Berkeley Lab scientists Héctor García Martín, Jay Keasling, and Jill Banfield (whose primary affiliation is with the Earth & Environmental Sciences Area) were mentioned in an article by Amia Srinivasan entitled “What Termites Can Teach Us” published in The New Yorker.
From the article: “In 2004 a team led by the Berkeley earth scientist Jill Banfield came up with “metagenomics,” a process of sequencing the genes of an entire microbial community at once. In 2007, Nature published a metagenomic analysis of gut microbes from a Costa Rican termite; puzzle-piecing together fifty-four million base pairs of DNA, researchers identified more than a thousand genes that might be for digesting wood. A termite biofuel seemed not far off.
Read the entire article from the New Yorker.