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Berkeley Lab's Saul Perlmutter Wins the Nobel Prize

October 4, 2011

Saul Perlmutter of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Physics Division and the University of California at Berkeley has won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae. Perlmutter, a founder of the Supernova Cosmology Project at Berkeley Lab, shares the prize with Brian Schmidt and Adam Riess, members of the High-z Supernova Search Team who made the same discovery.

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News Releases

Berkeley Lab to Share in Three New ARPA-E Energy Projects

October 3, 2011

Berkeley Lab researchers will play major roles in three new cutting-edge energy research projects being funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). These three projects entail the development of tobacco as a source of biofuels, creation of a personalized system for reducing customer demands for electrical power when the grid is congested, and development of a commercial process for extracting biofuels from the resin of pine trees.

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Joint BioEnergy Institute Scientists Identify New Microbe-Produced Advanced Biofuel as an Alternative to Diesel Fuel

September 27, 2011

Joint BioEnergy Institute researchers have identified a terpene called bisabolane as a potential biofuel for replacing diesel fuel. The researchers have also engineered two strains of microbes – a bacteria and a yeast – that can be used in the biosynthetic production of this clean, green, renewable and domestic alternative to diesel fuel.

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Presidential Early Career Awards to Bauer and Wang

September 26, 2011

President Obama has named two Berkeley Lab researchers, Christian Bauer of the Physics Division and Feng Wang of the Materials Sciences Division, among the 13 Department of Energy scientists who are recipients of the 2011 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. This year’s 94 winners were nominated by 14 government agencies. In addition to a plaque and citation, the awards continue research funding for up to five years and are considered the U.S. government’s highest honor to young scientists.

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A Better Anode for a Better Lithium-Ion Battery

September 23, 2011

Lithium-ion batteries power everything from smart phones to electric cars, but especially when it comes to lowering the cost and extending the range of all-electric vehicles, they need to store a lot more energy. The critical component for energy storage is the anode, and Berkeley Lab scientists have developed a new anode material that can absorb eight times the lithium and has far greater energy capacity than today’s designs.

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Feature Stories

Berkeley Lab Project in India To Measure Impact of Pollution on Cool Roofs

October 13, 2011

With the aid of rooftop instruments, satellite images, an airplane and a balloon, Berkeley Lab scientists are conducting the first-ever study to determine how pollution impacts the efficacy of white roofs in cooling the planet. The yearlong project in northern India will also be the first to take physical measurements to characterize the cooling and climate effects of white roofs.

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What Will Happen to Soil Carbon as the Climate Changes? A Team of Scientists Seeks Answers

October 5, 2011

Globally, soils store three times as much carbon as there is in the atmosphere or in living plants. Scientists don’t know what will happen to this carbon in response to climate change. An international group of scientists has proposed a new approach to soil carbon research that seeks answers. Their roadmap is published in the October 6 issue of the journal Nature and is co-authored by Berkeley Lab soil scientist Margaret Torn.

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Berkeley Lab Tests Cookstoves for Haiti

September 28, 2011

Scientists from Berkeley Lab have teamed up with students from the University of California (UC), Berkeley to run a series of efficiency tests comparing the traditional Haiti cookstove with a variety of low-cost, commercially available alternatives. The long-term goal is to find the safest and most fuel-efficient stove—or to design a new one that would win favor with the cooks of Haiti—and tap the resources of nonprofit aid organizations to subsidize its manufacture in local metal shops.

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Lessons to be Learned from Nature in Photosynthesis

September 23, 2011

Lessons to be learned from nature could lead to the development of an artificial version of photosynthesis that would provide us with an absolutely clean and virtually inexhaustible energy source, says Berkeley Lab photosynthesis authority Graham Fleming and three international colleagues.

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