Right now, our natural rubber comes from just one tree species: Hevea brasiliensis. It’s great at producing latex that becomes rubber, but it’s vulnerable to disease and climate shifts. So researchers are looking into a desert shrub that’s native to North America: guayule. [Read More]
The ocean depths are vast and dark. But there are hotspots on the ocean floor — underwater volcanoes and hydrothermal vents — where lively microbial communities thrive, and even support entire ecosystems. Hear from researchers Anna-Louise Reysenbach, Emily St. John, Gilberto Flores, and Peter Girguis about sampling these communities, and understanding how they’ve adapted to this extreme environment.
In our warming world, we’ll need corn, sorghum and other crops to grow well in worse conditions: with more heat, less water and less fertilizer. Grasses do better in these conditions, so plant biologists James Schnable, Guangchao Sun and Vladimir Torrres have looked into traits that could transfer from grasses into other crops. One grass they studied just happened to be the same species that covered World Cup pitches in 2022. [Read More]
Michelle O’Malley and Tom Lankiewicz of UC Santa Barbara discuss the importance of studying anaerobic fungi, as well as a recent discovery that turns scientific presumption on its head and opens up a new avenue to explore for efficient biofuel production.
David Hibbett (Clark University) fills us in on the kind of decay that makes shiitake mushrooms special. This week, he 39 collaborators published a paper tracing how these mushrooms have evolved. [Read More]
Natural Prodcast guest William Fenical of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography on the beginnings of marine natural products, his experiences in drug discovery, and exploring marine bacteria for novel chemistry. [Read More]
The JGI’s Community Science Program gives researchers access to all kinds of sequencing, ‘omics and bioinformatics capabilities — and it’s open to scientists at any career stage, anywhere in the world, for free. We accept new projects related to energy and the environment several times a year. A few proposal calls have deadlines coming up – in January, March, and later on in the spring.
In this episode, hear proposal tips from Tanja Woyke, who runs user programs at the JGI, and project manager Miranda Harmon-Smith, who helps shepherd CSP projects along.
Hear from CSU-San Marcos course instructor Matt Escobar and UC Davis Associate Professor Matthias Hess, also the chair of the JGI User Executive Committee, on how a JGI study on cow rumen went from the lab to the classroom. [Read More]
Every year, the JGI sequences around 35,000 samples — from plants, algae, bacteria, archaea, fungi, viruses — to support scientists around the world. Most of those researchers send their samples in from afar, without ever hearing much about the sequencing lab. So today, Chris Daum walks through the JGI’s sequencing pipeline, where there are freezers with names — but not doors — and robots handle a bunch of benchwork.