Stories where genes and genomes are key to solving energy and environment challenges. Hear diverse voices in science talk about their groundbreaking research to better understand — and harness — the superpowers encoded in plants, fungi, microalgae, environmental viruses, and bacteria to contribute to a more sustainable world. Join host Alison F. Takemura, PhD, for regular episodes to get an intimate look at the life around us.
Filling in the Plant Tree of Life
What if we understood plants and how they adapt to their ever-changing environments better? We could unlock new innovations to drive more productive food, medicine, and bioenergy crops. But most available genomes are from narrow swaths of the plant tree of life. One project aims to change that. Find more info on this episode, including the transcript, at https://jgi.doe.gov/genome-insider-s2-episode-10-filling-in-the-plant-tree-of-life/.
Creating an Energy Market for Miscanthus
What grass is a prized ornamental and a bioenergy plant? Meet Miscanthus, an attractive addition to your garden and a potential fuel for the future. But, to be competitive in the market, both energy policy and Miscanthus will need some upgrades. In this episode, hear from scientists working on understanding Miscanthus biology and the economic terrain to help make the plant a viable alternative to fossil fuels. Find more info on this episode, including the transcript, at https://jgi.doe.gov/genome-insider-s2-episode-9-creating-an-energy-market-for-miscanthus/.
Dispatches From JGI Interns
Every summer, the JGI invites undergraduate and graduate students from the University of California, Merced to participate in the flagship JGI-UC Merced Internship Program and engage in real, impactful research projects with JGI mentors. In this episode, hear two interns from the 2021 cohort describe their deep dives into genomics, computational tools, and big data. Find more info on this episode, including the transcript, at https://jgi.doe.gov/genome-insider-s2-episode-8-uc-merced-intern-dispatches/.
THE Bioenergy Tree
The US Department of Energy’s favorite tree is poplar. They’re the fastest growing trees in the Northern Hemisphere, making them tantalizing plants to harness for bioenergy. In this episode, hear from Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists who have uncovered remarkable genetic secrets that bring us closer to making poplar an economical and sustainable source of energy and materials. Find more info on this episode, including the transcript, at https://jgi.doe.gov/genome-insider-s2-ep-7-the-bioenergy-tree/.
Back to the Future! A Sorghum Story
You might know sorghum as an edible grain. But there are some sorghum varieties, grown on marginal land with little water, which were developed specifically to turn their biomass into sustainable biofuel and bioproducts. John Mullet, a biologist at Texas A&M University, tells us how sorghum’s historical — and literal — roots could play a big role in our energy future.
Find more info on this episode, including the transcript, at https://jgi.doe.gov/genome-insider-s2-ep-6-back-to-the-future-a-sorghum-story.
A Powerful Technique to Study Microbes, Now Easier
Lawrence Livermore National Lab biologist Jennifer Pett-Ridge collaborated with JGI scientists on an ambitious project: to bring in robots to help process experiments that measure microbial activity in soil. Now, the researchers and robots have made these experiments easier for scientists everywhere.
Find more info on this episode, including the transcript, at https://jgi.doe.gov/genome-insider-s2-ep5-a-powerful-technique-to-study-microbes-now-easier
Actually talks the science!
This is a great podcast. Rather than just some random man reminiscing with another rando, the host talks actual science where I have to look things up and thereby actually learn something. I love it!
Very professional. No bragging, no insults. A real intellectual delight.
Thank you for sharing this work!!