Each year, the Berkeley Lab Director’s Achievement Award program recognizes outstanding contributions by employees to all facets of Lab activities. Several Biosciences Area personnel are among the 2022 honorees.
Structures Signal Fresh Targets for Anticancer Drugs
Genentech researchers used a suite of methods, including small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) to learn how an assembly of three proteins works together to transmit signals for cell division. The work reveals new targets for the development of drugs that fight certain types of cancer, including lung, colorectal, and pancreatic.
How X-rays Could Make Reliable, Rapid COVID-19 Tests a Reality
An imaging technique pioneered by Berkeley Lab is helping reveal the best antibodies to test for in rapid and reliable COVID-19 detection. Although current tests such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are highly accurate, these samples must be sent to an accredited lab for testing, causing a longer wait time for results. Michal Hammel, a research scientist in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division, and Curtis D. Hodge led a study that could help get reliable, self-administered tests with instant results on the market.
Study Finds ‘Missing Link’ in the Evolutionary History of Carbon-Fixing Protein Rubisco
In a study appearing in Nature Plants, researchers from UC Davis, UC Berkeley, and Berkeley Lab report the discovery and characterization of a previously undescribed lineage of form I rubisco – one that the researchers suspect diverged from form I rubisco prior to the evolution of cyanobacteria. The novel lineage, called form I’ rubisco, gives researchers new insights into the structural evolution of form I rubisco, potentially providing clues as to how this enzyme changed the planet.
The work was led by Patrick Shih, a UC Davis assistant professor and the director of Plant Biosystems Design at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), and Doug Banda, a postdoctoral scholar in his lab.
Study Gains New Insight Into Bacterial DNA Packing
A Berkeley Lab-led team of researchers used multiple high-powered X-ray techniques at the Advanced Light Source to image the process in E. coli bacteria at the micro-, meso-, and nanoscales. The imaging technique they developed enabled them to visualize the bacteria’s chromosome at higher resolutions than ever before, and without the need for labeling, which slows down the process but is required by most other techniques.
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