Nano strategy overcomes barriers to plant genetic engineering

May 28, 2020

Markita Landry files paten for new nanotube technology

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.

Scientists Bring Polymers Into Atomic-Scale Focus

November 12, 2018

image shows a rendering (gray and pink) of the molecular structure of a peptoid polymer

From water bottles and food containers to toys and tubing, many modern materials are made of plastics. And while we produce about 110 million tons per year of synthetic polymers like polyethylene and polypropylene worldwide for these plastic products, there are still mysteries about polymers at the atomic scale. 

Freeze Frame: Scientists capture atomic-scale snapshots of artificial proteins

December 5, 2019

Nitash Balsara

Protein-like molecules called “polypeptoids” (or “peptoids,” for short) have great promise as precision building blocks for creating a variety of designer nanomaterials, like flexible nanosheets – ultrathin, atomic-scale 2D materials. They could advance a number of applications – such as synthetic, disease-specific antibodies and self-repairing membranes or tissue – at a low cost.Scientists at Berkeley Lab are the first to use cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to image atomic changes in artificial proteins known as “peptoids.” Their findings have implications for the synthesis of soft, 2D materials for a wide variety of applications.

UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab will one day make windows work like solar panels

January 29, 2018

Peidong YangA breakthrough by Peidong Yang could one day help tall buildings use dramatically less energy, by using their windows to generate electricity. For the full story visit ABC7 News.

Paul Alivisatos announced as 2019 Welch Award in Chemistry recipient

September 13, 2019

Paul Alivisatos and Charles Leiber

The Welch Foundation, one of the nation’s largest sources of private funding for basic chemical research, has announced that Drs. Armand Paul Alivisatos and Charles M. Lieber are the 2019 recipients of the prestigious Robert A. Welch Award in Chemistry. Highly-respected and influential leaders in the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology, Drs. Alivisatos and Lieber are being recognized for their important research contributions which have had a significant, positive impact on humankind.

Nanomaterials whiz is developing tools to deliver DNA to plants and detect brain chemicals

August 27, 2019

Markita Landry

By using nanomaterials to create new tools, Markita Landry reckons she can crack open new areas of science. Landry, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, is harnessing the chemical and physical properties of nanomaterials to do things like deliver DNA to plants and measure signaling molecules in the brain.

Introducing a kinder, gentler way to blow holes in cells

March 29, 2019

NanoEP experiment

A new technique developed by University of California, Berkeley, nanomaterials scientists has overcome the overcome the obstacles to delivering macromolecules using inexpensive lab equipment to efficiently infuse large macromolecules into cells. Called nanopore-electroporation, or nanoEP, the technique gently creates fewer than a dozen tiny holes in each cell that are sufficient to let molecules into the cell without traumatizing it. The pores heal rapidly afterward. In tests, more than 95 percent of the cells survived the procedure. .

With nanotubes, genetic engineering in plants is easy-peasy

February 25, 2019

genetic engineering in plants just got easier and safer New research reported from the lab of Markita Landry announces scientists could make genetically engineering any type of plant—in particular, gene editing with CRISPR-Cas9—simple and quick. To deliver a gene, the researchers grafted it onto a carbon nanotube, which is tiny enough to slip easily through a plant’s tough cell wall. To date, most genetic engineering of plants is done by firing genes into the tissue—a process known as biolistics—or delivering genes via bacteria. Both are successful only a small percentage of the time, which is a major limitation for scientists seeking to create disease - or drought-resistant crops or to engineer plants so they’re more easily converted to biofuels.

New Director Assumes Helm of Kavli ENSI: Peidong Yang to direct the Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute

February 15, 2019

Peidong YangEffective January 1, 2019, Peidong Yang assumes the role of Director of the Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute (ENSI). “Peidong is a pioneer in nanomaterials and energy related science,” said Kevin Moses, Vice President of Science Programs at The Kavli Foundation. “The Kavli Foundation looks forward to many years of continued excellence in basic nanoscience research at Kavli ENSI and is delighted that Peidong will lead the institute’s impressive membership of world-class scientists.”