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Physical and Life Sciences

Magnesium oxide undergoes dynamic transition when it comes to super-Earth exoplanets

Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Johns Hopkins University have unlocked new secrets about the interiors of super-Earth exoplanets, potentially revolutionizing our understanding of these distant worlds. The focus of this work, magnesium oxide (MgO), a crucial component of Earth’s lower mantle, is believed to play a similar role in the…

A pattern of temperature change emerges from natural climate fluctuations

When comparing model simulations of Earth’s recent warming to real-world observations, differences can arise from several factors, including model errors in the simulated response to increased greenhouse gases and natural fluctuations within the climate system. Natural climate variability, also called internal variability, can change regional and global atmospheric…

LLNL and BridgeBio announce trials for supercomputing-discovered cancer drug

In a substantial milestone for supercomputing-aided drug design, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and BridgeBio Oncology Therapeutics (BridgeBio) today announced clinical trials have begun for a first-in-class medication that targets specific genetic mutations implicated in many types of cancer. The development of the new drug — BBO-8520 — is the result of…

Finding Livermore: Employees share their LLNL origin stories

With more than 70 years of history and nearly 9,000 current employees, it is not uncommon for several generations of family members to have worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). For those employees with parents or grandparents preceding them, a career at the Laboratory was not in their original plans. In fact, before coming to LLNL, many do not realize…

Unexpected source of nutrients fuels growth of toxic algae from Lake Erie

Climate change, such as warming and changes in precipitation patterns, affects the frequency and severity of harmful algal blooms (HABs) globally, including those of toxin-producing cyanobacteria that can contaminate drinking water. These nutrient-induced blooms cause worldwide public and ecosystem health concerns. Since the mid-1990s, Lake Erie, the shallowest and warmest…

LLNL researchers develop framework for databasing properties of crystal defects

Point defects (e.g. missing, extra or swapped atoms) in crystalline materials often determine the actual electronic and optical response of a given material. For example, controlled substitutions in semiconductors like silicon are the backbone of modern technology. Despite their importance, point defects are notoriously difficult to simulate and characterize, particularly…

Jupiter Laser Facility gets a reboot

Fifty years ago, the first laser, Janus, was installed in Building 174 (renamed the Jupiter Laser Facility in 2006) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Additional lasers, more than 100 Ph.D.s granted time on the system and thousands of international users later, the Jupiter Laser Facility (JLF) celebrated its grand reopening Thursday after a four-year refurbishment,…

Mystery of puffy exoplanet solved

A recent study of the atmosphere of the exoplanet WASP-107b suggests tidal heating is responsible for the exoplanet’s inflated nature and reveals a previously unseen combination of molecules in an exoplanet. A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientist and international collaborators have characterized the atmosphere of the exoplanet, WASP-107b, using a…

Lab study on climate sensitivity earns top notch in list of influential research

The American Geophysical Union is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its journal Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) by showcasing some of the highest-achieving papers that have been published over the past 50 years. A paper by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists is one of the winners. The paper, “Causes of Higher Climate Sensitivity in CMIP6 Models,”…

Manufacturing optimized designs for high explosives

When materials are subjected to extreme environments, they face the risk of mixing together. This mixing may result in hydrodynamic instabilities, yielding undesirable side effects. Such instabilities present a grand challenge across multiple disciplines, especially in astrophysics, combustion and shaped charges — a device used to focus the energy of a detonating explosive…

Accelerating material characterization: Machine learning meets X-ray absorption spectroscopy

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists have developed a new approach that can rapidly predict the structure and chemical composition of heterogeneous materials. In a new study in ACS Chemistry of Materials, LLNL scientists Wonseok Jeong and Tuan Anh Pham developed a new approach that combines machine learning with X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XANES) to…

Lab scientist wins DOE Howes Scholar award for work in computational science

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) postdoc Kyle Bushick has garnered the 2024 Frederick A. Howes Scholar award for technical excellence, leadership and character in his innovative use of atomistic simulations to understand quantum processes and as a champion of inclusivity and community building. “Learning I was selected as a Howes Scholar was an enormous honor…

Meet LLNL: polymer chemist Johanna Schwartz

As a Jewish American, Johanna Schwartz believes she’s benefited from others’ mitzvah through mentorship, being included in team settings and receiving support when navigating life and career-path decisions. In Hebrew, mitzvah translates to commandment, but is generally understood as “a good deed,” or conscious acts of empathy and kindness. These decisions led her to…

GUIDE team develops approach to redesign antibodies against viral pandemics

In a groundbreaking development for addressing future viral pandemics, a multi-institutional team involving Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers has successfully combined an artificial intelligence (AI)-backed platform with supercomputing to redesign and restore the effectiveness of antibodies whose ability to fight viruses has been compromised by…

Lab scientist wins Springer Thesis Award for work in neutrino research

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) postdoc Sam Hedges has won a 2024 Springer Thesis Award for his work in searching for the elusive neutrino. “I’m honored that my thesis was nominated for this award, and was excited when I found out it had won,” Hedges said. His thesis, “Low Energy Neutrino-Nucleus Interactions at the Spallation Neutron Source," highlights the…

Brain-on-a-chip: Improving 3D neural network analysis

Brain-on-a-chip (BOC) systems are engineered cell-culture models that allow non-invasive, real-time monitoring of electrochemical processes. While newer 3D BOC systems have improved the neuronal viability, neural network activity, drug responses, and resemblance to disease pathology compared to their 2D counterparts, the ability to monitor the functional dynamics of the…

Anti-tumor immune responses in pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the deadliest types of cancer with a limited survival rate of about 10% over five years. In general, by the time a patient presents symptoms, the disease has advanced to a surgically unresectable stage and likely metastasized to other vital organs leading to rapid mortality. Since conventional chemotherapy prolongs patients…

Pett-Ridge selected as a 2024 Ecological Society of America fellow

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientist and head of the Lab’s Carbon Initiative Jennifer Pett-Ridge has been selected as a fellow of the Ecological Society of America (ESA). ESA designates fellows of the society for certain members who have made outstanding contributions to a wide range of fields served by ESA. Pett-Ridge was selected for her work in soil…

Lab assists west Fresno County in clean-energy future

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) will provide technical assistance to 30 disadvantaged communities in west Fresno County to provide a future in clean-energy projects, including carbon capture and storage. The project is part of the Department of Energy’s Local Energy Action Program (LEAP) that aims to facilitate sustained community-wide economic and…

Celebrating LLNL researchers on World Intellectual Property Day

World Intellectual Property (IP) Day is Friday, April 26. World IP Day shines a light on the important role innovation plays in achieving the United Nations’ (UN) 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to create a better future for everyone by protecting the planet. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL)’s Innovation and Partnerships Office (IPO) is…