Sometimes, when something is broken, the first step to fixing it is to break it even more. Scientists have discovered this is the case for a human DNA repair protein that functions by marking and then further breaking damaged DNA. Their surprising findings have provided much-needed insight into how DNA repair works in healthy cells, as well as how different mutations can translate into different diseases and cancer.
A research team including scientists from Berkeley Lab has developed a technique that produces atomic-scale 3D images of nanoparticles tumbling in liquid between sheets of graphene, the thinnest material possible.
To better understand how a liquid interacts with the surface of a solid, Berkeley Lab researchers developed a platform to explore these interactions under real conditions at the nanoscale using a technique that combines infrared light with an atomic-scale probe.
A superfast detector installed on an electron microscope at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry will reveal atomic-scale details across a larger sample area than could be seen before, and produce movies showing chemistry in action and changes in materials.
Experiments conducted at Berkeley Lab helped to confirm that samples of interplanetary particles – collected from Earth’s upper atmosphere and believed to originate from comets – contain dust leftover from the initial formation of the solar system.
Researchers at the Berkeley Lab now have access to a unique new microscope that combines atomic-scale imaging capabilities with the ability to observe real-world sample properties and behavior in real time.
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley have combined cutting-edge cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) with computational molecular modeling to produce a near atomic-resolution model of the interaction between microtubules – crucial components of eukaryotic cell ultrastructure – and microtubule-associated proteins called tau.
Lab scientists use cryo-electron microscopy to gain a deeper understanding of the structure of a regulatory complex. Their research could open up new possibilities for cancer therapies.
Biologists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley used cryo-EM to resolve the structure of a ring of proteins used by the immune system to summon support when under attack, providing new insight into potential strategies for protection from pathogens. The researchers captured the high-resolution image of a protein ring, called an inflammasome, as it was bound to flagellin, a protein from the whiplike tail used by bacteria to propel themselves forward.
Berkeley Lab played a key role in the 2017 Nobel Prize in chemistry, awarded today, honoring the development of cryo-EM, an imaging technique that has launched the fields of structural biology and biochemistry into an exciting new era of discovery.