The DNA-cutting proteins central to CRISPR-Cas9 and related gene-editing tools originally came from bacteria, but a newfound variety of Cas proteins apparently evolved in viruses that infect bacteria. The new Cas proteins were found in the largest known bacteria-infecting viruses, called bacteriophages, and are the most compact working Cas variants yet discovered — half the size of today’s workhorse, Cas9.
July 20, 2020
July 10, 2020
Professor David Schaffer has been selected to serve as the next director of Berkeley’s California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3-Berkeley), effective July 1, 2020, following a campuswide search chaired by MCB Professor Jasper Rine. Schaffer is succeeding Susan Marqusee, who stepped down June 30, at the end of two highly successful terms in the position.
July 6, 2020
Paul Alivisatos, an internationally renowned chemist who holds joint appointments with the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley, has been awarded the 2021 Priestley Medal, the highest honor of the American Chemical Society. Alivisatos is the eighth College of Chemistry scientist to win the award.
A new program called BeArS@home will customize interactive lab experiments that have historically been available only in the classroom for online learning by College of Chemistry undergraduate students this fall. When the COVID-19 pandemic kept students away from campus this spring, Berkeley’s Department of Chemistry had to scramble to keep the laboratory sections working. Now they are getting serious and building the real thing.
July 2, 2020
Jingguang Chen, President of the North American Catalysis Society, has announced that Enrique Iglesia, Theodore Vermeulen Professor in Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley has been named the recipient of the 2021 NACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Catalysis.
July 1, 2020
A team of institutions led by UC Berkeley has been awarded a $20 million research grant from the National Science Foundation to pursue breakthrough technologies towards new medicines and innovative materials. The effort brings together a team of chemists, biologists, engineers, and data scientists to tackle a “Holy Grail” problem in the chemical sciences: how to synthesize truly sequence-defined chemical polymers, oligomeric molecules possessing both a pre-determined, diverse sequence, and a defined length.
June 30, 2020
Scientists from the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI), the same UC Berkeley group that rapidly popped up a state-of-the-art COVID-19 testing laboratory in March, are now trialing a quicker way to obtain patient samples: through saliva. Saliva, collected in the same way companies like 23andMe and Ancestry.com get samples for DNA genealogy analysis, can be gathered without medical supervision, and that saves time, money and precious PPE.
The innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) has awarded a new research project in the College of Chemistry that is looking at the effects of COVID-19 on STEM mentoring. Headed by Laleh Coté, and including fellow PIs Anne M. Baranger, and Colette Flood, the funding is part of a new IGI Rapid Research Response grant.
June 25, 2020
Teresa Head-Gordon, Chancellor's Professor of Chemistry, Bioengineering, and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, joins three colleagues from Berkeley Engineering who have received funding from the C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute for COVID-19 projects.
June 24, 2020
The College of Chemistry is pleased announce that Professor Jeffrey Long has received a 2020 award from the Royal Society of Chemistry. The Society annualy recognizes leaders in various fields of chemistry around the world. This year, the Society acknowledged over 80 individuals and teams for their exceptional achievements in advancing the chemical sciences through their work in everything from education and research, to innovation, policy and volunteering.
The College of Chemistry at UC Berkeley is pleased to announce that Professor Omar Yaghi has received the 2020 Sustainable Water award from the Royal Society of Chemistry. The Society annualy recognizes leaders in various fields of chemistry around the world. This year, the Society acknowledged over 80 individuals and teams for their exceptional achievements in advancing the chemical sciences through their work in everything from education and research, to innovation, policy and volunteering.
June 23, 2020
Kwabena Bediako has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science to receive funding for new research in his lab. The program, now in its 11th year, is designed to fund projects over five years to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early career years.
June 18, 2020
Dr. Lloyd Noel Ferguson (B.S., '40; Ph.D. '43, Chem) was a brilliant chemist, a dedicated teacher and mentor, and an ardent supporter of young black people who were entering the fields of chemistry and chemical engineering. Dr. Ferguson had to regularly fight racisim as he naviagted his way through his education and career. Dr. Ferguson was the first Black person to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, only three years after earning his undergraduate degree.
June 12, 2020
While rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere cause great concern worldwide, most of us pay little attention to risks posed by CO2 changes indoors. Roya Maboudian, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, studies the properties of nano-materials, including how their surfaces affect their performance. As a 2019-2020 Bakar Fellow, she is developing small, inexpensive and sensitive CO2 sensors. She described her research and its potential.
June 10, 2020
On June 10, 2020, under the banners of #ShutDownAcademia and #ShutDownSTEM, scientists around the world call for non-Black scientists to step back from their usual work to educate themselves and develop concrete actions to promote change. “Wednesday June 10, 2020 will mark the day that we transition into a lifelong commitment of actions to eradicate anti-Black racism in academia and STEM,” the organizers say. “Your plan should include an actionable goal, steps you will take to reach your goal, and metrics/indicators you will look for to know whether you are successfully moving towards your goal.”
June 3, 2020
Professor Emeritus Robert Harris introduces us to David Chandler's personal lifelong passion; his love of art.
May 28, 2020
Markita Landry and UC Berkeley recently filed patents on a new nanotube technology to delete genes in crop plants without the risk of inserting new genes. Editing the genome of crop plants can boost such traits as disease resistance or drought tolerance. Since the new process adds no genes to the plant genome in the editing process, it conforms to non-GMO requirements in the U.S. and several other countries outside Europe.
May 26, 2020
The most common chemical bond in the living world — that between carbon and hydrogen — has long resisted attempts by chemists to crack it open, thwarting efforts to add new bells and whistles to old carbon-based molecules. Now, after nearly 25 years of work by chemists at the University of California, Berkeley, those hydrocarbon bonds — two-thirds of all the chemical bonds in petroleum and plastics — have fully yielded.
The Molecular Sciences Software Institute has launched an open-source website that will allow biomolecular scientists from around the world to share computer-aided drug-testing simulations targeting the protein at the center of COVID-19. Under the leadership of Teresa Head-Gordon, the MolSSI team started work on the COVID-19 website about a month ago, after scores of scientists began discussing ways to share simulation modeling data they had on the coronavirus.
May 21, 2020
As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to escalate in the United States, healthcare providers across the country are dealing with a shortage of personal protective equipment, which has left many workers on the frontlines vulnerable to catching and transmitting the virus. In the Bay Area, an initiative called Shield the Bay is aiming to address this PPE crunch.