Today at Berkeley Lab

New Machine Learning Technique Provides Translational Results

Scientists have developed an unsupervised multi-scale machine learning technique that can automatically and specifically capture biomedical events or concepts directly from raw data. The Berkeley Biomedical Data Science Center will nurture data-intensive biomedical science, and will apply this technique to cancer-risk assessment and diagnosis, as well as personalized medicine. More>

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Designing Protein Cavities from Curved Beta Sheets

Curved beta sheets are important for the architecture of protein cavities, such as enzyme active sites and ligand-binding pockets. Bioscientists in the Berkeley Center for Structural Biology at the ALS, in collaboration with a team at the University of Washington, have helped to validate novel protein designs that could be customized to perform a reaction or facilitate a function of interest. More>

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ABPDU Collaborates With Mango Materials Via Small Business Vouchers Pilot

Thanks to the Energy Department’s Small Business Voucher pilot, bioenergy startup Mango Materials is testing new processes for producing renewable plastics that are biodegradable and petroleum-free. Last fall, Mango Materials received a voucher to work with Berkeley Lab, which allowed access to the Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit (ABPDU). More>

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Finding Our Way Around DNA

Biosciences researchers collaborated with a team at the Salk Institute to develop a computational algorithm that integrates two different data types to make locating key regions within the genome more precise and accurate, allowing more targeted searches for disease-causing genetic variants that promote cancer or other metabolic disorders. More>

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Conveyor Belt Innovation Speeds Up Biological Discovery

Bioscientists Junko Yano, Vittal Yachandra, and Jan Kern led a multi-institutional collaboration to develop and demonstrate a novel acoustic droplet ejection “droplet-on-tape” method of sample delivery for free electron laser experiments. The study, published in Nature Methods, describes the techniques that were deployed at SLAC’s Linac Coherent Light Source. More>

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Doudna Talks Gene Editing Patent With Newsweek Magazine

In this Q&A, Jennifer Doudna of the Biosciences Area discusses the recent patent ruling on the CRISPR-Cas9 technology, what work can now proceed as a result of that ruling, the kinds of developments that might be seen in the future, what her lab is working on next, and advice for other scientists navigating the patent system. More>

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Feb. 22 Biosciences Seminar on Bioethics

The Biosciences Area is hosting leading bioethics authority R. Alta Charo of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, who will discuss a survey of ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding human and nonhuman applications of genome editing and possible future directions for policy. Her talk “CRISPR Critters and Cut & Paste People” begins at 4 p.m. in the Building 50 Auditorium.

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Doudna Awarded Japan Prize for Invention of CRISPR Gene Editing

Jennifer Doudna of the Biosciences Area will share the Japan Prize with Emmanuelle Charpentier for their invention of CRISPR-Cas9, a gene-editing technology that has led to new therapies for cancer and hereditary diseases. The honors will be presented at an award ceremony on April 19 in Tokyo. More>

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CZ Biohub Awards Nearly $14.5 Million to Berkeley Researchers

Michel Maharbiz (Biosciences) is among 47 new investigators chosen by the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub to receive up to $1.5 million each to conduct cutting-edge biomedical research — with no strings attached. CZ Biohub seeks to foster unconventional scientific exploration and encourage researchers to invent new tools to accelerate the pace of discovery. More>

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LDRD ‘Beyond Petrochemicals’ Workshop on Feb. 16

The workshop takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Building 50 Auditorium. Researchers are encouraged to propose projects that interface chemistry, materials, biology, and computing to develop new materials and chemicals that are environmentally friendly in production and use. The program includes short presentations, discussion, and networking. Register here. More>

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