News Center

Rare Disease Q&A: What Rare Diseases Are and Why That Matters

Berkeley Lab’s Chris Mungall and Nomi Harris explain how agreeing on precise definitions of each rare disease can lead to more accurate diagnoses and better treatments, and share new evidence showing this endeavor is more important than ever.

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.

A Game-Changing Test for Prion, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s Diseases is on the Horizon

A new test agent can easily and efficiently detect the misfolded protein aggregates that cause devastating neurological diseases in blood samples. The technology could lead to early diagnosis of prion, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s diseases for the first time.

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.

Unlocking the Biochemical Treasure Chest Within Microbes

An international team of scientists led by the Joint Genome Institute has developed a genetic engineering tool that makes producing and analyzing microbial secondary metabolites – the basis for many important agricultural, industrial, and medical products – much easier than before, and could even lead to breakthroughs in biomanufacturing.

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. 

New Investigation Cuts Through the Haze Surrounding ‘Smoke-Free’ Tobacco Products

Marketed as a healthier alternative to cigarettes, a new class of tobacco products called heat-not-burn devices is quickly gaining in popularity across the globe. A study by Berkeley Lab’s Indoor Environment Group shows that, although the chemical emissions from these devices are lower than those produced by conventional cigarettes, they are still high enough to raise concern.

Cool Roofs Can Help Shield California’s Cities Against Heat Waves

A new study by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows that if every building in California sported “cool” roofs by 2050, these roofs would help contribute to protecting urbanites from the consequences of dangerous heatwaves.

A Community-Driven Data Science System to Advance Microbiome Research

The National Microbiome Data Collaborative (NMDC), a new initiative aimed at empowering microbiome research, is gearing up its pilot phase after receiving $10 million of funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.

Exploring Human Origins in the Uncharted Territory of Our Chromosomes

A group of geneticists from Berkeley Lab, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Berkeley are unraveling new details about human evolution by studying the uniquely regulated portion of our chromosomes that surround the centromeres.