Today at Berkeley Lab

Landry Receives Early Career New Innovator Award

Markita Landry of the Lab’s Biosciences Area received the second annual New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award for plant efficiency. At UC Berkeley, she will investigate routes for nanoparticle transport across plant cell walls with the ultimate goal of producing tools to enable development of genetic variants that improve crop yield and resilience. More>

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Biosciences’ Dernburg and Nogales Named ASCB Fellows

Biosciences’ Abby Dernburg and Eva Nogales have been selected as 2017 Fellows of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed upon ASCB members by their peers. The award is a lifetime recognition of meritorious efforts to advance cell biology and/or its applications, work in service to the Society, and ongoing loyalty to ASCB. More>

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IEEE Awards for Yablonovitch and Budinger

Materials scientist Eli Yablonovitch received the Edison Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his work in photonics, semiconductor lasers, and solar cells. Bioscientist Thomas Budinger received the Medal for Innovations in Healthcare Technology for his pioneering contributions to tomographic radiotracer imaging. Go here to read more about the IEEE Awards.

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Lab Takes Home Four R&D 100 Awards for Cutting-Edge Technologies

Technologies that help determine how solar energy affects the grid, benchmark energy savings for low-carbon cities, understand the functions of genes in microbes under different environmental conditions, and simulate how chemical reactions occur and change as fluids travel underground — all developed by researchers at Berkeley Lab — have received annual R&D 100 awards. More>

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Detailed View of Immune Proteins Could Aid New Pathogen-Defense Strategies

Berkeley Lab biologists have resolved the structure of a ring of proteins used by the immune system for support when under attack, providing new insight into potential strategies for protection from pathogens. The researchers captured a high-resolution image of a protein ring as it was bound to flagellin, a protein from the tail used by bacteria to propel themselves forward. More>

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Explaining the Size, Pathogenicity of Humongous Fungus

As part of an international team, researchers at the Joint Genome Institute helped sequence and analyze the genomes of four fungi of the genus Armillaria, which are capable of breaking down all the components of a host plant’s cell walls. This could be of potential interest to researchers looking for methods to convert plant biomass into alternative fuels or other bioproducts. More>

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A Cellphone-Based Microscope for Treating River Blindness

A smartphone-based microscope technology developed by Lab researcher Daniel Fletcher has been used to help treat river blindness, a debilitating disease caused by parasitic worms. The technology, called LoaScope, uses video from a smartphone-connected microscope to automatically detect and quantify infection by parasitic worms in a drop of blood. More>

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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. More>

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Working Groups Formed to Address BERAC Grand Challenges

The Oct. 16 Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee (BERAC) Grand Challenges Visioning Workshop was attended by 77 people from across the Lab. As a result of discussion that day, five groups were formed to develop program ideas that address the Grand Challenges in the BERAC draft report. Lab staff are invited to participate, regardless of workshop attendance. More>

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ALS Helps Resolve the CRISPR Target-Recognition Mechanism

CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins have revolutionized gene editing by vastly simplifying the insertion of short snippets of new DNA into very specific locations of target DNA. Now, using X-ray crystallography at the ALS, researchers have discovered how Cas proteins recognize the target locations. More>

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