With the 21st Century dawns what many have called the
"biological century," in which advances in biologyspurred by achievements in
genomic research, including the sequencing of the human genomewill bring
revolutionary and unconventional solutions to some of mankindís most pressing
and expensive challenges in health, energy, the environment, and national
For the first time, researchers have produced a 3-D image revealing part of the inner structure of an intact, infectious virus, using a unique X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The virus, called Mimivirus, is in a curious class of 'giant viruses' discovered just over a decade ago.
Ada Yonath, a pioneer in using crystallographic techniques to visualize ribosome structure, was the most recent Eugene P. Wigner Distinguished Lecturer at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Her work continues to contribute to ribosomal research, prompting researchers to look more closely at antibiotics that target bacterial ribosomes, including those of pathogenic bacteria species, an avenue that could help reverse current levels of antibiotic resistance. At the talk, she steered conversation to species-specific antibiotic resistance.
The Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.