Earth and Biological
Physical and Computational Sciences Directorate
Full Story | February 2016
Microbes Take Their Vitaminsfor the Good of Science
Scientists exploit organisms' needs to track "vitamin mimics" in bacteria
Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have made a "vitamin mimic"—a molecule that looks and acts just like the natural vitamin to bacteria, but can be tracked and measured in live cells. The research offers a new window into the inner workings of living microbes crucial to the world's energy future, wielding great influence in the planet's carbon and nutrient cycle and serving as actors in the creation of new fuels.
Bringing New Light to a Transformative Protein
Combined approach used to investigate photophysics of green fluorescent protein
A substance from a jellyfish in the western coast of North America has transformed modern cellular biology. When added to viruses and proteins, green fluorescent protein (GFP), brings their life and function into view. Now, by combining experiment, computation, and theory, scientists at PNNL and Louisiana State University have discovered new insights about GFP's behavior. In turn, this can lead to even more ways to exploit this valuable monitor of biological processes.