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Physical and Life Sciences

Mitigating the risk of infection in combat-related injuries

The severely invasive nature of combat trauma creates massive regions of injury, colonization and infection, requiring specialized diagnostic and aggressive therapeutic approaches. Previous reports indicate an estimated occurrence of wound infections in 18%–25% of combat-related injuries. Hindering wound recovery are multidrug-resistant microorganisms, which have been…

See the solar corona: an intricate pattern reveals itself during the April 8 eclipse

On Monday, April 8, a swath of North America will experience a total solar eclipse. For a few minutes, the moon will completely obscure the sun and viewers will be able to see the intricate loops and flares in the solar corona—normally washed out by the bright disk of the sun. In the corona, the outermost, gaseous part of the sun’s atmosphere, particles dance around…

LLNL’s Kate Elder honored with Fulbright foreign scholarship

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) materials scientist Kate Elder has been selected as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar and will conduct research in Finland. Elder’s project, “Establishing Process-Structure Links During Additive Manufacturing of High Entropy Alloys,” will lead to the manufacture of lighter and stronger parts, perfect for high-temperature applications…

Five Lab postdocs will attend 73rd annual Lindau Nobel Laureate meetings

Getting the chance to meet and mingle with scientists who have achieved Nobel Prize winning greatness will be the reality for five Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) postdoctoral appointees selected to attend the 73rd annual Lindau Nobel Laureate meetings. Tina Ebert, Elizabeth Grace and Raspberry Simpson were selected as the 2024 LLNL cohort; Tomi Akindele and…

Throwing shade on optics damage

If the sun is too bright, you might don a pair of sunglasses or a hat to prevent glare from damaging your eyes. Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) are using this same strategy to mitigate damage to valuable optics vital to the National Ignition Facility (NIF). Every time NIF fires, its lasers can harm the optics along its beamlines, causing…

LLNL researcher, business development executive capture technology transfer award from consortium

A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researcher and a colleague who helped him and his team commercialize their biomedical technology have garnered a national technology transfer award. The award, from the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC), represents the 42nd technology transfer award that LLNL has won from the FLC since 1985. LLNL biologist Nicholas Fischer,…

Using NIF to study the sluggish pace of star formation

Editor’s note: The principal mission of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) is to support the National Nuclear Security Administration’s science-based Stockpile Stewardship Program — and with the achievement of fusion ignition in 2022 at NIF, LLNL is further exploring the possible use of nuclear fusion as a future energy source…

Concentrating on rare-earth elements

Using a bioengineered protein-based technology, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists and collaborators will develop a new separation technique that ultimately will increase the concentration of rare-earth elements (REE) so they are more readily available to the defense sector. Under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Environmental…

Using seismoacoustics to improve explosion monitoring

In a special issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Lawrence Livermore scientists describe recent work in seismoacoustics, an area of research that uses observations of both seismic and low-frequency acoustic waves (infrasound) to differentiate between earthquakes and other shallow underground or surface sources like explosions and volcanoes. Both…

Algal activities shape surrounding bacterial communities

Microalgae play important roles in global carbon cycling and industrial applications for bioproduct and biofuel production. As with land plants and other host–microbial systems, microalgal activity, productivity, and stability are closely tied to surrounding microbial communities. However, a predictive understanding of microbial community interactions with algae is still…

Understanding soil carbon's sensitivity to increasing global temperatures

Particulate soil carbon may be more vulnerable to microbial decomposition under warmer temperatures associated with climate change. Soil organic matter contains more carbon than plants and the atmosphere combined. Soil is increasingly considered for its potential role in climate mitigation due to its ability to sequester more carbon, but it also is critical to understand…

New technique converts excess renewable energy to natural gas

Four Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers have partnered with Los Angeles-based SoCalGas and Munich, Germany-based Electrochaea to develop an electrobioreactor to allow excess renewable electricity from wind and solar sources to be stored in chemical bonds as renewable natural gas. When renewable electricity supply exceeds demand, electric-utility…

LLNL researchers uncover culprits behind pitting corrosion in 3D-printed stainless steel

Like a hidden enemy, pitting corrosion attacks metal surfaces, making it difficult to detect and control. This type of corrosion, primarily caused by prolonged contact with seawater in nature, is especially problematic for naval vessels. In a recent paper published in Nature Communications, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists delved into the mysterious…

Supercomputer simulations of super-diamond suggest a path to its creation

Diamond is the strongest material known. However, another form of carbon has been predicted to be even tougher than diamond. The challenge is how to create it on Earth. The eight-atom body-centered cubic (BC8) crystal is a distinct carbon phase: not diamond, but very similar. BC8 is predicted to be a stronger material, exhibiting a 30% greater resistance to compression…

Hard as a rock, LLNL to study geologic hydrogen production

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has received $1 million to explore technologies that stimulate hydrogen production from mineral deposits found in the subsurface, including developing our understanding of hydrogen-producing geochemical reactions and how to enhance or control the rate of hydrogen production. The use of hydrogen fuel to offset fossil fuel…

Energy I-Corps experience shines light on bringing specialty resin to the silicone 3D-printing market

In the fall of 2023, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists Sijia Huang and Michael Ford participated in the Department of Energy’s Energy I-Corps Program, an immersive eight-week entrepreneurial boot camp that teaches scientists and engineers the tools of the trade for commercializing technology from the Lab to the marketplace. A major part of the…

‘Science on Saturday’ extends into March in Tracy

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) popular outreach series, “Science on Saturday,” will continue its programming into March at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts in Tracy, California. The talks are scheduled for March 2 and 9 and will focus on the theme “Magic of Materials.” The talks, which are geared toward middle and high school students, will begin at…

Lab employees recognized with Secretary of Energy’s Honor Awards

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) employees, participating in five project teams, recently earned Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary’s Honor Awards. In addition, Karin King of the Livermore Field Office was honored for her role in the Leadership in Climate Action Team. Representing some of the highest internal, non-monetary recognition that DOE employees and…

Hot stuff: A new thermal pathway for a high explosive

TATB (1,3,5-triamino-2,4,6-trinitrobenzene) is an important explosive compound because of its extensive use in munitions and world-wide weapons systems. Despite its importance, researchers have been trying to understand its response to temperature extremes for the past 50 years. A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) team has uncovered a new thermal decomposition…

Looking at the importance of catalyst sites in electrochemical CO2 conversion

Intense research efforts have been directed toward studying the electrochemical conversion of CO2, a major greenhouse gas, into platform chemicals and fuels. The success of this technology can enable decarbonization of some of the largest CO2 emitters including steel, cement and chemical manufacturing industries. Copper is unique in its ability to convert CO2 at low…