Biochemistry

This is the year that CRISPR moves from lab to clinic

March 8, 2021

Women makes COVID discovery in lab

Scientist makes COVID discovery in lab. (Photo Adobe Stock)

Since my colleagues and I first described CRISPR as a genome-engineering tool in 2012, the technique has transformed fundamental research. More than 15,000 papers containing the term have been published, hundreds of different organisms have been edited and this...

Alumna tackles tuberculosis with new portable diagnostic tool

February 1, 2021

Mirelle Kamariza

Tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a bacteria with a cell wall thick enough to block out most drugs. Mireille Kamariza designed a molecule that embeds into that wall and lights up — researchers only need a microscope and a reagent to see it. Photo by Fred Tomlin.

Growing up in Bujumbura, Burundi, Mireille Kamariza (M.S. '15,...

The race to repurpose nature’s protein factories

February 8, 2021

illustration of ribosomes

The molecular machines that cells use to build proteins are backed by a billion years of evolution. In that time, these machines—ribosomes—have become exceptionally good at forging amide bonds between standard α-amino acids to make peptides and proteins.

Ribosomes are so good at their job that researchers want to harness them to make other polymers...

How scientists shot down cancer’s ‘Death Star’

February 5, 2021

lung cancer cell

A colored scanning electron micrograph of a cell of a common type of lung cancer, called non-small cell cancer. A new drug targets the mutated protein that leads to uncontrolled growth. Credit Steve Gschmeissner/Science Source

After 40 years of effort, researchers have finally succeeded in switching off...

Watch Jennifer Doudna's Nobel Prize award ceremony

December 4, 2020

For Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna, the highlight of this most extraordinary Nobel Prize Week was a socially distanced award ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 8, on her patio in Berkeley with 11 people in attendance, followed by takeout. But if the glow surronding her was any indication, she could have been receiving the medal and citation from the King of Sweden on the stage at Stockholm Concert Hall. The traditional celebration has been rescheduled for next year.

A videographer and photographer captured the intimate gathering with the highlight being the presentation of the Nobel gold...

UC Berkeley and Gladstone scientists develop new Covid-19 test

December 7, 2020

image for lighting up covid test

In the diagnostic test, a patient sample is mixed with CRISPR Cas13 proteins (purple) and molecular probes (green) which fluoresce, or light up, when cut. When coronavirus RNA is present in the sample, it prompts the CRISPR proteins to snip the molecular probes, causing the whole sample to emit light. This fluorescence can be detected with a...

The College of Chemistry celebrates Jennifer Doudna

November 12, 2020

The College of Chemistry was delighted to host an informal discussion with Nobel Laureate, and College faculty member, Jennifer Doudna. Hosted by Dean Douglas Clark and Chair of Chemistry Matthew Francis, Jennifer discussed a wide range of topics from what it was like finding about the award to some really great advice on how to manage your education and career. The session was moderated by graudate students Max Sosa...

New test detects coronavirus in just 5 minutes

November 5, 2020

Jennifer Doudna discusses new COVID-19 test

Jennifer Doudna talks with Alex Ehrenberg, a graduate student in integrative biology who is helping organize the FAST trial of saliva tests for COVID-19. Photo: UC Berkeley/Irene Yi

Researchers have used CRISPR gene-editing technology to come...

UC Berkeley researchers awarded Pew Innovation Funding

September 15, 2020

Ke Xu, Polina

Image: Polina Lishko and Ke Xu (UC Berkeley)

The Pew Charitable Trusts has annouced the 2020 grantees of the Pew Innovation Fund which supports research collaborations among alumni of their...

A behind-the-scenes look at the longevity vitamin PQQ

July 27, 2020

fruit and vegetables

PQQ has been found in fruits and vegetables, such as papaya, kiwi fruit, spinach, green pepper, parsley, celery, and more. Photo: Wen Zhu.

We love food, not only for the joy of eating and sharing meals, but also for the nutrients that our bodies depend on to thrive. Beyond the essential vitamins that everyone needs regularly, scientists have found more...