June 25, 2013

High-octane bacteria could ease pain at the pump

Engineered E. coli mass-produce key precursor to potent biofuel

New lines of engineered bacteria can tailor-make key precursors of high-octane biofuels that could one day replace gasoline, scientists at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School report in the June 24 online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The same lines can also produce precursors of pharmaceuticals, bioplastics, herbicides, detergents, and more.