Scientists unlock the future of beer

beer

The prospect of yeast-by-design is tantalizing for many researchers in the brewing industry.

Man-made yeasts could irreversibly change everything from the biofuel to the brewing industry. A team of geneticists led by Jef Boeke at Johns Hopkins University is genetically engineering a yeast from scratch, as part of the Synthetic Yeast 2.0 project. They have designed and written a code made up of roughly 11 million letters of DNA—the As, Cs, Gs, and Ts that write the book of life—which they are synthesizing and subbing in for a yeast’s natural DNA.

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Growing algae in sewage to create biofuels

A channel in which algae is bred and gently stirred with a paddlewheel.

Growing algae on sewage could generate affordable biofuels. To make this work you begin with a series of small artificial rivers where waste water flows and algae is cultured. In those ponds is a paddle wheel, which pushes the water about and mixes algae into the waste water. The shallowness of the rivers encourages sunlight and helps the algae grow. And that algae is pretty important, because it’s what gets turned into biofuel.

 

 

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The U.S. is the world’s biggest oil producer in 2013

The U.S. will surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer this year.

According to new data released from the PIRA Energy Group,  the U.S. is projected to be the biggest supplier of oil in the world this year when biofuels and natural gas liquids are taken into account.

 

 

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Honeywell Schedules first Non-Stop Trans-Atlantic Biofuels flight

gulfstream-g450

Will biofuels replace standard jet fuel one day?

An important milestone in aviation biofuels: Honeywell has scheduled for today the world’s first trans-Atlantic non-stop jet flight powered by biofuel. Flying between Morristown, New Jersey and Paris will be a Gulfstream corporate jet carrying company executives and powered by a 50-50 blend of aviation biofuel and petroleum.

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Man-Made Crises Outpacing Our Ability To Deal With Them

earth

The world faces a compounding series of crises driven by human activity, which existing governments and institutions are increasingly powerless to cope with, a group of eminent environmental scientists and economists has warned.  In today’s issue of the leading international journal Science, the researchers say that nations alone are unable to resolve the sorts of planet-wide challenges now arising.

 

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Terrabon Develops Process To Convert Vinegar Into Gasoline

terrabon

Inside this white building, piles of sorghum are broken down into acids. The acids they produce can be used to make gasoline.

A company that has developed a process for converting organic waste and other biomass into gasoline–Terrabon, based in Houston–recently announced a partnership with Waste Management, the giant garbage-collection and -disposal company based in Houston. The partnership could help Terrabon bring its technology to market.

 

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Can Burning Excess Fat Be As Easy As Exhaling?

Can Burning Excess Fat Be As Easy As Exhaling?

Mice that were engineered with a fat-burning pathway remained thin compared to normal mice. 

Can burning excess fat be as easy as exhaling? That’s the finding of a provocative new study by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), who transplanted a fat-burning pathway used by bacteria and plants into mice. The genetic alterations enabled the animals to convert fat into carbon dioxide and remain lean while eating the equivalent of a fast-food diet.

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Harnessing Direct Solar Power To Propel Tiny Nanomaterial Machines

Harnessing Direct Solar Power

A four-finned rotor (center) floating on a pool of water spins when exposed to sunlight.

The sun is the most abundant source of renewable energy. But all the technologies that capitalize on sunlight, including photovoltaics and biofuels, require intermediate steps and infrastructure to turn the sun’s rays into something that can be used to perform work in a machine. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are using carbon nanotubes to build small, simple waterborne machines propelled directly by sunlight. In theory, they say, these machines could be scaled up to make energy-generating pumps directly powered by the sun.

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E-Fuel100 MicroFueler: A Personal Refinery

E-Fuel100 MicroFueler:  A Personal Refinery

E-Fuel100 MicroFueler 

Meet the EFuel100 MicroFueler, which parent company E-Fuel says is the “world’s first home ethanol product.” It’s a personal refinery system that hooks up to a water source, a power source, and a waste water disposal outlet–“just like a washing machine,” as Floyd Butterfield, E-Fuel’s vice president of biofuels and technology, described to reporters in a press conference Thursday in New York.

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Algae-Based Oils For Creating Biofuels

Algae-Based Oils For Creating Biofuels 

 Algae tanks at the Farnborough International Air Show, which took place in London July 14-20.

Researchers Qiang Hu and Milton Sommerfeld from ASU’s Department of Applied Biosciences recently flew to London to share their findings and research on the application of algae-based oils for creating biofuels at the Farnborough International Air Show.

 

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The Cost of Greed – Speculators in the Global Food Crisis

 The Cost of Greed - Speculators in the Global Food Crisis

 Profiting off of peoples hunger is a ticking time bomb

Vast amounts of money are flooding the world’s commodities markets, driving up prices of staple foods like wheat and rice. Biofuels and droughts can’t fully explain the recent food crisis — hedge funds and small investors bear some responsibility for global hunger.

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