The Introductory College Level Experience in Microbiology (iCLEM), the Joint BioEnergy Institute’s flagship outreach program, concluded last week with a celebration which included a students’ presentation and a poster presentation by the teachers who assisted the program. Photos of the celebration are available online. Check out also the Twitter campaign in which the students shared highlights of their summer experience at JBEI.
Patrick Shih, Director of Plant Biosystems Design at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and faculty scientist with the Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology (EGSB) Division, 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, although appear to avoid the mass extinctions that have hit larger forms of life on Earth. The finding contradicts widely held scientific thinking that microbe taxa, because of their very large populations, rarely die off. The study “Bacterial diversification through geological time,” published today in Nature Ecology and Evolution used massive DNA sequencing and big data analysis to create the first evolutionary tree encompassing a large fraction of Earth’s bacteria over the past billion years. To learn more read the University of British Columbia news release.
This summer the Biosciences Area has hosted student interns ranging from high school- through graduate school-level. They came to our laboratories through a number of programs dedicated to training the next generation of scientists. Some of our interns took time from their busy summer to share with us highlights of their experiences in the Biosciences Area.More »
Bacterial microcompartments (BMCs) are organelles that encapsulate portions of metabolic pathways, like miniature factories. They’re found across diverse phyla and do different things depending on the host. Scientists want to retrofit these factories to perform desired functions, such as producing biofuels, industrial materials, or nanoscale medical devices. But current technologies to manipulate BMCs, which consist of an enzymatic core surrounded by a shell made up of protein tiles, have limitations. In a recently published Nature Communications paper, researchers affiliated with Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology (EGSB) Division and Michigan State’s MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory present two new methods they’ve developed to facilitate the construction of synthetic versions.More »
In a letter to the editor published July 6 in Nature Biotechnology, the KBase team presented a comprehensive overview of the platform and an assessment of its scientific impact. The paper describes the unique features and infrastructure of the platform, in addition to highlighting scientific use cases that demonstrate its significance for biology research.More »