Today at Berkeley Lab

Lab Researchers Featured in New Yorker Article on What Termites Can Teach Us

A New Yorker article on “What Termites Can Teach Us” features the work of Héctor García Martín of the Biosciences Area, JBEI’s Jay Keasling, and Jill Banfield of the Earth & Environmental Sciences Area to crack the mysteries of termite digestion to turn biomass into fuels. More>

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JBEI Researchers Pave the Way for Efficient Gene Expression at Any Scale

In the quest to find the key to a rainforest-dwelling bacterium’s lignin-degrading ability, researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have constructed a gene expression system that outperforms conventional systems. Controlling gene expression is crucial to scientists’ ability to perform basic science and biotechnological research to produce enzymes, bio-based products, and biofuels, both at the bench and on industrial scales. More>

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JBEI Team Honored by Secretary of Energy

Rick Perry awarded a Secretary of Energy’s Achievement Award to the Pretreatment and Process Development Team of the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI). The team was recognized for pioneering the development of biomass-derived ionic liquids (“bionic liquids”) to enable efficient and sustainable one-pot biofuel conversion technologies. The multi-lab team includes Lab researchers Blake Simmons and Corinne Scown. More>

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High School Interns Present at Biotech Partners Poster Competition

High school students who interned at Berkeley Lab recently presented their posters at ‘BRAVO!’ — the Biotech Partners end-of-summer celebration and poster competition. Four interns from the Lab’s Biosciences Area made it to the final round, and two won honorable mentions. More>

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Scientists Discover How to Protect Yeast From Damage in Biofuel Production

Some chemicals used to speed up the breakdown of plants for the production of biofuels are poison to the yeasts that turn the plant sugars into fuel. A group of researchers, including scientists from JBEI and Berkeley Lab, have identified two changes to a single gene that can make yeast tolerate the pretreatment chemicals. They published their findings recently in the journal Genetics. More>

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Do Bacteria Ever Go Extinct? New Research Says Yes, Big-Time

Patrick Shih of the Joint BioEnergy Institute and Biosciences Area collaborated with a team of researchers led by the University of British Columbia in a new study that has found that bacteria go extinct at substantial rates, but appear to avoid the mass extinctions that have hit larger forms of life on Earth. More>

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Meet the Summer 2018 Biosciences Interns

This summer the Biosciences Area has hosted student interns ranging from high school- through graduate school-level. They came through a number of programs dedicated to training the next generation of scientists. Some of the interns took time from their busy summer to share highlights of their experiences in the Biosciences Area.

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2018 iCLEM Students Share Highlights of Their Time at JBEI

Created in 2008, the Introductory College Level Experience in Microbiology (iCLEM) program provides Bay Area youth from communities traditionally underrepresented in the sciences with a paid summer research experience at the Joint Bioenergy Institute’s state-of-the-art laboratories. ICLEM students share highlights of their summer experience at JBEI during this year’s session.

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JBEI Hosts National Student Leadership Conference

For a fifth year in a row the Joint BioEnergy Institute and the National Student Leadership Conference partnered to instruct students about the benefits and research behind biofuels and bioproducts, as well as discuss careers in STEM. This year JBEI’s volunteers interacted with 82 students to provide them a motivating learning experience. More>

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Faster, Cheaper, Better: A New Way to Synthesize DNA

In what could address a critical bottleneck in biology research, Sebastian Palluk and Daniel Arlow, grad students working with Jay Keasling at the Joint BioEnergy Institute, have pioneered a new way to synthesize DNA sequences through a creative use of enzymes that promises to be faster, cheaper, and more accurate. Their paper was published in Nature Biotechnology. More>

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