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Nottingham part of £20m investment for UK synthetic biology
Date:11/12/2012

The University of Nottingham has been awarded funding of 2.9m to help make low-carbon fuel.

In a move that could potentially revolutionise major UK industries and help us to meet serious social and environmental challenges, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has announced an unprecedented 20m worth of synthetic biology projects.

The funding was announced by the Chancellor George Osborne at the Royal Society.

The six projects focus on biotechnology and advanced bioenergy and will use synthetic biology to investigate major global challenges, such as producing low-carbon fuel and reducing the cost of industrial raw materials. The funding will also help to build a world-leading synthetic biology research community in the UK.

Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said: "Synthetic biology could provide solutions to the global challenges we face and offers significant growth opportunities in a range of important sectors from health to energy. However the commercialisation of basic science is largely untapped.

"This investment is part of the Government's commitment to making the UK a world leader in the research and application of synthetic biology. It will help to ensure that academics and industry can realise its full potential."

Led by Professor Nigel Minton, The University of Nottingham researchers in the Centre for Biomolecular Sciences are working to maximize the use of sustainable forms of energy by harnessing the ability of certain bacteria to 'consume' the gas carbon monoxide (CO) and convert it into useful chemicals and fuels.

CO is an abundant resource, and a waste product of steel manufacturing, oil refining and other industries. If we can use this CO to provide more sustainable energy, it would also result in a reduction in fossil carbon emissions.

Professor Minton said: "CO is an abundant resource and a waste product of industries such a
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Contact: Lindsay Brooke
lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk
44-011-595-15751
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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