News Center

Atomic View of Microtubules


Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley researchers produced an atomic view of microtubules that enabled them to identify the crucial role played by a family of end-binding proteins in regulating microtubule dynamic instability, the physical property that enables microtubules to play a crucial role in cell division.

Unlocking the Rice Immune System

Rice is a staple for half the world’s population and the model plant for grass-type biofuel feedstocks (Photo courtesy of IRRI)

JBEI, UC Davis and Berkeley Lab researchers have identified a bacterial signaling molecule that triggers an immunity response in rice plants, enabling the plants to resist a devastating blight disease. Rice is not only a staple food, it is the model for grass-type advanced biofuels.

Possible New RNA Engineering Tool

Eva Nogales feature image

Berkeley Lab researchers have shown that complexes of proteins touted for their potential use as a tool for editing DNA might also serve as an engineering tool for RNA, the molecule that translates DNA’s genetic instructions into the production of proteins.

Skin Tough

Robert Ritchie feature star

A collaboration of Berkeley Lab and UC San Diego researchers has recorded the first direct observations of the micro-scale mechanisms behind the ability of skin to resist tearing. The results could be applied to the improvement of artificial skin, or to the development of thin film polymers for flexible electronics.

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


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.