Researchers in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) Division have used a state-of-the-art cryo-transmission electron microscope to reveal the structure of a large protein complex crucial to photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert sunlight into cellular energy.More »
The Biosciences Area recently joined the California Air Resources Board, UC Berkeley, and UC’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources in co-hosting the California Bioresources Economy Summit, aimed at harnessing biotechnology to convert California waste streams from farms, forests, and landfills into valuable low-carbon fuels and products.
Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences Mary Maxon keynoted the 2-day conference as it kicked off January 29 at the David Brower Center in Berkeley. In her presentation, Maxon noted that expansion of the $370 billion per year U.S. bioeconomy could create more than 1 million jobs while reducing annual carbon emissions by up to 450 million tons.More »
Mutations in the proteins that regulate cellular processes such as growth, division, and death are often linked to cancer and other diseases. The proper function of one of these proteins, SHP2, depends on maintaining equilibrium in a structural tug-of-war between an open (active) and a closed (inactive) arrangement. A team of researchers from Brandeis University performed X-ray crystallography at Advanced Light Source (ALS) Beamlines 8.2.1 and 8.2.2—part of the Berkeley Center for Structural Biology—to elucidate the structures of healthy and mutated forms of SHP2 and the dynamic interchange between their open and closed conformations, as well as how SHP2 interacts with certain cancer drugs.
Read more in this ALS Science Highlight.
When researchers report developing a more efficient solar cell, or a technique that improves drug delivery, one of the inevitable follow-up questions they face is, “When will this be available to consumers?” In recent years, attempts to bridge the distance from lab bench to market have been promoted for researchers committed to seeing their work be applied to real world situations at universities, national laboratories and other institutions.
One such program is Fed Tech, launched in 2013 as part of the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program. Trent Northen and Peter Andeer, scientists in the Biosciences Area’s Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology (EGSB) Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), were part of the Fall 2018 cohort of Fed Tech Start-Up Studio, which culminated with a Pitch Day in late November. With entrepreneurs Rick Kjellberg and Jayan Rammohan, they were among 20 teams that participated in the eight-week program.More »
Within each cell of the human body, thousands of molecular machines are at work. They transport nutrients and biochemicals into and out of our cells, build other tiny machines, and even move our cells around. To understand how these molecular machines work, scientists create three-dimensional pictures using electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM), catching these machines in different shapes that give insight into their function. Now researchers at Berkeley Lab and their international collaborators who write and distribute the Phenix software suite have developed a new set of computational tools for automated structure determination from cryo-EM data.More »