The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) has elected Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) senior faculty scientist Eva Nogales as an associate member. The organization of more than 1,800 leading researchers promotes excellence in the life sciences in Europe and beyond. Nogales, who is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator and professor at UC Berkeley, is among 56 new members and associate members EMBO will formally welcome at the annual meeting in Heidelberg, Germany, in October 2019.More »
The crystallographic study of STING (stimulator of interferon genes), a transmembrane protein that plays a key role in innate immunity, in complex with TBK1 (serine/threonine-protein kinase), an enzyme that regulates the inflammatory response to foreign DNA, is extremely challenging due to weakly diffracting crystals. But thanks to the expertise of Berkeley Center for Structural Biology (BCSB) scientists, researchers from Texas A&M University (TAMU) were able to pinpoint the conserved motif of STING that mediates the recruitment and activation of TBK1. They published their results in Nature.More »
Researchers led by Ivaylo Ivanov of Georgia State University have produced a comprehensive model of the human transcription preinitiation complex (PIC), a vital assembly of proteins responsible for regulating gene expression. The new model is the most complete to date and provides mechanistic insights into how mutations affecting one component—human transcription initiation factor IIH, or TFIIH—lead to three inherited genetic diseases. Berkeley Lab Biosciences’ Susan Tsutakawa, a research scientist in Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB), and John Tainer, a professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and visiting faculty in MBIB, were part of the team. Results from this work were recently published in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.More »
An article published in the Computing Sciences News Center describes how Biosciences researchers are using a superfacility framework of experimental instrumentation with computational and data facilities to unravel the long-standing mystery of how Photosystem (PSII) works. The protein complex plays a crucial role in photosynthesis, making it key to achieving artificial photosynthesis that could produce fuels using sunlight and carbon dioxide. Researchers—led by Vittal Yachandra, Junko Yano, and Jan Kern in Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB)—recently began using ESnet to enable real-time processing of experimental data collected at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory’s Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at NERSC to observe this water-splitting protein in action. Asmit Bhowmick, a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of MBIB senior scientist Nicholas Sauter, is quoted in the article.
A newly-discovered arsenic-containing compound produced by a soil bacterium shows promise as a broad-spectrum antibiotic. In a paper published in the Nature journal Communications Biology, an international team of researchers demonstrated that arsinothricin (AST) is effective against many types of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. The effort was led by Barry Rosen of the Florida International University College of Medicine and Masafumi Yoshinaga of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) in Japan. Banumathi Sankaran, a research scientist in the Berkeley Center for Structural Biology (BSCB) at the Advanced Light Source (ALS), was an author on the paper.More »