Through a decade-long time-series study recently reported in Microbiome, a team led by Rick Cavicchioli of Australia’s University of New South Wales and including JGI researchers found that light-harvesting bacteria in Antarctica’s Ace Lake defy the norm when it comes to nutrient cycling in polar regions. While microbial populations in other Antarctic lakes and the nearby Southern Ocean shift from phototrophs to archaea when sunlight becomes scant, Ace Lake’s bacteria instead go through a boom and bust cycle aligned with light availability. Read more on the JGI website.
University of California San Francisco (UCSF), UC Davis, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have formed a Tri-Institutional Partnership in Microbiome Research (TrIP Microbiome) to catalyze and fund novel, bold, and potentially transformative collaborative microbiome research projects. A unique aspect of the partnership is its data-driven focus and data infrastructure, brought through the participation of the Berkeley Lab-led National Microbiome Data Collaborative (NMDC). The NMDC is working with TrIP Microbiome researchers to catalyze experimental co-design between biologists and computational scientists, adoption of data management best practices, and open science to enable cross-study comparison and machine learning.More »
A team led by University of Texas, Austin scientists has developed a more nuanced library approach to tuning gene expression in metabolic pathways. Compared to the traditional way, which leverages an all-or-nothing approach, they can now fine-tune the level of gene expression. In a study, they were able to identify variations of essential genes in metabolic networks that were missed using traditional approaches. The work appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more on the JGI website.
The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) collaboration was launched 17 years ago by the National Human Genome Research Institute with the goal of developing the tools and expertise needed to shed light on the 98% of our genome that does not code for proteins. Now in its final year, ENCODE has made huge advances thanks to the combined scientific and technological prowess of several hundred researchers at dozens of institutions. Leading the project for Berkeley Lab are Diane Dickel, Len Pennacchio, and Axel Visel, co-PIs of the Mammalian Functional Genomics Laboratory in Biosciences’ Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology (EGSB) Division. They are co-authors on 4 of the 15 new ENCODE papers published this week as part of a special collection in Nature.More »
Combining cryo-electron microscopy, biochemical assays, and protein crystallography at Advanced Light Source (ALS) Beamline 5.0.2 (part of the Berkeley Center for Structural Biology), researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine discovered that rotavirus VP3 incorporates in one place all the enzymatic activities required to effectively cap rotavirus mRNA, making it unique among viral-capping enzymes.More »