News

Did comet impacts jump-start life on Earth?

June 27, 2019- 
Comets screaming through the atmosphere of early Earth at tens of thousands of miles per hour likely contained measurable amounts of protein-forming amino acids. Upon impact, these amino acids self-assembled into significantly larger nitrogen-containing aromatic structures that are likely constituents of polymeric biomaterials. That is the conclusion of a new study by Lawrence Livermore...

Public-private collaboration stimulates innovation to bolster U.S. competitiveness

June 26, 2019- 
The Department of Energy (DOE) on Tuesday announced more than $24 million in funding for 77 projects supported by the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF). With matching funds from the private sector, these projects will advance the commercialization of promising energy technologies and strengthen partnerships between DOE’s national laboratories and...

New facilities to support stockpile stewardship

June 26, 2019- 
Leadership from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Livermore Field Office (LFO) and contractor Hensel Phelps broke ground earlier this month on the Applied Materials and Engineering (AME) campus at LLNL. The groundbreaking was for the start of new building construction in the 2200 block of the Laboratory and will come online...

High-powered laser diodes can reduce residual stress in metal 3D printed parts

June 25, 2019- 
In 3D printing, residual stress can build up in parts during the printing process due to the expansion of heated material and contraction of cold material, generating forces that can distort the part and cause cracks that can weaken or tear a part to pieces, especially in metals. Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the University of California, Davis are...

Microbial growth and carbon uptake are driven mainly by nature, not nurture

June 20, 2019- 
For soil microorganisms, how much of their life’s work is driven by evolution (nature) versus their current environmental (nurture)? As it turns out, the evolutionary history of soil microorganisms plays a larger role in growth rates and carbon uptake, according to a new study appearing in the June 17 edition of the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution. "Our results suggest that, similar to...

Santer to receive honorary graduate degree from the University of East Anglia

June 19, 2019- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) climate scientist Benjamin Santer is among scientists, authors, actors, business leaders, lawyers, surgeons and philanthropists who will be heading to the University of East Anglia (UEA) to become honorary graduates next month. "Lord of the Rings" and "Titanic" actor Bernard Hill, "Apple Tree Yard" author Louise Doughty and Virgin Money CEO Dame...

LLNL's Lassen supercomputer leaps to No. 10 on TOP500 list, Sierra remains No. 2

June 18, 2019- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Lassen joined its companion system Sierra in the top 10 of the TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, announced Monday at the 2019 International Supercomputing Conference (ISC19) in Frankfurt, Germany. Lassen, an unclassified, heterogenous IBM/NVIDIA system with the same architecture as Sierra but smaller, placed No. 10 on the list...

LLNL-led study finds any single hair from the human body can be used for identification

June 18, 2019- 
Any single hair from anywhere on the human body can be used to identify a person. This conclusion is one of the key findings from a nearly year-long study by a team of researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) Forensic Science Center (FSC) and Michigan State University. The team’s study, published in Scientific Reports, a journal of Nature Magazine, could provide an...

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...