BBC News story on biofuels from rubbish

Microbiology at NUI Galway on BBC News.

This is the full link to a story on the BBC News website today on GM yeast converting cellulosic material to ethanol.

My quotes are here:

“Wastes present a major opportunity in this respect. We have to start to think about wastes, such as sewage or landfill waste as resources – not problems to be disposed of,” Dr Gavin Collins, an environmental microbiologist at the National University of Ireland, Galway, told BBC News.

Dr Collins, however, remains upbeat about the prospects for biotechnology.

“We probably know the function of only about 0.01% of all living microbes on Earth,” he said.

“It may be that many of them can efficiently degrade even complex plant material and other wastes under anaerobic conditions. They may be present in nature but we haven’t found them yet.

“However, just look at what we have been able to do with the small fraction of microbes we understand – everything from antibiotic production; food and alcohol production; and biofuel production.

“Just think what we could do, or what we might discover, if we understood the function of just another 1%.”

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