The scientific and national security communities have long shared an unmet need for a tool capable of quickly and reliably distinguishing genetically modified organisms from naturally occurring ones. Over the course of a six-year program funded by the United States Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), several techniques were developed and refined. Biosciences Area researchers led testing and evaluation of these technologies, designing and producing biological samples of increasing complexity to assess how well the tools performed.
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.
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.
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.
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.