Rare Microbe To Help Make A Better Biofuel

Rare Bug To Help Make A Better Biofuel

Zymetis is testing genetically modified bacteria that efficiently convert biomass into sugar.  

A tiny microbe found in the Chesapeake Bay is the focus of intense study for a biotech startup in College Park, MD. Zymetis has genetically modified a rare, cellulose-eating bacterium to break down and convert cellulose into sugars necessary to make ethanol, and it recently completed its first commercial-scale trial. Earlier this year, the company ran the modified microbe through a series of tests in large fermenters and found that it was able to convert one ton of cellulosic plant fiber into sugar in 72 hours. The trial, researchers say, illustrates the organism’s potential in helping to produce ethanol cheaply and efficiently at industrial scales. Zymetis is now raising the first round of venture capital to bring the technology to commercial applications.

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New Test Diagnoses Heart Attack In Minutes, Not Hours

New Test Diagnoses Heart Attack In Minutes, Not Hours 

 Early-warning system

A new method for diagnosing heart attacks very early on could improve a patient’s chances of survival and reduce the amount of permanent damage that he or she suffers. Normally, it takes up to six hours to diagnose a heart attack with certainty. The new approach can do so in just 10 minutes by analyzing tiny biochemical markers in the blood, such as lipids, sugars, and amino acids–a technique known as metabolic profiling.

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