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Researchers push nature beyond its limits to create higher-density biofuels
Date:12/18/2008

alcohols.

"This research is significant for two reasons," said Liao, the study's lead author. "From a scientific standpoint, we wanted to show that we can expand nature's capability in making alcohol molecules. We showed we are not limited by what nature creates. From an energy standpoint, we wanted to create larger, longer-chain molecules because they contain more energy. This is significant in the production of gasoline and even jet fuel."

Though this new frontier of biofuels production from organisms has the potential to address significant issues in global warming, the scientific significance of successful genetic modification could also mean great benefits beyond the environment.

"We used E. coli because the genetic system is well known, it grows quickly and we can engineer it very easily," said co-author Kechun Zhang, a UCLA postdoctoral researcher. "But this technique can actually be used on many different organisms, opening the door to vast possibilities in the realm of polymer as well as drug manufacturing."


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Contact: Wileen Wong Kromhout
wwkromhout@support.ucla.edu
310-206-0540
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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