Today at Berkeley Lab

Council on Competitiveness Releases Report on Advancing U.S. Bioscience

The report “Leverage: Advancing U.S. Bioscience” was released at a recent event in Washington, D.C., and attended by Jay Keasling (far right) and Mary Maxon of the Biosciences Area. The report looks at infrastructure, technology, investment, and talent needed for advancements in U.S. bioscience. More>

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EESA, Biosciences Brief California Science Advisory Panel for Food and Agriculture

Earth & Environmental Sciences Area and Biosciences Area scientists recently shared their expertise with the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Science Advisory Panel. They briefed the panel on their research related to developing healthy soils, sustainable groundwater management strategies, and climate-adaptive agriculture. Read more here.

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NIH Awards $9.3M for Further Development of Structural Biology Software

PHENIX, a software suite launched 17 years ago at Berkeley Lab to automate the analysis of structural biology data, has received $9.3 million from the National Institutes of Health for continued development. The grant will support the use of PHENIX to build and refine models to solve three-dimensional macromolecular structures. More>

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DARPA Awards $21.6M to Develop Optogenetic ‘Read-Write’ Neural Interface

DARPA has awarded $21.6 million to a team led by Biosciences researcher Ehud Isacoff to develop a novel neural interface device that uses light to monitor and modulate the activity of millions of individual neurons in the cerebral cortex. The project is one of six funded this year by the agency’s Neural Engineering System Design program. More>

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New Members of Orange Carotenoid Protein Family Identified

Biosciences researchers have identified and characterized a new, functionally distinct member of the Orange Carotenoid Protein (OCP) family. OCPs enable chromatically acclimating cyanobacteria to avoid cellular damage and growth inhibition in conditions of high light or nutrient stress. More>

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Glass Named Fellow of the Mycological Society of America

Louise Glass, director of the Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology Division at Berkeley Lab, is being named a fellow of the Mycological Society of America (MSA) at their annual meeting in Athens, Georgia. More>

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Competition Helped Biosciences Intern Reavelyn Pray Find Her Place in Science

Pray was taught that students like her didn’t become scientists. But thanks to landing first place in the National Science Foundation’s Community College Innovation Challenge, and help from the scientific community, Pray – now an intern with the Lab’s Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology Division – is a lot further along toward her goal than the naysayers ever thought possible. More>

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Epigenetic Effects of ‘Genomic Parasites’ Impact Their Evolution

Transposable elements (TEs), bits of DNA that copy themselves and jump to other locations in the genome, can harm organisms through epigenetic effects such as changing the way DNA is packaged in cells. Berkeley Lab Biosciences researchers found an inverse correlation between harmful epigenetic effects and the number of TEs in fruit flies. More>

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Mouse Model of Autism Enables Research

Using a genetic mouse model developed at Berkeley Lab with CRISPR/Cas9 editing technology, UC Davis researchers led a study that examined the developmental impact of a specific mutation found in some rare cases of autism spectrum disorder. Members of the Lab’s Mammalian Functional Genomics Lab co-authored the study that recently appeared in Nature Neuroscience. More>

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Researchers ID New Mechanism for Keeping DNA Protein in Line

Electrostatic forces known as phosphate steering help guide the actions of an enzyme called FEN1 that is critical in DNA replication and repair, a new study finds. The findings help explain how FEN1 distinguishes which strands of DNA to target, revealing key details on a vital process in healthy cells, and providing new directions for cancer treatment research. More>

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