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Bioscience and Bioengineering

Signal and image science community comes together for annual workshop

Nearly 150 members of the signal and image science community recently came together to discuss the latest advances in the field and connect with colleagues, friends and potential collaborators at the 28th annual Center for Advanced Image and Signal Science (CASIS) workshop. Held at the University of California Livermore Collaboration Center (UCLCC) for the first time, the…

LLNL and BridgeBio announce trials for supercomputing-discovered cancer drug

In a substantial milestone for supercomputing-aided drug design, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and BridgeBio Oncology Therapeutics (BridgeBio) today announced clinical trials have begun for a first-in-class medication that targets specific genetic mutations implicated in many types of cancer. The development of the new drug — BBO-8520 — is the result of…

Unexpected source of nutrients fuels growth of toxic algae from Lake Erie

Climate change, such as warming and changes in precipitation patterns, affects the frequency and severity of harmful algal blooms (HABs) globally, including those of toxin-producing cyanobacteria that can contaminate drinking water. These nutrient-induced blooms cause worldwide public and ecosystem health concerns. Since the mid-1990s, Lake Erie, the shallowest and warmest…

GUIDE team develops approach to redesign antibodies against viral pandemics

In a groundbreaking development for addressing future viral pandemics, a multi-institutional team involving Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers has successfully combined an artificial intelligence (AI)-backed platform with supercomputing to redesign and restore the effectiveness of antibodies whose ability to fight viruses has been compromised by…

Mitigating the risk of infection in combat-related injuries

The severely invasive nature of combat trauma creates massive regions of injury, colonization and infection, requiring specialized diagnostic and aggressive therapeutic approaches. Previous reports indicate an estimated occurrence of wound infections in 18%–25% of combat-related injuries. Hindering wound recovery are multidrug-resistant microorganisms, which have been…

LLNL and Precision Neuroscience collaboration aims to develop next-generation neural implants

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has joined forces with Precision Neuroscience Corporation (Precision) to advance the technology of neural implants for patients suffering from a variety of neurological disorders, including stroke, spinal cord injury and neurodegenerative diseases such as Lou Gehrig's disease. Under the three-year collaboration, outlined in a…

Microbial research unravels a global nitrogen mystery

Ammonia-oxidizing microorganisms (AOM) use ammonia for energy and account for the annual oxidation of approximately 2.3 trillion kilograms of nitrogen in soil, freshwater, the subsurface and man-made ecosystems. But one major question that has remained unanswered for decades is how different AOM species coexist in the same environment: do they compete for ammonia or…

Using agricultural residues for fuel and chemicals

A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientist is part of a research team shedding new light on how to access the sugars locked up in plant materials in order to convert byproducts into new feedstocks for production of fuels, materials and chemicals. Converting grasses, weeds, wood and other plant residues into sustainable products normally produced using…

Two selected as Graduate Student Research program recipients

Two graduate students have earned Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program awards to perform their doctoral dissertation research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The prestigious award helps cover living expenses and travel for 60 students from universities across the nation. Their proposed research projects…

PLS postdocs excel at the 2023 Research Slam

On Thursday, August 24, a dozen LLNL postdocs presented in the annual Postdoctoral Research Slam, answering the question “Why is my research important?” in only three minutes. Each talk was then evaluated by LLNL leadership, awarding first and second place to PLS postdocs Brandon Zimmerman and Aditya Prajapati, respectively. As a bonus, the attending audience voted on…

LLNL scientists use engineered bone marrow for cancer research and treatment

Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common primary malignant bone cancer in children and adolescents. While many other cancers now have promising therapeutic advances, treatment options for OS have remained unchanged since the introduction of standard chemotherapeutics and offer less than a 25% five-year survival rate for those with metastatic disease. Now, Lawrence Livermore…

Not all bacteria are created equal

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists have found that bacteria can help algae make carbon-neutral biofuels or draw down additional carbon from the atmosphere if the conditions are just right. The team used LLNL’s nanoSIMS to understand and quantify the role of the algal microbiome in processing algal carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). The research appears in…

Overlapping genes for prolonged genetic circuit stability

For the past several decades, synthetic biologists have sought to genetically engineer microorganisms for a wide range of application—including therapeutics discovery and delivery, drug manufacturing, agricultural yields, biofuel production, mineral extraction, and waste degradation. This is achieved through the design of genetic circuits, which are made up of DNA parts…

Platform tests colorectal cancer therapies in vitro

Colorectal cancer (CRC) — cancer of the colon or rectum — is the third-most common cancer in both men and women in the United States and the second-most common cause of cancer-related death in developed countries. Although surgery is highly successful for patients with a localized disease or disease confined to a narrow region (stages I–III), a total of 60% of CRC patients…

Enhancing rare-earth element separation

The irreplaceable roles of rare-earth (RE) elements in ubiquitous modern technologies ranging from permanent magnets to light-emitting diodes (LED) and phosphors have renewed interest in one of the grand challenges of separation science—efficient separation of lanthanides. However, the separation of these 15 elements is complicated due to their similar physicochemical…

Researchers address the challenges in creating carbon nanotubes on metal foil

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) provide extraordinary electronic, thermal, mechanical, and transport properties, among many other benefits. Vertically aligned CNT (VACNT) forests have promising potential applications ranging from energy storage to multifunctional fiber production. While CNTs are traditionally made on substrates such as silicon, the process is not compatible with…

Modifying the molecular structure of carbon nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are known for their high tensile strength and electrical and thermal conductivities, making them ideal for a wide range of consumer applications—energy storage, electronics, etc. However, current approaches to CNT synthesis are limited in their ability to control the placement of atoms on the surface of nanotubes. Some of these limitations stem from…

Developing radioprotection strategies for deep space exploration

During future missions beyond low Earth orbit (LEO), such as those planned to the moon, near-Earth asteroids, and Mars, astronauts will face poorly defined health risks as a result of exposure to the complex space ionizing radiation (IR) environment. In fact, the gastrointestinal (GI) system is documented to be highly radiosensitive with even relatively low dose IR…

Researchers explore how viruses enhance our understanding of life in the universe

On Earth, viruses are abundant and an integral part of life. However, very little is known about them outside human health contexts, especially in areas related to space. Understanding the role viruses play on Earth and how they interact with their hosts in extreme environments can better inform human spaceflight missions (environmental control, life support systems, and…

Next-generation simulation infrastructure bridges multiscale models

One of the fundamental challenges in computational modeling is to balance the trade-off between the length and time scales that need to be simulated and the corresponding computational costs. Relevant time scales are typically determined by a phenomena of interest, e.g., a protein’s activation or a chemical reaction, whereas length scales are usually chosen based on the…