A multidisciplinary team has been working for several years to develop a game-changing plastic that, unlike traditional plastics, can be recycled indefinitely and is not made from petroleum. In this Q&A, we asked two project leaders about the inspiration for the unique plastic, shortfalls in our current recycling systems, and how this ambitious project is enabled by a diverse combination of scientific expertise.
The soil, microbes, air, and water surrounding every individual plant is actually a bustling miniature environment that can tell us a great deal about important, large-scale ecological processes. Our scientists have developed a ground-breaking new way to study it.
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.
Scientists have determined the structure of a unique enzyme, produced by a species of methane-eating bacteria, that converts the greenhouse gas into methanol – a highly versatile liquid fuel and industrial product ingredient.
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.
A trio of Berkeley Lab scientists has been awarded a grant by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to develop a unique microscopy technology that can be used to study symbiosis in aquatic microbes – biological relationships that have a large influence on ecosystems and the planet’s climate. The grant is part of a three-year, $19-million project within the Foundation’s Symbiosis in Aquatic Systems Initiative.
When bacteria are put in different environments, such as one that is more acidic or anaerobic, their genes start to adapt remarkably quickly. They’re able to do so because the proteins making up their chromosome can pack and unpack rapidly. Now, a Berkeley Lab-led team of researchers has been able to capture this process at
Scientists from Pacific Northwest and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories showed that both dietary and supplementary sources of a common gut microbe or its main chemical product, lactic acid, led to better memory performance in mice.
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.
A study aimed at identifying and examining the small messenger proteins used by microbes living on and inside humans has revealed an astounding diversity of more than 4,000 families of molecules – many of which have never been described previously.