Neuroscientists can now explore a beta version of the new Neurodata Without Borders: Neurophysiology (NWB:N 2.0) software and offer input to its developers. The 2.0 software was developed by Berkeley Lab Computational Research Division’s (CRD’s) Oliver Ruebel and Andrew Tritt, in collaboration with Kristofer Bouchard (Biological Systems & Engineering Division, pictured), Loren Frank and Eddie Chang (UCSF), and the broader Neurodata Without Borders community. Read more on CRD’s website.
Biosciences’ Abby Dernburg and Eva Nogales–both of whom are also UC Berkeley professors and HHMI Investigators–have been selected as 2017 Fellows of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed upon ASCB members by their peers. The award is a lifetime recognition of meritorious efforts to advance cell biology and/or its applications, work in service to the Society, and ongoing loyalty to ASCB.More »
LanzaTech is looking into new routes to capture carbon capture and biomanufacture new products. In order to accelerate development while at the same time reducing costs and increasing throughput, LanzaTech is partnering with Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories: Berkeley Lab (LBNL); DOE Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI); Sandia National Laboratories (SNL); the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), and Oak Ridge National Lab to develop new foundational technologies that will open new frontiers in this space. Under a Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) grant by the DOE, LanzaTech, with LBNL, SNL and JBEI will focus on microfluidics, as a way to shrink the physical footprint of LanzaTech’s manufacturing facility, and reducing the cost and time needed to test the outcome of each experiment. DOE JGI will synthesize 1 million base pairs of DNA for novel pathways and to construct a library for modification of every gene in LanzaTech’s organism. Read the press release.
A new study led by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), based at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), demonstrates the importance of microbial communities as a source of stable enzymes that could be used to convert plants to biofuels. The study, recently published in the journal Nature Microbiology, reports on the discovery of new types of cellulases, enzymes that help break down plants into ingredients that can be used to make biofuels and bioproducts. The cellulases were cultured from a microbiome. Using a microbial community veers from the approach typically taken of using isolated organisms to obtain enzymes. Read more in the Berkeley Lab’s News Center.
LoaScope, the latest iteration of the CellScope technology developed in the lab of Daniel Fletcher, turns the camera of a mobile device into a microscope and automatically detects and quantifies infection by parasitic worms in a drop of blood. One such parasite, Onchocerca volvulus, is endemic to Africa and can lead to blindness in infected individuals. Treatment with the drug ivermectin is complicated because co-infection by another parasitic worm, the Loa loa, can cause fatal side effects. Expanding on a successful pilot study, the LoaScope was used to analyze the blood of patients in Cameroon, enabling doctors to treat more than 15,000 people with ivermectin without serious complications. Fletcher, a faculty scientist in Biological Systems and Engineering (BSE) and chair of the UC Berkeley Department of Bioengineering, is a coauthor on the report published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Read more from UC Berkeley News.