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Genomics for a Greener World
Date:5/21/2009

ATLANTA, May 21 /PRNewswire/ - With the Alberta Government's May 20th announcement of its contribution towards 2 new genomics projects, Genome Alberta has completed the funding puzzle and is pleased to announce these new and very special projects that will play a leading role in genomic research.

Helping Energy Extraction Become a Little Bit Greener:

Deep inside the world's hydrocarbon deposits are naturally occurring microbes that have been hard at work for untold years. These microbes have the potential to make it easier and more efficient to pull oil out of conventional wells, remove the bitumen from the oil sands, and clean up tailings ponds. A team led by Dr. Gerrit Voordouw of the University of Calgary now has a total of 11.6 million dollars to work on the project which will sample and explore the biological processes at work in oil wells, oils sands, tailings ponds, and coal beds. At the core of this project is the analysis of the sequencing data with the goal of understanding and exploiting the biological processes at work in hydrocarbon reserves. The project hopes to decrease water use, lower the emission of greenhouse gases, and enhance the extraction of clean burning natural gas from coal beds.

Green and Natural Plant Factories:

"Plants are the world's best chemists. They can synthesize an immense diversity of molecules. We're going to identify the genes from more than 75 plants that make those plants produce valuable compounds." says Dr. Peter Facchini of the University of Calgary. He along with Project Co-leader Dr. Vince Martin from Concordia University has assembled a team of plant biochemists, metabolic modelers, bioinformaticians, and synthetic biologists to harness the potential of plants with high medicinal and industrial value. The initiative will discover plant genes that can be sequenced and used in yeast to produce industrial-scale volum
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SOURCE Genome Alberta
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