News Center

Possible New RNA Engineering Tool

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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?

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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