Tatenda Muchero

Kiddo Q&A: Tatenda & Wellington Muchero

Date Published:

Meet Tatenda and Wellington Muchero. Wellington is a researcher in biosciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His daughter, Tatenda, had the opportunity to ask him questions about what he does at the lab.

starch granules photo

Seeing starch: Novel technique enables gentle observation of biofuel materials

Date Published:

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a new method to peer deep into the nanostructure of biomaterials without damaging the sample. This novel technique can confirm structural features in starch, a carbohydrate important in biofuel production. 

Chris Ellis

Chris Ellis: Probing the human and soil microbiome for disease links

Date Published:

After several years in the private sector exploring the unknown origins of neurodegenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Chris Ellis thinks one of the keys to solving the mystery is at Oak Ridge National Laboratory: the world’s most powerful supercomputer.

Ellis, a computational microbiologist in the Biosciences Division, is hoping to prove a theory that’s been getting more attention in the biomedical field—that microbes may play a key role in the development of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Emilie Sidelinger SULI Interview

ORISE | SULI Participant Interview with Emilie Sidelinger

Date Published:

ORISE | SULI Participant Interview with Emilie Sidelinger

DNA wraps around histone proteins

Chromosome Connectors Take Center Stage for ORNL Scientists Studying Poplar

Date Published:

The black cottonwood tree, or Populus trichocarpa (poplar), serves as a model organism for scientists studying the structure, growth, development, and genetics of plants. Poplar was the first tree genome scientists sequenced, and now they use it to study topics such as bioenergy, drought tolerance, and wood formation.

A new method uses E. coli to generate DNA with methylation patterns that target microbes recognize and accept as their own, facilitating customization of microbes for biofuels production.

ORNL develops method to customize microbes for better biofuel production

Date Published:

Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have demonstrated a method to insert genes into a variety of microorganisms that previously would not accept foreign DNA, with the goal of creating custom microbes to break down plants for bioenergy.

Sprouted poplar

Video: How You Can Grow JGI's Poplar

Date Published:
The poplar (Populus trichocarpa) was the first tree ever to have its genome sequenced. Now you can propagate the poplar yourself, find out how in a few easy steps.
CBI students explain their work in an elevator pitch session

Student Showcase Videos

Date Published:

During the CBI Annual Science Meeting in July 2019, Students working in CBI were asked to prepare a three-minute “elevator” speech to describe their science and how it relates to the overall goals of CBI.  The following videos represent a subset of the participants in the competition.

Laccaria bicolor is fruiting above ground and colonizing the Populus deltoides plant root system below ground in a greenhouse setting. Credit: Jessy Labbe/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

ORNL scientists make fundamental discovery to creating better crops

Date Published:

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. July 22, 2019—A team of scientists led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have discovered the specific gene that controls an important symbiotic relationship between plants and soil fungi, and successfully facilitated the symbiosis in a plant that typically resists it.

The discovery could lead to the development of bioenergy and food crops that can withstand harsh growing conditions, resist pathogens and pests, require less chemical fertilizer and produce larger and more plentiful plants per acre.

Credit: Carsten Külheim/Michigan Tech  Eucalyptus grows well in hot, dry regions and doesn’t need to be irrigated.

Eucalyptus Genes for Biofuel Production

Date Published:

ORNL researcher David Kainer is working with scientists from Australia, Germany, and Michigan to isolate Eucalyptus genes for biofuel production. They are investigating the genetic basis of variation in oil yield (terpenes) in blue mallee, a eucalyptus native to Australia.

For more information, contact

Tamara Rogers
Tamara Rogers
Communications