News Center

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.

Location, Location, Location: Regional Tau Deposits in Healthy Elders Predict Alzheimer Disease

Subtle memory deficits are common in normal aging as well as Alzheimer disease (AD), the leading cause of dementia in older adults. This makes AD difficult to diagnose in its early stages. As there is currently no effective treatment to slow or stop the progression of AD, it is important to identify early pathological brain

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.

The Odd Structure of ORF8: Scientists Map the Coronavirus Protein Linked to Immune Evasion and Disease Severity

A team of biologists who banded together to support COVID-19 science determined the atomic structure of a coronavirus protein thought to help the pathogen evade and dampen response from human immune cells. The structural map – which is now published in the journal PNAS, but has been open-access for the scientific community since August – has laid the groundwork for new antiviral treatments and enabled further investigations into how the newly emerged virus ravages the human body.

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.

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.

Scaling Up Science During a Global-Scale Emergency

Our biomanufacturing experts are helping accelerate the development of new COVID-19-fighting technologies. Learn how the scientists at the ABPDU are collaborating with biotech companies to scale up and optimize production of coronavirus-targeting antibodies and a highly accurate rapid testing system.

The Wild World of Microbe-Made Products – Skis Now Included

Biomanufacturing – harnessing biological processes in cells and microbes to design and manufacture products – is revolutionizing how we make everything from futuristic consumer goods to sustainable fuels to breakthrough medicines. Every biomanufactured product can be traced back to discoveries in the lab, but translating that science into a real-world product can be tricky. Berkeley Lab is helping to move great ideas, like outdoor gear made from algae oil, from conception to commercialization.

A Game-Changing Test for Prion, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s Diseases is on the Horizon

A new test agent can easily and efficiently detect the misfolded protein aggregates that cause devastating neurological diseases in blood samples. The technology could lead to early diagnosis of prion, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s diseases for the first time.