Biochemistry

Scientists use DNA origami to alter gene expression in plants

April 4, 2019

DNA origami could change the way we alter plants

new research reported from the lab of Markita Landry, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UC Berkeley, a team of scientists has taken an original approach of using DNA origami nanotechnology to slip through plant cell walls and graft small interfering RNA (siRNA) directly onto plant cells. Their research shows it is possible to directly silence genes in plants without damaging plant tissues, and without making any alterations to the plant’s genome.

Breakthrough Study of Cell Signaling Holds Promise for Immune Research and Beyond

April 2, 2019

NanoEP experiment

For the first time ever, scientists have imaged the process by which an individual immune system molecule is switched on in response to a signal from the environment, leading to the critical discovery that the activation process involves hundreds of proteins suddenly coming together to form a linked network through a process known as a phase transition.

Yeast produce low-cost, high-quality cannabinoids

February 27, 2019

Scientists in the lab of Jay Keasling grow marijuana chemicals using yeast UC Berkeley synthetic biologists have engineered brewer’s yeast to produce marijuana’s main ingredients—mind-altering THC and non-psychoactive CBD—as well as novel cannabinoids not found in the plant itself. Medical research on the more than 100 other chemicals in marijuana has been difficult, because the chemicals occur in tiny quantities, making them hard to extract from the plant. Inexpensive, purer sources—like yeast—could make such studies easier.

‘The Joy of the Discovery’: An Interview with Jennifer Doudna

January 24, 2019

Jennifer DoudnaJennifer Doudna was awarded the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize in October 2018, established by Nobel Laureate Paul Greengard and his wife, the artist Ursula von Rydingsvard, to give recognition to women scientists. The New York Review spoke with her before the award ceremony. “That there even is a prize like this one,” Doudna said, “is a sign that people are really beginning to value the contributions of women to science.”

UC vows to protect groundbreaking CRISPR invention despite court decision

September 11, 2018

DNA photo - Getty Images

A statement about the U.S. Court of Appeals decision on the University of California's patent interference claim before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board b by Charles F. Robinson, Office of General Counsel, UC Office of the President.

Jnana Therapeutics announces appointment of alum Joanne Kotz, Ph.D. as Chief Executive Officer

November 6, 2018

Joanne Kotze, PhD, Jnana TherapeuticsJnana Therapeutics today announced that UC Berkeley Chemistry alum Joanne Kotz, Ph.D., a company co-founder, has been named Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Kotz has served as Jnana's president since December 2017.

Potential new way to boost biofuels and bioproducts production

November 27, 2018

Itay Budin and Jay KeaslingJBEI researchers gain understanding of central metabolism of bacteria and yeast species commonly used in biotechnology.

Chemistry Nobel goes to UC Berkeley Ph.D. Frances Arnold

October 3, 2018

Frances Arnold wins Nobel PrizeFrances H. Arnold, the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry at Caltech, is one of three winners of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

CRISPR opens door to new type of medicine: ‘genome surgery’

October 25, 2018

Jennifer DoudnaIGI researchers, including Bruce Conklin of UCSF and Jennifer Doudna of UC Berkeley, discuss the promise of CRIRSP-Cas9 'genome surgery.'

Smallest life forms have smallest working CRISPR system

October 18, 2018

Archaea bacteria with CRISPR systems.

An ancient group of microbes that contains some of the smallest life forms on Earth also has the smallest CRISPR gene-editing machinery discovered to date.