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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.

New Weapon in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

Berkeley Lab researchers have developed the first clinically-relevant mouse model of human breast cancer to successfully express functional estrogen receptor positive adenocarcinomas.
This model should be a powerful tool for testing therapies for aggressive ER+ breast cancers and for studying luminal cancers — the most prevalent and deadliest forms of breast cancer.

Nanocarriers May Carry New Hope for Brain Cancer Therapy:

Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a new family of nanocarriers, called “3HM,” that meets all the size and stability requirements for effectively delivering therapeutic drugs to the brain for the treatment of a deadly form of cancer known as glioblastoma multiforme.