Photos
Article

By Colin Lecher

To find a way of fending off global warming, scientists sometimes look to nature. Plants, after all, use photosynthesis to snap up carbon dioxide, the biggest source of our climate change woes. So we get inventions like artificial leaves and ambitious projects like a plan to give fish photosynthesizing powers. One of the more interesting plans: genetically alter microorganisms so they can chow down on some CO2, too.

University of Georgia researchers recently used the mighty Pyrococcus furiosus, which usually eats carbohydrates and lives in super-heated waters or volcanic marine mud (ideally, for it, at about 100 degrees Celsius). By toying with the genome-sequenced microorganism's genetic material, they were able to make it comfortable in much cooler waters, and to eat carbon dioxide. After that, using hydrogen gas to form a chemical reaction in the microorganism, the researchers got the microorganism to produce 3-hydroxypropionic acid, a common chemical used in household products. That's been done before, but the researchers are looking into turning the process into one that could eventually produce fuel.

If it is able to produce fuel, that wouldn't make it the first bacteria-like organism to do so. Others have been able to make that happen in a lab. But for anyone working on it, the next move after proving it works is scaling up. Then, ideally, we'll start getting water bottles that can power our homes.

Source: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-03/scientists-are-engineering-volcanic-microorganisms-chew-co2-spit-back-fuel

Comments
Order by: 
Per page: 
 
  • There are no comments yet
The Social Network Buzz - Comment using your Facebook, AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo! account
Info
Administrator
The Black Vault Owner/Operator
03.27.2013 (385 days ago)
364 Views
0 Subscribers
All News by Administrator
Share This Article
Rate
1 votes
Related News
Life took root more than four billion years ago on our nascent Earth, a wetter and harsher place than now, bathed in sizzling ultraviolet rays.
Main Space
10 hours ago · From Administrator
Researchers have confirmed the existence of exotic hadrons, which are a type of matter that could not be confirmed through the common quark model.
2 days ago · From Administrator
Imagine robots no bigger than your finger tip scrambling through the rubble of a disaster site to search for victims or to assess damage.
9 days ago · From Administrator
Scientists studying the behavior of the world's ice sheets may soon have a new airborne tool that will allow radar measurements...
15 days ago · From Administrator
Even though the world's most powerful atom-smasher was completed just six years ago, its makers are already looking ahead to the next one.
54 days ago · From Administrator
Scientists Engineer Extreme Microorganisms To Make Fuel From Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide