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Screening Plants for Potential Natural Products the New Fashioned Way

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.

Sweet Smell of Success: JBEI Researchers Boost Methyl Ketone Production in E. coli

JBEI researchers have engineered E. coli bacteria to convert glucose into significant quantities of methyl ketones, a class of chemical compounds primarily used for fragrances and flavors, but highly promising as clean, green and renewable blending agents for diesel fuel.

Copper on the Brain at Rest

A new study by Berkeley Lab researchers has shown that proper copper levels are essential to the health of the brain at rest.

Nanotubes that Insert Themselves into Cell Membranes

Berkeley Lab researchers have helped show that short carbon nanotubes can make excellent artificial pores within cell membranes. Moreover, these nanotubes, which are far more rugged than their biological counterparts, can self-insert into a cell membrane or other lipid bilayers.

New Lab Startup Afingen Uses Precision Method to Enhance Plants

By manipulating a plant’s metabolic pathways, two scientists at Berkeley Lab, Henrik Scheller and Dominique Loqué, have figured out a way to genetically rewire plants to allow for an exceptionally high level of control over the spatial pattern of gene expression, while at the same time boosting expression to very high levels. Now they have launched a startup company called Afingen to apply this technology for developing low-cost biofuels that could be cost-competitive with gasoline and corn ethanol.

Boosting Biogasoline Production in Microbes

Researchers with the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have identified microbial genes that can improve both the tolerance and the production of biogasoline in engineered strains of E. coli.

New Insights on Carbonic Acid in Water

A new study by Berkeley Lab researchers provides valuable new insight into aqueous carbonic acid with important implications for both geological and biological concerns.

Berkeley Lab and Scripps Research Institute Scientists Link ALS Progression to Increased Protein Instability

LA JOLLA, CA—October 13, 2014—A new study by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and other institutions suggests a cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. “Our work supports a common theme whereby loss of protein stability leads to disease,” said John A.

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