Today at Berkeley Lab

Researchers Identify Openings for Shuttering Virus Factories

Banumathi Sankaran, a bioscientist in the Berkeley Center for Structural Biology at the Advanced Light Source, was part of a Baylor College of Medicine-led team that studied proteins involved in making the cytoplasmic compartments in which many DNA and RNA virus pathogens replicate. Understanding their molecular methods of construction could offer an avenue for disrupting virus production. More>

Imaging Technique Provides Nanoscale Insights Into Biological Molecules Behavior

Lab researchers, in collaboration with SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Max Planck Institute, have demonstrated that fluctuation X-ray scattering is capable of capturing the behavior of biological systems in unprecedented detail. The team developed a novel mathematical and data analyses framework that was applied to data obtained from DOE’s Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at SLAC. More>

Freeze-Frame Microscopy Captures Molecule’s ‘Lock-and-Load’ on DNA

Eva Nogales, faculty scientist in the Biosciences Area, led a team that captured freeze-frames of the changing shape of the huge macromolecular complex, transcription factor IID, as it locks onto DNA and loads the machinery for reading the genetic code. Scientists used cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) to obtain snapshots of this structure as it engages with DNA, scans the sequence, and recruits and rearranges the appropriate proteins. More>

Former JBEI Scientist Wins 2018 Berkeley Visionary Award

The award honors local entrepreneurs with the imagination and persistence to innovate in the city of Berkeley. Steen (pictured here with Biosciences ALD Mary Maxon) co-founded and is the CEO of Lygos, the first company to spin out of JBEI. Watch the Visionary Award video about Lygos here.

Four Berkeley Lab Scientists Named AAAS Fellows

Four Berkeley Lab scientists – Allen Goldstein (Energy Technologies Area), Sung-Hou Kim (Biosciences Area), Susannah Tringe (Biosciences Area), and Kathy Yelick (Computing Sciences) – have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society. They are among 416 scientists awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow this year. More>

Newly Characterized Toxin Gives Bacterium a Leg Up on the Competition

Bacteria deploy various biological mechanisms to fend off their competition — often other bacteria. Biosciences Area beamline scientist Marc Allaire worked with a team led by HHMI Investigator Joseph Mougous of the University of Washington to understand how a newly discovered toxin stands out from others in the battle for microbial domination. More>

Glaeser Honored with Glenn T. Seaborg Medal

Robert Glaeser, senior scientist in the Molecular Biophysics & Integrated Bioimaging Division, was awarded the Glenn T. Seaborg Medal by the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. At a symposium held Nov. 10, Glaeser and Richard Henderson, a Nobel laureate in chemistry, were recognized for their “crucial contributions to the science of electron cryo-microscopy.” More>

Scientists Bring Polymers Into Atomic-Scale Focus

A Berkeley Lab-led research has adapted a powerful electron-based imaging technique to obtain a first-of-its-kind image of atomic-scale structure in a synthetic polymer. The research could ultimately inform polymer fabrication methods and lead to new designs for materials and devices that incorporate polymers. More>

Scientists Capture Photosynthesis in Unprecedented Detail

Grab some popcorn: Berkeley Lab scientists have succeeded in capturing a more detailed picture than ever of the steps in the reaction mechanisms in photosynthesis, the process by which plants use sunlight to split water and produce oxygen while making the carbohydrates that sustain life on Earth. More>

Postdoc Investigates the Interactions Between Soil Microbes and Plants

Lauren Jabusch has been passionate about sustainability and outreach since her early days as a freshman at UC Davis. Nearly a decade later, she has earned a bachelor’s, a master’s, and most recently a doctoral degree in biosystems engineering. Now a postdoctoral researcher at Berkeley Lab, Jabusch investigates the interactions between soil microbes and plants. More>