News Center

We’ve Got the Dirt on Soil Protists

Among the large cast of microbiome players, bacteria have long been hogging the spotlight. But the single-celled organisms known as protists are finally getting the starring role they deserve. A group of scientists who study the interactions between plants and microbes have released a new study detailing the dynamic relationships between soil-dwelling protists and developing plants, demonstrating that soil protists respond to plant signals much like bacteria do.

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

Susannah Tringe Appointed Director of Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology Division

Following an international search, Berkeley Lab has named Susannah Tringe, known for her work in advancing the field of metagenomics, to serve as Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology (EGSB) Division Director.

The Green Secrets of Goat Poop

Converting the tough fibers and complex sugars in plants into biofuels and other products could be humanity’s ticket to smarter materials, better medicines, and a petroleum-free, sustainable future. Hoping to discover new and improved ways of processing plant material for industrial purposes, scientists like Michelle O’Malley at UC Santa Barbara and the Joint BioEnergy Institute have been studying the gut microbiomes of the planet’s most prolific herbivores: ruminant animals such as goats.

Are Gut Microbes the Key to Unlocking Anxiety?

The prevalence of anxiety disorders, already the most common mental illness in many countries, including the US, has surged during the novel coronavirus pandemic. A new study provides evidence that taking care of our gut microbiome may help mitigate some of that anxiety.

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%.

Focusing in on Aquatic Microbes: Berkeley Lab Scientists Receive Grant for New Microscopy Approach

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.

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,

Scientists Explore Links Between Genetics, Gut Microbiome, and Memory

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.