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CSI: Microbial Version without PCR

Berkeley Lab researchers have developed PCR-free techniques for identifying the most active microbial populations in samples based on the PhyloChip, the Lab’s award-winning, high-density DNA microarray. These new techniques will be used in a wide variety of applications including the development of advanced biofuels.

Lessons Learned from the Two Worst Oils Spills in U.S. History

One year after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and two decades after the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, the scientific lesson is clear – microbes matter! Despite vast differences in the ecosystems and circumstances of these two worst oil spills in U.S. history, oil-degrading microorganisms played a significant role in reducing the overall environmental impact of both spills, a Berkley Lab scientist reports.

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.

Berkeley Lab Technology Spawns Successful Start-up Companies

What do a smart window company, a microbial analysis start-up and waste-heat recovery start-up have in common? They’re all located in the San Francisco Bay Area and they’re all based on technology developed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. What’s more, these three start-up companies have either had highly successful launches or closed major deals in the last several months. One of the companies announced a new manufacturing facility that will create hundreds of jobs around the country and bring energy-savings technologies to a wider market.

CRISPR Critters: Scientists identify key enzyme in microbial immune system

Using protein crystallography beamlines at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source, a team of researchers has resolved the atomic-scale crystal structure of an enzyme called “Csy4” that plays a key role in a microbial immune system. The research provides important new clues to the fundamental role of RNA in the evolution of life.

Driving for Biofuels: New Technique Speeds Search for Biofuel Microbes

A new research technique from the Joint BioEnergy Institute provides vital information on microbial metabolism in a fraction of the time required for conventional scientific methods. The technique was successfully tested on an extremophile that shows great promise for producing biofuels from cellulosic biomass.