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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.

4 Berkeley Lab-affiliated Scientists Elected as National Academy of Sciences Members

Four scientists affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) are among the group of 84 new members elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS); three are also professors at UC Berkeley.

Actual Fossil Fuel Emissions Checked with New Technique

(Adapted from Imperial College London’s news release) Researchers have measured CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use in California and compared them to reported emissions. This is the first time fossil fuel emissions have been independently checked for such a large area. Carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil fuel combustion is the primary driver of climate change,

First Direct Observations of Methane’s Increasing Greenhouse Effect at the Earth’s Surface

A Berkeley Lab research team tracked a rise in the warming effect of methane – one of the most important greenhouse gases for the Earth’s atmosphere – over a 10-year period at a DOE field observation site in northern Oklahoma.

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.

Plants Really Do Feed Their Friends

Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and UC Berkeley have discovered that as plants develop they craft their root microbiome, favoring microbes that consume very specific metabolites. Their study could help scientists identify ways to enhance the soil microbiome for improved carbon storage and plant productivity.

Understanding Effects of Climate Change on California Watersheds

California relies on the Sierra Nevada snowpack for a significant portion of its water needs, yet scientists understand very little about how future changes in snowpack volume and timing will influence surface water and groundwater. Now researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are developing an advanced hydrologic model to study how climate change might affect California watersheds.

Berkeley Lab Aims for Big Breakthroughs in Water Technology

Berkeley Lab is launching a new research institute to focus resources on its growing portfolio of projects for water innovation – from nano-engineered desalination solutions to ultra-high resolution climate modeling for watershed predictions to novel groundwater management approaches.

Digging Deep: Harnessing the Power of Soil Microbes for More Sustainable Farming

How will the farms of the future feed a projected 9.8 billion people by 2050? Berkeley Lab’s “smart farm” project marries microbiology and machine learning in an effort to reduce the need for chemical fertilizers and enhance soil carbon uptake, thus improving the long-term viability of the land while increasing crop yields.

Assessing the Impact of Hurricanes on Puerto Rico’s Forests

Building on methods they used to assess the impact of hurricanes such as Katrina, Gustav, and Rita on forests and tree mortality, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have produced a rapid mapping of the disturbance intensity across Puerto Rico’s forests with the help of Google Earth Engine.