Friday, April 30, 2010

Green Net: The Dematerialization Opportunity

Jonathan Koomey of the Lawrence Berkeley Lab and Stanford is one of the world’s reigning experts on “dematerialization,” which he defines as two things. First, “removing the need to create a physical product.” And second, “the energy savings associated with not having to transport that product.” The dematerialization opportunities may be immense, but it’s not clear what will have the biggest impact — creating new better products, erasing the need for old ones, or modeling behavior in a new way. So the first challenge is to evaluate what changes and innovations will actually make a difference in energy consumption. More>

Tucson's Sion gets $5M grant for battery work

Tucson-based Sion Power Corp. has been awarded a $5 million federal grant to further develop its lithium-sulfur battery technology for use in electric cars. BASF is a partner with Sion on the DOE grant announced Thursday, along with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. More>

ARPA-E backs battery and biofuel researchers with $106M in grants

ReVolt Technologies, a maker of rechargeable Zinc-air batteries which is moving its headquarters from Switzerland to Portland, has received one of the largest federal research grants in the latest funding round from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. ARPA-E, as the agency is known, yesterday announced $106 million for 37 projects. And new battery technology for use in electric vehicles also the direction of another one of the projects supported by ARPA-E. Tuscon, Arizona-based Sion Power Corp. received $5 million to develop a new Lithium-Sulfur battery that's designed to power electric vehicles for more than 300 miles on one charge. Partner organizations on that project include the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, BASF and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. More>

Scientists discover inexpensive metal catalyst for generating hydrogen from water

Hydrogen would command a key role in future renewable energy technologies, experts agree, if a relatively cheap, efficient and carbon-neutral means of producing it can be developed. An important step towards this elusive goal has been taken by a team of researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California, Berkeley. The team has discovered an inexpensive metal catalyst that can effectively generate hydrogen gas from water. More>

TOURS AND ACTIVITIES-EAST BAY THROUGH MAY 31

LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY -- Scientists and engineers guide visitors through the research areas of the laboratory, demonstrating emerging technology and discussing the research's current and potential applications. A Berkeley lab tour usually lasts two and a half hours and includes visits to several research areas. Popular tour sites include the Advanced Light Source, The National Center for Electron Microscopy, the 88-Inch Cyclotron, The Advanced Lighting Laboratory and The Human Genome Laboratory. Reservations required at least two weeks in advance of tour. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Photography is permitted. Due to heightened security after Sept. 11, 2001, tour participants will be asked for photo identification and citizenship information. Tours are periodically available by special request. Contact the Community Relations Office, (510) 486-7292, for additional information. To add your name to a list of potential public tour participants, email community@lbl.gov. Free. 10 a.m. University of California, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley. (510) 486-7292, www.lbl.gov. More>

Tech Doesn't Do Any Good If It Doesn't Change Our Addiction to Stuff

But Saul Griffith, creator of Wattzon, dismissed the idea that technology will save us, reminding us that we will never get below a certain point of embodied energy in the products we create, and rather than worry about how we optimize the stuff we make, we have to shift away from stuff altogether if we want to keep the planet healthy. Jonathan Koomey, Project Scientist and Consulting Professor of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Stanford University underscored the point, saying that the purpose of technology is to identify what tasks people are trying to perform, and then come up with a non-material-based solution - or at least vastly improved - way to accomplish that task. More>

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Micro-Supercapacitors Could Boost Lifetime of Portable Devices

Micro-supercapacitors could enable future geeks to go longer without recharging their smartphones or computers. Researchers have developed a way to build the energy-storing supercapacitors by using microfabrication methods similar to those which create microchips for electronic devices, according to ScienceDaily. Gogotsi worked with John Chmiola, a chemist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. They etched electrodes made of monolithic carbon film into a conducting substrate of titanium carbide, and created micro-supercapacitors with an energy storage density at least twice as much as existing supercapacitors. More>

Tasty new molecular sandwiches

Forgive the lengthy background, I'm trying to ease the non-scientific reader into the paper I mentioned a the beginning of this blog post. Titled "Free-floating ultrathin two-dimensional crystals from sequence-specific peptoid polymers," this paper comes from Ron Zuckermann's group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. The Zuckermann group has long been investigating the structure and function of a type of polymer referred to as 'peptoid'. These peptoid polymers are closely related to proteins in terms of the type of building blocks used. More>

Innovative X-Ray Diffraction Microscopy Images Single Cells

Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) announce that they were able to use X-ray diffraction microscopy to snap images of whole yeast cells for the first time. The method was applied with an unprecedented resolution, of only 11 to 13 nanometers, and represents a world record for analysis of specimens of this type. The innovation was achieved at the Berkeley Lab Advanced Light Source's (ALS) beamline 9.0.1. More>

Carbon Capture and Storage and Geologic Sequestration: Non-Feasible Options for the Management of CO2 Emissions

Now comes a new study in the Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, “Sequestering carbon dioxide in a closed underground volume,” by Christene Ehlig-Economides, professor of energy engineering at Texas A&M, and Michael Economides, professor of chemical engineering at University of Houston.

The Guardian talked to “The Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA), which lobbies on behalf of the sector”:

Jeff Chapman, chief executive of the CCSA, believes Economides has made inappropriate assumptions about the science and geology. He believes the conclusions in the paper are wrong and says his views are backed up by rebuttals from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Pacific Northwest National laboratory and the American Petroleum Institute.

More>

The Key to Fixing Global Warming? China

Finally Energy Secretary Steve Chu is ready to do what he came to do. “I just came back from visiting China with the president,” he says, no longer reading. When he was there two years ago, there was little interest in doing anything about climate change or carbon emissions. “That is no longer true,” he says. “The president of China, the premier of China, the vice premier of China are all saying, ‘This is a very big deal for us. If we continue business as usual, continue to grow our carbon emissions, it would be devastating for the world, devastating for China.’ But they also say, ‘This is our great economic opportunity.’ And for that reason, they’re investing over $100 billion a year in the clean energy economy.” “He was and is in many ways a revolutionary,” says Mark Levine, a senior staff scientist at Berkeley Lab. “And his way of doing it is to be a very powerful salesperson.” More>

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lensless imaging of whole biological cells with soft X-rays

A team of scientists working at beamline 9.0.1 of the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has used x-ray diffraction microscopy to make images of whole yeast cells, achieving the highest resolution—11 to 13 nanometers (billionths of a meter)—ever obtained with this method for biological specimens. Their success indicates that full 3-D tomography of whole cells at equivalent resolution should soon be possible. More>

Stories on this topic also appeared in Labspaces.net, RedOrbit, R&D Magazine, e! science news, and Science Blog.

Unique Robot Can Produce Custom Colloidal Nanocrystals

Traditional techniques of producing nanocrystals are very labor-intensive and difficult to replicate exactly from one laboratory to the next. In order to streamline this process, researchers at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a new, one-of-a-kind robot that can synthesize colloidal nanocrystals automatically. The innovative instrument has been developed in cooperation with Symyx Technologies. More>

13 scientists named to national academy

Thirteen scientists at Northern California universities and research institutions were elected Tuesday to membership in the highly prestigious National Academy of Sciences at the academy's annual meeting in Washington. From Berkeley Lab: Alexis T. Bell, professor of chemical engineering; and Mina J. Bissell, distinguished scientist and cancer researcher. More>

DOE Announces New Opportunities to Improve Commercial Building Energy Efficiency

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced support for energy-saving commercial building projects as part of an ongoing effort by DOE to improve the energy efficiency of buildings in the United States. With money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, DOE's national laboratories will select and fund technical experts to provide technical guidance to commercial building owners and operators. The goal of this Commercial Building Partnerships (CBP) initiative is to increase the energy efficiency of selected new and existing buildings. Three DOE national laboratories are managing this new effort: the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo., the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. More>

Both Sides: Clean energy has multiple benefits for community

Minnesotans have a long and successful history of wind power development. National Wind is the developer of the Goodhue Wind community project which will bring a number of benefits to the local community, landowners and investors, as well as the utilities and ratepayers who purchase and use the electricity. On Goodhue Wind's website, we refer visitors to a more authoritative 2009 report from the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory that based its conclusions on the sale of 7,500 homes. We encourage people to visit www.goodhuewind.com/facts to see that report and other useful information about wind energy. More>

A Robot Called WANDA

This robotic engineer is named WANDA (Workstation for Automated Nanomaterial Discovery and Analysis) and was developed in collaboration with Symyx Technologies at the Molecular Foundry, a U.S. Department of Energy User Facility located at Berkeley Lab. By automating the synthesis of these nanocrystals, WANDA circumvents the issues facing traditional techniques, which can be laborious and are difficult to reproduce from one laboratory to the next. What's more, WANDA's synthetic prowess can help researchers sift through a large, diverse pool of materials for specific applications. Such a combinatorial approach has been used for decades in the pharmaceutical industry and now is being applied to nanomaterials at the Foundry. More>

ESnet Selects Infinera for Advanced Network Testbed

ESnet has selected the Infinera DTN for a network testbed to develop next-generation networking technologies to support future bandwidth needs. This testbed, funded by a $62 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), is part of a program to develop networking technologies to support scientific research into key areas of national interest, including climate change and particle physics. More>

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Little Less Force: Making Atomic Force Microscopy Work for Cells

Now, however, scientists with the Molecular Foundry, a U.S. Department of Energy User Facility located at Berkeley Lab, have developed nano-sized cantilevers whose gentle touch could help discern the workings of living cells and other soft materials in their natural, liquid environment. Used in combination with a revolutionary detection mechanism, this new imaging tool is sensitive enough to investigate soft materials without the limitations present in other cantilevers. More>

Exploring the Complexities of Nerdiness, for Laughs

Shudders and groans went around the blogs and coffee rooms of the physics world back in the summer of 2007, when CBS announced plans for a new comedy series about a pair of nerdy physicists and their buxom blonde waitress neighbor. Three years later some scientists still say that although the series, “The Big Bang Theory” (Monday nights on CBS), is funny and scientifically accurate, they are put off by it. But other scientists are lining up for guest slots on the show, which has become one of highest rated comedies on television and won many awards. The Nobel laureate George Smoot of Berkeley Lab, and the NPR Science Friday host Ira Flatow, have appeared on the show. More>

How cloud computing reduces data center power consumption

Most in the data center industry know Jonathan Koomey from a 2007 Stanford University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study, which estimated worldwide server power consumption. The study helped get the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)and the U.S. Congress involved and interested in data center energy consumption, which eventually led to the EPA's Energy Star programs for IT equipment and data centers. Next month, Koomey will deliver a keynote address at the Uptime Symposium 2010 on how cloud computing can reduce total data center energy consumption. We talked with Koomey about his upcoming presentation. More>

ESnet Reaches First Milestone in ANI Deployment with Infinera DWDM Installation

In March of this year, the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) completed the first milestone in constructing its Advanced Network Initiative (ANI) testbed by installing Infinera's dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) equipment. DWDM refers to optical networking systems that can send large volumes of data over multiple wavelengths of light on a single fiber. More>

Revolutionary Nanocrystal Making Robot Called Wanda Capable of Staggering Precision

No longer attributable to human error—Berkeley Lab scientists have established a revolutionary nanocrystal-making robot, capable of producing nanocrystals with staggering precision. This one-of-a-kind robot provides colloidal nanocrystals with custom-made properties for electronics, biological labeling and luminescent devices. More>

Micro Supercapacitors for Advanced Batteries Developed

A team of researchers in the United States, featuring scientists at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Drexel University believes it may have finally solved a very limiting problem plaguing electronics today. The researchers say that batteries are at this point the major drawback in laptops and mobile phones, due to their short lifespan. But, by using supercapacitors (electrochemical capacitors), it could be that this limitation will soon be a thing of the past, the group says. More>

New Businesses in Tech, Life Sciences, and Products/Services to Present at UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition

The best business ideas from alumni, students, and faculty of the UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will be presented at the 12th annual UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition hosted by the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business. The six finalist teams will compete for nearly $45,000 in prize money. Their businesses fall into three tracks: information technology and web, life sciences, and products and services. The event is open to the public. The winners will be announced at the conclusion of the evening. More>

* * Find more articles on lawrence berkeley national laboratory 72 new members chosen by Academy

The National Academy of Sciences today announced the election of 72 new members and 18 foreign associates from 14 countries in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Recipients include Mina Bissell and Alexis Bell of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. More>

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lasing Beyond Light

And now, at age 50, the laser has extended its dominion far beyond the realm of light. Physicists have succeeded in building lasers that emit different kinds of waves. Laserlike “hard” X-ray pulses, for example, can freeze atoms in their tracks, providing a ringside view of chemical reactions. And phonon lasers vault the technology out of the electro­magnetic spectrum altogether, creating coherent beams of sound. “Accelerators have made the incredible transition from something that’s handheld to something that’s the size of a small European country,” Wim Leemans of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California said in a talk at the AAAS meeting. “What do we do for an encore?” To explore new realms, accelerators have to reach ever higher energies. “How do we build this thing?” Leemans asked. More>

Is there a micro-supercapacitor in your future?

“Just think how often your fancy new mobile phone or computer has become little more than a paperweight because the battery lost its zeal for doing its job,” says John Chmiola, a chemist with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). “At a time when cellphones can do more than computers could do at the beginning of the Clinton presidency, it would be an understatement to say that batteries have not been holding up their end of the mobile device bargain.” More>

Carbon storage premise 'totally erroneous'

A RESEARCH paper from American academics is threatening to blow a hole in growing political support for carbon capture and storage as a weapon against global warming. The paper from Houston University says that governments wanting to use carbon sequestration have overestimated its value and says it would take a reservoir the size of a small US state to hold the carbon dioxide produced by one power station. Jeff Chapman, the chief executive of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, which lobbies for the sector, said conclusions in the paper were wrong and said his views were backed up by rebuttals from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the American Petroleum Institute. More>

A story on this topic also appeared in The Guardian.

Concerns about the environmental impact of nanoparticles

Narrator: This is Science Today. Nanotechnology is considered to be the next revolution in technology and already, the first generation of nanoparticles are being manufactured for products ranging from sunscreen to carbon nanotubes used in baseball bats and bicycles. Rick Kelly, an Environmental Health and Safety Manager at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, says there are concerns about the environmental impact of these materials.

Kelly: Maybe in at least some of the cases, the new stuff that's going to evolve out of nanotechnology is potentially harmful to workers or to the environment or even to consumers. As it stands now, there is close to nothing...very little for government regulation of nanomaterials.

Narrator: As a result, at the Berkeley Lab, Kelly says they put into place very conservative controls and treat materials as if they're toxic...

Kelly: Even if we don't know if they're toxic, with the intent protecting people in the environment. Until we know for sure whether or not these materials are going to be hazardous.

More>

Friday, April 23, 2010

Monolithic Carbide-Derived Carbon Films for Micro-Supercapacitors

Microbatteries with dimensions of tens to hundreds of micrometers that are produced by common microfabrication techniques are poised to provide integration of power sources onto electronic devices, but they still suffer from poor cycle lifetime, as well as power and temperature range of operation issues that are alleviated with the use of supercapacitors. There have been a few reports on thin-film and other micro-supercapacitors, but they are either too thin to provide sufficient energy or the technology is not scalable. By etching supercapacitor electrodes into conductive titanium carbide substrates, we demonstrate that monolithic carbon films lead to a volumetric capacity exceeding that of micro- and macroscale supercapacitors reported thus far, by a factor of 2. This study also provides the framework for integration of high-performance micro-supercapacitors onto a variety of devices. Lead author is John Chmiola, with Berkeley Lab. More>

New Study Shows California Solar Net Metering Cost-Effective

Photo-voltaic panels are a great way to generate electricity using the sun–but solar has an obvious drawback in that we tend to use the most electricity when the sun isn’t shining (i.e., at night). The answer is a grid-tied PV system: something that’s good for individual homeowners as well as utility companies looking to create distributed solar. But what’s the best way to compensate residential solar-users who tie into the grid? A new study from the Lawrence Berkeley Lab in California suggests that net metering may be the way to go. More>

U.S. Powers Up on Solar as Manufacturing and Installation Costs Fall

The Solar Energy Industries Association released its 2009 year in review last week and reported that the U.S. installed 481 MW of photovoltaic and concentrating solar power, enough to power about 80,000 homes. That's up 37 percent from the 351 MW installed in 2008. Revenues in the solar industry grew 36 percent last year, in spite of the recession. “Some of the price reductions we’ve seen so far in modules have not yet been fully reflected in installed project costs,” said Ryan Wiser, a renewable energy policy expert at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. More>

Duquesne Light, Allegheny Power improve reliability

Criticism of the nation's aging power system has brewed since a widespread, two-day blackout in August 2003 in the northeastern United States and Canada. Nationwide, power interruptions cost customers roughly $79 billion a year. Businesses and industries that suffer outages bear almost all of that cost, a 2006 report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at the University of California said. For one of the 114.3 million residential customers nationwide, a momentary interruption costs $2.18, on average, the report said. A sustained outage costs about $3. More>

ASU professor investigating dangers of third-hand smoke

With more than six years invested in his research, ASU professor Hugo Destaillats is making new findings in the effects of third-hand smoke. The research has found that third-hand smoke complicates the dangers of second-hand smoke, which is already recognized as able to cause cancer. “If you can smell [the cigarette smoke], there is something there that goes from the surfaces to your [senses],” Destaillats said. “That is third-hand smoke.” The research, performed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., revealed how nicotine reacts with pollutants in the air when it lingers on indoor surfaces and can affect people even after the smoke is long gone. More>

One Step Closer to Understanding Dark Energy

According to the most precise cosmological models to date, dark energy is a mysterious repulsive "force" that makes up the majority of the total energy contained within the universe. And yet, we have no idea what it actually IS. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Supernova Cosmology Project is helping us get a bit closer to the answer. More>

Nine UC Berkeley faculty members elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Nine University of California, Berkeley, faculty members have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies. The new honorees are among 229 new fellows and foreign honorary members announced Monday, April 19. The total number of AAAS fellows now at UC Berkeley is 234. The new fellows, to be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 9 at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., are: Richard A. Muller, professor of physics and senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. More>

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day 40th anniversary - cleaner, healthier, less polluted Bay Area - but more work to do

Today, 40 years after the first Earth Day, the Bay Area by most measures is a much less polluted, environmentally healthier place than it was in 1970. The air is cleaner. The water is cleaner. A green technology and renewable-energy boom is under way in Silicon Valley. There are more acres of protected parkland and fewer toxic emissions from industry. Looking to the future, four major areas are likely to loom large. In recent years, investors have poured billions into Silicon Valley companies making solar panels, biofuels and other alternatives to fossil fuels. Berkeley Lab's Art Rosenfeld notes that the greatest gains are likely to come from efficiency, not breathtaking technologies. With steadily improving state standards for windows, appliances, duct work and other items, today Californians use 40 percent less electricity per capita than the national average. More>

Energy Department Testing Cloud E-Mail

The Department of Energy, which has a federated IT infrastructure and provides only some services to only some of its constituent labs, is looking toward Lawrence Berkeley and other labs' tests even as it carries out its pilot. Lawrence Berkeley is a quarter of the way through its migration to Gmail and anticipates completing the move by August, according to a spreadsheet posted on its Web site. The lab also plans to migrate from Oracle Calendar to Google Calendar next month, lab-wide. Users will also have access to Google Docs, Sites, and Talk. The Department of Energy is testing cloud-based e-mail and collaboration with an eye toward offering those services to its employees in addition to its on-premises e-mail system. The agency's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is out in front, already moving its entire e-mail environment to Gmail. More>

ARRA money to help improve commercial building energy efficiency

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced support for energy-saving commercial building projects as part of an ongoing effort by DOE to improve the energy efficiency of buildings in the United States. With money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, DOE’s national laboratories will select and fund technical experts to provide technical guidance to commercial building owners and operators. The goal of this Commercial Building Partnerships (CBP) initiative is to increase the energy efficiency of selected new and existing buildings. Three DOE national laboratories are managing this new effort: the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo., the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. More>

Searching for dark energy with the whole world's supernova dataset

The international Supernova Cosmology Project (SCP), based at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has announced the Union2 compilation of hundreds of Type Ia supernovae, the largest collection ever of high-quality data from numerous surveys. Analysis of the new compilation significantly narrows the possible values that dark energy might take, but not enough to decide among fundamentally different theories of its nature. More>

A Little Less Force: Making Atomic Force Microscopy Work for Cells

Scientists with the Molecular Foundry, a U.S. Department of Energy User Facility located at Berkeley Lab, have developed nano-sized cantilevers whose gentle touch could help discern the workings of living cells and other soft materials in their natural, liquid environment. Used in combination with a revolutionary detection mechanism, this new imaging tool is sensitive enough to investigate soft materials without the limitations present in other cantilevers. More>

Berkeley Calendar for April 23

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory — Events, 7-8:30 p.m., Just say no to Carbon Emissions, learn about efforts with solar energy and energy effeciency in China, April 26, The House of the Future, a look at tomorrow's zero-energy home, May 10, free, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St., 510-486-7292.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Genome Study of Aggressive Breast Cancer Yields Clues to Metastasis

In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Joe Gray of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory noted that the researchers obtained a remarkable result when they tested the prevalence of the mutant DNA sequences in the tumors. Because the next-generation DNA sequencing machines in the study measure mutations in individual strands of DNA, the authors were able to calculate the prevalence of mutations as a fraction of the sequences at each genomic region carrying a mutation. More>

Cool roofs are a new way to cut into those sky-high summer electricity bills

Replacing a “hot roof” on a commercial building or residence is getting to be one of the coolest ways to reduce the summer’s sky-high electric bills. Cool roofs reflect sunlight and heat away from a building and reduce roof temperatures up to 50 to 60 degrees compared with conventional materials, reducing the “heat island” effect, according to research by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. More>

AACR: 'Dream Teams' Stand Up to Cancer

Dennis Slamon at the University of California, Los Angeles' Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Joe Gray, of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, relayed the progress of their "fusion" dream team's "shotgun marriage." The two teams merged as part of the SU2C selection process, and have seen success together since. They aim to explore the molecular diversity of human breast cancers. More>

Searching for Dark Energy with the Whole World’s Supernova Dataset

The international Supernova Cosmology Project (SCP), based at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has announced the Union2 compilation of hundreds of Type Ia supernovae, the largest collection ever of high-quality data from numerous surveys. Analysis of the new compilation significantly narrows the possible values that dark energy might take—but not enough to decide among fundamentally different theories of its nature. More>

Earth Day 2010: Unwired & Proud

Finally, are you the type who leaves your phone charging all night and then leaves the charger plugged in even after removing the phone? Based on research into "standby" electricity consumption by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, if there are 50 million phone adapters in the U.S. left plugged in all year, that uses more than 100 million kilowatts of electricity - or enough for the average yearly electrical needs of 25,000 Americans. Take an Earth Day resolution right now: Unplug your chargers! More>

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Nanosheets May Provide The Perfect Surface For Developing Future Electronic Devices

Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are developing a synthetic, free-floating nanosheet that can potentially provide the ideal substrate for creating nanotechnology driven devices of the future. The nanosheet is made of polymers with same kind of order and precision as crystal and protein structures and is more durable than natural polymers. More>

Beyond Earth Day: Sustainability groups begin transition to life after oil dependency

The idea of peak oil was first conceived in 1956 by U.S. geologist M. King Hubbert, who predicted that domestic oil production in the lower 48 states would peak between 1965 and 1970. Sure enough, oil production did reach an all-time high in 1970 and has declined since, said David Fridley, an oil industry veteran who now works with the Environmental Energy Technology Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "We've been consuming three barrels for every barrel we've discovered for the past 30 years," Fridley said. More>