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In Pursuit of Perfect Chemistry: A Vision for Unifying Catalysis

Several fields of research have sprung up around the chemical drivers, called catalysts, at work in many industrial processes – including those that boost the production of fuels, fertilizers, and foods – and there is a growing interest in coordinating these research activities to create new, hybrid catalysts with enhanced performance, say researchers at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley.

Sewage Sludge Leads to Biofuels Breakthrough

Researchers at Joint BioEnergy Institute and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have discovered a new enzyme that will enable microbial production of a renewable alternative to petroleum-based toluene, a widely used octane booster in gasoline that has a global market of 29 million tons per year.

A Game Changer: Metagenomic Clustering Powered by Supercomputers

A team of researchers from the Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab and Joint Genome Institute took one of the most popular clustering algorithms in modern biology and modified it to run quickly, efficiently and at scale on distributed-memory supercomputers.

Thirdhand Smoke Found to Increase Lung Cancer Risk in Mice

Researchers at Berkeley Lab identified thirdhand smoke, the toxic residues that linger on indoor surfaces and in dust long after a cigarette has been extinguished, as a health hazard nearly 10 years ago. Now a new study has found that it also increases lung cancer risk in mice.

Gene Enhancers Are Important Despite Apparent Redundancy

Scientists answered a long-standing question about the role of enhancers. And by better linking the genomic complement of an organism with its expressed characteristics, their work offers new insights that further the growing field of systems biology, which seeks to gain a predictive understanding of living systems.

To Find New Biofuel Enzymes, It Can Take a Microbial Village

In search of new plant enzymes? Try looking in compost. Researchers at JBEI have demonstrated the importance of microbial communities as a source of stable enzymes that could be used to convert plants to biofuels. This approach yields robust enzymes that researchers can’t easily obtain from isolates.

Screening for Disease or Toxins in a Drop of Blood

The promise of being able to quickly and accurately screen for diseases or chemical contaminants in a tiny drop of blood has long been an elusive goal. But scientist Daojing Wang says his company’s technology is up to the job.

Beyond Biofuels: Berkeley Lab Facility a Catalyst for Broader Bio-based Economy

When the DOE’s Advanced Biofuels Process Development Unit (ABPDU) at Berkeley Lab commenced operations in 2012, the initial focus was on overcoming barriers to biofuel commercialization. To date, the ABPDU has entered into agreements with more than 30 partners.

X-ray Footprinting Solves Mystery of Metal-Breathing Protein

Berkeley Lab scientists have discovered the details of an unconventional coupling between a bacterial protein and a mineral that allows the bacterium to breathe when oxygen is not available.

Internship Fuels a Student’s Budding Career in Science

Ever wonder what the Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit looks like from the inside? Check out Carolina Gutierrez’s Berkeley Lab Instagram Takeover, “The Day in the Life of an Intern at ABPDU,” at www.instagram.com/berkeleylab/. As a high school student in her hometown of Manteca, California, Carolina Gutierrez was a top student who excelled in advanced