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Recent Science Highlights

Brain Receptor Structures Key to Future Therapeutics

Neurotransmitter receptor proteins are critical to learning and memory. Mutations are associated with many neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions including Alzheimer's, epilepsy, and autism. Multiple structures of two such receptors, solved by x-ray crystallography at the ALS, provide a blueprint for the development of potential therapeutics.

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Record-Setting Microscopy Illuminates Energy Storage Materials

Using soft x-ray ptychography, researchers at the ALS have demonstrated the highest-resolution x-ray microscopy ever achieved by imaging five-nanometer structures. The researchers used ptychographic imaging to map the chemical composition of lithium iron phosphate nanocrystals, yielding important new insights into a material of high interest for electrochemical energy storage.

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The Butterfly Effect on Magnetic Vortices

A recent x-ray microscopy study at ALS Beamline 6.1.2 provided evidence that the ultrafast dynamics preceding magnetic vortex formation exhibits the characteristic chaotic behavior known as the butterfly effect, where minute changes can significantly determine the final outcome of a process.

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Advances in Lithography

Work featured on Applied Optics cover from ALS Beamline 11.3.2. Field-dependent wavefront aberration distribution of an extreme ultraviolet single-lens zone-plate microscope, recovered by the gradient descent algorithm customized for partially coherent imaging and targeted for fast and accurate retrieval. For information, see Yamazoe et al., pp. B34–B43, part of the Applied Optics-JOSA A cohosted feature, Advances in Lithography.

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