Press Room

Two Berkeley Lab Scientists Named AAAS Fellows

Monday, November 24th 2014

Chemist Heinz Frei of the Physical Biosciences Division and climate scientist Bill Collins of the Earth Sciences Division have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for 2014. Frei was recognized for “distinguished contributions to the understanding of photochemical reactions, and, in particular, for the advancement of robust catalysts for solar energy conversion.” Collins was recognized for “distinguished contributions to the field of climate science through fundamental research on interactions among sunlight, heat, the coupled climate system, and global environmental change.”

A Cage Made of Proteins, Designed With Help From the Advanced Light Source

Wednesday, November 19th 2014

With help from Greg Hura and John Tainer at the SIBYLS beamline at the Advanced Light Source, UCLA scientists recently designed a cage made of proteins that could lead to novel biomaterials. The beamline helped the scientists efficiently and quickly understand the assembly process of the protein structures. These structures, composed of specially designed “building block” proteins, have the potential to deliver drugs inside of cells.

Jennifer Doudna Receives 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

Monday, November 10th 2014

Jennifer Doudna of the Physical Biosciences Division and Saul Perlmutter of the Physics Division were among the featured recipients of the 2015 Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences and Fundamental Physics. Twelve prizes in all, totaling $36 million, were announced Sunday night at a gala in Mountain View hosted by the entertainer Seth MacFarlane. Doudna received her prize, which she shared with Swedish scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier, for “harnessing an ancient mechanism of bacterial immunity into a powerful and general technology for editing genomes, with wide-ranging implications across biology and medicine.” Billed as the “richest prize in science,” the Breakthrough Prizes were founded by Google’s Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki; Alibaba’s Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang; Yuri and Julia Milner; and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. The prizes are intended to recognize major insights into the deepest questions of the Universe, and honor transformative advances toward understanding living systems and extending human life, respectively. Doudna and Charpentier will each receive a $3 million award.

Synthetic Biology for Space Exploration

Thursday, November 6th 2014

Adam Arkin, director of the Physical Biosciences Division, led a study in which it was demonstrated how synthetic biology may hold the key to long-termed manned explorations of Mars and the Moon. He and his post-doc Amor Menezes showed that biomanufacturing based on microbes could make travel to and settlement of extraterrestrial locations more practical and bearable.