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Unique Cancer Drug Discovered With Help From Advanced Light Source Begins Historic Clinical Trial

An investigational cancer drug that targets tumors caused by mutations in the KRAS gene will be evaluated in phase 2 clinical trials, following promising safety and efficacy results in preliminary human studies and excellent results in animal studies. The drug, developed by Amgen and currently referred to as AMG 510, is the first therapy to reach clinical

These Artificial Proteins Have a Firm Grasp on Heavy Metals

A team of scientists led by Berkeley Lab has developed a library of artificial proteins or “peptoids” that effectively “chelate” or bind to lanthanides and actinides, heavy metals that make up the so-called f-block elements at the bottom of the periodic table. The new library offers researchers an automated, high-throughput method for precisely designing new

In Tooth Enamel, Slight Crystal Misorientations Stop Cracks in Their Tracks

Adult teeth can last a lifetime, withstanding enormous chewing pressures applied hundreds of times each day for decades. In a recent study published in Nature Communications, researchers discovered a natural toughening mechanism: small misorientations among the nanocrystal building blocks of human tooth enamel. Enamel is composed of hydroxyapatite, a biomineral that forms long and thin

A Matchmaker for Microbiomes

A unique neural network tool is making it possible to accurately infer the interactions between the microbes that are present in a community and the metabolites they produce – a capability that will greatly advance research into the microbiomes in the environment and inside our bodies.

When Solids and Liquids Meet: In Nanoscale Detail

To better understand how a liquid interacts with the surface of a solid, Berkeley Lab researchers developed a platform to explore these interactions under real conditions at the nanoscale using a technique that combines infrared light with an atomic-scale probe.

Underwater Telecom Cables Make Superb Seismic Network

Adapted from a news release by UC Berkeley: Fiber-optic cables that constitute a global undersea telecommunications network could one day help scientists study offshore earthquakes and the geologic structures hidden deep beneath the ocean surface. In a recent paper in the journal Science, researchers from UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), Monterey Bay

Gaming Protein Structures: X-Ray Studies Confirm Power of Crowdsourcing

The unique ways in which proteins fold dictate their interplay with diseases and medicines, so understanding their twists and turns is key to designing effective drugs. While new drug design is serious work, discovering how proteins fold can be fun, too: A crowdsourcing game called Foldit allows players to try different fold configurations for points

Perfectly Raw or Cooked to Perfection? How Food Preparation Affects the Gut Microbiome

The gut microbiome undergoes rapid and dramatic changes in species composition and gene expression when the host switches between eating cooked or raw vegetables, according to a new study published in Nature Microbiology.

New MOF Can Take On Toxic Sulfur Dioxide Gas

An international team has developed a robust material that can selectively take in toxic sulfur dioxide gas at record concentrations and preserve it for use in chemical production.

Trash to Treasure: Scientists Convert Municipal Waste to Biofuel Precursors

As the need for energy security grows, scientists are investigating nonfood biomass sources that can be used to create valuable biofuels and bioproducts. Among these sources is municipal solid waste (MSW) — in other words, trash that’s produced every day around the world in significant amounts.