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Cryo-Electron Microscopy Achieves Unprecedented Resolution Using New Computational Methods

Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM)—which enables the visualization of viruses, proteins, and other biological structures at the molecular level—is a critical tool used to advance biochemical knowledge. Now Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researchers have extended cryo-EM’s impact further by developing a new computational algorithm that was instrumental in constructing a 3-D atomic-scale model of bacteriophage

New Materials Could Turn Water into the Fuel of the Future

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and Caltech have—in just two years—nearly doubled the number of materials known to have potential for use in solar fuels. They did so by developing a process that promises to speed the discovery of commercially viable generation of solar fuels that could replace coal, oil, and other fossil fuels.

New Evidence for a Water-Rich History on Mars

Mars may have been a wetter place than previously thought, according to research on simulated Martian meteorites conducted, in part, at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source.

Getting to Know Meteors Better

X-ray studies of meteorite samples, conducted by NASA and Berkeley Lab researchers, could help gauge threats to Earth by providing new insights on the microscopic makeup of asteroids and how they break up in the atmosphere.

A New Paradigm in Parachute Design

X-ray-based experiments at Berkeley Lab will simulate—in microscopic detail—spacecraft parachute fabric performance in the extreme conditions of other planets’ atmospheres.

The Heat is On

NASA is developing a new family of flexible heat-shield systems with a woven carbon-fiber base material, and is using X-rays at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source to test the designs.

When Rocket Science Meets X-ray Science

NASA and Berkeley Lab researchers have teamed up to explore next-generation spacecraft materials at the microscale using an X-ray technique that produces 3-D images. This work could help ensure future spacecraft survive the rigors of otherworldly atmospheres.

Three Berkeley Lab Researchers Named to National Academy of Engineering

The National Academy of Engineering named three Berkeley Lab researchers to this year’s class of 84 new members and 22 foreign associates. Robert Budnitz, Gerbrand Ceder and Katherine Yelick were elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Chemicals Hitch a Ride onto New Protein for Better Compounds

Berkeley Lab chemists have developed a powerful new method of selectively linking chemicals to proteins, a major advance in the manipulation of biomolecules that could transform the way drugs are developed, proteins are probed, and molecules are tracked and imaged. This technique, called ReACT, is akin to a chemical Swiss army knife for proteins.

Scientists Determine Precise 3-D Location and Identity of All 23,000 Atoms in a Nanoparticle

Scientists used one of the world’s most powerful electron microscopes to map the precise location and chemical type of 23,000 atoms in an extremely small particle made of iron and platinum. Insights gained from the particle’s structure could lead to new ways to improve its magnetic performance for use in high-density, next-generation hard drives.