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December 14, 2007  Science@Berkeley Lab Web Feed

S@BL Suppositions

On January 8, 1998 a physicist from Berkeley Lab was first to publicly announce evidence for a cosmological constant — a mysterious something that fills the universe, causing its expansion not to slow but to accelerate. Today it's called dark energy, and its 10th anniversary is cause for celebration.

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Ten Years of the Accelerating Universe

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the discovery of dark energy, this two-part history recounts the Supernova Cosmology Project's pioneering efforts to overcome skepticism and prove that indeed it was possible to measure the expansion rate of the universe by using Type Ia supernovae as standard candles. The unexpected results stunned astronomers and physicists alike.

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Showdown at Graphene Gap

They said graphene couldn't exist. Then researchers actually made it: a single sheet of carbon atoms in which electrons flow freely, promising faster, smaller, cheaper computer chips. Only one catch: graphene lacks the band gap that makes electronics possible. Now scientists have shown how to open the graphene band gap.

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Into the Future at the Speed of Light

Fascinating phenomena take place on a time scale that remains out of reach as today's most advanced synchrotron light sources fast approach their ultimate capabilities. Scientists need a new generation of light sources, superbright and superfast. A new initiative seeks to answer the challenge with superconducting linear accelerators and powerful free electron lasers.

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A Hot, Wet Polymer

As unlikely as clothes that come out of the dryer wetter than when they went in, a new kind of polymer membrane actually gets wetter as the surrounding air gets hotter. This one-of-a-kind material has the potential to increase the efficiency of polymer electrolyte fuel cells, promising a nonpolluting way to power cars.

  A S@BL Special: A Microbiologist's Asian Odyssey  
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To find unknown microbes and encourage greater scientific cooperation, microbiologist Tamas Torok has roamed far and wide across the former Soviet Union.
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Just Genes
Long before Mom applies band-aids to scraped knees, she's busy repairing breaks in her offspring's DNA passed on by Dad, a job done by her own crucial maternal genes.

Researchers have identified the workings of RAD51AP1, an important new cog in the DNA repair machinery.
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  Inspector Detector  
Consumer electronics and cutting-edge science converge in a new kind of particle detector.
  S@BL Printables  
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