Discoveries

Podcast: Nobel Laureates Frances Arnold and Jennifer Doudna on prizes, pandemics, and Jimmy Page

February 18, 2021

Frances Arnold and Jennifer Doudna

The recent Nobel chemistry-prize winners, alumna Frances Arnold and Professor Jennifer Doudna, tell Stereo Chemistry about what comes after that momentous call from Stockholm. Credit: Frances Arnold photo (Caltech); Jennifer Doudna photo (Lauran Morton Photography)

New $115 Million Quantum Systems Accelerator to Pioneer Quantum Technologies for Discovery Science

August 26, 2020

dilution refrigerator

The Quantum Systems Accelerator will optimize a wide range of advanced qubit technologies available today. Berkeley Lab uses sophisticated dilution refrigerators to cool and operate superconducting quantum processor circuits. (Credit: Thor Swift/Berkeley Lab)

UC Berkeley Chemists and the Periodic Table

January 9, 2019

The 1969 Discovery 104 Team Dimitri Mendeleev, a Russian chemist who in 1869 wrote out the known elements (of which there were 63 at the time) on cards and then arranged them in columns and rows according to their chemical and physical properties is considered the father of the Periodic Table. In celebration of the 150th anniversary of this pivotal moment in science, the UN has proclaimed 2019 the International year of the Periodic Table. Seen here is the element 104 discovery team in 1969.

Reimagining “Druggability”

November 5, 2019

Dan Nomura

In the modern age of pharmacology, some of the newest heroes in the war against human disease are biologists and chemists working in chemical proteomics. Among the leaders in this research is the Novartis-Berkeley Center for Proteomics and Chemistry Technologies (NB-CPACT), a joint venture linking Novartis, a large pharmaceutical company, and the world’s leading public research university. Launched in October 2017, the center is developing new technologies to further the discovery of next-generation therapeutics for cancer and other diseases.

How carbon-14 revolutionized science

August 12, 2019

Richmond Sarpong

The discovery that carbon atoms act as a marker of time of death transformed everything from biochemistry to oceanography – but the breakthrough nearly didn’t happen. Martin Kamen had worked for three days and three nights without sleep. The US chemist was finishing off a project in which he and colleague Sam Ruben (B.S. ' Chem; Ph.D. '38, Chem), had bombarded a piece of graphite with subatomic particles. The aim of their work was to create new forms of carbon, ones that might have practical uses. Willard Libby (B.S. '31, Chem; Ph.D. '33, Chem) of Chicago University figured out that the radioactivity generated by carbon-14 could be exploited to tremendous advantage.

Separation Anxiety No More: A Faster Technique to Purify Elements

June 5, 2019

A Faster Technique to Purify ElementsResearchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a new separation method that is vastly more efficient than conventional processes, opening the door to faster discovery of new elements, easier nuclear fuel reprocessing, and, most tantalizing, a better way to attain actinium-225, a promising therapeutic isotope for cancer treatment.

Exploring the superheavy elements at the end of the periodic table

May 22, 2019

new heavy metals research

The addition of four new elements added to the periodic table in 2016 was only the beginning. Now chemists and physicists are starting the hard work of determining the physicochemical properties of these short-lived and incredibly rare species. And that often involves atom-at-a-time chemistry.