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Cancer Research May Help Biofuels

ublic and researchers.

There is one big problem, though: they currently cost more than gas. If oil stays below $55 a barrel, most alternative car fuel technologies stop making economic sense, according to Dan Arvizu, director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Oil has bounced between $50 and $60 a barrel recently. As a result, most biofuels are currently supported by subsidies.

Genetic modification helps ameliorate the problem by allowing farmers to generate more starch, which can be converted to ethanol or biodiesel, per acre. The company has already grown a dozen or so fields each of canola, corn, soybeans and camolina, a similar plant to canola.

"Now I want four dozen for each, and I want to do them worldwide," he said. Commercially, fuels enhanced by Targeted's technology may hit pumps in four years or so.

Genetic modification, Todaro admits, isn't popular with the public, but it enjoys strong support in many parts of the scientific community. It cuts down pesticide use, can help farmers earn more profits, and the evidence that it hurts humans is shaky at best.

"One of my favorite stats is that more people are killed by falling coke machines every year than genetically modified foods," he said. "Eighty percent of the corn and soy sold worldwide has biotech inside of it. You ate a transgene at breakfast this morning if you had cereal; I guarantee it."

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