Genetic Sensor Boosts Biofuel Production

Source:

"A genetic sensor enables bacteria to adjust their gene expression in response to varying levels of key intermediates for making biodiesel. As a result, the microbes produced three times as much fuel."

Technology Review, Susan Young

Give bacteria a bit of self-awareness and they can be smarter about producing biofuel.

That's the conclusion from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, who report a genetic sensor that enables bacteria to adjust their gene expression in response to varying levels of key intermediates for making biodiesel. As a result, the microbes produced three times as much fuel. Such a sensor-regulator system could eventually make advanced biofuels cheaper and bring them a step closer to being an economically viable replacement to petroleum-based products.

One issue that has limited the amount of biofuels that a microbe makes is an imbalance of the different biological ingredients, or precursors, used to make the final fuel product. . .View Full Article

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