Science snapshots from Berkeley Lab

New Berkeley Lab breakthroughs: engineering chemical-producing microbes; watching enzyme reactions in real time; capturing the first image of ‘electron ice’; revealing how skyrmions really move

Regulator Proteins or Symphonies of Genes: Statistical Modeling Points Way Toward Unified Theory for DNA Folding

Researchers seek to point a way toward a unified theory for how DNA changes shape when expressing genes. Presenting their work in Biophysics Reviews, the scientists use an approach called statistical mechanics to explore the phenomenon of so-called expression waves of gene regulation.

Darwin’s short-beak enigma solved

University of Utah biologists discovered that a mutation in the ROR2 gene is linked to beak size reduction in numerous breeds of domestic pigeons. Surprisingly, different mutations in ROR2 also underlie a human disorder called Robinow syndrome. The ROR2 signaling pathway plays an important role in the craniofacial development of all vertebrates.

False spring: Climate change may erode frogs’ ability to withstand salt pollution

Climate change may erode frogs’ ability to withstand road salt pollution, according to researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

NSF Taps Danforth Center to Lead New Institute to Advance the Restoration of Natural and Agricultural Ecosystems

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center today announced a $12.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish the New Roots for Restoration Biology Integration Institute (NRR-BII).

Shih-Ting (Christine) Wang: Designing Materials for Biomedicine

Using DNA-based assembly, the Center for Functional Nanomaterials postdoc has assembled functional proteins into ordered lattices and coated nanostructures for drug delivery.

Blushing plants reveal when fungi are growing in their roots

Almost all crop plants form associations with a particular type of fungi – called arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi – in the soil, which greatly expand their root surface area. This mutually beneficial interaction boosts the plant’s ability to take up nutrients…

Parkinson’s disease: How lysosomes become a hub for the propagation of the pathology

Over the last few decades, neurodegenerative diseases became one of the top 10 global causes of death. Researchers worldwide are making a strong effort to understand neurodegenerative diseases pathogenesis, which is essential to develop efficient treatments against these incurable diseases.…

DeepMind and EMBL release the most complete database of predicted 3D structures of human proteins

Partners use AlphaFold, the AI system recognised last year as a solution to the protein structure prediction problem, to release more than 350,000 protein structure predictions including the entire human proteome to the scientific community