News Center

Mapping a Cell’s Destiny

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have developed a way to spatially map gene expression data to determine a cell’s fate. The method could go far in interrogating human tissue organization and helping elucidate key aspects of development, human health and disease.

From Near-Dropout to PhD, Berkeley Lab Scientist Now at Forefront of Biofuels Revolution

To see biochemist Ee-Been Goh in the lab today, figuring out how to rewire bacteria to produce biofuels, one would never guess she was once so uninterested in school that she barely made it through junior high. Today she is a project scientist at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), a Department of Energy Bioenergy Research Center led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Revealing the Fluctuations of Flexible DNA in 3-D

Scientists have captured the first high-resolution 3-D images from individual double-helix DNA segments attached to gold nanoparticles, which could aid in the use of DNA segments as building blocks for molecular devices that function as nanoscale drug-delivery systems, markers for biological research, and components for electronic devices.

New Form of Electron-beam Imaging Can See Elements that are ‘Invisible’ to Common Methods

A new Berkeley Lab-developed electron-beam imaging technique, tested on samples of nanoscale gold and carbon, greatly improves images of light elements. The technique can reveal structural details for materials that would be overlooked by some traditional methods.

New Way to Reduce Plant Lignin Could Lead to Cheaper Biofuels

Scientists have shown that an enzyme can be tweaked to reduce lignin in plants. Their technique could help lower the cost of converting biomass into carbon-neutral fuels to power your car and other sustainably developed bio-products.

Scientists Take Key Step Toward Custom-made Nanoscale Chemical Factories

Scientists have for the first time reengineered a building block of a geometric nanocompartment that occurs naturally in bacteria. The new design provides an entirely new functionality that greatly expands the potential for these compartments to serve as custom-made chemical factories.

Scientists Discover Protein’s Starring Role in Genome Stability, and Possibly Cancer Prevention

A protein called XPG plays a previously unknown and critical role helping to maintain genome stability in human cells. It may also help prevent breast, ovarian, and other cancers associated with defective BRCA genes.

Seeing the Big Picture in Photosynthetic Light Harvesting

Berkeley Lab scientists have created the first computational model that simulates the light-harvesting activity of thousands of antenna proteins that would interact in the chloroplast of an actual leaf. The results point the way to improving the yields of food and fuel crops, and developing artificial photosynthesis technologies for next generation solar energy systems.

One-Stop Shop for Biofuels

Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have developed a “high-gravity” one-pot process for producing ethanol from cellulosic biomass that gives unprecedented yields while minimizing water use and waste disposal.

How to Train Your Bacterium

Berkeley Lab researchers are using the bacterium Moorella thermoacetica to perform photosynthesis and also to synthesize semiconductor nanoparticles in a hybrid artificial photosynthesis system for converting sunlight into valuable chemical products.