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August 6, 2007  Science@Berkeley Lab Web Feed

[email protected] Suppositions

As the Zen master said, "It's a good idea to plan for the future, as long as you don't expect things to turn out that way." In the spirit of goals, not predictions, here are some hints of what we're planning for [email protected]

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Quantum Photosynthesis

Plants and some bacteria convert solar energy to chemical energy super-efficiently, in almost no time. The secret, only recently discovered by scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley, depends on quantum mechanics. Further research reveals that one of the quantum world's eeriest phenomena, long-lived quantum entanglement, is fundamental to photosynthesis.

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Burning Choices

Humans have already triggered global warming that will continue for centuries. Avoiding disaster demands the best mix of conservation, alternative energy sources, carbon sequestration, and other mitigation strategies. The right choices may crucially depend on better climate models, based on better climate science.

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Cell Phones

Scientists can embed harmless silicon nanowires in living cells; soon they may be able to wire cells together and connect them to external sensors and other electronic devices. On the horizon: sending genetic instructions to organelles inside the cell.

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Wild Organics

It's name, Wild, is pronounced Vilt. But when it comes to the stuff Comet Wild 2 is made of, especially its peculiar mix of high-temperature minerals and volatile carbon- containing compounds, "wild" is the word. New studies underline the far-flung origins of the Solar System.  

  In Series: The Language of Magnetic Resonance  
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Atoms and molecules are eager to tell all about themselves to those who speak their language, and nuclear magnetic resonance is the lingua franca of the atomic world. Nobody speaks it better than chemist Alex Pines. Beginning a new [email protected] series on Pines and his postdocs and grad students, the Pinenuts, highlighting their growing list of accomplishments in the field.
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  Thinking Green  
Research ranges from modelers' perfection to manufacturers' reality at the new FabLab, investigating Batteries for Advanced Transportation Technologies; the goal is to understand why some battery materials work better than others.

Perchlorate is a common contaminant of drinking water that poses serious health risks, especially to pregnant women and newborns. Now researchers can get rid of perchlorates without using chemicals.
  [email protected] Selects  
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