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Time-Lapse Analysis Offers New Look at How Cells Repair DNA Damage


Time-lapse imaging can make complicated processes easier to grasp. Berkeley Lab scientists are using a similar approach to study how cells repair DNA damage. Microscopy images are acquired about every thirty minutes over a span of up to two days, and the resulting sequence of images shows ever-changing hotspots inside cells where DNA is under repair.

Atomic View of Microtubules


Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley researchers produced an atomic view of microtubules that enabled them to identify the crucial role played by a family of end-binding proteins in regulating microtubule dynamic instability, the physical property that enables microtubules to play a crucial role in cell division.

Berkeley Lab Scientists to Develop Better Way to Screen Chemicals for Cancer-Causing Effects


Berkeley Lab scientists are developing a cell culture that could help researchers better identify chemicals that increase breast cancer susceptibility. The scientists will grow the culture using adult stem cells obtained from breast tissue. Their test will show if a chemical causes a breakdown in cell-to-cell communication, which is a fundamental defect of cancer.

Possible New RNA Engineering Tool

Eva Nogales feature image

Berkeley Lab researchers have shown that complexes of proteins touted for their potential use as a tool for editing DNA might also serve as an engineering tool for RNA, the molecule that translates DNA’s genetic instructions into the production of proteins.

New Clues About the Risk of Cancer From Low-dose Radiation

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Berkeley Lab scientists studied mice and found their risk of mammary cancer from low-dose radiation depends a great deal on their genetic makeup. They also learned key details about how genes and the cells immediately surrounding a tumor (also called the tumor microenvironment) affect cancer risk.

First Detailed Microscopy Evidence of Bacteria at the Lower Size Limit of Life

A lifeline to other cells? Cryo-transmission electron microscopy captured numerous hairlike appendages radiating from the surface of this ultra-small bacteria cell. The scientists theorize the pili-like structures enable the cell to connect with other microbes and obtain life-giving resources. The scale bar is 100 nanometers. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

Scientists have captured the first detailed microscopy images of ultra-small bacteria that are believed to be about as small as life can get. The research was led by scientists from Berkeley Laboratory and UC Berkeley.

How Does Space Travel Affect Organ Development?


The crew of the International Space Station will soon be joined by 180 mice from Berkeley Lab. Their mission: help scientists learn how space travel affects the immune system, organ development, and reproduction across generations. The mice are part of a Berkeley Lab experiment, funded by NASA this summer, which will shed light on how

For Important Tumor-Suppressing Protein, Context is Key

Illustration of p53 binding to major categories of repeats in the human genome, such as LTR, SINE and LINE.

Berkeley Lab scientists have learned new details about how an important tumor-suppressing protein, called p53, binds to the human genome. As with many things in life, they found that context makes a big difference.

A Cage Made of Proteins, Designed With Help From the Advanced Light Source

Protein Cage

With help from Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source, scientists from UCLA recently designed a cage made of proteins. The nano-sized cage could lead to new biomaterials and new ways to deliver drugs inside cells. It boasts a record breaking 225-angstrom outside diameter, the largest to date for a designed protein assembly. It also has a 130-angstrom-diameter

Scientists Develop New Way to Study How Human Cells Become Immortal, a Crucial Precursor to Cancer

The left image shows the chromosomes of an immortal cell line derived by treatment with a chemical carcinogen. It has an aberrant number and arrangement of chromosomes. This line had to generate the errors that allowed immortalization. The right image shows the chromosomes of an immortal line derived using the new Berkeley Lab method. It has the normal number of 46 chromosomes arranged in 23 pairs. Because of their normal karyotype, these new immortal cell lines may help scientists better understand cell immortalization as it occurs in people. (Image credit: Arthur Brothman and Laura Fuchs, left image; Karen Swisshelm, right image).

Berkeley Lab scientists have developed a new method that can easily create immortal human mammary epithelial cells. The cells could greatly facilitate the examination of cell immortalization as it actually occurs during cancer progression.