ISB News

geek gifts

27 Gift Ideas for the Scientist in Your Life

Do you have a science geek on your holiday shopping list? Whether your scientist is young or old, professional or amateur, or serious or silly, we’ve collected a couple dozen gift ideas that will help you spread some cheer.

Read More

Baliga Lab: ‘The Universe Under a Microscope’

This is an excerpt from Environmental Microbiology Reports, 2015, authored by Arjun Raman, a postdoc in the Baliga Lab here at Institute for Systems Biology. The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together. Information distilled over four billion years of biological evolution. Incidentally, all the organisms on the Earth are made essentially of that stuff. An…

Read More

ISB’s Women in Oceanography

Photos above: (Left) Anne Thompson and (right) Mόnica Orellana as featured in “Women in Oceanography: A Decade Later.” BY ISBUSA Two of ISB’s senior research scientists are featured in the second edition of “Women in Oceanography.” Dr. Mόnica Orellana and Dr. Anne Thompson, both of the Baliga Lab, share their stories about what inspired their careers in oceanography and some of their thoughts about working in the field. The inaugural issue…

Read More

4 Minutes of Green Gold: Watch Algae Grow

There’s something calming about watching algae grow. What you see in the tubes are two types of algae: Thalassiosira pseudonana or “Thaps” is the brown diatom. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii or “Chlamy” is the green algae. We use Thaps to study ocean acidification and Chlamy is for studying biofuel production.

Read More

25+ Gifts for the Science Geek in Your Life

(Above image: lasers in a cell sorting instrument.) BY ISBUSA If you have a science buff/geek/future geek in your life, here are some gift ideas that our researchers at Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) have offered for your shopping pleasure. For kids, there are many options for “STEM toys” – i.e. toys geared toward science, technology, engineering and math. If you choose to purchase any of these items via Amazon.com,…

Read More

How One Family of Microbial Genes Rewires Itself for New Niches

3 Bullets: When an organism duplicates its genes, it increases its ability to adapt and colonize new environments. ISB researchers used the systems approach to study how one family of microbial genes evolved to bring functions that were adaptive to specific environments. This new understanding of how gene regulatory networks rewire themselves has many potential applications, including how to wire new functions into an organism for biofuel production, bio-remediation or…

Read More
Decoding the Microbial Gene-Recycling Program: Researchers 'Unzip' Genetic Instruction Manuals

New Open-Access Multiscale Model Captures Dynamic Molecular Processes in Unprecedented Detail

3 Bullets: Microbes are efficient because their streamlined genomes allow them to evolve and adapt rapidly to complex environmental changes. Decoding the highly-compressed information within a microbial genome requires sophisticated systems biology tools to map the genetic programs, and understand how they are executed. ISB researchers invented novel algorithms to unzip and decode microbial genomes into the EGRIN 2.0, an open-access multiscale model that captures instructions for executing the dynamic…

Read More

ISB Recieves $1.8M Grant for Ocean Acidification Research

Congratulations to Dr. Mónica Orellana and Dr. Nitin Baliga on their new grant for $1.8 million from the National Science Foundation. The project title is “Ocean Acidification: A Systems Biology Approach to Characterize Diatom Response to Ocean Acidification and Climate Change.” Abstract from the proposal: Diatoms account for approximately 40 percent of primary production in the world’s oceans and are the most productive marine phytoplankton group. They form the basis…

Read More

We Study Microbes Because It’s Good for Your Health

Here’s a piece adapted from Michael Pollan’s latest book “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation” which discusses how processed foods and the modern diet have made us more obese and more likely to get sick. He makes a case for eating more fermented foods that haven’t been pasteurized – probiotics, live-culture foods – in order to get the good bacteria back in our guts. At ISB, the microbiome is an…

Read More

ISB in Antarctica

There have been many stories in the news about research projects in Antarctica. Most projects are related to the climate and environment, or to how organisms survive in such extreme conditions. On Feb. 6, for example, the New York Times published a report about the Wissard (Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling) project, which involves looking for a microbial community in the lake located half a mile under the…

Read More