Teaching a microbe to make fuel

Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence – The soil bacterium Ralstonia eutropha has a natural tendency, whenever it is stressed, to stop growing and put all its energy into making complex carbon compounds.

Now scientists at MIT have tinkered with its genes to persuade it to make fuel — specifically, a kind of alcohol called isobutanol that can be directly substituted for, or blended with, gasoline.

Christopher Brigham, a research scientist in MIT’s biology department, explains that in its natural state, when the microbe’s source of essential nutrients (such as nitrate or phosphate) is restricted, “it will go into carbon-storage mode,” essentially storing away food for later use when it senses that resources are limited ..>> Read More<<

Source and Photo: Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence , August 22nd 2012
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One response to “Teaching a microbe to make fuel

  1. A humble soil bacterium called Ralstonia eutropha has a natural tendency, whenever it is stressed, to stop growing and put all its energy into making complex carbon compounds. Now scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have taught this microbe a new trick: They’ve tinkered with its genes to persuade it to make fuel—specifically, a kind of alcohol called isobutanol that can be directly substituted for, or blended with, gasoline.

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