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Solving a Genetic Mystery at the Heart of the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its second year, scientists are still working to understand how the new strain of coronavirus evolved, and how it became so much more dangerous than other coronaviruses, which humans have been living alongside for millennia. Virologists and epidemiologists worldwide have speculated for months that a protein called ORF8 likely holds the answer, and a recent study by Berkeley Lab scientists has helped confirm this hypothesis.

A Detailed Look Inside Tsetse Flies

To better understand the unique reproductive biology of tsetse flies, which are carriers of the parasites that cause a deadly infection known as African sleeping sickness, researchers explored the intact organs and tissues of tsetse flies using a powerful 3D X-ray imaging technique at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source.

How to Find Mutated Sperm? Just Go FISH

A test developed by Berkeley Lab scientists can quickly and easily detect whether sperm cells are carrying chromosomal defects, an advance that will help men who have undergone cancer treatment father healthy children.

Microbe “Rewiring” Technique Promises a Boom in Biomanufacturing

Berkeley Lab researchers have achieved unprecedented success in modifying a microbe to efficiently produce a compound of interest using a computational model and CRISPR-based gene editing. Their approach could dramatically speed up the research and development phase for new biomanufacturing processes, getting advanced bio-based products, such as sustainable fuels and plastic alternatives, on the shelves faster.

It’s All Connected: Your Genes, Your Environment, and Your Health

Berkeley Lab statistician Paul Williams seeks to explain how genetics and external factors interact to shape alcohol consumption, lung function, and weight gain – aspects of health that are on many of our minds during the the coronavirus pandemic and wildfires.