Today at Berkeley Lab

Can Plant Genetics Help Solve World Hunger? Science Says Yes

When it comes to the earth’s dwindling resources, climbing temperatures and burgeoning population, talk is as plentiful as it is cheap. It can also be contentious. But JBEI’s Pamela Ronald doesn’t have time for controversy. She’s focused feeding the growing population without further destroying the environment. More>

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Keasling Honored by Chalmers For His Work on Anti-Malaria Drug

Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden has appointed JBEI’s CEO Jay Keasling as honorable doctor for his significant contributions in metabolic engineering, in particular his work on developing a bio-based process for production of production of the anti-malarial drug artemisinic acid. More>

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JBEI’s Pam Ronald To Be a TED2015 Speaker

Pam Ronald, JBEI’s Director of Grass Genetics, will give a talk at TED2015 Truth or Dare, taking place in Vancouver March 16-19. Ronald’s laboratory has engineered rice for resistance to disease and tolerance to flooding, which seriously threaten rice crops in Asia and Africa. More>

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Biofuel Proteomics: JBEI Uses Proteomics to Profile Switchgrass

If advanced biofuels are to replace gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel on a gallon-for-gallon basis at competitive pricing, a new generation of fuel crops — plants designed specifically to serve as feedstocks for fuels — is needed. JBEI researchers have demonstrated the power of a new ally in this effort…proteomics. More>

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JBEI Hosts Seminars on March 4 and 6

On March 4, Hiroshi Nikaido of UC Berkeley will discuss “Multidrug Efflux by E. coli AcrB: Substrates, Inhibitors, and Stimulators” at noon. On March 6, Bernard Palsson of UC San Diego will speak on “Workflows for Genome-Scale Model Deployment in Metabolic Engineering” at 10 a.m. Both talks take place in Building 978-4132.

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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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