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Mouse Study Yields Long-Awaited Insights into Human Stomach Cancer

Mice have been instrumental in the study of cancer, but like all animal models of human diseases, they have their limitations. For stomach cancer in particular, mice have historically been regarded as quite poor research organisms because rodents rarely develop spontaneous stomach tumors. But results from a new study are about to shake up the paradigm.

Pioneering Cancer Researcher Mina Bissell Receives Two Top Honors

Mina Bissell, a distinguished scientist at the Berkeley Lab, has been selected to receive two prestigious awards for her pioneering contributions to breast cancer biology and medicine.

Uncovering Uncultivated Microbes in the Human Gut

A human’s health is shaped both by environmental factors and the body’s interactions with the microbiome, particularly in the gut. Genome sequences are critical for characterizing individual microbes and understanding their functional roles. However, previous studies have estimated that only 50 percent of species in the gut microbiome have a sequenced genome, in part because many species have not yet been cultivated for study.

Engineering Living ‘Scaffolds’ for Building Materials

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a platform that uses living cells as “scaffolds” for building self-assembled composite materials. The technology could open the door to self-healing materials and other advanced applications in bioelectronics, biosensing, and smart materials.

Using Tiny Organisms to Unlock Big Environmental Mysteries

When you hear about the biological processes that influence climate and the environment, such as carbon fixation or nitrogen recycling, it’s easy to think of them as abstract and incomprehensibly large-scale phenomena. Yet parts of these planet-wide processes are actually driven by the tangible actions of organisms at every scale of life, beginning at the smallest: the microorganisms living in the air, soil, and water. And now Berkeley Lab researchers have made it easier than ever to study these microbial communities by creating an optimized DNA analysis technique.

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.