BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Researcher Honored for Work in Biological Chemistry
Published: October 09, 2002
Posted: October 24, 2002

Yi Lu, associate professor of chemistry, biochemistry, and biophysics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has been recognized twice recently for his pioneering work related to the development of DNA-based sensors for metal or radionuclide contaminants. His scientific efforts, supported in part by BER's Natural and Accelerated Bioremediation Research Program (NABIR), earned him a first-runner-up certificate in the Elsevier Bioelectronics and Biosensors competition at the World Congress on Biosensors in Kyoto, Japan, in May 2002. His prize-winning work will be described in a special issue of the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics sometime in 2003. More recently, the philanthropic Howard Hughes Medical Institute awarded Dr. Lu a prestigious and sizeable grant in support of his science education efforts, designating him one of its first group of HHMI Professors. The full story of the HHMI award appeared in the 30 September 2002 issue of Chemical and Engineering News (pp. 32-33). Dr. Lu's NABIR project focuses on the use of combinatorial chemistry in the development of DNA biosensors for simultaneous detection and quantification of bioavailable radionuclides. He has identified several catalytic DNAs for use within small, field-portable sensors for various toxic heavy metals. These DNA biosensors are highly sensitive, selective, shelf-stable, and cost-effective; and have been demonstrated useful in both fluorometric and colorimetric analysis of natural and municipal waters. Further work will enable their use as on-site or remote analytical tools, to obtain quantitative measurements of contamination, in real time. This research is applicable both to DOE's current bioremediation efforts and subsequent long-term stewardship.

Contact: Brendlyn Faison, SC-75, 3-0042
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Subsurface Biogeochemical Research
  • Cross-Cutting: Lectures, Awards, and Recognition
  • Cross-Cutting: Education

Division: SC-33.1 Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, BER
      (formerly SC-75 Environmental Remediation Sciences Division, OBER)

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Mar 23, 2021
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Lipids transfer energy and serve as an inter-kingdom communication tool in leaf-cutter ants&rsqu [more...]

Mar 19, 2021
Microbes Use Ancient Metabolism to Cycle Phosphorus
Microbial cycling of phosphorus through reduction-oxidation reactions is older and more widespre [more...]

Feb 22, 2021
Warming Soil Means Stronger Microbe Networks
Soil warming leads to more complex, larger, and more connected networks of microbes in those soi [more...]

Jan 27, 2021
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
New data pipeline identifies metabolites following heavy isotope labeling.

Analysis [more...]

Aug 31, 2020
Novel Bacterial Clade Reveals Origin of Form I Rubisco
Objectives

  • All plant biomass is sourced from the carbon-fixing enzyme Rub [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)