The award for Headline of the Year goes to CNN.com with the outstanding title “Lab makes renewable diesel fuel from E. Coli Poop.” No kidding.
Now, awesome title aside, the story is actually quite interesting.
A special type of genetically altered bacteria are fed plant material: basically, any type of sugar. They digest it and excrete the equivalent of diesel fuel.
Humans have used bacteria and yeast for centuries to do similar work, creating beer, moonshine and, more recently, ethanol. But scientists’ recent strides in genetic engineering now allow them to control the end product.
It’s a great idea. Obviously, the scale of the project is the limiting factor in having any true effect on petroleum supply issues. but it IS promising.