News Center

New Technique for Identifying Gene-Enhancers

Berkeley Lab researchers led the development of a new technique for identifying gene enhancers – sequences of DNA that act to amplify the expression of a specific gene – in the genomes of humans and other mammals. Called SIF-seq, this new technique complements existing genomic tools, such as ChIP-seq, and offers additional benefits.

Vast Gene-Expression Map Yields Neurological and Environmental Stress Insights

A consortium led by Berkeley Lab scientists has conducted the largest survey yet of how information encoded in an animal genome is processed in different organs, stages of development, and environmental conditions. Their findings, based on fruit fly research, paint a new picture of how genes function in the nervous system and in response to environmental stress.

New Insight into an Emerging Genome-Editing Tool

A collaboration led by Berkeley Lab’s Jennifer Doudna and Eva Nogales has produced the first detailed look at the 3D structure of the Cas9 enzyme and how it partners with guide RNA to interact with target DNA. The results should enhance Cas9’s value and versatility as a genome-editing tool.

Puzzling Question in Bacterial Immune System Answered

Berkeley researchers have answered a central question about Cas9, an enzyme that plays an essential role in the bacterial immune system and is fast becoming a valuable tool for genetic engineering: How is Cas9 able to precisely discriminate between non-self DNA that must be degraded and self DNA that may be almost identical within genomes that are millions to billions of base pairs long.

What is it About Your Face?

Berkeley Lab researchers found thousands of gene enhancers – regulatory sequences of DNA that act to turn-on or amplify the expression of a specific gene – that are involved in the development of the human face. These enhancers help explain why every human face is as unique as a fingerprint.

Microbial Who-Done-It For Biofuels

A multi-institutional collaboration led by researchers with the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and Joint Genome Institute (JGI) has developed a promising technique for identifying microbial enzymes that can effectively deconstruct biomass into fuel sugars under refinery processing conditions.

Expressly Unfit for the Laboratory

A new Berkeley Lab study challenges the orthodoxy of microbiology, which holds that in response to environmental changes, bacterial genes will boost production of needed proteins and decrease production of those that aren’t. The study found that for bacteria in the laboratory there was little evidence of adaptive genetic response.

Cassava brief: the problem and the genomics approach

What keeps Mtakai Ngara and Teddy Amuge up at night? Thinking about cassava. These young, ambitious, researchers working at the International Institute for Tropical Africa (IITA) just outside Nairobi, Kenya are learning more about genomics to help breed more effective cassava to feed hungry mouths in their native Africa and further afield. To feed their

Do We Owe Our Sense of Smell to Epigenetics?

Olfactory sensory neurons – nerve cells in the nose – directly sense molecules that convey scent, then send the signals to the brain. Biologists have long wondered how it’s possible for each nerve cell to be equipped with only one kind of olfactory receptor (OR). There are over a thousand different kinds of OR genes

Genome-wide Atlas of Gene Enhancers in the Brain On-line

Berkeley Lab researchers have unveiled a first-of-its-kind atlas of gene-enhancers in the brain that should greatly benefit future research into the underlying causes of neurological disorders such as autism, epilepsy and schizophrenia.