Science Highlights

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Each year, scientists with the Office of Science, at our national laboratories, and supported by the Office of Science at the nation’s colleges and universities, publish thousands of research findings in the scientific literature. About 200 of these are selected annually by their respective program areas in the Office of Science as publication highlights of special note.

For the archive of past publication highlights, click here.

November 6, 2018
Novel Soil Bacteria with Unusual Genes Synthesize Unique Antibiotic Precursors
Novel Soil Bacteria with Unusual Genes Synthesize Unique Antibiotic Precursors
As part of a study on carbon cycling in soils, researchers deeply sequenced 60 soil metagenomes across a single grassland meadow at the Angelo
October 31, 2018
Warmer Temperatures Lengthen Growing Season, Increase Plants’ Vulnerability to Frost
Warmer Temperatures Lengthen Growing Season, Increase Plants’ Vulnerability to Frost
The SPRUCE experiment is applying warming (0 to +9 degrees Celsius above ambient) and carbon dioxide (ambient and elevated) treatments to
October 29, 2018
How Plant Cells Decide When to Make Oil
How Plant Cells Decide When to Make Oil
This study builds on the team’s previous research, which established clear links between a protein complex that senses sugar levels in plant
October 17, 2018
Cryocooler Cools an Accelerator Cavity
Cryocooler Cools an Accelerator Cavity
All SRF particle accelerators to-date use liquid helium to maintain the extremely cold temperatures necessary for sustaining superconductivity.
October 17, 2018
Shining Light on the Separation of Rare Earth Metals
Shining Light on the Separation of Rare Earth Metals
Rare earth element-containing materials are irreplaceable and used widely in technologies such as lighting, displays, biological sensors, lasers,
October 17, 2018
How to Make Soot and Stardust
How to Make Soot and Stardust
The chemical reactions behind soot particle formation have long been a mystery. The reactions, which turn gaseous hydrocarbons into a solid that
October 16, 2018
Placing Atoms for Optimum Catalysts
Placing Atoms for Optimum Catalysts
The team began with a flat piece of ruthenium metal. On top of the metal, they grew graphene, which is a one-atom-thick layer of carbon. In this
September 15, 2018
Breaking the Symmetry Between Fundamental Forces
Breaking the Symmetry Between Fundamental Forces
At present, scientists think that at the highest energies and earliest moments in time, all the fundamental forces may have existed as a single
September 15, 2018
Water Plays Unexpected Role in Forming Minerals
Water Plays Unexpected Role in Forming Minerals
Knowing how minerals form is vital for subsurface energy extraction and waste storage, creating tailored catalysts, and more. Minerals can form via
September 11, 2018
Discovered: Optimal Magnetic Fields Suppress Instabilities in Tokamak Plasmas
Discovered: Optimal Magnetic Fields Suppress Instabilities in Tokamak Plasmas
An important step for simplifying the complex production of 3-D fields in a tokamak is to build a matrix that relates the external 3-D magnetic
September 6, 2018
Heavy Particles Get Caught Up in the Flow
Heavy Particles Get Caught Up in the Flow
Particle collisions at RHIC free quarks and gluons from their confinement within ordinary particles (e.g., protons and neutrons) so
September 6, 2018
Seeing Between the Atoms
Seeing Between the Atoms
For electron microscopes, the traditional approaches to improving resolution are increasing the energy of the electron beam, up to a point where
September 6, 2018
Getting an Up-Close, 3-D View of Gold Nanostars
Getting an Up-Close, 3-D View of Gold Nanostars
Gold nanostars are a class of plasmonic nanomaterials that show promise in surface-enhanced Raman scattering-based applications and hot electron
September 5, 2018
Scaling Up Single-Crystal Graphene
Scaling Up Single-Crystal Graphene
A research team used chemical vapor deposition—with a twist—to localize control of the synthesis process and allow evolutionary, or
September 5, 2018
New Electron Glasses Sharpen Our View of Atomic-Scale Features
New Electron Glasses Sharpen Our View of Atomic-Scale Features
As electronic devices shrink, more precise semiconductor synthesis and characterization are needed to improve these devices. APT can identify atom
September 5, 2018
Tuning Terahertz Beams with Nanoparticles
Tuning Terahertz Beams with Nanoparticles
The terahertz spectral window (100 gigahertz to 10 terahertz) is attracting attention for its potential use in submillimeter-wave communication and
September 5, 2018
Carbon Nanotubes Give Two Excitons for the Price of One
Carbon Nanotubes Give Two Excitons for the Price of One
Tuning the electronic properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), a process known as doping, is emerging as an effective means for
September 4, 2018
Small, Short-Lived Drops of Early Universe Matter
Small, Short-Lived Drops of Early Universe Matter
In semi-overlapping gold-gold collisions at RHIC, more particles emerge from the “equator” than perpendicular to the collision
September 4, 2018
Modular Fluidic System Developed to Supply Radioisotope Used in Targeted Alpha Therapy
Modular Fluidic System Developed to Supply Radioisotope Used in Targeted Alpha Therapy
Astatine-211 is produced by alpha beam irradiation of bismuth target material. The University of Washington has one of only a few cyclotrons in the
August 29, 2018
Thorium: A Source of Multiple Medical Isotopes
Thorium: A Source of Multiple Medical Isotopes
Radium is a bone-seeking radioelement, due to its chemical similarity to calcium, the main component of hydroxyapatite, the bone mineral. Radium is
August 28, 2018
Beautiful Higgs Decays
Beautiful Higgs Decays
The 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson marked the beginning of an experimental program aimed at determining the properties of the newly discovered
August 28, 2018
ATLAS Experiment Uncovers Higgs Boson Interactions with Heaviest Quarks
ATLAS Experiment Uncovers Higgs Boson Interactions with Heaviest Quarks
The discovery of the Higgs boson by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations at the Large Hadron Collider in 2012 relied on the observation of Higgs bosons
August 28, 2018
Highest Precision Prediction of Muon “Wobble”
Highest Precision Prediction of Muon “Wobble”
Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) ran a version of the “muon wobble” experiment, known as “Muon g-2,” in
August 27, 2018
Protactinium and Its Periodic Intersection
Protactinium and Its Periodic Intersection
Researchers investigated the chemistry of protactinium to understand the impact of having the most energetic electrons in orbitals derived from
August 27, 2018
Riding the Wave of Liquid:Liquid Interfaces
Riding the Wave of Liquid:Liquid Interfaces
Decades of research have empirically shown optimal conditions for a variety of separations applications, making use of specific combinations of