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Finding Diamonds in the Rough

The crystal structure of NOV1, a stilbene cleaving oxygenase, shows the features of this enzyme at atomic resolution. (A) This protein fold view highlights the placement of an iron (orange), dioxygen (red), and resveratrol, a representative substrate (blue) in the active site of the enzyme. (B) This surface slice representation shows the shape of the active site cavity and the arrangement of iron, dioxygen, and resveratrol. (Credit: Ryan McAndrew/JBEI and Berkeley Lab)

Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center used crystallography and biophysical methods to better understand how the NOV1 enzyme breaks down a a stilbene substrate into two smaller compounds. Understanding this unusual chemical reaction brings insight on how to generate desirable biofuels and bioproducts from biomass deconstruction.

7 Imaging Tools Pushing Science Forward

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Berkeley Lab scientists are developing new ways to see the unseen. Here are seven imaging advances (recently reported in our News Center) that are helping to push science forward, from developing better batteries to peering inside cells to exploring the nature of the universe.   1. Seeing DNA nanostructures in 3-D DNA segments can serve as a

Berkeley Lab Takes Home Five R&D 100 Awards for Environmental, Battery, and X-ray Technologies

Photo - The Compact Dynamic Beamstop (CDBS) device, at left, designed to provide real time information to improve X-ray crystallography experiments, with a size comparison to a ballpoint pen tip. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

Berkeley Lab-developed tech enabling energy-saving roofs, long-lived batteries, better data from X-ray experiments, safer drinking water, and reduced carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have received 2016 R&D 100 awards.

Navigating an Ocean of Biological Data in the Modern Era

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Scientists and software engineers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have developed a new -omics visualization tool, Arrowland, which combines different realms of functional genomics data in a single intuitive interface. The aim of this system is to provide scientists an easier way to navigate the ever-growing amounts of biological

New $10 Million Effort to Develop Advanced Water Splitting Materials

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The Energy Department (DOE) recently announced $10 million, subject to appropriations, to support the launch of the HydroGEN Advanced Water Splitting Materials Consortium (HydroGEN). This consortium will utilize the expertise and capabilities of the national laboratories to accelerate the development of commercially viable pathways for hydrogen production from renewable energy sources. The new consortium is

Workshop Focuses in on Electron Microscopy

Photo - High-resolution cryoEM imaging and a unique analysis tool enabled this image of a microtubule, a hollow cylinder with walls made up of a mix of tubulin proteins. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

A “Future Electron Microscopy” workshop held Tuesday, Oct. 11, at the ALS User Support Building showcased the breadth and depth of electron microscopy at Berkeley Lab.

Berkeley Lab Hosts UC-Industry Battery Workshop

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More than 50 people attended a battery research workshop last Thursday sponsored by the University of California and held at Berkeley Lab. Its purpose was to explore what role researchers in the UC system can play in bridging the gap between science research and technology deployment of new batteries. The invited participants included key players

The Incredible Shrinking Particle Accelerator

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Particle accelerators are on the verge of transformational breakthroughs—and advances in computing power and techniques are a big part of the reason. Long valued for their role in scientific discovery and in medical and industrial applications such as cancer treatment, food sterilization and drug development, particle accelerators, unfortunately, occupy a lot of space and carry

Longest Record of Continuous Carbon Flux Data is Now Publicly Available

This map shows all of the tower sites around the world that contributed observations to the FLUXNET 2015 data release. Credit: http://fluxnet.fluxdata.org/

Around the world—from tundra to tropical forests, and a variety of ecosystems in between—environmental researchers have set up micrometeorological towers to monitor carbon, water, and energy fluxes, which are measurements of how carbon dioxide (CO2), water vapor and energy (heat) circulate between the soil, plants and atmosphere. Most of these sites have been continuously collecting

Let There Be (More) Light

Plant leaves expressing an algal gene are shown in violet, above. The gene restores the photoprotection capacity of the plant. (Credit: Zhirong Li/UC Berkeley)

Excess light energy that a plant can’t absorb needs to be dissipated to avoid damage and oxidative stress. Berkeley Lab researchers are studying ways to increase the amount of light that can be safely absorbed, potentially leading to more efficient photosynthesis and higher crop productivity.