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Polysaccharides (complex chains of sugar) in plant cell walls are great carbon energy sources for biofuel production.April 2013Science Highlights

Engineering Better Plants for Biofuels

New approach decreases lignin content in plant secondary cell wall. Read More »

A large contributor to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is degradation of soil organic matter by various biological and chemical processes.April 2013Science Highlights

Tracking Soil Microbes’ Response to Long-Term Warming

Study examines how temperature affects carbon decay and release. Read More »

Researchers have identified two genes required for bacterial conversion of mercury into methylmercury, a more toxic form.April 2013Science Highlights

Scientists Discover how Bacteria Convert Mercury to Toxic Form

Two genes responsible for mercury methylation identified. Read More »

A recent climate modeling study indicates that global land use strategies that protect tropical forests—such Brazil’s Caxiuanã National Forest, shown here—could dramatically reduce air warming projected in these regions.April 2013Science Highlights

Assessing Climate Impacts of Expanding Biofuel Crops

Model indicates increased cultivation could benefit tropical areas. Read More »

A free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) site at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Researchers are using data from this and other FACE sites to improve climate model predictions of plant responses to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide.April 2013Science Highlights

Improving Predictions of Forest Water Use

Data on plant responses to elevated CO2 used to assess models. Read More »

Addition of copper ions (Cu II) to protein monomers that are engineered with metal-coordination sites leads to the spontaneous metal-induced assembly of specifically designed protein cages.March 2013Science Highlights

Triggering “Flash” Assembly of Proteins

Designing protein assemblies whose interactions can be manipulated to respond to a single environmental cue. Read More »

Diagram showing the properties of a material as temperature and chemical composition (phosphorus level in this study) are varied.March 2013Science Highlights

What Causes High-temperature Superconductivity?

A phase change at absolute zero temperature may provide key insights into the decades-old mystery of high-temperature superconductivity. Read More »

The density of bonding electrons (red and yellow) in silicon (upper left) is rather evenly distributed, whereas in zinc oxide (upper right), it is concentrated around the oxygen atoms.March 2013Science Highlights

Understanding How Semiconductors Absorb Light

Advances in how we calculate optical properties of semiconductors shorten the path to improved solar cells and other optoelectronic devices. Read More »

The left figure shows computed positions for atoms at grain boundaries during deformation...March 2013Science Highlights

New Understanding of Radiation-Enhanced Deformation

When it comes to stressing a crystal during irradiation, not all atoms are created equal. Read More »

A new radiolabeled sugar compound helps researchers image carbohydrate movement in plants.March 2013Science Highlights

Watching Sugars Move in Plants

New radiolabeled compound used to image sucrose transport. Read More »

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