The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has issued a Request for Information to provide a broad community of stakeholders, including experts and members of the public an opportunity to comment on the current status and needs of microbiome research. Find out more here: Whitehouse Microbiome RFI
The labwide initiative, Microbes-to-Biomes, has kicked off with five projects funded through the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program. New FY2015 LDRD projects: Harnessing the soil microbiome for food and fuel security (Eoin Brodie (ESD)/Peter Nico (ESD) – PIs) Increasing the availability of phosphorus to plants by engineering phosphate solubilizing plant-associated bacteria (Matthew Blow […]
ESD climate scientists Jinyun Tang and Bill Riley have developed a climate model that quantifies interactions between soil microbes and their surroundings. It’s the first such model to include several physiologically realistic representations of how soil microbes break down organic matter, a process that annually unleashes about ten times as much carbon into the atmosphere […]
THE coffee-berry borer is a pesky beetle. It is thought to destroy $500m-worth of unpicked coffee beans a year, thus diminishing the incomes of some 20m farmers. The borer spends most of its life as a larva, buried inside a coffee berry, feeding on the beans within. To do so, it has to defy the toxic effects of caffeine. This is a substance which, though pleasing to people, is fatal to insects—except, for reasons hitherto unknown, to the coffee-berry borer. But those reasons are unknown no longer. A team of researchers led by Eoin Brodie of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Fernando Vega of the United States Department of Agriculture had a suspicion the answer lay not with the beetle itself, but with the bacteria in its gut. As they outline in Nature Communications, that suspicion has proved correct.
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