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New Molecular Blueprint Advances Our Understanding of Photosynthesis

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have used one of the most advanced microscopes in the world to reveal the structure of a large protein complex crucial to photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert sunlight into cellular energy. The finding, published in the journal Nature, will allow scientists to explore, for the first time, how the complex functions and could have implications for the production of a variety of bioproducts, including plastic alternatives and biofuels.

Potential New Way to Boost Biofuels and Bioproducts Production

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have gained insight into the primary process by which all cells harness energy, known as cellular respiration, of E. coli bacteria and a species of yeast, each of which are common hosts for biofuels and bioproducts. Their findings suggest new ways by which the pathways

Four Berkeley Lab Scientists Named AAAS Fellows

Four Berkeley Lab scientists – Allen Goldstein, Sung-Hou Kim, Susannah Tringe, and Katherine Yelick – have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society. They are among the 416 scientists awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow this year.

Scientists Capture Photosynthesis in Unprecedented Detail

Grab some popcorn: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientists have succeeded in capturing a more detailed picture than ever of the steps in the reaction mechanisms in photosynthesis, the process by which plants use sunlight to split water and produce oxygen while making the carbohydrates that sustain life on Earth.

Photosynthesis Like a Moss

Moss evolved after algae but before vascular land plants, such as ferns and trees, making them an interesting target for scientists studying photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert sunlight to fuel. Now researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have made a discovery that could shed light on how plants evolved to move from the ocean to land.

All Aboard the Jungle Express!

JBEI researchers pave the way for efficient gene expression at any scale

Separate But Together: Ultrathin Membrane Both Isolates and Couples Living and Non-Living Catalysts

Bioelectrochemical systems combine the best of both worlds – microbial cells with inorganic materials – to make fuels and other energy-rich chemicals with unrivaled efficiency. Yet technical difficulties have kept them impractical anywhere but in a lab. Now researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a novel nanoscale membrane that could address these issues and pave the way for commercial scale-up.

Faster, Cheaper, Better: A New Way to Synthesize DNA

In what could address a critical bottleneck in biology research, Berkeley Lab researchers announced they have pioneered a new way to synthesize DNA sequences through a creative use of enzymes that promises to be faster, cheaper, and more accurate.

New Machine Learning Approach Could Accelerate Bioengineering

New approach is faster than the current way to predict the behavior of pathways, and promises to speed up the development of biomolecules for many applications in addition to commercially viable biofuels, such as drugs that fight antibiotic-resistant infections and crops that withstand drought.

Living Large: Exploration of Diverse Bacteria Signals Big Advance for Gene Function Prediction

Scientists at Berkeley Lab, including researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute, have developed a workflow that enables large-scale, genome-wide assays of gene importance across many conditions. Their work is by far the largest functional genomics study of bacteria ever published.