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How X-rays Pushed Topological Matter Research Over the Top

Pioneering X-ray experiments at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS) helped bring to life decades-old theories about exotic states of matter, and the ALS continues to play an important role in this flourishing field of topological matter research.

Scientists Pull Water Out of Thin Air

Berkeley and MIT scientists have demonstrated breakthrough technology capable of generating liters of water out of dry air using the power of the sun. The development is a major step toward a future of personal, off-grid sources of water.

Researchers Gain Insight into Protein Critical to Zika Virus Reproduction

Berkeley Lab researchers collaborated with colleagues from the University of Indiana and Texas A&M University to solve the atomic structure of a Zika virus protein that is key to viral reproduction. The X-ray studies were conducted at the Advanced Light Source in the Berkeley Center for Structural Biology.

How Berkelium Stands Out in a Heavy Metal Crowd

Researchers have found that among the heavy metal elements, berkelium has an unusual characteristic that could potentially be used to distinguish it from other radioactive actinides.

Coming to a Lab Bench Near You: Femtosecond X-Ray Spectroscopy

Berkeley Lab researchers have, for the first time, captured the ephemeral electron movements in a transient state of a chemical reaction using ultrafast, tabletop X-ray spectroscopy. The researchers used femtosecond pulses of X-ray light to catch the unraveling of a ring molecule that is important in biochemical and optoelectronic processes.

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.