Today at Berkeley Lab

Two Berkeley Lab Scientists Named AAAS Fellows

Climate scientist Bill Collins (left) of the Earth Sciences Division and chemist Heinz Frei of the Physical Biosciences Division have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for 2014. Collins was recognized for “distinguished contributions to the field of climate science through fundamental research on interactions among sunlight, heat, the coupled climate system, and global environmental change.” Frei was recognized for “distinguished contributions to the understanding of photochemical reactions, and, in particular, for the advancement of robust catalysts for solar energy conversion.” More>

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Doudna Featured in Foreign Policy’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers Issue

Physical Biosciences Division researcher Jennifer Doudna was included, along with colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier, in the innovators category of the “100 Leading Global Thinkers” issue of Foreign Policy Magazine. The team was recognized for their CRISPR/Cas genome-editing tool. More>

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Synthetic Biology for Space Exploration

Physical Biosciences Division Adam Arkin led a study that shows how synthetic biology may hold the key to long-term manned explorations of Mars and the Moon. He and postdoc Amor Menezes showed that biomanufacturing based on microbes could make travel to and settlement of extraterrestrial locations more practical and bearable. More>

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Perlmutter, Doudna are Recipients of 2015 Breakthrough Prizes

Saul Perlmutter of the Physics Division and Jennifer Doudna of the Physical Biosciences Division were among the featured recipients of the 2015 Breakthrough Prizes in Fundamental Physics and Life Sciences. Twelve prizes in all, totaling $36 million, were announced Sunday night at gala in Mountain View hosted by the entertainer Seth MacFarlane. 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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Nanotubes that Insert Themselves into Cell Membranes

Lab researchers have helped show that short carbon nanotubes can make excellent artificial pores within cell membranes. Moreover, these nanotubes, which are far more rugged than their biological counterparts, can self-insert into a cell membrane or other lipid bilayers. 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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$5M From HHMI to Fund New Microfocus Crystallography Beamline

The Berkeley Center for Structural Biology has helped hundreds of crystallographers determine the structures of proteins. A $5 million pledge from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute will enable the construction and support of a cutting-edge microfocus macromolecular crystallography beamline. More>

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In Hopes Of Fixing Faulty Genes, One Scientist Starts With The Basics

In an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition yesterday, Jennifer Doudna, a biochemist with the Physical Biosciences Division and professor at UC Berkeley, described her research in genome editing, how it could facilitate personalized medicine, and why she decided to become a scientist. More>

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RCas9: A Programmable RNA Editing Tool

Jennifer Doudna of the Physical Biosciences Division led a study that demonstrates that the CRISPR/Cas9 protein complex, a powerful scientific tool for editing DNA instructions, can also be applied to RNA. More>

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