APS to accelerate biological and environmental research

The eBERlight program aims to connect the world-leading X-ray facility with more scientists studying Earth’s climate, environment and bioeconomy crops.

The Earth is a complex ecosystem, and our place in it is dependent on many different factors. From soil health to air quality to the behavior of plants and microorganisms, understanding our natural world and its other inhabitants is vital to our own survival. As the climate continues to change, research into the environment and its diverse forms of life will only become more important.

In October 2023, the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science user facility at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, will officially launch a new initiative to expand biological and environmental research at the world leading X-ray and analysis facility. The enterprise, dubbed eBERlight, recently received approval from DOE’s Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program. Its goal is to connect researchers conducting experiments within the BER mission with the world-leading X-ray science resources of the APS. By increasing access to multiple capabilities at the APS, the minds behind eBERlight hope to find new scientific approaches and engage new groups of multidisciplinary researchers towards investigating new insights about the world in which we live.

“This is an opportunity to build something new that, until now, hasn’t existed at APS,” said Karolina Michalska, a protein crystallographer at Argonne who is leading the eBERlight effort. ​“We’re broadening the access to accommodate more biological and environmental research, and since this program is so new, the scientists who will use the facility are helping us to develop it.”

Read more on the APS website

Image: The eBERlight program at the Advanced Photon Source will enable research into many areas of biological and environmental science, including studies of crop growth for biofuels and biomanufacturing.

Credit: Shutterstock/JJ. Gouin