News Center

Turn the Light On: A Non-visual Opsin Could Help Future Studies of the Brain and Central Nervous System

Udi Zebrafish

Berkeley Lab researchers have discovered a light-sensitive opsin protein that plays a surprising and possibly critical role in neuron maturation and circuit formation in the central nervous system.

Unlocking the Key to Immunological Memory in Bacteria

Jennifer Doudna feature

Berkeley Lab researchers have revealed how bacteria “steal” genetic information from foreign invaders for use in their own immunological memory system.

Screening Plants for Potential Natural Products the New Fashioned Way

Tamas Torok cultures Feature

Contrary to conventional scientific wisdom, an international collaboration led by Berkeley Lab has demonstrated that in vitro biodiversity is sufficiently broad enough to be used for natural plant product screening. Screening in vitro cultures for biological activity is much faster and more economical than screening intact plants.

RCas9: A Programmable RNA Editing Tool

140327_RCas9_Fig1_edit

A powerful scientific tool for editing the DNA instructions in a genome can now also be applied to RNA as Berkeley Lab researchers have demonstrated a means by which the CRISPR/Cas9 protein complex can be programmed to recognize and cleave RNA at sequence-specific target sites.

MaxBin: Automated Sorting Through Metagenomes

MaxBin, an automated software program for binning the genomes of individual microbial species from metagenomic sequences is available on-line through JBEI.

MaxBin is an automated software program for binning the genomes of individual microbial species from metagenomic sequences developed at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI).

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.

Life-Saving Dividends for Synthetic Biology Research: Microbial-Based Antimalarial Drug Shipped to Africa

Jay Keasling with children in a village outside Nairobi, Kenya. (Photo by Gabrielle Tenenbaum)

A synthetic biology project begun 13 years ago by Jay Keasling was culminated with the announcement that a microbial-based version of the antimalarial drug artemisinin has been shipped to African nations where it is most needed.

“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

Postcards from the Photosynthetic Edge

Photosytem II utilizes a water-splitting manganese-calcium enzyme that when energized by sunlight catalyzes a four photon-step cycle of oxidation states that ultimately yields molecular oxygen.

Using the world’s most powerful x-ray laser, an international collaboration led by Berkeley Lab researchers took femtosecond “snapshots” of water oxidation in photosystem II, the only known biological system able to harness sunlight for splitting the water molecule. The results should help advance the development of artificial photosynthesis for clean, green and renewable energy.

New Discovery in Living Cell Signaling

This gif of membrane-anchored Ras (red) and individual SOS molecules (green) shows individual SOS molecules corralled into 
nanofabricated patches where all the membrane-associated Ras molecules they activate can be trapped.

A breakthrough discovery into how living cells process and respond to chemical information could help advance the development of treatments for a large number of cancers and other cellular disorders that have been resistant to therapy.