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Unlocking the Secrets of Gene Expression

Eva Nogales and Robert Louder at electron microscope.

Using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist Eva Nogales and her team have made a significant breakthrough in our understanding of how our molecular machinery finds the right DNA to copy, showing with unprecedented detail the role of a powerhouse transcription factor known as TFIID.

Computing A Textbook of Crystal Physics

Rachel feature

Researchers at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have developed a methodology that enabled them to compute piezoelectric constants for nearly 1,000 inorganic compounds.

Major Innovation in Molecular Imaging Delivers Spatial and Spectral Info Simultaneously

(from left) Samuel Kenny, Zhengyang Zhang, Ke Xu, Margaret Hauser, and Wan Li have invented a new technology to image single molecules with unprecedented spectral and spatial resolution (Roy Kaltschmidt/Berkeley Lab)

Using physical chemistry methods to look at biology at the nanoscale, a Berkeley Lab researcher has invented a new technology to image single molecules with unprecedented spectral and spatial resolution, thus leading to the first “true-color” super-resolution microscope.

On-demand X-rays at Synchrotron Light Sources


Researchers at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS) have developed an “X-rays on demand” technique in which ALS users can have access to the X-ray beams they want without affecting beams for other users.

CLAIRE Brings Electron Microscopy to Soft Materials

CLAIRE image of Al nanostructures with an inset that shows a cluster of six Al nanostructures.

Berkeley Lab researchers, working at the Molecular Foundry, have invented a technique called “CLAIRE” that extends the incredible resolution of electron microscopy to the non-invasive nanoscale imaging of soft matter, including biomolecules, liquids, polymers, gels and foams.

Of Metal Heads and Imaging

IPI is a fluorescent probe that can visualize changes in exchangeable iron stores in living cells upon iron supplementation or depletion.

Berkeley Lab researchers are developing molecular imaging probes and techniques to study metals in the brain that have been linked to disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

“Imaging Life” Crosses Biological Boundaries, Introduces Integrated Bioimaging

Biological Systems from Atoms to Tissues cover page

Scientists studying the human tissues and entire living model organisms have an array of tools at their disposal to view the inner workings of our biological systems, from mass spectrometry imaging and optical microscopies, which can make pictures of entire tissues and organs, down to X-ray crystallography and NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance), which can image

New Clues to Why Older Women are More Vulnerable to Breast Cancer

These fluorescent images of human mammary epithelial cells exemplify the effects of aging. In the left image, multipotent progenitor cells from a 19-year-old young woman respond to a tumor-mimicking stiff surface by differentiating into red-colored tumor-suppressing myoepithelial cells. In the right image, progenitor cells from a 66-year-old woman fail to launch this putative cancer-fighting response when exposed to a stiff surface. (Credit: Pelissier/LaBarge)

Berkeley Lab scientists have gained more insights into why older women are more susceptible to breast cancer. They found that as women age, the cells responsible for maintaining healthy breast tissue stop responding to their immediate surroundings, including mechanical cues that should prompt them to suppress nearby tumors.

Bringing Out the Best in X-ray Crystallography Data

Combining components of Rosetta and PHENIX, two successful software programs for creating 3D structural models of proteins and other biomolecules, Berkeley Lab researchers have created a new method for refining those models and making the best of available experimental data.

3D IR Images Now in Full Color

Berkeley Lab and University of Wisconsin researchers have created the first technique to offer full color IR tomography, a non-destructive 3D imaging process that provides molecular-level chemical information of unprecedented detail on biological and other specimens with no need to stain or alter the specimen.