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How to Reduce Greenhouse Gas? Tips from a Methane-Eating Microbe

Scientists have determined the structure of a unique enzyme, produced by a species of methane-eating bacteria, that converts the greenhouse gas into methanol – a highly versatile liquid fuel and industrial product ingredient.

Uncovering Novel Genomes from Earth’s Microbiomes

Scientists from the DOE Joint Genome Institute and DOE Systems Biology Knowledgebase have launched a public database of 52,515 microbial draft genomes generated from environmental samples collected around the world. The new resource, known as the Genomes from Earth’s Microbiomes (GEM) catalog, provides extensive insight into the many types of microbes that are impossible to grow in a lab, and expands the known diversity of bacteria and archaea by 44%.

An Innovative Pattern: Scientists Rewrite Rules for 2D Electronics

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have developed a new technique for fabricating tiny circuits from ultrathin materials for next-generation electronics, such as rewritable, low-power memory circuits.

Synthetic Pathways Turn Plants into Biofactories for New Molecules

Plants can produce a wide range of molecules, many of which help them fight off harmful pests and pathogens. Biologists have harnessed this ability to produce many molecules important for human health — aspirin and the antimalarial drug artemisinin, for example, are derived from plants. Now, scientists at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) are using

Transforming Waste into Bio-Based Chemicals

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have transformed lignin, a waste product of the paper industry, into a precursor for a useful chemical with a wide range of potential applications. Lignin is a complex material found in plant cell walls that is notoriously difficult to break down and turn into something useful. Typically, lignin is burned for

Providing New Technologies for Vaccine Development

Vaccines, which help the body recognize infectious microorganisms and stage a stronger and faster response, are made up of proteins that are specific to each type of microorganism. In the case of a virus, viral proteins – or antigens – can sometimes be attached to a protein scaffold to help mimic the shape of the

Scientists Say: Expect More Rainfall Variability for California

California’s winter precipitation is expected to become 50% more variable by century’s end, based on a Berkeley Lab-led study of the impact of future greenhouse gas emissions on the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), a rainfall pattern that covers a quarter of the globe. When active, the MJO influences whether precipitation occurs for 30 to 60 days,

Pioneering Work Modeling How Electric Vehicles Interact with the Electric Grid

As the rate of electric vehicle (EV) adoption in the U.S. rises, the transportation sector will put additional pressure on the power grid. California expects more than 50% zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), which includes battery EV, plug-in hybrid EV and fuel cell EV, in new vehicle sales by 2030 to achieve statewide emission and pollution reduction

Berkeley Lab Founder Ernest Lawrence to Be Honored With Memorial Highway in South Dakota

Nobel laureate Ernest Lawrence – founder of Berkeley Lab, inventor of the cyclotron, and a native of Canton, South Dakota – will be honored with a memorial highway in his home state.

Study Gains New Insight Into Bacterial DNA Packing

When bacteria are put in different environments, such as one that is more acidic or anaerobic, their genes start to adapt remarkably quickly. They’re able to do so because the proteins making up their chromosome can pack and unpack rapidly. Now, a Berkeley Lab-led team of researchers has been able to capture this process at