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Star Mergers: A New Test of Gravity, Dark Energy Theories 

Observations and measurements of a neutron star merger have largely ruled out some theories relating to gravity and dark energy, and have challenged a large class of theories. “It could change the way we think about our universe and our place in it,” according to Lab physicist Miguel Zumalacárregui. “It’s going to require new ideas.”  More>

Real World Native Biocrusts: Microbial Metabolism

Biological soil crusts can exist for extended periods in a dormant state. When it rains, microbes in those crusts become metabolically active, altering both the community structure and the soil chemistry. Using a simplified test-tube system and “exometabolomics,” can help understand the connection between the chemical diversity of soil and microbial diversity in a real-world setting. More>

Material Allows Solar Windows to Block Heat and Generate Electricity

In a promising development for smart photovoltaic windows, researchers have developed a perovskite solar window that can produce electricity while switching back and forth between opaque and crystalline states, depending on how hot the weather is. The transitions occur seamlessly, without sacrificing performance, as prior technologies did. More>

NPR’s Palca Interviews CRISPR Co-Founder Jennifer Doudna  

Berkeley Lab researcher Jennifer Doudna and NPR science correspondent Joe Palca recently spoke at Berkeley Lab as part of Director Mike Witherell’s Distinguished Women in Science speaker series.  Doudna helped develop the Crispr-Cas9 genome editing technique, and has co-written a book called "A Crack in Creation." More>

Ingredients for Life Revealed in Meteorites That Fell to Earth 

A detailed study of blue salt crystals found in two meteorites that crashed to Earth — which included X-ray experiments at Berkeley Lab — found that they contain both liquid water and a mix of complex organic compounds including hydrocarbons and amino acids. More>

A First Step Toward CRISPR Cure of Lou Gehrig’s Disease

For the first time, Berkeley scientists have used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to disable a defective gene that causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, in mice, extending their lifespan by 25 percent. The team was led by Berkeley Lab bioscientist David Schaffer.  More>

Creating a World of Make-Believe to Better Understand the Real Universe

Berkeley Lab scientists are creating simulated universes — complete with dark matter mock-ups, computer-generated galaxies, quasi quasars, and pseudo supernovae — to better understand real-world observations. More>
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