- Number 413 |
- May 12, 2014
A million cells of Prochlorococcus can be found in a single liter of water, and this organism is thought to be responsible for providing about 20% of the oxygen produced by the planet each year. The cyanobacterium can be classified into several distinct major ecotypes – characterized by variable factors such as seasonal, depth, and geographic patterns.
However, even within these ecotypes, Prochlorococcus cells still display a wide range of genomic diversity. In the April 25, 2014 issue of Science, MIT marine microbiologist Sallie Chisholm, a longtime collaborator of DOE Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI), led a team that applied single-cell genomics to these cyanobacteria collected from the same environment at three separate times of the year.
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has named Princeton University and DOE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) participants in a new $25 million, five-year project to address technology and policy issues related to nuclear arms control. The project will include a unique process that Princeton and PPPL are developing to verify that nuclear weapons to be dismantled or removed from deployment contain true warheads.
Princeton and PPPL will join a consortium of 13 universities and eight national laboratories in the project, called the Center for Verification Technology and led by the University of Michigan. Funding from NNSA, a semi-autonomous branch of the DOE, will include a combined total of $3.5 million over five years for Princeton and PPPL for their research on verification.
Aided by a supply of the extremely rare element berkelium produced at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, an international research collaboration has presented new evidence of element 117. The study, published in Physical Review Letters, strengthens the case for the discovery of the superheavy element first observed in 2010 by a Russian-U.S. team.
Superheavy elements, or those beyond the atomic number 104 in the periodic table, are produced in a laboratory by accelerating beams of nuclei toward a heavy target material. Fusion of the two nuclei can occasionally yield new, short-lived superheavy elements.
Water moves through multifaceted physical boundaries, posing a significant challenge for scientists who must simulate water flow across many domains. Scientists at DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) conquered this challenge by merging different physical laws in a new approach that describes any type of water flow in soil pores, streams, lakes, rivers and oceans, and in mixed media of pores and solids for soil and aquifer. The versatile properties of the new approach allow cross-domain simulation of water flow at different scales.
From stream flow, to soil and irrigation saturation, to underground aquifers, understanding how water travels through many varied regions is important for understanding water cycling and its effect on agriculture, water conservation, and climate changes.