Biosciences Area staff recently hosted 40 PhD students from Wageningen University in the Netherlands over two days at Emery Station East (ESE) and the Integrative Genomics Building (IGB). The group launched their two-week California tour in the Bay Area, stopping by local biotechnology companies and prominent academic research institutions. The contingent visited ESE to tour the facility, make presentations, and discuss potential collaborations. At the IGB, the students attended a day-long symposium that included short talks, tours of several user facilities, and a poster reception.
JGI Helps Develop A Single-Cell Plant Root Atlas
A collaborative team has developed an atlas that maps gene expression patterns in the Arabidopsis root, profiling nearly 100,000 single root cells and combining the information with previously published datasets. The work was recently published in the journal Developmental Cell and provides a community resource that could help researchers track cell development and how they determine identity, as well as the roles played by neighboring cells in these processes. Learn more here on the JGI website.
Report from Second Plant Single-cell Solutions for Energy and the Environment Workshop Available
On April 29, 2021, Berkeley Lab hosted a second workshop to identify the most pressing barriers to wider adoption of single-cell sequencing and omics technologies, and to discuss solutions to remedy those barriers in order to drive discovery. The workshop report is now available for download.
Congratulations to Biosciences Area Director’s Award Recipients
Numerous Biosciences Area personnel are among the 2021 Berkeley Lab Director’s Awards honorees. This annual program recognizes outstanding contributions by employees to all facets of Lab activities. A complete list of winners can be found here. The 10th annual Director’s Awards ceremony will take place on November 18 at noon.
The Paradox of ‘Ultraconserved’ Enhancers: Perfect Sequence Conservation Not Required
The last common ancestor of humans and rodents lived more than 80 million years ago, and billions of changes in their respective DNA sequences have occurred over this vast timespan. Yet, intriguingly, there are a few hundred stretches of DNA in our genome that are still identical to the corresponding sequences in mice and rats. Generally, sequence conservation between distantly related species is an indication that the function the DNA serves is vitally important and highly sensitive to mutations. For example, most DNA sequences that encode proteins show at least moderate conservation in evolution. However, more than two-thirds of the “ultraconserved” sequences shared by humans and rodents are outside of protein-coding genes, raising the question of what led to their extreme level of conservation.
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