A biological fireworks show 300 million years in the making

Scientists using the Advanced Photon Source have determined that amphibian eggs release showers of zinc upon fertilization, just like mammalian eggs. This research could have implications for human fertility studies.

Mouse brain imaged from the microscopic to the macroscopic level

Researchers at the University of Chicago and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have leveraged existing advanced X-ray microscopy techniques to bridge the gap between MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and electron microscopy imaging, providing a viable pipeline for multiscale whole brain imaging within the same brain

UCI-led study finds that cancer immunotherapy may self-limit its efficacy

Irvine, Calif., June 21, 2021 — Cancer immunotherapy involving drugs that inhibit CTLA-4 also activates an unwanted response that may self-limit its efficacy in fighting tumors, according to a new study led by Francesco Marangoni, Ph.D., assistant professor of physiology & biophysics and member of the Institute for Immunology at the University of California, Irvine.

Argonne researchers using artificial intelligence to shape the future of science

Artificial intelligence is being called “the next generation of the way we do science.” At Argonne, researchers are leveraging the lab’s state-of-the-art-facilities and unparalleled expertise to shape the very future of science.

ORNL’s superb materials expertise, data and AI tools propel progress

At the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, scientists use artificial intelligence, or AI, to accelerate the discovery and development of materials for energy and information technologies.

‘Leap forward’ in risk management of rectal cancer

Rectal cancer, along with colon cancer, is the third-most common type of cancer in the United States, and treatment and surgery greatly affect the quality of life of patients. A multi-disciplinary team at Washington University in St. Louis has developed and tested an innovative imaging technique that is able to differentiate between rectal tissues with residual cancers and those without tumors after chemotherapy and radiation, which could one day help to avoid unnecessary surgeries in some patients who have achieved complete tumor destruction after chemoradiation.

A COSMIC Approach to Nanoscale Science

COSMIC, a multipurpose X-ray instrument at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source, has made headway in the scientific community since its launch less than 2 years ago, with groundbreaking contributions in fields ranging from batteries to biominerals.

UCI scientists measure local vibrational modes at individual crystalline faults

Irvine, Calif., Jan. 11, 2021 – Often admired for their flawless appearance to the naked eye, crystals can have defects at the nanometer scale, and these imperfections may affect the thermal and heat transport properties of crystalline materials used in a variety of high-technology devices. Employing newly developed electron microscopy techniques, researchers at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions have, for the first time, measured the spectra of phonons – quantum mechanical vibrations in a lattice – at individual crystalline faults, and they discovered the propagation of phonons near the flaws.

Defects Slow the Electron’s Dance

Researchers used two advanced microscopy techniques to learn how crystal defects affect the performance of crystalline solar cells called lead halide perovskite cells. The research used two microscopy techniques: electron backscattering diffraction to view crystal quality at scales of 100 nanometers and ultrafast microscopy to examine how electrons move. The research shows that microscopic defects that form when the crystals are made can reduce how fast electrons move by a factor of almost 10.

October 27, 2020 Web Feature Enabling the Data-Driven Future of Microscopy

An international research team led by PNNL has published a vision for electron microscopy infused with the latest advances in data science and artificial intelligence. Writing a commentary in Nature Materials, the team proposes a highly integrated, autonomous, and data-driven microscopy architecture to address challenges in energy storage, quantum information science, and materials design.

UCI materials scientists discover design secrets of nearly indestructible insect

Irvine, Calif., Oct. 21, 2020 – With one of the more awe-inspiring names in the animal kingdom, the diabolical ironclad beetle is one formidable insect. Birds, lizards and rodents frequently try to make a meal of it but seldom succeed. Run over it with a car, and the critter lives on. The beetle’s survival depends on two key factors: its ability to convincingly play dead and an exoskeleton that’s one of the toughest, most crush-resistant structures known to exist in the biological world.

Study First to Tally Biomass from Oceanic Plastic Debris Using Visualization Method

Scientists examined cell abundances, size, cellular carbon mass, and how photosynthetic cells differ on polymeric and glass substrates over time, exploring nanoparticle generation from plastic like polystyrene and how this might disrupt microalgae. Conservative estimates suggest that about 1 percent of microbial cells in the ocean surface microlayer inhabit plastic debris globally. This mass of cells would not exist without plastic debris in the ocean, and thus, represents a disruption of the proportions of native flora in that habitat.

UCI materials scientists study a sea creature that packs a powerful punch

Irvine, Calif., Aug. 17, 2020 – University of California, Irvine materials scientists are learning about resilience from the mantis shrimp. The ancient crustaceans are armed with two hammerlike raptorial appendages called dactyl clubs that they use to bludgeon and smash their prey. These fists, able to accelerate from the body at over 50 mph, deliver powerful blows yet appear undamaged afterward.

New Research Reveals Antifungal Symbiotic Peptide In Legume

Danforth Center scientists, Dilip Shah, PhD, Siva Velivelli, PhD, Kirk Czymmek, PhD, and their collaborators at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have identified a sub class of peptides in the nodules of the legume, Medicago truncatula that proved effective in inhibiting growth of the fungus causing gray mold.

Pioneering method reveals dynamic structure in HIV

The method reveals that the lattice, which forms the major structural component of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is dynamic. The discovery of a diffusing lattice made from Gag and GagPol proteins, long considered to be completely static, opens up potential new therapies. The method can be applied to biomedical structure.

After Turning Microorganisms Into Art, Student Helps NASA Study Origins of Life Through Algae (Video)

Rutgers student Julia Van Etten, whose @Couch_Microscopy Instagram page garnered more than 25,000 followers by showcasing microorganisms as art, is now working with NASA on research into how red algae can help explain the origins of life on Earth.

Like a Microscopic Mars Rover, a New Technique Tracks Individual Protein Movement on Live Cells

The piece of gold that Richard Taylor was thrilled to track down weighed less than a single bacterium. Taylor, a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute, was working to follow individual nanogold-labeled molecules that move just nanometers, billionths of a meter.

UCI scientists reveal mechanism of electron charge exchange in molecules

Irvine, Calif., Oct. 14, 2019 – Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a new scanning transmission electron microscopy method that enables visualization of the electric charge density of materials at sub-angstrom resolution. With this technique, the UCI scientists were able to observe electron distribution between atoms and molecules and uncover clues to the origins of ferroelectricity, the capacity of certain crystals to possess spontaneous electric polarization that can be switched by the application of an electric field.