Public Release: 7-Apr-2016
Nature Communications Microbes take center stage in workings of 'the river's liver'
Scientists have found evidence that rising river waters deliver a feast of carbon to hungry microbes where water meets land, triggering increased activity and altering the flow of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 31-Mar-2016
Agewandte Chemie Proving the genetic code's flexibility
Three-letter codons in a genome sequence can represent one of the 20 regularly used amino acids or stops. In the journal Angewandte Chemie International Ed., researchers from the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute and Yale University have discovered that microorganisms recognize more than one codon for selenocysteine. The finding adds credence to recent studies indicating that an organism's genetic vocabulary is not as constrained as had been long held.
DOE Office of Science, National Institute for General Medical Sciences
Public Release: 30-Mar-2016
Nature Communications Revealing the fluctuations of flexible DNA in 3-D
Scientists have captured the first high-resolution 3-D images from individual double-helix DNA segments attached to gold nanoparticles, which could aid in the use of DNA segments as building blocks for molecular devices that function as nanoscale drug-delivery systems, markers for biological research, and components for electronic devices.
Public Release: 21-Mar-2016
Analytical Chemistry Lighting up disease-carrying mosquitoes
Robert Meagher, a chemical engineer at Sandia National Laboratories, has developed a simple technique for simultaneously detecting RNA from West Nile and chikungunya virus in samples from mosquitoes. He is now working to add the ability to screen for Zika virus.
Public Release: 15-Mar-2016
PLOS ONE Microbes may not be so adaptable to climate change
Microbes in soil -- organisms that exert enormous influence over our planet's carbon cycle -- may not be as adaptable to climate change as most scientists have presumed.
DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 10-Mar-2016 PNNL gives a helping hand to small green businesses
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will help three small businesses reduce the cost of hydropower, cut building energy use, and make adhesives from plants through new projects announced today by DOE's Small Business Vouchers program.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 18-Feb-2016
Science Biofuel tech straight from the farm
Nature's figured it out already, how to best break down food into fuel. Now scientists have caught up, showing that fungi found in the guts of goats, horses and sheep could help fill up your gas tank too.
US Department of Energy Office of Science, US Department of Agriculture, Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies
Public Release: 8-Feb-2016
Nature Structural & Molecular Biology Scientists propose 'pumpjack' mechanism for splitting and copying DNA
New close-up images of the proteins that copy DNA inside the nucleus of a cell have led a team of scientists to propose a brand new mechanism for how this molecular machinery works. The scientists studied proteins from yeast cells, which share many features with the cells of complex organisms such as humans, and could offer new insight into ways that DNA replication can go awry.
National Institutes of Health, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Brookhaven Lab Biology Department
Public Release: 3-Feb-2016 Algae raceway paves path from lab to real-world applications
In a twist of geometry, an oval can make a line. The new algae raceway testing facility at Sandia National Laboratories may be oval in shape, but it paves a direct path between laboratory research and solving the demand for clean energy.
Public Release: 27-Jan-2016
Nature Communications Uncovering hidden microbial lineages from hot springs
Although global microbial populations are orders of magnitude larger than nearly any other population in, on or around the planet, only a fraction has been identified thus far. In a Nature Communications study published Jan; 27, 2016, a team led by researchers at the DOE Joint Genome Institute, a DOE Office of Science User Facility, utilized the largest collection of metagenomic datasets to uncover a completely novel bacterial phylum that they have dubbed "Kryptonia."
United States Department of Energy Office of Science
Public Release: 21-Jan-2016
ACS Chemical Biology Microbes take their vitamins -- for the good of science
Scientists have made a 'vitamin mimic' -- a molecule that looks and acts just like a natural vitamin to bacteria -- that offers a new window into the inner workings of living microbes.
U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science
Public Release: 5-Jan-2016
Physical Review Special Topics - Accelerators and Beams Thor's hammer to crush materials at 1 million atmospheres
Thor, expected to be 40 times more efficient than Sandia's Z machine, the world's largest and most powerful pulsed-power accelerator, is expected to dramatically improve the design of similar machines aiming for high-yield fusion.
Sandia's Laboratory Directed Research and Development office, National Nuclear Security Administration's Science Campaign
Public Release: 22-Dec-2015
Nano Letters Nature's masonry: The first steps in how thin protein sheets form polyhedral shells
Scientists have for the first time viewed how bacterial proteins self-assemble into thin sheets and begin to form the walls of the outer shell for nano-sized polyhedral compartments that function as specialized factories. The new insight may aid scientists who seek to tap this natural origami by designing novel compartments or using them as scaffolding for new types of nanoscale architectures, such as drug-delivery systems.
US Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health
Public Release: 11-Nov-2015
Scientific Reports Microbes map path toward renewable energy future
In the quest for renewable fuels, scientists are taking lessons from a humble bacterium that fills our oceans and covers moist surfaces the world over. Cyanothece 51142, a type of bacteria also called blue-green algae, produces hydrogen in robust fashion, and scientists have found that it taps into an unexpected source of energy to do so.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 22-Oct-2015
Nature It takes a thief
The discovery by Berkeley Lab researchers of the structural basis by which bacteria are able to capture genetic information from viruses and other foreign invaders for use in their own immunological system holds promise for studying or correcting problems in human genomes.
National Science Foundation
Public Release: 20-Oct-2015 Building off known genomes to advance systems and ecosystems biology
The US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI), a DOE Office of Science User Facility, has selected 27 new projects for the 2016 Community Science Program (CSP). The full list of projects may be found at http://jgi.doe.gov/our-projects/csp-plans/fy-2016-csp-plans/. Susannah Tringe, DOE JGI User Programs Deputy, noted that these projects 'build our portfolio in key focus areas including sustainable bioenergy production, plant microbiomes and terrestrial biogeochemistry.'
US Department of Energy Office of Science
Public Release: 22-Sep-2015
Nature Communications Dirty, crusty meals fit for (long-dormant) microbes
Deploying a set of tools he calls 'exometabolomics,' Trent Northen, a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, and his team harnessed the analytical capabilities of the latest mass spectrometry techniques to quantitatively measure how individual microbes and the biocrust community transform complex mixtures of metabolites, in this case, from soil. The study published Sept. 22, 2015 in Nature Communications.
Public Release: 3-Aug-2015
Cell Host & Microbe Gut microbes affect circadian rhythms in mice, study says
A study including researchers from the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago found evidence that gut microbes affect circadian rhythms and metabolism in mice.
Public Release: 3-Aug-2015 Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, August 2015
This tip sheet includes: intelligent agent-based software to be showcased at Smithsonian; Supercomputer speeding design, deployment of lightweight powertrain materials; ORNL process produces hydrogen from switchgrass; Sampling probe system identifies bioactive compounds in fungi and ORNL technique could accelerate advances in materials science.
Public Release: 16-Jul-2015
Science Unearthing cornerstones in root microbiomes
A plant's immune system can distinguish between friends and foes among these microbes, and upon detecting pathogens, can produce regulatory chemicals called phytohormones to activate a defensive response. In a study published online July 16, 2015, in Science Express, a team including scientists from the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute looked at roles of three phytohormones in controlling the composition of the root microbiome in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.
US Department of Energy
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.