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Recent News from the National Labs

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April 18, 2014
What do poplar trees have to do with climate change?
 
In addition to their status as a fast-growing candidate for biofuels production, poplar trees play an important role in influencing plant and animal communities in forest ecosystems. By studying the genetic variants in poplar trees, researchers are working to better understand the impacts of climate change -- and working to develop specific strains of poplars for various applications, like biofuel production.
 
In 2006, researchers at the Energy Department’s Joint Genome Institute led the effort to successfully sequence the genome of the poplar tree. They now have identified the candidate genes that will help domesticate poplar for biomass and reduce the cost of biofuel production. | Photo courtesy of the DOE Joint Genome Institute.
Photo of the Week: Sequencing the Genome of the Poplar Tree

Check out our favorite energy-related photos!

April 16, 2014
Power lines carry electricity across Washington State. | Photo courtesy of the Energy Department.
How Synchrophasors are Bringing the Grid into the 21st Century

Learn about synchrophasors and how they are helping grid operators keep power flowing reliably to American homes and businesses.

April 15, 2014
#LabChat: The Science of the Very Small

Join us this Thursday at noon ET on Twitter as scientists from three of the Energy Department's National Labs explore the science of the very small -- nanotechnology.

April 14, 2014
The Solenoidal Tracker at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) is a detector which specializes in tracking the thousands of particles produced by each ion collision at RHIC. Weighing 1,200 tons and as large as a house, STAR is a massive detector. It is used to search for signatures of the form of matter that RHIC was designed to create: the quark-gluon plasma. It is also used to investigate the behavior of matter at high energy densities by making measurements over a large area. | Photo courtesy of Brookhaven National Lab.
Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Brookhaven National Laboratory

From nuclear physics to nano-science and beyond, Brookhaven National Lab is conducting game changing research on the frontiers of scientific innovation.

April 11, 2014
The cyclotron, invented by Ernest Lawrence in the 1930s, is a unique circular particle accelerator, which Lawrence himself referred to as a "proton merry-go-round." In reality, the cyclotron specialized in smashing atoms. Part of this atom-smashing process requires very large, very heavy magnets -- sometimes weighing up to 220 tons. In this photo, workers at the Federal Telegraph facility in Menlo Park, California, are smoothing two castings for 80-ton magnets for use in one of Lawrence's cyclotrons at the University of California, Berkeley. Lawrence passed away in 1958 -- and just 23 days later, the Regents of the University of California voted to rename two of the university's nuclear research sites: Lawrence Livermore and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories. | Photo courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Photo of the Week: Smashing Atoms with 80-ton Magnets

Check out our favorite energy-related photos!

April 9, 2014
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Map: Explore the National Labs

Learn more about the National Labs by exploring this map!

April 4, 2014
On Feb. 18, 2014, Argonne hosted its 19th annual regional Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at the Chicago Children's Museum. This year, the competition called on teams to build a complex machine that took at least 20 steps to zip a zipper. Pictured here are students from Reavis High School of Burbank, Illinois, who defeated nine other teams in the contest with their Super Mario-themed Rube Goldberg machine.

By winning Argonne's contest, these students will compete in the National High School Rube Goldberg Machine Championship this weekend, on Saturday, April 5, at Waukesha Country Technical College in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/argonne/sets/72157642213177065#" target="_blank">View more photos from the competition here<a/>. | Photo courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory.
Photo of the Week: Power Up! Twenty Steps to Zip a Zipper

Check out our favorite energy-related photos!

April 3, 2014
Slideshow: Building a Better Future One Robot at a Time

High school students are incorporating cutting-edge manufacturing techniques into robots, while pushing the boundaries of research forward.

April 3, 2014
Recap: Advancing Scientific Innovation at the National Labs

Learn how the National Labs are advancing scientific innovation through user facilities and industry partnerships.

April 2, 2014
The PHENIX detector at Brookhaven National Lab's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a type of particle accelerator, records many different particles emerging from RHIC collisions, including photons, electrons, muons, and quark-containing particles called hadrons. The detector is shown here in a disassembled condition during maintenance. | Photo courtesy of Brookhaven National Laboratory.
The Science of the Very Fast and Very Small

This month on Energy.gov, follow along as we explore the contributions of the Energy Department's National Labs to the exciting science behind particle accelerators and nanotechnology.