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Berkeley Lab Breaks Ground on Integrative Genomics Building

Extending the roots of team science at its birthplace, Berkeley Lab will soon bring together researchers from the DOE Joint Genome Institute with those from the Systems Biology Knowledgebase (KBase) under one roof. The groundbreaking for the Integrative Genomics Building (IGB) today celebrates the future colocation of two partnering scientific user community resources and launches construction of the first building in the long-term vision for a consolidated biosciences presence on Berkeley Lab’s main site.

Dirty, Crusty Meals Fit for (Long-Dormant) Microbes

Biocrust’s microbes lie dormant for long periods until precipitation (such as a sudden downpour) awakens them. Understanding more about the interactions between the microbial communities—also called “microbiomes”—in the biocrusts and their adaptations to their harsh environments could provide important clues to help shed light on the roles of soil microbes in the global carbon cycle.

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).

What About BOB?

The Berkeley Open Biofoundry – BOB – is a Berkeley Lab proposal to DARPA aimed at providing the science and technology that will enable the engineering of biological systems to produce valuable chemical products on a commercial scale.

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.

Boldly Illuminating Biology’s “Dark Matter”

In cosmology, dark matter is said to account for the majority of mass in the universe. The biological equivalent is “microbial dark matter,” that pervasive yet practically invisible infrastructure of life on the planet, which can have profound influences on the most significant environmental processes from plant growth and health, to nutrient cycles in terrestrial and marine environments, the global carbon cycle, and possibly even climate processes. By employing next generation DNA sequencing of genomes isolated from single cells, an international collaboration led by the Joint Genome Institute is making great strides in the monumental task of systematically bringing to light and filling in uncharted branches in the bacterial and archaeal tree of life.

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

Berkeley Lab Scientists Help Define the Healthy Human Microbiome

A National Institutes of Health (NIH)-organized consortium that includes Berkeley Lab scientists has for the first time mapped the normal microbial make-up of humans. Berkeley Lab’s role in mapping the human microbiome revolves around big data, both analyzing it and making it available for scientists to use worldwide. The research will help scientists understand how our microbiome keeps us healthy. It’ll also shed light on our microbiome’s role in many diseases.

Berkeley Lab Researchers Win Four Early Career Awards

Berkeley Lab researchers have won four DOE Office of Science Early Career Research Program awards, in the second year of the planned annual award program. The five-year, $2.5 million awards are intended to support young scientists in the formative stages of their careers. The winners were chosen from over a thousand applicants by outside scientific experts.