Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hammer Makes More Problems Like Nails

Corn. It's important for biofuel right now. We're also having trouble keeping the supply up with its demand now that it's used in food, fuel, industrial applications, etc.

Meanwhile, Miscanthus X Giganteus is a giant grass that specializes in growing for a longer period of time in colder climates than corn.

Enter the scientists, who think that they've figured out what makes this grass perform so well. Their solution to the biofuel problem? Turning the grass into biofuel would be too pedestrian (almost as crazy as trying to solve the fuel problem by using less gas). What they want to do is take genes from the grass that develop a special protein for it to thrive in the cold, and transplant them into some kind of frankencorn that's genetically engineered to survive in those conditions.

Way to go, science.

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The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
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