News

Turning the switch on biofuels

June 17, 2019- 
Plant cell walls contain a renewable, nearly limitless supply of sugar that can be used in the production of chemicals and biofuels. However, retrieving these sugars isn’t all that easy. Imidazolium ionic liquid (IIL) solvents are one of the best sources for extracting sugars from plants. But the sugars from IIL-treated biomass are inevitably contaminated with residual IILs that inhibit...

LLNL, foundation seek to set up ALS consortium

June 14, 2019- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Livermore Lab Foundation (LLF) are exploring the establishment of a consortium that would leverage the Lab’s computing capabilities to identify causal factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Under a newly signed strategic partnership project agreement, the foundation will provide funds to the Laboratory...

Phase-change materials from smartphones may lead to higher data storage, energy efficiency

June 13, 2019- 
Phase-change materials that are used in the latest generation of smartphones could lead to higher storage capability and more energy efficiency. Data is recorded by switching between glassy and crystalline material states by applying a heat pulse. However, to date it has not been possible to study what happens at the atomic level during this process. In a paper published in the June 14...

Two-week workshop lets UC Merced students step into shoes of Lab computer scientists

June 12, 2019- 
University of California Merced student Asmaa Mohamed, who immigrated to the U.S. from Egypt in 2013, recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in developmental biology. She plans on pursuing her Ph.D. through Dartmouth College and is studying immunology in hopes of someday creating novel cancer immunotherapies. When Mohamed found out Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) would be...

Redesign of Cardioid's heartbeat simulation brings code one step closer to clinical use

June 11, 2019- 
A team of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers has successfully optimized a code that models the human heartbeat for next-generation, graphics processing unit (GPU)-based supercomputers, with an eye on developing it for virtual drug screening and modeling heart activity in clinical settings.     Cardioid, a suite merging mathematical solvers for electrophysiology,...

Santer awarded for communicating science

June 6, 2019- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) climate scientist Benjamin Santer is the recipient of the 2019 Sigma Xi William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement. The Procter prize has been awarded since 1950 to a scientist who has made an outstanding contribution to scientific research and has demonstrated an ability to communicate the significance of this research to scientists in...

NFL comes to Lab to hear latest on TBI research

June 5, 2019- 
Officials from the National Football League visited Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) recently to hear how the Department of Energy’s (DOE) national laboratories are using high-performance computing and artificial intelligence to advance scientific understanding of traumatic brain injury (TBI). San Francisco 49ers chairman John York and NFL Executive Vice President for Health...

Dynamic compression provides new insight into understanding and predicting crystal growth

June 4, 2019- 
Crystal growth is a crucial issue for fundamental science and wide applications. The growth morphology and speed are generally determined by an interplay between macroscopic thermodynamic driving forces and the microscopic kinetic process at crystal-liquid interface. While crystal growth is well understood at near-equilibrium growth conditions, the growth transition with diverse growth...

Making metal with the lightness of air

June 3, 2019- 
Gold, silver and copper are heavy metals, but LLNL scientists can now make them nearly as light as air — in a form so tiny it can ride on a mosquito’s back. The groundbreaking science, part of a joint NIF/Physical and Life Sciences (PLS) project supported by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program, created these ultra-low density metal foams to give physicists better...

Subcritical experiment captures scientific measurements to advance stockpile safety

May 24, 2019- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) successfully executed its first subcritical experiment since 2003 on Feb. 13 at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) U1a facility. The experiment — dubbed "Ediza" — took place deep below the desert floor and was the culmination of a five-year campaign aimed at capturing high-fidelity plutonium data in support of nuclear stockpile safety. Subc...

Art with a purpose: LLNL and startup company imagine the future of indoor carbon capture

May 23, 2019- 
Whether you’re busy at work or lounging around at home, indoor air quality probably isn’t anywhere on the list of things on your mind. But numerous studies have shown that the buildup of carbon dioxide in environments such as office buildings, schools and homes can lead to increased health issues and a decrease in productivity, decision-making and cognitive performance. A new collaboration...

ARC experiments exceed expectations

May 17, 2019- 
The first proton-acceleration experiments using the National Ignition Facility’s (NIF) Advanced Radiographic Capability (ARC) short-pulse laser have produced protons with energies about 10 times higher than previous experience would have predicted (see "A Powerful New Source of High-Energy Protons"). Beams of high-energy protons can be precisely targeted and are able to quickly heat...

Researchers dish the dirt on soil microbes

May 16, 2019- 
Soil microbes are wild, unpampered and uncultured. But to understand their ecology, don't look in laboratory cultures, look in the soil. That’s exactly what Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Northern Arizona University (NAU) scientists did. Relationships between microbial genes and performance are often evaluated in the lab in pure cultures, with little validation in nature....

Detection array wins FLC national award

May 15, 2019- 
In the nine years since a virtually all-encompassing Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) biological detection system was first introduced, it has become a major hit among technologies. Now called the Applied Biosystems’™ Axiom™ Microbiome Array (ABAMA), the biological detection technology has attracted more than 30 collaborators, has advanced into the marketplace by Waltham,...

Researchers discover an unexpected phase transition in the high explosive TATB

May 13, 2019- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists in collaboration with University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) have discovered a previously unknown pressure induced phase transition for TATB that can help predict detonation performance and safety of the explosive. The research appears in the May 13 online edition of the Applied Physics Letters and it is highlighted as a cover and...

Applications sought for Lawrence Livermore National Security 2019 Community Gift Program

May 13, 2019- 
LIVERMORE, Calif. – Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS) is now accepting applications for its annual Community Gift Program for 2019. Established in 2008, the LLNS Community Gift Program provides annual awards to support nonprofit organizations addressing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education, community service and philanthropic needs of local...

Giant lasers crystallize water with shockwaves, revealing the atomic structure of superionic ice

May 8, 2019- 
Scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) used giant lasers to flash-freeze water into its exotic superionic phase and record X-ray diffraction patterns to identify its atomic structure for the very first time — all in just a few billionths of a second. The findings are reported today in Nature. In 1988, scientists first predicted that water would transition to an exotic...

STEM Day at the Lab enlightens students

May 7, 2019- 
Students from eight schools across the Bay Area (primarily Oakland and San Francisco) visited Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) for STEM Day at the Lab, a daylong interactive event focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for students from underserved communities. See photo gallery. STEM Day at the Lab is geared toward getting students excited about how...

Human impact on droughts goes back 100 years

May 1, 2019- 
Observations and climate reconstructions using data from tree rings confirm that human activity was affecting the worldwide drought risk as far back as the early 20th century. New research from NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Columbia University shows that greenhouse gas emissions in the first half of the century (1900-1949)...

Ellen Tauscher, LLNS Board of Governors chair and former congresswoman, dies at 67

April 30, 2019- 
Former California Rep. Ellen O’Kane Tauscher — a centrist Democrat whose career took her from the New York Stock Exchange to Congress and then to negotiating major international nuclear arms treaties for the Obama administration — died Monday of complications from pneumonia at Stanford University Medical Center. She was 67. Tauscher had been serving as chair of the Board of Governors of Lawr...