LIVERMORE -- Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories have won a total of seven R&D 100 awards for 2014, recognizing the world's top 100 industrial inventions for last year.

The trade journal R&D Magazine on Thursday announced four awards would be handed out to Livermore lab scientists for advances in thin-layer chromatography, a new spectrometer that measures X-rays 10 times more precisely than current technology, an optical technology combining many small laser beams into a single high-power beam, and a method of optical polishing for use in the National Ignition Facility.

This year's award winners, according to Livermore lab officials, could aid in identifying explosives and illegal drugs, make high-accuracy X-ray fingerprinting available to nonexpert users, upgrade fiber lasers for defense applications, and offer new techniques for polishing high-quality glass optics.

The Livermore lab has captured 152 R&D awards since 1978.

Lawrence Berkeley Lab scientists will take home three R&D awards, for developing faster ways to analyze the chemical composition of cells, new genetic tools to improve crops, and a bioinformatics platform for screening 3-D cell models.

The technologies could lead to advances in biofuels, food crops, drug screening and biomaterials, and to a better understanding of microbial communities, Berkeley lab officials said.


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The Berkeley lab has won 73 R&D 100 awards.

The winners will be honored Nov. 7 in Las Vegas.

Contact Jeremy Thomas at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/jet_bang.