An interdisciplinary team has developed a first-of-its-kind, steady-state whipping liquid microjet that produces droplets of uniform size and spacing in a two-dimensional profile. The technology could ultimately lead to advancements in structural biology, climate science, and several industries.
Cryo-EM Reveals Blueprint for Microbial Photosynthesis
Advances in cryogenic electron microscopy have enabled an international team of experts to visualize the structure of a cyanobacterial phycobilisome with nearly atomic resolution. The work, a collaboration among researchers at Michigan State University, UC Berkeley, Berkeley Lab, and the University of South Bohemia in the Czech Republic, was published in Nature. Knowing the position of different proteins and pigments helps scientist better understand this natural process and can inspire future applications in areas such as renewable energy and environmental remediation.
Agustin Avila Sakar, Cryo-EM Trailblazer
Agustin AvilaSakar has spent nearly his entire career learning about cryo-EM technology. Now, he’s tasked with planning the cryo-EM facility in the new BioEPIC building and understanding how it could help further the tenant groups’ breakthrough research.
Structure of Human SAGA Protein Complex Solved
A team led by Eva Nogales, senior faculty scientist in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) Division, has produced the first detailed 3D structure of human SAGA, a 20-piece molecular machine that’s crucial to life. The structure, reported in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, revealed some unexpected differences between the human and yeast versions of SAGA and could guide the development of drugs to treat diseases that arise when this complex malfunctions.
New Algorithm Sharpens Focus of World’s Most Powerful Microscopes
In recent years, cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) technology has advanced to the point that it can produce structures with atomic-level resolution for many types of molecules. Yet in some situations, even the most sophisticated cryo-EM methods still generate maps with lower resolution and greater uncertainty than required to tease out the details of complex chemical reactions.
In a study published in Nature Methods, a multi-institutional team led by Tom Terwilliger from the New Mexico Consortium and including researchers from Berkeley Lab demonstrates how a new computer algorithm improves the quality of the 3D molecular structure maps generated with cryo-EM.
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