the Roots of Photosynthesis in a Soil-Dwelling Bacterium (10/24/2017) - The bacterium, H. modesticaldum, is thought to have a photosynthetic reaction center resembling the earliest common ancestor of all photosynthesis complexes. Its molecular structure has now been solved, providing insight into the evolution of photosynthesis and how nature optimized light-driven energy collection.
PepsiCo Explores Future Food Products at the ALS (10/23/2017) - Global food and beverage giant PepsiCo has been using ALS tomography beamline 8.3.2 to understand more about the chemical structure and behavior of their starch-based snack foods, with the goal of creating a whole new category of snacks that consumers cook at home in their own microwaves.
The CRISPR Target-Recognition Mechanism (10/18/2017) - CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins have revolutionized gene editing by vastly simplifying the insertion of short snippets of new ("donor") DNA into very specific locations of target DNA. Now, researchers have discovered how the Cas proteins are able to recognize the target locations with such great specificity.
CO Adsorption on Pd(100) Studied by Multimodal Ambient Pressure X-Ray Photoelectron and Infrared Reflection Absorption Spectroscopies (10/11/2017) - The first combined infrared spectroscopy and ambient-pressure XPS study was demonstrated at Beamline 11.0.2. The in situ vibrational and core-level spectroscopies in the Torr pressure range offer complementary information on the properties of surfaces and adsorbates while closing the pressure gap between laboratory measurements and applications. The multimodal spectroscopy also allowed the identification of the C 1s binding ... Read more »
Structure of Nanoscale-Pitch Helical Phases: Blue Phase and Twist-Bend Nematic Phase Resolved by Resonant Soft X-Ray Scattering (10/6/2017) - Resonant soft x-ray scattering (RSoXS) at the carbon K-edge was used to probe periodic structures of phases with orientational molecular order but homogeneous electron density distribution. This approach can be applied to structures with periodicities below the optical wavelength, to which neither optical nor classical x-ray diffraction techniques are sensitive.
Microbes Linked to Drier Human Skin (9/26/2017) - Genetic analyses and infrared studies have found that archaea, a type of microbe commonly found in extreme environments, are also found on human skin. The results suggest that an increase in archaea is linked to reduced skin moisture and that they are most abundant in subjects younger than 12 and older than 60.
Researchers Confirm New 2D Topolgical Insulator (9/25/2017) - Researchers have established that a particularly stable form of WTe2 is a two-dimensional topological insulator, confirming recent predictions. The findings should provide new opportunities for fundamental studies of topological phenomena and for next-generation spintronic applications.
Electrical Switching of Magnetic Vortex Circulation (9/18/2017) - Photoemission electron microscopy (PEEM) experiments have demonstrated that the circulation direction of a magnetic vortex can be switched by the application of an electric field, opening the door to digital devices with more streamlined system designs, improved performance, and greater energy efficiency.