Today at Berkeley Lab

Carolyn Larabell to Receive Shirley Award at ALS User Meeting

Carolyn Larabell has been selected by the Advanced Light Source Users’ Executive Committee (UEC) to receive the 2017 David A. Shirley Award for “Outstanding Scientific Achievement at the ALS” at the upcoming ALS User Meeting for establishing the National Center for X-Ray Tomography, and for her work pioneering soft X-ray tomography for imaging cells in their fully hydrated, functional state. More>.

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Reinvestment in Research Supports Potential for Increased Crop Yields

A University of Illinois research project, on which Berkeley Lab researcher Krishna Niyogi has been a longtime collaborator, recently received a $45 million, five-year reinvestment to continue research on photosynthetic improvements that could increase yields for farmers worldwide. More>

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What’s on Your Skin? Archaea, That’s What

It turns out your skin is crawling with single-celled microorganisms — and they’re not just bacteria. Hoi-Ying Holman, director of the Berkeley Synchrotron Infrared Structural Biology Program, collaborated on a study that found that the skin microbiome also contains archaea, a type of extreme-loving microbe, and that the amount of it varies with age. More>

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Designing Cyclic Oligomers: Greater Than the Sum of Their Parts

Cyclic proteins that assemble from multiple identical subunits (homo-oligomers) play key roles in many biological processes, including cell signaling and enzymatic catalysis and protein function. Lab bioscientists worked with the University of Washington’s David Baker, who led a team to design in silico and crystallize self-assembling cyclic homo-oligomer proteins. 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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Mother and Son Both Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Like mother, like son. In May 2016, Krishna “Kris” Niyogi, who grew up in Oak Ridge, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Eighteen years earlier, in 1998, his mother Audrey, who worked at Oak Ridge Lab for 44 years, was elected to the academy. Kris is a researcher with the Lab’s Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division. More>

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Ahmet Yildiz Awarded Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science

The Vilcek Foundation is honoring Ahmet Yildiz of the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division for his “demonstrated evidence of creative promise with his scientific work.” Yildiz uses single-molecule imaging to uncover the mechanism of molecular motors that function in living cells. He will receive a $50,000 cash award. More>

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First Visual Evidence of Physical Mechanism Controlling Gene Expression

New images are providing the first visual evidence of a long-postulated physical link by which genes can receive mechanical cues from their microenvironment. Created through the integration of a “record-breaking” six different imaging techniques, the images show thread-like cytofilaments reaching into and traversing a human breast cell’s chromatin-packed nucleus. More>

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Gatekeeping Proteins to Aberrant RNA: You Shall Not Pass

In a new study, researchers shed light on a complex system of cell regulation that acts as a form of quality control for the transport of genetic information out of the nucleus. Getting a more complete picture of how genetic information gets expressed in cells is important in disease research, they say. More>

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X-Rays Reveal New Path in Battle Against Mosquito-Borne Illness

MBIB researchers were part of a team using SLAC’s X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) to get atomic views of the mosquito larvicide toxin BinAB. The structure of this protein was solved using de novo phasing, an older technique reimagined for XFEL data. Clues to the mechanism of action allow scientists to manipulate it to combat Zika and dengue virus-transmitting species of mosquitos. More>

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