Science Highlights

Painting simulating a scanning electron micrograph image of Pyrococcus furiosus.06.20.16Science Highlight

Heat-Loving Microbe Engineered to Produce Bioalcohols for Fuel

Study reports first significant alcohol production by an archaeon. Read More »

In the BioEnergy Science Center, researcher examines a tray of Arabidopsis.06.20.16Science Highlight

How Does Your Garden Grow? Study Identifies Instigators of Plant Growth

Identifying enzyme instigators will speed the ability to manipulate plant cell wall structures for renewable feedstocks. Read More »

The microbe Clostridium thermocellum (stained green) is seen growing on poplar tissue.06.20.16Science Highlight

New Understanding of One of Nature’s Best Biocatalysts for Biofuels Production

Discovery of a new enzyme system sheds further light on a microbe’s ability to efficiently break down inedible plant matter for conversion to biofuels and biobased chemicals. Read More »

Bubbly white ice makes up the bulk of the glacier surfaces, suggesting internal melting may lead to substantial mass loss.06.20.16Science Highlight

Understanding Ice Loss in Earth’s Coldest Regions

Glaciers in cold, dry ecosystems respond differently to changes in climate than glaciers in warmer climates. Read More »

Researchers isolated an Escherichia coli mutant that tolerates a liquid salt used to break apart plant biomass into sugary polymers.06.20.16Science Highlight

A One-Pot Recipe for Making Jet Fuel

Researchers use engineered bacteria to simplify biofuels production, potentially lowering cost. Read More »

A common sulfate-reducing bacterium co-evolves with another microbe to create a synergistic situation where both microbes thrive in the subsurface without oxygen, which does not penetrate below the top few centimeters of sediment.06.20.16Science Highlight

Work Together or Go It Alone? Microbes Are Split on the Answer

Microbes often evolve and work together to thrive in no oxygen situations, hinting at how carbon and energy flow just below soils and sediments. Read More »

An international team examined microbial community dynamics at a site in Sweden where portions of the site are frozen permafrost and other areas are thawed.06.20.16Science Highlight

Microbial Community Dynamics Dominate Greenhouse Gas Production in Thawing Permafrost

Advances in simulating biogeochemical processes in permafrost will improve predictions of potential impacts on climate. Read More »

Structure of a gas hydrate (methane clathrate) block embedded in the sediment of hydrate ridge, off the coast of Oregon.06.20.16Science Highlight

Iron Supplements Help Microbes Working Together to Thrive When Oxygen Is Scarce

Understanding how iron minerals accelerate collaborative metabolism will expand insights into the global carbon cycle. Read More »

A jar of bio-oil, an alternate “crude oil” for transportation fuels currently made from petroleum, is created by first rapidly heating plant matter in a process called pyrolysis.06.20.16Science Highlight

Water Gunks Up Biofuels Production from Bio-Oils

New findings will help extend the lifetime of catalysts used to process bio-oils in liquid systems. Read More »

The Columbia River receives chromium-contaminated groundwater from the Hanford Site, a former nuclear materials production and processing complex in Washington State.06.20.16Science Highlight

Stimulate Bacteria to Stop Chromium in Groundwater

Findings could aid contaminant management efforts at former weapons production and industrial processing sites. Read More »