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Latest U.S. Department of Energy Stories

A Microbe Which Can Handle Ionic Liquids
2012-05-15 05:23:38

New find from Joint BioEnergy Institute could help reduce biofuel production costs In the search for technology by which economically competitive biofuels can be produced from cellulosic biomass, the combination of sugar-fermenting microbes and ionic liquid solvents looks to be a winner save for one major problem: the ionic liquids used to make cellulosic biomass more digestible for microbes can also be toxic to them. A solution to this conundrum, however, may be in the offing....

2012-05-14 22:29:30

Arranging DNA fragments into a genome sequence that scientists can interpret is a challenge often compared to assembling a puzzle except you don´t have the box and have no idea what the picture is supposed to be. Sometimes clues from other publicly-available DNA sequences of related organisms can be used to guide the assembly process, but its usefulness depends on how closely related any two sequences are to one another. For example, a reference genome might be so distantly related from...

2012-03-24 04:57:29

Berkeley Lab researchers embed artificial membranes with billions of nanoantennas for enhanced optical studies At the heart of the immune system that protects our bodies from disease and foreign invaders is a vast and complex communications network involving millions of cells, sending and receiving chemical signals that can mean life or death. At the heart of this vast cellular signaling network are interactions between billions of proteins and other biomolecules. These interactions, in...

2012-03-24 03:25:57

Without fungi and microbes to break down dead trees and leaf litter in nature, the forest floor might look like a scene from TV's "Hoarders." Massive-scale genome sequencing projects supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and being carried out at the DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI) highlight the importance of learning how the cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin that serve as a plant's infrastructure can be broken down by these forest organisms to extract needed nutrients. Among...

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2012-03-14 16:15:51

A  class of chemical compounds used for flavor and fragrance may one day become a clean, renewable resource with which to fuel our automobiles. U.S. Department of Energy researchers have modified the E. Coli bacteria to create large quantities of methyl ketone from glucose. First tests of this methyl ketone show very high cetane numbers. Cetane is a fuel rating system for diesel fuel, similar to octane ratings for gasoline. This makes the methyl ketones a viable candidate for production...


Word of the Day
reremouse
  • A bat.
The word 'reremouse' comes from Middle English reremous, from Old English hrēremūs, hrērmūs ("bat"), equivalent to rear (“to move, shake, stir”) +‎ mouse.
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