Today at Berkeley Lab

JBEI, ABPDU Scientists Develop Higher-Performance Fuels, Biofuels, Bioproducts

Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and the Advanced Biofuels & Bioproducts Process Development Unit (ABPDU) have developed a new polyketide synthase-based platform and prototyped efficient production of potential biofuels, gasoline additives, and commodity chemicals. More>

Potential New Way to Boost Biofuels and Bioproducts Production

JBEI researchers have gained insight into the primary process by which all cells harness energy of E. coli bacteria and a species of yeast, each of which are common hosts for biofuels and bioproducts. Their findings suggest new ways by which the pathways to produce biofuels and bioproducts could be optimized to maintain proper respiratory function, thereby increasing production. 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.

JBEI Organizes Third Annual Software Developer WetLab Bootcamp

The Biosciences Area’s software developers recently participated in the third annual Software Developer WetLab Bootcamp at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI). Ten developers from Agile BioFoundry, the Joint Genome Institute, JBEI, and KBase took part in the five-day training session. More>

Lab Researchers Featured in New Yorker Article on What Termites Can Teach Us

A New Yorker article on “What Termites Can Teach Us” features the work of Héctor García Martín of the Biosciences Area, JBEI’s Jay Keasling, and Jill Banfield of the Earth & Environmental Sciences Area to crack the mysteries of termite digestion to turn biomass into fuels. More>

JBEI Researchers Pave the Way for Efficient Gene Expression at Any Scale

In the quest to find the key to a rainforest-dwelling bacterium’s lignin-degrading ability, researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have constructed a gene expression system that outperforms conventional systems. Controlling gene expression is crucial to scientists’ ability to perform basic science and biotechnological research to produce enzymes, bio-based products, and biofuels, both at the bench and on industrial scales. More>

JBEI Team Honored by Secretary of Energy

Rick Perry awarded a Secretary of Energy’s Achievement Award to the Pretreatment and Process Development Team of the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI). The team was recognized for pioneering the development of biomass-derived ionic liquids (“bionic liquids”) to enable efficient and sustainable one-pot biofuel conversion technologies. The multi-lab team includes Lab researchers Blake Simmons and Corinne Scown. More>

High School Interns Present at Biotech Partners Poster Competition

High school students who interned at Berkeley Lab recently presented their posters at ‘BRAVO!’ — the Biotech Partners end-of-summer celebration and poster competition. Four interns from the Lab’s Biosciences Area made it to the final round, and two won honorable mentions. More>

Scientists Discover How to Protect Yeast From Damage in Biofuel Production

Some chemicals used to speed up the breakdown of plants for the production of biofuels are poison to the yeasts that turn the plant sugars into fuel. A group of researchers, including scientists from JBEI and Berkeley Lab, have identified two changes to a single gene that can make yeast tolerate the pretreatment chemicals. They published their findings recently in the journal Genetics. More>

Do Bacteria Ever Go Extinct? New Research Says Yes, Big-Time

Patrick Shih of the Joint BioEnergy Institute and Biosciences Area collaborated with a team of researchers led by the University of British Columbia in a new study that has found that bacteria go extinct at substantial rates, but appear to avoid the mass extinctions that have hit larger forms of life on Earth. More>