A team of researchers from the Biosciences Area at Berkeley Lab and the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom found one particular organism in the fly’s microbiome that helps protect it from atrazine, an herbicide toxic to flies that is commonly used in agriculture. This method of rescuing fruit flies from atrazine poisoning with probiotics may be useful for protecting pollinators in agriculture.
A Laser-powered Upgrade to Cancer Treatment
Researchers in the Biological Systems and Engineering (BSE) Division are collaborating with colleagues at the Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator (BELLA) Center to adapt the nascent technology of laser-driven ion accelerators to make a more effective type of radiation more readily available to patients. The mutually beneficial partnership gives BELLA scientists a real-world application around which to refine their experimental laser platform, and gives the biologists a chance to test how living tissue responds to laser-driven proton beams at FLASH dose rates.
Trio of Recent Studies Underscore Harms of Exposure to Thirdhand Smoke
The thirdhand smoke (THS) research group in Biosciences’ Biological Systems and Engineering (BSE) Division contributed to three recently-published studies that further underscore the harms of exposure to the lingering toxic residues from tobacco smoke.
Scientists Explore Links Between Genetics, Gut Microbiome, and Memory
A team of researchers from two U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories has found new evidence of tangible connections between the gut and the brain. The team, led by Antoine Snijders at Berkeley Lab and Janet Jansson at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), identified lactate—a molecule produced by all species of one gut microbe—as a key memory-boosting molecular messenger. The work was published in the journal BMC Microbiome.
KDM5 Deficiency Alters Gut Microbiome, Social Behavior in Flies
Genome-wide association (GWAS) and familial studies have found mutations that disrupt the function of KDM5 proteins in patients with autism spectrum disorders and related intellectual disabilities. Biological Systems and Engineering (BSE) Division researchers Jian-Hua Mao, Antoine Snijders, and Susan Celniker, in collaboration with a team of scientists led by Xingyin Liu at Nanjing Medical University (NMU) in China, used genetic tools in Drosophila to delineate how KDM5 contributes to autism and intellectual disability.
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