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Science Highlights


Science highlights feature research conducted by staff and users at the ALS.

If a Power Point summary slide or a PDF handout of the highlight is available, you will find it linked beneath the highlight listing and on the highlight's page. You may also print a version of a highlight by clicking the print icon associated with each highlight.



Slow Dynamics of Orbital Domains in Manganite Print
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 00:00

At the ALS, an international team of researchers has used low-energy coherent x rays to extract new knowledge about the correlated motion of groups of self-assembled, outer-lying electrons in the extremely complex electronic system found in manganites.

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Looking at Transistor Gate Oxide Formation in Real Time Print
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 00:00

The oxide gate layer is critical to every transistor, and present-day layer thicknesses are in the 10–20 Å range (1–2 nm). However, little information exists on the oxidation process at this thickness.

 

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A Key Enzyme to the Potency of an Anticancer Agent Print
Wednesday, 28 May 2008 00:00

Incorporation of halogen atoms into drug molecules often increases biological activity. This is the case with salinosporamide A (sal A), a natural product from the marine bacterium Salinispora tropica.


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Solving the Unsovlable: The Nanostructure of Gold at 1.1 Å Resolution Print
Wednesday, 28 May 2008 00:00

For the first time, a team of scientists led by Roger Kornberg has synthesized thiol-covered gold nanoparticles and, using ALS Beamlines 5.0.2 and 8.2.2 and SSRL Beamlines 11-1 and 11-3, conclusively ascertained their atomic structure (at 1.1 Å resolution).

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Structure of Synaptic Connectors Solved Print
Wednesday, 30 April 2008 00:00

Establishment of neural connections at specialized intercellular junctions called synapses is critical for proper brain function, and errors in the process are thought to be associated with autism and other disorders.

 

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Electronic Structure of Cobalt Nanocrystals Suspended in Liquid Print
Wednesday, 30 April 2008 00:00

Advances in the synthesis of crystals of nanometer dimensions, narrow size distribution, and controlled shape have generated interest because of the potential to create novel materials with tailored physical and chemical properties.

 

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The Iron Spin Transition in the Earth's Lower Mantle Print
Wednesday, 30 April 2008 00:00

It is now known that the iron present in minerals of the lower mantle of the Earth undergoes a pressure-induced transition with pairing of the spins of its 3d electrons.

 

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Formation of Metallic Copper Nanoparticles at the Soil-Root Interface Print
Wednesday, 26 March 2008 00:00

The first commercial fungicide—the "Bordeaux mixture" of copper sulfate and lime—was used to fight downy mildew in French vineyards.

 

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Substrate-Induced Band-Gap Opening in Epitaxial Graphene Print
Wednesday, 26 March 2008 00:00

Prospective challengers to silicon... have to overcome silicon’s superb collection of materials properties as well as sophisticated fabrication technologies refined by six decades of effort by materials scientists and engineers.

 

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The ALS X-Ray Streak Camera: Bringing the Ultrafast and Ultrasmall into Focus Print
Wednesday, 26 March 2008 00:00

Studying the world of the ultrasmall and the ultrafast is at the frontier of scientific research. Two x-ray approaches can be used for ultrafast examinations.

 

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Topo II: An Enzyme Target for Antibacterial and Cancer Drugs Print
Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:00

The veil has finally been lifted on an enzyme that is critical to the process of DNA transcription and replication and is a prime target of antibacterial and anticancer drugs. Researchers at Berkeley Lab and the University of California, Berkeley, have produced the first three-dimensional structural images of a DNA-bound type II topoisomerase.

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The H2 Double-Slit Experiment: Where Quantum and Classical Physics Meet Print
Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:00

For the first time, an international research team carried out a double-slit experiment in H2, the smallest and simplest molecule. Thomas Young's original experiment in 1803 passed light through two slits cut in a solid thin plate.

 

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The Biological Implications of the PP2A Crystal Structure Print
Wednesday, 30 January 2008 00:00

Myriad evidence has demonstrated that protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), a family of serine/threonine-specific (Ser/Thr) phosphatases, regulates many, if not most, aspects of cellular activities and is a critical tumor suppressor.

 

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A First Look at Yeast Fatty Acid Synthase Print
Wednesday, 28 November 2007 00:00

Fatty acids are the major constituents of eukaryotic and bacterial cellular membranes. They are used for functionally important post-translational protein modifications, and chains of fatty acids are the main storage compartments of an organism's chemical energy.

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Diamondoid Monolayers as Monochromatic Electron Source Print
Wednesday, 28 November 2007 00:00

Diamondoids are nanometer-sized molecules that feature diamond-crystal cage structures. Adamantane, the smallest member in the family, consists of one cage structure, diamantane two, triamantane three, tetramantane four, and so on.

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