Today at Berkeley Lab

Kuriyan Recipient of Protein Society Award

John Kuriyan, senior faculty biologist in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division, was named the recipient of The Protein Society 2017 Stein and Moore Award. Kuriyan is recognized for scientific discoveries that have led to understanding the regulation of eukaryotic cell signaling and the phenomenon of processivity in DNA repair. More>

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Scientists Uncover Factors in Microbial Community Collapse

Microbial communities play key roles in all ecosystems and are essential to many industries and processes, such as agriculture and sewage treatment. Researchers in the Ecosystems and Networks Integrated with Genes and Molecular Assemblies (ENIGMA) program developed a framework to quantify microbial community resilience in the face of environmental changes. More>

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The Scientist Profiles the Inspirational Work of Lab’s Mina Bissell

“The reason I still travel and give talks, meet young scientists, and do interviews is that I see young people are inspired by my story of how I have persisted,” says Bissell of the Biosciences Area. “I never wanted to quit. If you are passionate and you have ideas leading to rigorous proof, you need to trust yourself.” More>

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Researchers Gain Insight into Protein Critical to Zika Virus Reproduction

Berkeley Lab researchers collaborated with colleagues from the University of Indiana and Texas A&M University to solve the atomic structure of a Zika virus protein that is key to viral reproduction. The X-ray studies were conducted at the Advanced Light Source in the Berkeley Center for Structural Biology. More>

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Maxon Serves on NAS ‘Future Products of Biotechnology’ Committee

Mary Maxon (Biosciences Area) served on a National Academy of Sciences committee that produced a report on the future products of biotechnology for the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy and the three federal regulatory agencies that oversee biotechnology products. Maxon participated in report-release activities in Washington D.C. last month. More>

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Plant Fast Food: Berkeley Researchers Turbocharge Photosynthesis

Plant scientists — including Krishna Niyogi of the Lab’s Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division — have successfully supercharged the photosynthesis cycle, allowing genetically altered tobacco plants to grow as much as 20 percent larger simply by using more sunlight. More>

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Could This Enzyme Help Turn Biofuel Waste into Something Useful?

A protein used by common soil bacteria is providing new clues in the effort to convert aryl compounds, a common waste product from industrial and agricultural practices, into something of value. Researchers have resolved the protein structure of the enzyme LigM, which is utilized by the soil bacterium Sphingomonas to metabolize aryl compounds derived from lignin. More>

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In a Sample of Blood, Researchers Probe for Cancer Clues

One day, patients may be able to monitor their body’s response to cancer therapy just by having their blood drawn. A new study, led by Berkeley Lab’s Amy Herr (Biosciences), has taken an important step in that direction by measuring a panel of cancer proteins in rare, individual tumor cells that float in the blood. More>

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Mary Maxon: Inspiring Women in Sciences

Maxon (Biosciences Area) recently visited UC San Francisco to discuss the ways in which women can impact science policy at the state and national level. “Impact is as simple as a phone call, it is as simple as an email, and it really does matter,” she said. “Use it: your research and ideas can have a role in shaping future policy.” More>

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New Drug Strategy: Target Ribosome to Halt Protein Production

The discovery of a chemical compound that halts the production of a small set of proteins while leaving general protein production untouched suggests a new drug search strategy: Find compounds that target undesired proteins before they are even made. Jamie Cate of the Biosciences Area was a senior author of this study. More>

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