source.wustl.edu
Department of Energy Funds cyanobacteria sequencing project | The Source | Washington University in St. Louis
Photo by David Kilper / WUSTL PhotoHimadri Pakrasi explains the photobioreactor in his Rebstock Hall laboratory.The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has devoted $1.6 million to sequencing the DNA of six photosynthetic bacteria that Washington University in St. Louis biologists will examine for their potential as one of the nextgreat sources of biofuel that can run our cars and warm our houses. That's a lot of power potential from microscopic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that capture sunlight and then do a variety of biochemical processes. One potential process, the clean production of ethanol, is a high priority for DOE. Himadri Pakrasi, Ph.D., Washington University Professor of Biology in Arts & Sciences, and Professor of Energy in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, will head a team of biologists at Washington University and elsewhere in the analysis of the genomes of six related strains of Cyanothece bacteria. More...