Today at Berkeley Lab

Unlocking the Rice Immune System

Pam Ronald, a member of the Physical Sciences Division who directs JBEI’s Grass Genetics program, led a study that identified a bacterial signaling molecule that triggers an immunity response in rice plants, enabling the plants to resist a devastating blight disease. In addition to being a staple food, rice is the model for grass-type biofuels. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

Protein Shifts More Than Just Color for Cyanobacterial Photoprotection

PBD’s Cheryl Kerfeld found that a photoprotective mechanism in cyanobacteria is triggered by an unprecedented, large-scale movement of the carotenoid pigment within the Orange Carotenoid Protein. This event could help scientists find new ways to protect artificial photosynthetic systems from overexposure to sunlight. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

Doudna Shares Gruber Genetics Prize

Jennifer Doudna of the Physical Biosciences Division will share the $500,000 prize with Emmanuelle Charpentier for their landmark discovery of the RNA-guided CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system. The prize honors individuals whose groundbreaking work provides new models that inspire and enable fundamental shifts in knowledge and culture.More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

PBD’s Jennifer Doudna Honored by Princess of Asturias Foundation

Physical bioscientist Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier of Hannover Medical School have received the 2015 Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research. Their CRISPR/Cas9 system enables the genome to be rewritten and defective genes to be corrected very economically with an unprecedented level of precision. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

PBD Scientists Expand the Reach of X-ray Scattering Experiments

In a recent study, Erik Malmerberg, Cheryl Kerfeld, and Peter Zwart explored the nature of fluctuation X-ray scattering data and their properties. This technique can provide structural information in biology, materials science, and the energy sciences, lending insight into the understanding of matter. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

Lab Scientists Receive Lawrence Awards

David Schlegel, Peidong Yang, Carolyn Bertozzi and Jizhong Zhou, who are all affiliated with Berkeley Lab, were among nine scientists named by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz as recipients of the 2015 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, DOE’s highest scientific honor. Awardees will receive a medal and a $20,000 honorarium. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

Drug Perks Up Old Muscles and Aging Brains

Researchers — including physical bioscientist David Schaffer — have discovered that a small-molecule drug simultaneously perks up old stem cells in the brains and muscles of mice, a finding that could lead to drug interventions for humans that would make aging tissues throughout the body act young again. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

CLAIRE Brings Electron Microscopy to Soft Materials

Naomi Ginsberg of Materials Sciences, Physical Biosciences, aand Kavli-ENSI led the development of a technique called “CLAIRE,” that extends the incredible resolution of electron microscopy to the non-invasive nanoscale imaging of soft matter. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

Using Microbial Communities to Assess Environmental Contamination

A multi-institutional study sponsored by ENIGMA, a DOE “Scientific Focus Area Program” based at Berkeley Lab, has found that statistical analysis of DNA from natural microbial communities can be used to accurately identify environmental contaminants and serve as quantitative geochemical biosensors. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

PBD’s Jennifer Doudna Profiled in the New York Times

As a child in Hilo, Doudna felt out of place. She had blond hair and blue eyes, and she was taller than the other kids, who were mostly of Polynesian and Asian descent. Her isolation contributed to a kind of bookishness that propelled her toward science. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.