Vaccines are turning the tide in the pandemic, but the risk of infection is still present. Instant at-home tests would help us return to normal, but current options aren't very accurate. A new discovery could help get reliable tests on the market.
A five-year quest to map the universe and unravel the mysteries of "dark energy" is beginning officially today, May 17, at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona. To complete its quest, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) will capture and study the light from tens of millions of galaxies and other distant objects in the universe.
Cosmologists have found a way to double the accuracy of measuring distances to supernova explosions - one of their tried-and-true tools for studying the mysterious dark energy that is making the universe expand faster and faster.
- The Astrophysical Journal
Science Snapshots From Berkeley Lab - Water purification, infant-warming device, cuff-based heart disease monitor, ancient magnetic fields
Plastics are ubiquitous, but they're not practical. Less than 10% are recycled, and the other ~8 billion tons are creating a pollution crisis. A Berkeley Lab team is determined to change that. A new analysis shows producing and recycling their game-changing new plastic could be easy and cheap enough to leave old plastics in the dust.
- Science Advances
A new study by a team including researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley reports that the social cost of methane - a greenhouse gas that is 30 times as potent as carbon dioxide in its ability to trap heat - varies by as much as an order of magnitude between industrialized and developing regions of the world.
Scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have designed an enzyme-activated compostable plastic that could diminish microplastics pollution. Household tap water or soil composts break the hybrid plastic material down to reusable small molecules, called monomers, in just a few days or weeks.
Technology and commercial advancements are expected to continue to drive down the cost of wind energy, according to a survey led by Berkeley Lab of the world's foremost wind power experts. Experts anticipate cost reductions of 17%-35% by 2035 and 37%-49% by 2050, driven by bigger and more efficient turbines, lower capital and operating costs, and other advancements.
- Nature Energy
Reliance on petroleum fuels and raging wildfires: Two separate, large-scale challenges that could be addressed by one scientific breakthrough. Researchers from two national laboratories have collaborated to develop a streamlined and efficient process for converting woody plant matter like forest overgrowth and agricultural waste - material that is currently burned either intentionally or unintentionally - into liquid biofuel.
- ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering