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January, 2007  Science@Berkeley Lab Web Feed

S@BL Suppositions

William James described a baby's perception of the world as a "blooming, buzzing confusion" of sense impressions. Come the new year and we can all identify with that baby, as we face a future full of confusion and hope.

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Celestial Fire and Ice

Stardust streaked past comet Wild 2 to catch comet pieces in wispy aerogel. A few of the returned particles were distributed to Preliminary Examination Teams from around the world. Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source played a key role in their analysis.

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Cascades of Light

To make an ultrabright Free Electron Laser (FEL) accelerate a swarm of electrons to near lightspeed, then shake vigorously. Berkeley Lab researchers are aiding the next-generation FEL at Italy's Sincrotrone Trieste and planning an even more advanced FEL at home.

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The Tell-Tale Genome

As breast cells turn cancerous their genomes accumulate changes, including gene amplifications and gene deletions. By studying the patterns of genomic aberrations, researchers are learning which genes are involved in breast cancer and how better to treat the disease. 

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Zigzagging to Spintronics

Zigzag nanoribbons of graphene, single-layered sheets of hexagonally- arranged carbon atoms, are magnetic in a strong electric field and can carry a spin current. It's the essential first step in creating nanosized spintronic devices.

  A S@BL Special  
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Thomas McKone devises computer models to see how pollutants spread through the environment. Can models be trusted? Can they tell us about health risks? What are their limits? The answers, says McKone, are both scientific and nonscientific.
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  Just Genes  
Bacteria can happily adapt to the planet's most extreme environments, partly because their genomic repertoires respond to niche-specific signals using at least two distinctly different evolutionary strategies.
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  The Energy Bar  
WiLight is a new wireless lighting control system that adjusts the lighting according to an occupant's preferences or in response to building-wide demand. It's so cheap its remote control unit doesn't even use batteries.
  Electrochromic windows illuminate offices and keep the temperature comfortable by controlling how much sunlight gets in. A three-year field test using a special lab proved the technology's efficiency and reliability.  
  S@BL Selects  
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