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


Carl Woese Awarded Crafoord Prize in Stockholm
Published: October 08, 2003
Posted: October 17, 2003

On September 24, the King of Sweden, on behalf of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, presented the Crafoord Prize in Biosciences (along with $500,000) to microbiologist Carl R. Woese of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The prize marks accomplishments in scientific fields not covered by the Nobel Prizes in science, which the academy also selects. Woese changed the way scientists classify life on Earth by his discovery of the archaea in 1977 in collaboration with University of Illinois microbiologist Ralph S. Wolfe. Prior to that time, biologists had taken for granted that all life on Earth belonged to one of two primary lineages, the eukaryotes (which include animals, plants, fungi and certain unicellular organisms such as paramecia) and the prokaryotes (all remaining microscopic organisms). Woese and Wolfe showed that there are three primary lineages. The new group of organisms  the archaea (pronounced ARE-kee-uh)  is very simple in its genetic makeup and tends to exist in "extreme" environments, niches devoid of oxygen and whose temperatures can be near or above the normal boiling point of water, conditions thought to represent the early environment on Earth. In 1996, Craig Venter then of the Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) determined the genome sequence of the first archaeon (under a grant from the Department of Energy) which dramatically demonstrated the reality of Woese's view.

Contact: Dan Drell, SC-72, 301-903-4742
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Genomic Analysis and Systems Biology
  • Research Area: Microbes and Communities
  • Cross-Cutting: Lectures, Awards, and Recognition

Division: SC-33.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER
      (formerly SC-72 Life 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)