GC-Microbial Engines

Common beetle’s gut microbiome benefits forests, holds promise for bioenergy

Insects are critical contributors to ecosystem functioning, and like most living organisms their co-evolution with microbes has been essential to support these functions. While many insects are infamous for wreaking havoc wherever they roam, many thousands of species go quietly about their business, providing important services essential to healthy ecosystems using the innovative biochemistry of…

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Geosciences Measurement Facility Celebrates Its 45th Summer Field Season

Within the Department of Energy complex of national laboratories, the Geosciences Measurement Facility (GMF) at Berkeley Lab is distinguished by its ability to build, test, and deploy customized instrumentation and innovative data acquisition and telemetry solutions, which are enabling scientists to address some of the most critical Earth, energy and environmental challenges that we face.…

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Living Large: Exploration of Diverse Bacteria Signals Big Advance for Gene Function Prediction

Romy Chakraborty in her research lab

This article was authored by Massie S. Ballon for the Joint Genome Institute. Ecology Department Head Romy Chakraborty participated in this research on behalf of EESA.   In the air, beneath the ocean’s surface, and on land, microbes are the minute but mighty forces regulating much of the planet’s biogeochemical cycles. To better understand their…

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EESA Early Career Researchers Learn What It’s Like Across Berkeley Lab

When not at work researching Arctic permafrost microbes or mountainous watersheds, research scientists Neslihan Taş (above left) and Erica Woodburn (above right) are out and about learning what it’s like across Berkeley Lab with fellow recipients of Early Career research awards from the Department of Energy, Berkeley Lab, and UC Berkeley. In December, Berkeley Lab…

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EESA Researcher’s Enzyme Discovery at JBEI Enables First-Time Microbial Production of an Aromatic Biofuel

  Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have discovered a new enzyme that will enable microbial production of a renewable alternative to petroleum-based toluene, a widely used octane booster in gasoline that has a global market of 29 million tons per year. Results…

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Plants Really Do Feed Their Friends

  Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and UC Berkeley have discovered that as plants develop they craft their root microbiome, favoring microbes that consume very specific metabolites. Their study could help scientists identify ways to enhance the soil microbiome for improved carbon storage and plant productivity. “For more…

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‘Magic Pools’ Approach Accelerates Study of Novel Bacteria

This article originally appeared on the website of the Biosciences Area at Berkeley Lab. Several of the diverse microbes used in the study described were isolated from nitrate-contaminated and pristine groundwater wells at Oak-Ridge Field Research Center by a team led by Romy Chakraborty, head of the Ecology Department within the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area…

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EESA Research Shows Impact of Environmental Changes on Microbes in Arctic Soils

New Berkeley Lab research published in the journal Nature Communications Thursday explores the impact of a changing climate on Arctic ecosystems with permanently frozen soils. As the Arctic continues to warm at about twice the rate of the rest of the world, scientists expect these frozen soils known as permafrost to thaw, activating microbes capable…

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EcoSENSE Workshop Draws Participants from All Six Areas of Berkeley Lab

More than 75 participants from across all six areas of Berkeley Lab attended a half-day workshop on December 1 to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with ecosystem sensing and characterization. Hosts Eoin Brodie, Senior Scientist, Ecology Department, and research scientist Yuxin Wu, opened the morning workshop with an explanation of the work underway by Lab researchers…

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