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Microbial Fingerprints for Cities

Vibrant cities around the world are made up of a unique blend of cultures, languages, cuisines, and – as scientists recently revealed – microbes.   Nearly 1,000 scientists from around the world, including three from Berkeley Lab, collected and analyzed microbial samples from public transit stations across 60 global cities. They probed ticket kiosks, benches, and

The Incredible Bacterial ‘Homing Missiles’ That Scientists Want to Harness

A Berkeley Lab-led team is digging into the bizarre bacteria-produced nanomachines that could fast-track medicine and microbiome science

Cataloging Nature’s Hidden Arsenal: Viruses that Infect Bacteria

A new approach for studying phages-bacteria interactions will help scientists study the intricate offensive and defensive chemical tactics used by parasite and host. These microscopic battles have implications for medicine development, agricultural research, and climate science.

Uncovering Novel Genomes from Earth’s Microbiomes

Scientists from the DOE Joint Genome Institute and DOE Systems Biology Knowledgebase have launched a public database of 52,515 microbial draft genomes generated from environmental samples collected around the world. The new resource, known as the Genomes from Earth’s Microbiomes (GEM) catalog, provides extensive insight into the many types of microbes that are impossible to grow in a lab, and expands the known diversity of bacteria and archaea by 44%.

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.

New Partnership Seeds Microbiome Research

Microbiomes are integral to all life, from human health and food security to ecosystem processes and global nutrient cycling. Collaborative research – performed by scientists spanning the vast biological and bioinformatics fields – is key to developing a predictive understanding of microbiome function and could lead to advancements in areas such as biomanufacturing, food production,

Interpreting the Human Genome’s Instruction Manual

Berkeley Lab bioscientists are part of a nationwide research project, called ENCODE, that has generated a detailed atlas of the molecular elements that regulate our genes. This enormous resource will help all human biology research moving forward.

This Enigmatic Protein Sculpts DNA to Repair Harmful Damage

Sometimes, when something is broken, the first step to fixing it is to break it even more. Scientists have discovered this is the case for a human DNA repair protein that functions by marking and then further breaking damaged DNA. Their surprising findings have provided much-needed insight into how DNA repair works in healthy cells, as well as how different mutations can translate into different diseases and cancer.

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.

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.