JUN 15, 2018 09:46 PM PDT

Turning Yeast Into Sustainable Biofuel Factories

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Researchers at Tufts University have engineered a strain of yeast that has been genetically modified to consume the sugar xylose. Learn more from this video from the National Science Foundation.

The planet has a lot of spare xylose. A major source is plant material that people can’t eat, and often throw away, like leaves or corn cobs. Now that scientists have created yeast that can utilize xylose instead of glucose, which they are typically fed, it reduces the pressure on the corn supply. That could make the production of biofuels far more sustainable.

This work also opens up new possibilities for using yeast in a variety of industries; these microorganisms might one day produce many kinds of molecules and materials.

About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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