BER’s scientific impact has been transformative. In 1986, the Human Genome Project gave birth to modern biotechnology and genomics-based systems biology. Today, with its Genomic Sciences Program and the DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), BER researchers are using powerful tools of plant and microbial systems biology to pursue breakthroughs needed to develop cost-effective cellulosic biofuels. Our three DOE Bioenergy Research Centers lead the world in fundamental biofuels research.
Since the 1950s, BER has been a critical contributor to climate science research in the U.S., beginning with studies of atmospheric circulation—the forerunners of climate models. Today, BER supports the Community Earth System Model, a leading U.S. climate model, and addresses two of the most critical areas of uncertainty in contemporary climate science—the impact of clouds and aerosols—through support of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility, which is used by hundreds of scientists worldwide.