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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.  In a new study published in the journal ChemSusChem,

Getting Teens Hooked on STEM

The Introductory College Level Experience in Microbiology (iCLEM) – an immersive summer science program hosted by the Joint BioEnergy Institute – has an impressive track record of helping socioeconomically disadvantaged high schoolers pursue college education. Hoping to share the secret sauce of their instructional model, a group of former and current scientific advisors have now published the iCLEM curriculum.

Scientists Find a Molecular Switch for Better Biofuels

Adapted from an original release published by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Read the full story here  Plant cell walls contain a renewable, nearly-limitless supply of sugar that can be used as a carbon source for microbe-based chemical and biofuel production. However, retrieving these sugars isn’t all that easy. Imidazolium ionic liquid (IIL) solvents are some

Blue Pigment from Engineered Fungi Could Help Turn the Textile Industry Green

A new biosynthetic production pathway developed by scientists at the Joint BioEnergy Institute could provide a sustainable alternative to conventional synthetic blue dye. The highly efficient fungi-based platform may also open the door for producing many other valuable biological compounds that are currently very hard to manufacture.

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.