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.
On April 21 and 22, 2016, the Department of Energy (DOE) hosted the National Laboratory Big Ideas near Washington, D.C. The Summit was the third annual gathering to elicit large-scale, potentially game-changing ideas from DOE’s 17 national laboratories working collaboratively to tackle the nation’s energy and science challenges. A theme of this year’s Summit was the Presidential Mission Innovation initiative to dramatically accelerate global clean energy innovation to address climate change.
At a recent gathering of principal investigators in the nascent Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology (EGSB) Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), Interim Division Director Trent Northen announced a major initiative central to EGSB called EcoFAB.
To untangle the complexities of the carbon cycle, Trent Northen, Interim Division Director of Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology, is using the biocrust system to examine the specific metabolites in soil and how microbes target these compounds.
The projects of six Physical Biosciences Scientists and Engineers received funding through the FY2015 Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program. These projects cover a broad range of topics, including energy, biomanufacturing, and technology and tool development. Together, these efforts account for nearly 15% of the $24.9 million allocated. Eighty-two proposals were selected from a field of 169. There was an equal distribution of new and continuing projects among the selected PBD proposals.