Curved beta sheets are important for the architecture of protein cavities, such as enzyme active sites and ligand-binding pockets. Beginning by analyzing classic protein formations and running folding simulations, University of Washington (UW) researchers under the leadership of David Baker designed six protein folds inspired by naturally occurring protein superfamilies. A research report published in the January 13 issue of Science describes how a multi-institutional team of scientists compared the predicted models to physical structures of these designed proteins.More »
Bioscientists Junko Yano, Vittal Yachandra, and Jan Kern led a multi-institutional collaboration to develop and demonstrate a novel Acoustic Droplet Ejection-“Droplet on Tape” method of sample delivery for free electron laser experiments. The study, which was published yesterday in Nature Methods, describes the techniques that were deployed at SLAC’s Linac Coherent Light Source.More »
Like mother, like son. In May 2016, Krishna “Kris” Niyogi, who grew up in Oak Ridge, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Eighteen years earlier, in 1998, his mother Audrey, who worked at Oak Ridge Lab for 44 years, was elected to the academy, which is a private, nonprofit organization of the country’s leading researchers.
The NAS recognizes and promotes outstanding science through election to membership; publication in its journal, PNAS; and its awards, programs, and special activities. Through the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the NAS provides objective, science-based advice on critical issues affecting the nation. Election to membership in the NAS is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive.
Niyogi, a faculty scientist affiliated with the Molecular Biophysics & Integrated Bioimaging Division, and his mother were recently featured in a “Historically Speaking” post of the Oakridger which includes several quotes of Niyogi.
Seven LBNL Biosciences Area researchers are among the 47 new investigators chosen by the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub to receive up to $1.5 million each to conduct cutting-edge biomedical research — with no strings attached. The investigator awards are the first individual grants by the CZ Biohub as it seeks to foster unconventional scientific exploration and encourage researchers to invent new tools to accelerate the pace of discovery. Senior investigators will each receive 1.5 million over five years while the younger faculty will receive half the amount, $750,000.
Biosciences Area’s senior investigators are: Jill Banfield and Michal Maharbiz (EGSB), Dan Fletcher and Amy Herr (BSE). The junior investigators are Ke Xu (MBIB) and Wenjun Zhang (EGSB). Read more at UC Berkeley News.
Structurally Integrated Biology for Life Sciences (SIBYLS) beamline researchers, led by research scientist Michal Hammel of the Molecular Biophysics & Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) Division, used X-ray scattering to define an unexpected key role for unfolded protein regions in DNA break repair to allow regulation plus access to DNA ends. The concept of DNA break repair as a flexibly-linked dynamic complex, as opposed to a linear pathway, suggests new approaches to targeting DNA repair for selectively killing cancer cells due to their high levels of DNA instability. Their findings were published in a recent cover article of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
The SIBYLS beamline of the Advanced Light Source at Berkeley Lab, directed by MBIB’s senior scientist John Tainer, is optimized for both small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and macromolecular crystallography (MX), making it unique among the world’s mostly SAXS or MX dedicated beamlines.