Navigation Links
Environmental metagenomics diagnosing extreme environments, tapping opportunities for clean energy

In his recent State of the Union speech President Bush said technology is the best way to break the nation's addiction to oil. The U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) is directing the technology of DNA sequencing to scan the environment for processes that will lead to cheaper and easier to produce biofuels.

"Through DNA sequencing and the tools of molecular biology we can generate diagnostic fingerprints, Environmental Genomic Tags or EGTs, that provide a metabolic profile of any environment, even such extreme conditions as acid mine drainage," says Edward M. Rubin, DOE JGI Director. "We can then survey this vast catalog of biodiversity and harness the microbial pathways that catalyze the conversion of lignocellulosic feedstocks, such as wood chips, crop residue, and various grasses, into cleaner sources of energy." One of the systems that DOE JGI characterizing is the microbial community inhabiting the termite hindgut, among nature's most efficient bioreactors--capable of generating two liters of hydrogen from fermenting just one sheet of paper.

Rubin will discuss these advances on a panel entitled "Biosphere Monitoring and Ecosystem Forecasts: Sensing the Pulse of the Planet," organized by Stan Wullschleger and Thomas Wilbanks of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting, Friday, February 17 from 8:30 am to 11:30 am, at the Renaissance Hotel, Majestic C, 800 Washington Avenue, St. Louis, MO. The session will also highlight advanced sensing technologies, biosphere monitoring platforms, and ecosystem forecast models for predicting the impacts of climate change. For a full session description, see: http://php.aaas.org/meetings/MPE_01.php?detail=974

"Environmental systems are extremely complex, harboring numerous diverse species coexisting in a single niche," says Rubin. "The challeng e is that the vast majority of microbes are resistant to being grown under standard laboratory conditions. Through the emerging strategy of metagenomics--isolating, sequencing, and interpreting the DNA extracted directly from the environment in question, an informative window opens onto that important and underutilized portion of the biosphere.

"Termites eat wood, but they can't extract energy from the complex lignocellulose polymers within it," Rubin says. "These polymers are broken down into simple sugars by fermenting microbes in the termite's gut, using enzymes that produce hydrogen as a byproduct.

"It's not as if we are going to put termites in our tank, but if we can harness the termite microbe enzymes that breakdown lignocellulose and make hydrogen, we may end up with a commercially viable process," says Rubin.


'"/>

Source:DOE/Joint Genome Institute


Related biology news :

1. Environmental chemical cocktail may sabotage sperm
2. Environmental lessons from tsunami as worlds coastal population doubles
3. Environmental tobacco smoke linked to behavior problems in children and pre-teens
4. Environmental toxins may cause bodys defenses to worsen lung disease
5. Better sludge through metagenomics
6. New science of metagenomics will transform modern microbiology
7. African amphibians make extreme parental sacrifice: The skin off their backs
8. Large dinosaurs were extremely hot in their day, UF study finds
9. Common carp sheds new light on surviving in extreme environments
10. Life in the extreme
11. Microbial fuel cell: High yield hydrogen source and wastewater cleaner
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/5/2020)... ... August 05, 2020 , ... Regenative Labs has received approval from the ... ProText™, making them the first Wharton’s jelly allografts to be assigned a Q code ... solutions are the first Wharton’s jelly allograft product to be recognized as a 361 ...
(Date:7/22/2020)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... July 21, 2020 , ... ... driving digital transformation and innovation in technology and compliance, announces a new solution ... device companies must ensure every layer of their technology stack complies with FDA ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... July 09, 2020 , ... Today CJ ... Advantage, which will share insight on the “fifth taste” phenomenon that is revolutionizing ingredient ... The Umami Advantage will be live on Monday, July 13, 2020 at11:00 AM (CDT) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... The ... radiation centers in 16 countries, has reached its 20th anniversary of worldwide use. ... routine use at top universities including University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, University ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... July 16, 2020 , ... After research model surgery and catheter ... great surgery is only the beginning of a successful study, while protecting and accessing ... Brad Gien, Global Head of Surgery from Envigo in a live ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... 2020 , ... dicentra , a leading Contract Research ... is pleased to announce that Charles Galea has joined its clinical trials division ... an accomplished and results-driven sales executive with over 10 years of expertise in ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 09, 2020 , ... In most ... used to suppress pigment formation in zebrafish embryos, maintaining optical transparency to facilitate ... Dr MA has been using the zebrafish model to investigate the causes of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: