Microbiomes are communities of microorganisms that live on and in people, plants, soil, oceans, and the atmosphere, playing important roles in each ecosystem. Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy launched the National Microbiome Initiative, designed to advance the understanding of microbiome behavior and enable the protection of healthy microbiomes. With its Microbes to Biomes program, Berkeley Lab is well positioned to contribute. Both Mary Maxon, Principal Deputy for Biosciences, and Trent Northen, Interim Director of Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology, worked with Eoin Brodie of the Earth & Environmental Sciences Division and other leading scientists to co-author an mBio editorial that calls for a predictive understanding of Earth’s microbiomes to address 21st century challenges in the areas of energy, health, and environment. Read more at the Berkeley Lab News Center.
The Dec. 8 U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee hearing looked at “The Future of Biotechnology: Solutions for Energy, Agriculture and Manufacturing.” Witnesses, including Biosciences Principal Deputy Mary Maxon, provided an overview of new and emerging technologies, their current and potential applications, and the role of the federal government in funding and regulation. This is a Subcommittee of the House Committee on Space, Science, and Technology, which is chaired by Lamar Smith (R- Texas). Watch the testimony in the Subcommittee archives.