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Four Berkeley Lab Scientists Elected as National Academy of Sciences Members

Four Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientists have been elected into the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in recognition of their exemplary past and and continuing original research.

Bright Skies for Plant-Based Jet Fuels

With an estimated daily fuel demand of more than 5 million barrels per day, the global aviation sector is incredibly energy-intensive and almost entirely reliant on petroleum-based fuels. But a new analysis by Berkeley Lab shows that sustainable plant-based bio-jet fuels could be competitive with conventional fuels if current development and scale-up initiatives continue to push ahead successfully.

Potential New Way to Boost Biofuels and Bioproducts Production

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have gained insight into the primary process by which all cells harness energy, known as cellular respiration, of E. coli bacteria and a species of yeast, each of which are common hosts for biofuels and bioproducts. Their findings suggest new ways by which the pathways

Faster, Cheaper, Better: A New Way to Synthesize DNA

In what could address a critical bottleneck in biology research, Berkeley Lab researchers announced they have pioneered a new way to synthesize DNA sequences through a creative use of enzymes that promises to be faster, cheaper, and more accurate.

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.

Genome Research Challenges Previous Understanding of the Origin of Photosynthesis

Plant biologists at Berkeley Lab, in collaboration with colleagues from Caltech, have reconstructed the evolutionary history of photosynthesis to provide new insight into the yet-unfolding story of its origins.

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.

DOE Renews Funding for Joint BioEnergy Institute at Berkeley Lab

The Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), led by Berkeley Lab, is one of four DOE Bioenergy Research Centers to receive funding in support of innovative research on biofuels and bioproducts. The four centers will receive a total of $40 million. The award marks the next research phase at JBEI, originally established in 2007.

A Whole-Genome Sequenced Rice Mutant Resource for the Study of Biofuel Feedstocks

Researchers at the DOE Joint BioEnergy Institute, in collaboration with the Joint Genome Institute, are reporting the first whole-genome sequence of a mutant population of Kitaake, a model variety of rice. Their high-density, high-resolution catalog of mutations facilitates the discovery of novel genes and functional elements that control diverse biological pathways.

Could This Enzyme Help Turn Biofuel Waste into Something Useful?

Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute are looking to common soil bacteria for help in converting aryl compounds, a common waste product from biofuels synthesis, into something of value.