Today at Berkeley Lab

UC Berkeley Breakthrough Prize Symposium, Panel Discussion on Nov. 9

The symposium will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Brower Center, and includes several Lab speakers. The panel discussion runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall and features Breakthrough Prize winners, including Berkeley Lab’s Jennifer Doudna and Saul Perlmutter. Registration is required. More>

New Catalysts Can be Fine Tuned; Could Replace Precious Metals

Scientists at MIT and Berkeley Lab have developed a new type of catalyst that can be tuned to promote desired chemical reactions, potentially enabling the replacement of expensive and rare metals in fuel cells. The research team includes Junko Yano of the Physical Biosciences Division. More>

Another Milestone in Hybrid Artificial Photosynthesis

A team led by Peidong Yang, Michelle Chang and Chris Chang has combined semiconducting nanowires with select microbes to create an artificial photosynthesis system that produces renewable molecular hydrogen and uses it to synthesize carbon dioxide into methane, the primary constituent of natural gas. More>

New Mathematics Advances the Frontier of Macromolecular Imaging

A comprehensive understanding of complex nanostructures—like proteins and viruses—could lead to breakthroughs in some of the most challenging problems in biology and medicine. In a PNAS paper Berkeley Lab researchers have introduced new mathematical theory and an algorithm, which they call “Multi-tiered iterative phasing (M-TIP).”

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>

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>

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>

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>

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>

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>