Creating ethanol from scratch
Some interesting projects going on at Berkeley, and written up here.
One project noted in the piece is an effort to produce an alternative fuel that has gotten a lot of attention lately, ethanol, but the cost of which is the focus of controversy. No one seems to agree on whether it it is cost-effective to make, even at current gasoline prices. Will be interesting to watch Venter's efforts:
J. Craig Venter, the entrepreneurial scientist who mapped the human genome, announced last month that he intends to string together genes to create from scratch novel organisms that can produce alternative fuels such as hydrogen and ethanol.
With a $42.6 million grant that originated at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Berkeley researchers are creating a new malaria drug by removing genetic material of the E. coli bacterium and replacing it with genes from wormwood and yeast.
"We're building parts that can be assembled into devices and devices that can be turned into systems," said Jay Keasling, head of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Berkeley synthetic biology department, which was created last year
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