The humble lichen is a superorganism: one being that is actually comprised of two major participants. One partner is a fungus; the other is a photosynthetic microbe, tucked in the fungus’ tissue. The two live intertwined, with the photobiont transferring part of its photosynthetically fixed carbon to the mycobiont — a strategy that has worked so well, that lichen are the dominant carbon and nitrogen fixers alpine and high latitude systems. However, despite a century-and-a-half of lichen research, many of the symbiosis’ details remain unclear. For the first time, a team has analyzed in parallel the genomes and transcriptomes of both partners to better understand lichen. Read the science highlight on the JGI website.
Researchers at Berkeley Lab and their collaborators who work on the Phenix software suite have published a new paper that summarizes how to determine three-dimensional macromolecular structures from three experimental methods: X-ray crystallography, neutron diffraction, and electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM). The article appeared in the journal Acta Crystallographica Section D: Structural Biology and is featured on the cover of the October 2019 issue.More »
The gut microbiome undergoes rapid and dramatic changes in species composition and gene expression when the host switches between eating cooked or raw vegetables, according to a team of scientists led by UC San Francisco and Harvard University. Their new study, published in Nature Microbiology, is the first to investigate how this aspect of diet affects the microbiome, and included experiments in both mice and humans.More »
Trinity College Dublin in Ireland and Western University in Ontario, Canada each honored Biological Systems and Engineering (BSE) Division Distinguished Scientist Mina Bissell this fall for her exceptional body of work in cancer biology, which shifted the central paradigm of the field.More »
The Neurodata Without Borders: Neurophysiology (NWB:N) project, led by Berkeley Lab in collaboration with the Allen Institute for Brain Science and multiple neuroscience labs, has been selected for a 2019 R&D 100 Award by R&D World magazine. The annual R&D 100 Awards are given in recognition of exceptional new products or processes that were developed and introduced into the marketplace during the previous year. The awards will be presented on December 5 in San Mateo, California.More »