Researchers used several analytical techniques at the ALS to demonstrate how soft-tissue structures may be preserved in dinosaur bones, countering long-standing scientific dogma that protein-based body parts cannot survive more than one million years. Read more »
A team of scientists used infrared and x-ray imaging performed at the Advanced Light Source to determine the chemical mechanisms that allow soft tissue structures to persist in dinosaur bones—countering the long-standing scientific dogma that protein-based body parts can’t survive more than 1 million years. Read more »
Berkeley Lab has a well-storied expertise in exploring samples of extraterrestrial origin. This research—which has helped us to understand the makeup and origins of objects within and beyond our solar system—stems from long-standing core capabilities in structural and chemical analyses and measurement at the microscale and nanoscale. Read more »
Researchers used x-ray fluorescence, spectroscopy, and diffraction to study how populations of symbiotic bacteria can act as a detox organ in a host with no organs. The bacteria, members of the species Entotheonella, accumulate and mineralize large quantities of arsenic and barium in sponges. Read more »
ALS research has shown that manganese reduction-oxidation (redox) reactions are an important factor in controlling the rate of plant debris decomposition. Understanding the role of manganese will help build better models to predict how litter decomposition rates—and thus nutrient cycling and the ecosystem carbon balance—may behave in future climate scenarios. Read more »
Recent work at the ALS shows that the viruses infecting sulfur-oxidizing bacteria in the deep sea carry bacterial genes for the oxidation of elemental sulfur. Although the viruses themselves cannot use the sulfur, they likely supplement bacterial sulfur oxidation and then exploit the generated energy for viral replication. Read more »
Researchers studying organic material from dinosaur bones have been able to show that the samples contained original soft tissue material from Mesozoic dinosaurs. The x-ray techniques at the ALS were key to showing a possible mechanism for this unexpected preservation.
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NASA’s $200-million, seven-year-long Stardust mission returned to Earth thousands of tiny particles snagged from the coma of comet 81P/Wild 2. Four ALS beamlines and the researchers using them were among the hundreds of scientists and dozens of experimental techniques in facilities around the world that contributed to the preliminary examination of the first samples.
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