Empowering an international community of scientists with the most advanced technologies
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science oversees the construction and operation of some of the nation's most advanced scientific user facilities, located at national laboratories and universities. These include particle and nuclear physics accelerators, synchrotron light sources, neutron scattering facilities, supercomputers and high-speed computer networks, nanoscale science research centers, genome sequencing facilities, and advanced resources in imaging and analysis for biological and environmental systems. Guidelines for submitting proposals for access to these facilities are available from the individual centers.
Presented below are descriptions of some of the most important facilities for the Genomic Science program.
ETOP Microfluidics Device [Roy Kaltschmidt, Berkeley Lab]
Sequencing more than one trillion DNA base pairs per year, DOE JGI in Walnut Creek, California, provides state-of-the-art capabilities for genome sequencing and analysis. With more than 1,100 worldwide collaborators on active projects, DOE JGI is the preeminent facility for sequencing plants, microbes, and microbial communities that are foundational to energy and environmental research. DOE JGI’s Community Science Program (CSP) is designed to bring high-throughput sequencing to the scientific community at large.
Researchers are studying mineral-biological associations in the rhizosphere to better understand soil mineral weathering. Here, spores of Penicillium sp., a ubiquitous soil fungus, were imaged at EMSL. [Image available under a Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0); colorization by A. Dohnalkova.]
By co-locating more than 150 premier experimental instruments and systems with supercomputing capabilities, DOE EMSL is able to make multiple types of capabilities available to single investigators or multidisciplinary teams to study environmental challenges at the molecular level. DOE EMSL, located at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has helped thousands of researchers use a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to iterate between theory and experiment to solve important challenges in biogeochemistry and subsurface science, biological interactions and dynamics, and interactions at the interfaces of natural and engineered materials. EMSL’s Terrestrial and Subsurface Ecosystems (TSE) Science Theme focuses on the dynamics of nutrients, metabolites, and contaminants at biogeochemical interfaces in heterogeneous environments across multiple scales.
Facilities Integrating Collaborations for User Science (FICUS) initiative was established to encourage and enable researchers to more easily integrate the expertise and capabilities of multiple user facilities stewarded by the Department of Energy Office of Science into their research. It current participants include the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), the Joint Genome Institute (JGI), the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility, National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), and DOE Systems Biology Knowledgebase (KBase).
This infrastructure provides user access to beamlines and instrumentation for high-resolution studies of biological organisms and molecules for all areas of life sciences research. Synchrotron facilities produce intense beams of photons, from X-rays to infrared to terahertz radiation, while neutron facilities produce beams using particle accelerators or reactors. The beams are directed into experimental stations housing instruments configured for specific biological investigations. Capabilities of and contact information for each station are described at https://berstructuralbioportal.org.