When Rachel Haurwitz joined UC Berkeley biology professor Jennifer Doudna’s lab in 2007 as a graduate student, little did the two women know that the interesting bacterial immune system they were studying would be the subject of news headlines and the basis for a biotech startup just a few years later.
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A pathway to more effective and efficient synthesis of pharmaceuticals and other flow-reactor chemical products has been opened by a study in which, for the first time, the catalytic reactivity inside a microreactor was mapped in high resolution from start to finish. Read more »
Computationally designed proteins that accurately mimic key viral structures can help produce better vaccines. The resulting protein structures, validated at the ALS, encourage the further development of this strategy for a variety of vaccine targets, including HIV and influenza. Read more »
As a student representative to the ALS Users Executive Committee (UEC) for the past two years, Mahati Chintapalli has gained a better understanding of how the ALS functions as an organization, while the UEC has gained a devoted and outgoing member. She’s currently a PhD student in Materials Science and has been conducting research at the ALS since 2011. Read more »
The weekend before the ALS was scheduled to start up again after the most recent shutdown, mechanical technician Monroe Thomas kept things running on schedule by coming in on a Saturday to pull a 300-pound capacitor “uphill” out of the new RF power supply. It’s just another “(not so) typical” day at work for him, he says. But it’s his reliability operating cranes and supervising moves of heavy equipment around the ALS that plays an integral role in keeping the facility going. Read more »
Researchers studying organic material from dinosaur bones have been able to show that the samples contained original soft tissue material from Mesozoic dinosaurs. The x-ray techniques at the ALS were key to showing a possible mechanism for this unexpected preservation.
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The molecular structures of two proteins from a family of genome-editing enzymes reveal how they target and cleave DNA. The results point the way to the rational design of new and improved versions of the enzymes for basic research and genetic engineering. Read more »
The synthesis and structural characterization of a diboryl triaryloctabromocorrole complex fills in a missing link in the family of diboron porphyrinoids. DFT calculations suggest that a strongly electron-withdrawing corrole ligand is required to stabilize the diboryl complex relative to the partially hydrolyzed diboron corrole complexes previously observed. New monoboryl corrole complexes are described, which do not have counterparts in porphyrin chemistry and are stabilized by internal F···H hydrogen bonding. Read more »
ALS researchers have discovered a material that is essentially a 3D version of graphene — the 2D sheets of carbon through which electrons race at many times the speed at which they move through silicon. The discovery promises exciting new things to come for the high-tech industry, including much faster transistors and far more compact hard drives. Read more »
Even though the ALS has been in shutdown mode for almost two months, there’s one area of the facility where users have been busy. The new ALS Visualization and Analysis Lab, which opened to users in November 2013, hosts an impressive amount of computing power that’s helping scientists work through data-heavy beamline results much more quickly and efficiently. Read more »