The beautiful, shiny, new Energy Biosciences Building in downtown Berkeley is a truly fantastic place to do science. Not only does it have some of the most gorgeous labs I’ve ever seen (with lots of great natural light), it also has meeting/lunch areas like these that do a ton to support the collaborative mindset that is so critical to good science. I wanted to do a multi-shot post today, descending from this glossy surface with its view of the Berkeley skyline (such as it is) down into the bowels of the center.
For many of the biologists working here, the real science is happening down in the basement. Here, mutant and wildtype plants are growing in this incubator to a size where they can be cheerful participants in biofuel experiments.
And the really cool shot from just around the corner: seeds that have just sprouted, growing to a size that they can be planted in soil. From what my charming guide told me, many of these are randomly mutated seeds, and they’re being screened in this media to determine if any have the correct mutation for further experimentation. Behind this example, you can see numerous other sets, merrily growing away. (Or not, if they have this particular mutation.)