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:6/15/2016)... New York , June 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... a new market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market by ... and Forecast, 2016 - 2024". According to the report, ... USD 11.60 billion in 2015 and is estimated ... reach USD 48.56 billion by 2024.  ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... -- Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio Credit Union (SACU) ... Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" solution into SACU,s ... in greater convenience for SACU members and operational ... document workflow and compliance requirements. Logo ... Highlights: ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... The Weather Company , an IBM Business (NYSE: IBM ... which consumers will be able to interact with IBM Watson ... or text and receive relevant information about the product or ... long sought an advertising solution that can create a one-to-one ... valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions and touchpoints. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" ... commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors ... such as WDR5 represent an exciting class of ... precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... SANTA MONICA, Calif. , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer ... to pioneer increasingly precise treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of ... 77 institutions across 15 countries. Read More About the ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample ... the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. ... said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LONDON , June 23, 2016 ... & Hematology Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 ... Review , the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, ... the escalating cost of cancer care is placing ... a result of expensive biologic therapies. With the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: