Today at Berkeley Lab

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Visits the Lab

Last week, he toured the Joint BioEnergy Institute and Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit, met with Lab Director Paul Alivisatos and JBEI’s Jay Keasling, along with several researchers and students during his tour. Vilsack discussed the need for innovative research partnerships to make America more energy independent.

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Keasling’s Malaria Work Featured on ABC7 News

In the piece, Keasling talks about his use of synthetic biology techniques to develop a microbial-based version of artemisinin, today’s most powerful antimalaria drug. Keasling explained that the synthetic artemisinin can be produced in a matter of weeks, rather than the months required for the natural version, for about $2 a dose. More>

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Doudna, Keasling, Mathies Elected to National Academy of Inventors

Biochemist Jennifer Doudna, chemical engineer Jay Keasling and chemist Richard Mathies were among 170 new fellows, recognized for outstanding contributions to innovation in patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation. More>

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Compounds Used for Fragrances Hold Promise for Biofuels

Earth scientist Harry Beller, director of JBEI’s Biofuels Pathways Department, led the refinement of an engineered strain of E.coli that can convert glucose into significant quantities of methyl ketones, a class of chemical compounds primarily used for fragrances and flavors, but promising as clean, green and renewable blending agents for diesel fuel. More>

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A Spooky Halloween at the Lab

Several groups got into the spirit of the holiday and dressed up for work, including the Advanced Light Source, the Joint BioEnergy Institute, and the Physical Biosciences Division. Go here to watch a scary Halloween dance performance at the ALS.

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Lab Startup Afingen Uses Precision Method to Enhance Plants

By manipulating a plant’s metabolic pathways, JBEI’s Henrik Scheller and Dominique Loqué, have figured out a way to genetically rewire plants to allow for an exceptionally high level of control over the spatial pattern of gene expression, while at the same time boosting expression to very high levels. More>

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Boosting Biogasoline Production in Microbes

Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute, led by Aindrila Mukhopadhyay, a chemist with the Physical Biosciences Division, have identified microbial genes that can improve both the tolerance and the production of biogasoline in engineered strains of Escherichia coli. More>

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JBEI Researchers Harness Power of Microbes for Work and Winemaking

For the past four years, Trent Northen (right) and Chris Petzold have put molecules to work in their home-based wine making project. Both scientists are very interested in microbial communities in their work, and they make the connection that microbial communities are also what they’re using to make wine. More>

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Jay Keasling to Give Keynote at Campus Synthetic Biology Conference

The gathering, sponsored by the University of Copenhagen, takes place Nov. 10-12 and focuses on “Optimal Production of High-Value Compounds.” In addition to Keasling, JBEI’s Dominique Loque will also speak at the event. More>

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MaxBin: Automated Sorting Through Metagenomes

Researchers at JBEI and JGI led by Steve Singer of the Earth Sciences Division have developed an automated software program for sorting the genomes of individual microbial species from metagenomic sequences. This development could aid the production of new chemical materials, such as advanced biofuels or pharmaceutical drugs. More>

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