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News & Events 2007

Topo II12/19/2007 - First look at an enzyme target for antibacterial and cancer drugs
The veil has been lifted on an enzyme critical to the process of DNA transcription and replication and a prime target of antibacterial and anticancer drugs. James Berger and his research team have produced the first 3D images of a DNA-bound Type II topoisomerase responsible for untangling coiled strands of the chromosome during cell division. More >


12/14/2007 - Stem cell grant will spur research on rejuvenating muscle
Irina Conboy, a young assistant professor who hopes embryonic stem cells can rejuvenate aging muscles, is the recipient of a $2.25 million research grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. More >


November/December 2007 - Signaling an end to TB
Among public health officials, tuberculosis is the pathogen to watch. Once routinely treated with cheap antibiotics, TB is poised to make a terrifying comeback. Berkeley professor Tom Alber is working to forestall this dire scenario. Read the story in ScienceMatters@Berkeley. More >


11/19/2007 - Technique captures chemical reactions in a single living cell for the first time
UC Berkeley bioengineers have developed a technique that for the first time enables the detection of chemical signals from biomolecules in a single living cell with unprecedented resolution. Their discovery has important implications for cell-based drug discovery and biomedical diagnostics. More >


Richard Mathies11/8/2007 - Mathies makes a big splash with one drop of wine
A device first developed by chemistry professor Rich Mathies to look for signs of life on Mars could help avoid the dreaded "red wine headache." More >


Judith Klinman10/30/2007 - AAAS honors Klinman
Judith Klinman has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), bringing the total number of QB3 faculty affiliates who are AAAS fellows to 16. More >


10/23/2007 - The mathematician and the genome
The Human Genome Project was hailed as a major breakthrough in science. But research into our biochemical blueprints had only just begun. UC Berkeley professor Lior Pachter, who considers himself a mathematical biologist, has been at the forefront of the new genomic analyses. Read the story in ScienceMatters@Berkeley. More >


10/3/2007 - Stanley Hall dedication heralds new era of bioscience innovation
Dedicated on Friday, September 28, Stanley Halll represents the promise of a new era in interdisciplinary bioscience research at UC Berkeley. The state-of-the-art facility will be a catalyst for innovations that may one day lead to new treatments or preventions for diseases, more environmentally friendly sources of energy and better ways to clean up pollutants. More >


September 2007 - Directing enzyme evolution
Understanding how to design enzymes to work on desired targets would be a great boon to industry and basic science. But most enzymes will react with only their preferred substrate or target. Jack Kirsch has developed a way to combine logic and natural selection to custom design enzymes to react with new substrates. Read the story in ScienceMatters@Berkeley. More >


9/4/2007 - $4.7 million award to detect environmental contaminants
Richard Mathies is among several UC Berkeley researchers who have received a $4.7 million grant from NIEHS to develop cutting edge methods for detecting diseases in humans exposed to environmental contaminants. His portion of the research focuses on technology for genetic analysis on single cells to identify biomarkers for early signs of leukemia and lymphoma.
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8/21/2007 - SynBERC scientists honored by Technology Review
J. Christopher Anderson, Kristala Jones Prather, and Neil Renninger, researchers in QB3's Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (SynBERC), have been recognized by Technology Review magazine as among the world's top innovators under age 35. The TR35 honors young scientists for accomplishments that are poised to have a dramatic impact on the world. More >


Protease inhibitorAugust 2007 - Can't cut this
Protease inhibitor drugs have become indispensable in the fight against AIDS, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. But finding protease inhibitors is no picnic. Jonathan Ellman and Charles Craik have developed several methods to speed the matching of protease to substrate. Their techniques are now being used in the development of therapeutics against many diseases. Read the story in ScienceMatters@Berkeley. More >


David Schaffer7/27/2007 - Schaffer wins $2.1 million stem cell research grant
Chemical engineering professor David Schaffer has won a $2.1 million grant from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to expand the research program of the Berkeley Stem Cell Center. More >


Daniel Koshland7/23/2007 - Biochemist and editor Daniel E. Koshland Jr. has died
Eminent biochemist Daniel E. Koshland Jr., former editor of the journal Science, tireless supporter of the biological sciences at UC Berkeley, and a QB3 faculty affiliate, died Monday, July 23, following a massive stroke. More >


Alex Pines7/12/2007 - Pines wins prestigious 2007 R&D 100 Award
Chemistry professor Alex Pines and colleagues at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) have been awarded one of R&D Magazine's prestigious R&D 100 Awards for 2007 for their work in the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) field. The awards recognize the 100 most significant proven technological advances of the year. More >


Anemone7/5/2007 - Anemone genome gives new view of multi-celled ancestor
The genome of the sea anemone is nearly as complex as the human genome, according to Dan Rokhsar and his colleagues who have completed the first analysis of the animal's genes. Because of this similarity, it is providing major insights into the common ancestor of not only humans and sea anemones, but of nearly all multi-celled animals. More >


6/28/2007 - Bright future for nano-sized light source
Jan Liphardt and his colleagues have invented a bio-friendly nano-sized light source that emits coherent light across the visible spectrum. Among the potential applications are single cell endoscopy, integrated circuitry for nanophotonic technology, and new advanced methods of cyber cryptography. Read the story in Science@Berkeley Lab. More >


JBI6/26/2007 - Bay Area partnership to host DOE bioscience center
The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the creation of a new bioenergy research center, with UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as two of its six collaborating institutions. The Joint BioEnergy Institute to be headquartered in the East Bay and led by Jay Keasling will receive approximately $125 million in DOE funding over five years. More >


6/19/2007 - Powerful magnet at home in Stanley Hall
Purchased with a $6 million NIH grant, a state-of-the-art magnet was hoisted into Stanley Hall on June 19, providing the crown jewel of QB3's Central California 900 MHz NMR Facility. University and industry researchers will use the device to study the structure and dynamics of proteins and nucleic acids at the atomic level and to probe the formation of biomolecules. More >


Protein actinMay 2007 - Proteins as shape-shifters
By understanding how proteins interact with other molecules, as well as larger structures in the cell, Jhih-Wei Chu is developing a new way to target medicines, design novel materials, and ultimately improve our understanding of cell behavior. Read the story in ScienceMatters@Berkeley. More >


RECOMB074/26/2007 - QB3 hosts international computational biology conference
More than 500 computational biologists gathered April 21-25 for the Eleventh Annual International Conference on Research in Computational Molecular Biology (RECOMB), which showcases theoretical advances in computational biology and applications in molecular biology and medicine. More >


4/12/2007 - Quantum secrets of photosynthesis revealed
Through photosynthesis, green plants and cyanobacteria transfer sunlight energy into chemical energy with nearly 100-percent efficiency. How photosynthesis achieves this nearly instantaneous transfer is a long-standing mystery that may have finally been solved by Graham Fleming and his lab colleagues. Read the story in Science@Berkeley Lab. More >


Bio1A lab classApril 2007 - Teaching biology in the twenty-first century
As researchers manipulate the genetic code with ever-greater facility, the trickle of data from research has turned into a flood. Jasper Rine has had a front row seat to this revolution during his thirty-year career. He now aims to train future scientists to channel in the information overflow in more productive ways. Read the story in ScienceMatters@Berkeley. More >


Escherichia coli bacterium ribosomeApril 2007 - The protein machine
Jamie Cate is among the leaders in the effort to map one of the cells most critical structures: the protein factory of the ribosome. Cates work has provided some of the clearest images of the ribosome to date, and could lead to designs for new generations of antibiotics. Read the story in ScienceMatters@Berkeley. More >


Yeast coloniesApril 2007 - Self-tuning genes
Rachel Brem studies genes that can modulate their own production. Her discoveries could be useful in tracking down mutations responsible for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, schizophrenia, and other disorders controlled by multiple genes. Read the story in ScienceMatters@Berkeley. More >


2/15/2007 - Researchers convert heat to electricity using organic molecules
Arun Majumdar and his research team have successfully generated electricity from heat by trapping organic molecules between metal nanoparticles, an achievement that could pave the way toward the development of a new source for energy.


February 2007 - Biomolecules in motion
Proteins are the parts that make living engines run. But, studying how proteins function can be a major problem. However, UC Berkeley chemistry professor Haw Yang is dedicated to developing a better way to study biomolecules in motion. Read the story in ScienceMatters@Berkeley. More >


EBI2/9/2007 - Shedding new light on proteorhodopsin
New light has been shed on proteorhodopsin, the light-sensitive protein found in many marine bacteria. Jan Liphardt, Carlos Bustamante, and their colleagues have demonstrated that when the ability to respire oxygen is impaired, bacterium equipped with proteorhodopsin will switch to solar power to carry out vital life processes. More >


EBI2/1/2007 - BP awards $500 million bioenergy grant
Global energy firm BP has selected UC Berkeley, in partnership with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of Illinois, to lead an unprecedented $500 million research effort to develop new sources of energy and reduce the impact of energy consumption on the environment. The funding will create the Energy Biosciences Institute, which initially will focus its research on biotechnology to produce biofuels. QB3 helped coordinate the research proposal and will help administer the project. More >


Steve Chu1/19/2007 - Chu briefs Regents on alternative energy
This week the University of California's Board of Regents invited Steve Chu, Berkeley Lab Director, UC Berkeley physics professor, and QB3 faculty affiliate, to discuss with them his initiatives involving alternative energy sources. One Regent referred to Chu's vision as "extraordinary," and another said that "few priorities are greater" in the UC system. More >


Microarray1/11/2007 - NASA funds instrument to probe life on Mars
NASA has announced that it will provide $750,000 in development funding for a joint UC San Diego/UC Berkeley experiment created by Richard Mathies and his colleagues to detect life on Mars. The experiment is scheduled to fly aboard the European ExoMars rover mission in 2013. More >


A. Richard Newton1/3/2007 - Technology visionary Richard Newton dies at 55
A. Richard Newton, professor and dean of the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley, a pioneer in integrated circuit design and electronic systems architecture, a visionary leader in the technology industry, and an enthusiastic supporter of the emerging field of synthetic biology, died on January 2. More >


1/2/2007 - Peptide targets latent papilloma virus infections
Infection with the human papilloma virus, the major cause of cervical cancer, is forever – the virus remains latent in skin cells, ready to flare up at any time. A new finding, however, offers hope that a drug could halt spread of the virus into new cells, and perhaps even eliminate the virus from the body. More >



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