News International Sugar Journal

Bioengineered soil bacterium produces substantial amounts of isobutanol [Registered]

A soil bacterium Ralstonia eutropha has a natural tendency, whenever it is stressed, to stop growing and put all its energy into making complex carbon compounds. Now scientists at MIT have taught this microbe a new trick: They’ve tinkered with its genes to persuade it to make fuel – specifically, isobutanol that can be directly substituted for, or blended with, gasoline. Christopher Brigham, a research scientist in MIT’s biology department who has been working to develop this bioengineered bacterium, is currently trying to get the organism to use a stream of carbon dioxide as its source of carbon, so that…

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