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How Does Space Travel Affect Organ Development?

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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

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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.

Encyclopedia of How Genomes Function Gets Much Bigger

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A big step in understanding the mysteries of the human genome was unveiled today in the form of three analyses that provide the most detailed comparison yet of how the genomes of the fruit fly, roundworm, and human function. The analyses will likely offer insights into how the information in the human genome regulates development, and how it is responsible for diseases.

Excessive Running or Walking May Eliminate Health Gains in Heart Attack Survivors, Finds Berkeley Lab Research

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Heart attack survivors who exceed 30 miles of running per week may lose the health benefits accrued by running less, according to new research by Berkeley Lab’s Paul T. Williams and colleagues.

Recently Identified Molecule Could Lead to New Way to Repair Tendons

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It’s an all-too familiar scenario for many people. You sprain your ankle or twist your knee. If you’re an adult, the initial pain is followed by a long road of recovery, with no promise that the torn ligament or tendon will ever regain its full strength. That’s because tendon and ligament cells in adults produce

Berkeley Lab Wins Three 2014 R&D 100 Awards

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Berkeley Lab has won three 2014 R&D 100 awards. This year’s winners include a fast way to analyze the chemical composition of cells, a suite of genetic tools to improve crops, and a method to screen images of 3-D cell cultures for cancer cells. The technologies could lead to advances in biofuels, food crops, drug development, and biomaterials, and a to better understanding of microbial communities, to name a few potential benefits.

New Clues to Why Older Women are More Vulnerable to Breast Cancer

These fluorescent images of human mammary epithelial cells exemplify the effects of aging. In the left image, multipotent progenitor cells from a 19-year-old young woman respond to a tumor-mimicking stiff surface by differentiating into red-colored tumor-suppressing myoepithelial cells. In the right image, progenitor cells from a 66-year-old woman fail to launch this putative cancer-fighting response when exposed to a stiff surface. (Credit: Pelissier/LaBarge)

Berkeley Lab scientists have gained more insights into why older women are more susceptible to breast cancer. They found that as women age, the cells responsible for maintaining healthy breast tissue stop responding to their immediate surroundings, including mechanical cues that should prompt them to suppress nearby tumors.

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.